Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's getting colder outside which means I'm less motivated to go outside and puworking in the garden (what's left of it from the spring/summer). I don't suppose there are a lot of things left to do in a garden during the winter.
I'm also less motivated to ride the bike. There are plenty of reasons one could make to not ride a bike in the cold, especially when he has the option of a car - I'm having a real hard time with that.

I read 10 Days to Faster Reading over the past few weeks. I myself have not been a very fast reader, although my comprehension was decent. This book really helped me by providing techniques and strategies to read through material much more quickly, and pointed out several bad habits that I have unknowingly  grown into. The first assumption the author makes about the reader is that he or she has never had any kind of formal reading training since elementary years where they are taught a very inefficient  method of reading, at least independently. Anyway, it helped me a lot and I can't think of anyone I wouldn't suggest it to.

Currently reading Reforming Marriage in between reading CCNA material. It's pretty thought provoking and I like it a lot so far.


Monday, September 6, 2010


Yesterday we went to Ikea with Finn. We purchased a buffet table and some other doodads (a lot of stuff for other people...). On Saturday we painted the living and dining room a clean green color, very contemporary. It was amazing that we finished the whole thing in a day, even with Finn.

I'm thinking about going to different colleges right now. I've more or less narrowed it down to Franklin University, Limestone, and WGU. I've also thought about going to a traditional school but that would probably too hard on me and the family as well as work. We almost live on the Lander campus but there really isn't many options for me there, and their tuition is more than many colleges. Also considering getting an MBA (after bachelors, but it would influence what I do now).

Went for a bike ride yesterday, it was cold as all get out.


Thursday, September 2, 2010


The past few months have been kind of a blur for me. Summers are usually that way. When I was little summers felt like they lasted a lifetime, but now it feels like just a short pause in the year, even though it's anything but. Finn coming into the world has made time go by even faster. He's a little more than two months old now and I'm looking forward to the next few months when he'll start communicating and being more alert and attentive to his surroundings.

I'm still studying for the CCNA when I can and reading various other things.

Mandy and I have also watched the entirety and continuation of Mad Men. If you can get past the immorality (I'm not suggesting that anyone should try and "get past" immorality portrayed in any medium, fictional or no) this is a very deep and interesting story that has evolved from a simple power-trip, alpha-male, womanizing-free-for-all to a character development and believability like I've never seen. While it portrays human depravity in a very raw form, it also communicates a human element that can be sympathized with. It has also pushed the envelope for re-creating of the 60's era in every possible detail down to the brands of products used in that time period.

I'd also like to draw attention to the new tabloid in Greenwood - THUMP. A recent addition to the paper, Justin Shoenberger, is writing a cycling column that's very enjoyable and informative, especially for residents of Greenwood. He doesn't talk about racing or triathlons, but about using bicycles for commuting, utility, and riding for the sake of riding, which is what I'm about.

That's all I've got for now.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Today is Finn's 3 month check-up. He's grown so much over the past few months it's hard to believe. He's starting to coo and smile a lot, and that makes both of us very happy. I believe God has great things in store for him, and I aim to help him discover and excel in this.

I'm reading through a devotional Curt Rabe gave me on our wedding day called "Pursuit of Joy" by Dr. Paul Kooistra. It's mainly a study on Philippians and how to attain joy through God. It's very good so far. Today, reading Ephesians 2:8-10, revealed that only by grace are we saved, and only by His death are we made worthy of this grace.

I'm still in the process of deciding whether or not to pursue a bachelors degree at some type of school. I trust God will give me direction in this and that any selfish reasons will be revealed so I may have a true meaning of my actions and decisions.


Friday, July 9, 2010


Nothing new going on. Back at work and about to start studying seriously for my CCNA, definitely need to get back in the habit of  studying for tests. Harvesting some tomatoes and reading a good bit of random things. Currently reading The Hound of the Baskervilles for which I'm a huge fan of so far. Finished the LotR trilogy a few weeks ago, which was also fantastic. Also read Time Management for System Administrators which was also a good read, if not a pretty close to GTD.

