Monthly Archives: June 2007

June 2007 Training

4 – 2.9-mile run to PT (27:00), played football at PT, 2.9-mile run/walk home (45:00)
8 – 1.9-mile run at PT (very fast – under 12:00?)
11 – 2.9-mile run to PT (27:30), played football at PT, 0.8-mile run home (8:00)
13 – 2-mile run (while gathering cans)
15 – 1.9-mile run at PT
18 – 1.9-mile run at PT
19 – 4x400m @ 1:56 target pace (1:34, 1:43, 1:41, 1:47 actual)
21 – 3-mile tempo run @ 8:45/mile (Just did 2.25 miles @ sub-8:45 pace)
22 – 1.9-mile run at PT (tired & slow – 17:00)
23 – 6-mile long run @ 9:30/mile (still tired & slow, plus gathered aluminum cans – 1:20)
25 – 1.9-mile run at PT (18:00ish)
27 – 4x800m @ 3:58 target pace (3:49, 3:52, 4:02, 3:50)
29 – 4-mile tempo run @ 8:45/mile (run Firecracker 5K instead – 25:32)

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Interview Today

I had my interview today with the Assistant US Trustee for the district of Nebraska.  I think and hope it went well.  I should know in the next few weeks if I will be selected for a follow-up interview.

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Job Interview Tomorrow

I have a job interview tomorrow! Almost two months ago, I submitted an application to be a trial attorney with the US Trustee’s office in Omaha, NE. Today I got a phone call setting up an interview tomorrow with the Assistant US Trustee for Nebraska. I am so very excited — this is the first interview I have had scheduled in this year’s job search. As a result, I have been doing some research to get ready for the interview.

First, let me show you what the website says about the US Trustee Program:

The United States Trustee Program is a component of the Department of Justice that seeks to promote the efficiency and protect the integrity of the Federal bankruptcy system. To further the public interest in the just, speedy and economical resolution of cases filed under the Bankruptcy Code, the Program monitors the conduct of bankruptcy parties and private estate trustees, oversees related administrative functions, and acts to ensure compliance with applicable laws and procedures. It also identifies and helps investigate bankruptcy fraud and abuse in coordination with United States Attorneys, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies.

Specifically, the US Trustees are responsible for:

  • Appointing and supervising private trustees 3/ who administer Chapter 7, 12, and 13 bankruptcy estates (and serving as trustees in such cases where private trustees are unable or unwilling to serve);
  • Taking legal action to enforce the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code and to prevent fraud and abuse;
  • Referring matters for investigation and criminal prosecution when appropriate;
  • Ensuring that bankruptcy estates are administered promptly and efficiently, and that professional fees are reasonable;
  • Appointing and convening creditors’ committees in Chapter 11 business reorganization cases;
  • Reviewing disclosure statements and applications for the retention of professionals; and
  • Advocating matters relating to the Bankruptcy Code and rules of procedure in court.

Following is even more information that is gathered from a fact sheet on the website:

The vast majority of bankruptcy cases are filed by consumers rather than businesses. Most consumer cases are filed under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the federal Bankruptcy Code. Approximately 70 percent of cases are Chapter 7 liquidations filed by consumers, and nearly 30 percent are Chapter 13 wage-earner repayment cases. This fact sheet describes the United States Trustee’s primary responsibilities in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy cases.

Chapter 7 Cases

In Chapter 7 cases, the United States Trustee litigates issues that affect the integrity of the bankruptcy system. For example, the United States Trustee might:

  • Argue that granting the debtor a bankruptcy discharge would constitute a “substantial abuse” of the bankruptcy process.
  • Object to excessive fees requested by the debtor’s attorney.
  • Take action against unlawful practices by bankruptcy petition preparers–generally, non-lawyers who receive a fee to prepare a consumer debtor’s bankruptcy papers.

The United States Trustee also appoints and supervises the Chapter 7 trustees who administer consumer debtors’ bankruptcy estates. In most Chapter 7 cases, no assets are available for distribution to creditors. However, if a Chapter 7 debtor has property that is not exempt from creditors’ reach under state or federal law, the trustee may sell that property and distribute the money to creditors.

The United States Trustee appoints each Chapter 7 trustee to a panel for up to one year, renewable at the United States Trustee’s discretion; these “panel trustees” are then assigned to Chapter 7 cases on a blind rotation basis. The United States Trustee supervises the panel trustees’ administration of individual debtor estates; monitors the trustees’ financial record-keeping; and imposes other requirements to ensure that the trustees carry out their fiduciary duties.

Chapter 13 Cases

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the United States Trustee supervises the private trustees who administer Chapter 13 cases. In this chapter, the trustee does not liquidate the debtor’s assets, but instead helps organize the debtor’s financial affairs so the debtor may pay back some or all money owed to creditors.