Slacked off a bit on the cycling....need to fix that.

Yesterday was Finn's 3 week b-day. Happy birthday Finn!


Friday, June 25, 2010


Baby was born last Thursday. His name is Finn Edward Dean. He's the best baby in the whole wide world.

The garden is doing pretty well. So far we've harvested quite a few cucumbers, which are very very good. We've got some bell peppers and a couple of egg plants that should be ready in the middle of July. Tomatoes are chugging along, should be ready to pick by the end of July.

Finished reading the Lord of the Rings this week. I want to live in a Hobbit hole now.

That's all I've got.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Bike Tension

Over the past 2 weeks I have ridden my bike to and from work on several days. This is something I've been wanting to do for a long time but always came up with some dumb excuse not to do it or was just too afraid in general. I'm not really sure what I did to get over these mental hurdles, but I just decided to go for it and see what happened. So what happened? I brought my bike and a change of cloths to work last Tuesday. After work I changed, got on my bike, and went home. Uneventful. I was nervous as all get out, but for no particular reason. The act of riding my bike wasn't new. The environment wasn't particularly different, I've been ridding in traffic a lot recently. It was the idea that I was performing an activity that was labeled as something I've never done before and in a somewhat new environment that fed my fear. I feel that I get that way a lot. I put things in a mental box and build that box so large that it seems impossible to open. The things inside this "box" are unchanged,  just opening (doing) them are difficult because of how I perceive them. I know there are many other things in which I have this barrier with, so I'm trying to identify those things that I'm not doing because of an unfounded fear, or otherwise general anxiety and try to overcome that. Identifying those things might be tough though. Of course, this is fueled by the fact that I felt  absolutely great when I got home for the first time.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Grass is starting to grow in the front yard and I'm super to come in due time.

I played Mass Effect (1) last weekend and was totally blown away. Probably one the best games I've ever played. Also probably one of the only RPGs (hybrid?) I've actually finished. I think I need to work on that some...

I haven't been reading as much as I've wanted to recently. I read Ron Paul's The Revolution and it was pretty good. I'm not huge fan of investing a lot of time into political research but I found it to be worth while. I feel that our natural opinions on politics should spring from our religious beliefs, as with all other opinions we hold, so I would be more inclined to spend more time studying the Bible rather than reading and analyzing various political stances. Granted, research into people we vote into offices is very important to make sure our principals are aligned, but even that shouldn't take a large amount of time. Accepting the fact that no one is perfect, especially those making decisions in offices, also mitigates the need for immense amounts of time spent analyzing politics.

Right now I'm reading through Francis Chan's Crazy Love. Not saying that I didn't take it seriously the first time I read it, but I probably didn't give it enough consideration. The general message of the book challenges me in a  lot of ways and I hope my attitude and ambitions can be influenced in a way that allows me to lessen my wants, needs, and desires for a level of comfort that could ensue a sense of apathy towards increasing my reliance on God. I think a lot of people get overly confident (my self included) in what they can seemingly provide for themselves which could open a door for a feeling of self-reliance that would then leads towards having less of a desire for God's influence in our lives.

That was pretty much me typing out loud and a self-reflection...


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Garden Pictures and Diagram

Here are some pictures taken today of the garden progress. The filled box has two rows of Spinach that we planted earlier this week, nothing has come up as of yet though. Also below is a diagram of our planting arrangement and a snapshot of the compost progress - it's coming a long nicely.[gallery link="file" columns="2"]

Click the pictures above again on the next page for the real thing...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

School and Garden

I need not apologize for lack of update as I've been hard at work doing other things...Had I been lazy and not doing other things then a firm dose of discipline would be in order, but that's not the case, so on to the updates.

Over the past several weeks I've been studying and taking tests to complete a few certs that I've been wanting to finish. I took and passed MS 70-291 and the Network+ exam. These tests combined with previous ones I passed gave me the MCSA credential, which could be worthy of putting after my name in email communications or business cards. I don't  think that's necessary though...

These test have also given me the ability to exempt the classes needed to graduate from PTC with an associates in information systems. This makes me ecstatic because I've been enrolled at tech since 2004 (though not continuously)....I plan to continue my education at an institution of even higher learning. More to come on that.

Garden update....

Lot's going on here. I don't have pictures of everything yet, but I will be sure to post some this week.

The raised bed garden boxes have been built and two rows of Spinach have been planted in one of the beds. This plant requires direct, outdoor planting and should not be started indoors (like all our other plants).

Our squash has reached a milestone in maturity and has been transplanted from starter boxes to interim boxes it will grow in until it's ready to be planted in the raised beds. These things sprouted and grown rather quickly.

All the other plants have been growing at a normal rate. More to come on these.

That's all for now. I will post pictures of everything sometime this week.

-Brian Dean, MCSA

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Curb Appeal

While I've been composting for the past few weeks another outdoor project has been looming above me...the front yard.
A few months back we had a driveway poured, and while this resolved the bulk of our front yard problems, it left a larger problem for the rest of the yard.

The plan was to lay sod around the driveway and easily create a magazine-quality front is always easier than action. I went outside yesterday to start work on preparation and realized that a ton of concrete debris and rocks has integrated itself into the soil. Not good for grass.

So now the plan is to craft a large sifter for the top soil and shovel the bulk of the yard through it. Hopefully this wont take a ton of time and will produce good results. Someone once said "The harder you work, the better the results"...yeah.

Meanwhile I can think of the type of grass I want to lay...

Building a Soil Sifter

Local sod farms

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Compost Happens

Several years ago, there was a station wagon that was covered from side to side with bumper stickers (on the back). I saw this wagon quite often rummaging about Greenwood, and I was fond of reading the various extreme, anti-government, we can-do-it-ourselves types of messages plastered about, but the one that I was most fond of, and still remember to this day simply read "Compost Happens". And it does.

This is the first major step in the garden project. I'm hoping that if I mix it up every day that I might have something usable in a few weeks, depending on the weather. Right now it's just a mixture of mulched leaves from the fall and about a weeks worth of kitchen scraps. If you have any kitchen scraps you'd like to contribute, they would be much appreciated.

For those of you interested in starting a compost of your own, I purchased this compost bin from Lowes for about $50 US. It was in the way back of the outdoor garden section (part of the store you've never really been to).

Here is a useful link for more information:

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Not much happening right now. Studying for MS 70-291 which I plan to take by month's end. At which point I will be done with PTC forever.

Finished painting the baby's room this past weekend. A nice cool blue named "inhale". I'll post pictures when we have more decorations up.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Square Foot Garden

Recently I posted that I wanted to start a vegetable garden in the back yard, however I had some concerns with doing this, mainly time and the condition of my soil. If the soil in the backyard was anything like that of the front, nothing would grow in it (granted, grass grows in the backyard).

That's where this book comes in: The All New Square Foot Gardening. I just got the book yesterday, so I haven't had a lot of time to read it, but general idea is to build boxes on top of the ground, fill it with nutrient rich soil, plant, grow, pick, eat, repeat. Only planting the amount you really need is also key.

I'm hoping to start construction in the coming weeks. More to come on that.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Personal Journal - 1/26/10

Yesterday was pretty wretched. Spent the majority of the time working on a project with Lakelands Orthopedic that I didn't plan on doing, it took the better part of the afternoon. While I was doing this I had people coming into my office, calling, and emailing with problems. Pretty stressful. I'm pretty much ready to find somewhere else, I just have to finish my degree and finish my certification to MCSA.

Finished watching Fellowship last night with JR. Such a good movie that was pretty close to the book. I didn't realize how different it was though, and I remember hearing a lot of people saying that when it came out, obviously I was oblivious to that.

I read John 4 today. It contains the story of Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. He declares himself as the savior to her and tells her of the gift that he has brought to the world - never ending spiritual water. The woman is surprised to hear that she can partake of this water even when she has already sinned so much, and was not a Jew. I understand this to be one of the first testaments to the purpose of Jesus' life given by him to a non-Jew. The woman brought many out of the town to hear Him and they also believed. Jesus said that a time was coming (and was already here) that anyone (regardless of race or background) who worships and believes in the Father "in spirit and truth" will have the never ending well of life.

Jesus then traveled to Galilee where he was confronted by a royal official who believed Jesus to be the Messiah. His son was deathly ill and he asked Jesus to heal him and because of his belief he was instantly healed. Because of this, he and his entire household believed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Personal Journal - 1/25/10

I've been working on the Baby's room this weekend, painting mainly. It's a boy, so we're painting it a light blue color called Inhale. I finished reading The Fellowship of the Ring this weekend. I can't believe it took me so long to start really reading TLOTR, but I'm doing it now so that's good.

Work has been pretty frustrating, I really don't know what I'm going to do about all of it right now, but I want to wait and see what God has in store for me. I want to keep an open mind about my career. I'm not certain that this is what I should be doing for the rest of my life, but I'm pretty certain my computer aptitude is a gift that I should be using somewhere, some how.

I've been reading the gospel of John recently and it's good to read through the book from start to finish rather than picking out individual versus as people usually do. It's easier to understand things in context. Mom gave me a new study Bible for Christmas and it has a lot of good commentary that I've been learning from. Today I read John 2 and 3. John two tells the story of Jesus turning the water into wine and Jesus visiting the temple in Jerusalem during passover to find it being used as a market. What I didn't realize about his visit to the temple was that the Jews tested his claims of being the Son. He told them to destroy the temple and he would raise it up again in three days. This was a figurative prophecy made by Jesus stating that he would raise the body from the dead after 3 days (after the crucifixion).

John three includes the telling of Nicodemus visiting Jesus at night and having a conversation of spiritual re-birth. That someone who believes in God and receives the spirit in himself is reborn. Good stuff. The other half of the chapter is about John the baptist who is baptising people when he hears that Jesus is doing the same not far away. He continues to baptize people but affirms people that he is not the messiah, but Jesus is. This is a sign of humility from John was teaching followers but told them to go to Jesus.

Work time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Italian Ice

Mandy and I were at Food Lion tonight getting our weekly stock of various food sundry when an overwhelming urge to buy Italian Ice overcame us both (simultaneously). For those of you who are not schooled in this desert,  it's basically made using the same process as ice cream, but uses ice (shavings) and flavoring. A much more basic desert than ice cream or gelato (the later preferred of the two) and feels "healthier". It provides a cool, refreshing sensation the same way water does on a hot summer day with a creamy, light texture that's sure to please.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


This week I read through Beowulf. I tried reading it when I was in middle school but couldn't really get into it (I really didn't like reading if the subject matter wasn't computer related). But since I've been reading fiction recently I thought I'd give it another go, and I'm VERY glad I did.

This tale has such scope and epic details that I was completely enthralled from start to finish. It makes me want to consume scores of mead and wild game while gallivanting throughout the yard swinging my magical sword battling horrific creatures of ancient antiquity.

But alas....I will just read it again someday.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Lately I've been thinking a lot about building/planting a vegetable garden in the backyard. Maybe not anything too large scale with just tomatoes and potatoes to start with. I plan to do some loose documentation on the process here on I hope to finish my plans for the season by the end of the month (which I will put on the blog) so I can start real work in February.

More to come on that.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years

Here's my new years resolution. I'm not really sure what constitutes as a resolution versus a goal so the following are just things I want for myself over the course of 2010.

1. Get in better physical condition while creating and maintaining a "real" exersise plan.
2. Obtain various industry certifications. I'm pretty close to my MCSA, then probably go for the E. If I didn't spend time finishing up PTC, I'd be done with it by now.
3. Simplify. I realise this is a pretty trendy thing right now, and pretty vague in general, but that shouldn't detract from the advantages of simplifying your lifestyle in general. I'd say this mainly pertains to possessions then commitments.
4. Spend more time with the Lord through scripture reading and prayer.

That's it for me. Hope you had a great new year, I sure did.