A Chapter 13 debtor must propose a plan that devotes all disposable income to debt repayment over a period of up to five years. Most Chapter 13 cases are administered by “standing trustees” appointed by the United States Trustee to administer all cases filed in a particular geographic area.

As with Chapter 7 panel trustees, the United States Trustee supervises the Chapter 13 standing trustees’ administration of individual bankruptcy estates; monitors the trustees’ financial record-keeping; and imposes other requirements to ensure that the trustees carry out their fiduciary duties. The United States Trustee’s supervisory actions include:

  • Periodically reviewing the trustees’ case reports, budget reports, bank account information, management skills, court performance, and similar information.
  • Ensuring that trustees are bonded.
  • Ensuring that trustees are independently audited.
  • Determining trustees’ maximum annual compensation and actual necessary expenses.
  • Providing training for trustees.
  • Monitoring trust account funds.

I also went out to review interview tips and found the following questions that I might want to ask when it is my turn to ask questions:

  1. What do you like about working here?
  2. When can I expect to hear from you?
  3. If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?

I also was reminded of the importance of sending a Thank You note after the interview, so I have to be sure to get the interviewer’s correct name — I am not sure if it is Patricia M. Fahey or Dugan; I have a valid street address.

I am actually a little upset right now since I think she has my old resume — I wish she had my newer and better resume.

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Whizbang Garden Cart Board Cutting, Part 1

Last night, we continued our work on the Whizbang Garden Cart by cutting up the one 2×4 and the four 1x4s.  There were to be four rough cuts on the 2×4, so I had Caleb mark the locations for the cuts, then I cut the first two cuts using the power compound miter saw my wife gave me as a gift years ago.  I then had Caleb cut the third cut and Meagan did the fourth cut.  After that, the kids disappeared while I started working the 1×4 cuts.  We completed all the straight cuts last night.

I mentioned that the cuts on the 2×4 were just rough cuts; each of the 5 pieces we created need to be cut down further.  All of the 2×4 boards need to be ripped to a narrower size, something I don’t know how to do without a table saw.  I need to figure out a way to do this without a table saw or I need to find a table saw I can use, because there is no way I can work a table saw into the budget for this garden cart.

Last night I also realized that the J-bead I picked up for this project does not have the holes every inch that it is supposed to have, so I am considering going back to Home Depot tonight to exchange the J-bead for what I need.

In other news, we have been seeing and feeling the baby move in Gina’s tummy!  She is at twenty weeks, so we are halfway.  I looks like 11 September will be our last day in Phoenix and 11 November is the due date!

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Whizbang Garden Cart Plywood Cutting

Yesterday afternoon, in our 107° garage, Caleb & I began carving up the ½” sheet of plywood and drilling pilot holes for screws. Caleb was committed to working with me at first, but it wasn’t really child’s work as we used the circular saw to make some long cuts. I offered Caleb the chance to make the fifth and final cut, but he declined. We now have four pieces of plywood that will make up the bottom and three sides of the cart. The fourth side will remain open. Next we had to mark and drill the location of the pilot holes. I did the marking and Caleb did the drilling, at least for the first side. The front end of the cart got eleven holes, but the two sides each got 31 holes! The drill was too large for Caleb to handle alone, so I helped him, and I think that frustrated him because he wasn’t doing it himself. He asked to do it alone at one point, and I obliged, but it was too much for him. I tried to help as little as possible. It was after this first board of drilling that Caleb got distracted by his sister riding her bike around. He eventually went inside and I finished up the sides myself, including making at least two mistakes on the first side.

On each side piece I was supposed to cut out a notch for the axle rod to go through that was ½” by 1″ — on the first side I made it ¾” by 1″ — hopefully not a big deal. The pilot holes, as they get drilled, are supposed to also be countersunk. But they aren’t all countersunk from the same side. I made a mistake on the first board and countersunk all holes from the same side, so I had to go back and I drilled new holes ½” lower and countersunk on the proper side — hopefully this won’t be a big deal, either.

Tonight I think I will set up my power miter saw so Caleb & I can cut the 2×4 and 4-1x4s down to size. There is also some ripping that needs to be done; something I will have to do with the circular saw. And I believe there is also some pre-drilling and countersinking as well. This should definitely be enough work for us tonight.

Last night, before the kids went to bed, I read another chapter of the Two Towers — the stairs of Cirith Ungol. They can’t wait until the book is done so they can watch the movie.

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Which Version is the Bible? by Floyd Nolen Jones

“Is the Word of God on planet earth today?  If so, where is it?  Why do the modern versions read so differently from all the older English versions?”

After 62 pages, I abandoned reading the book, Which Version is the Bible? by Floyd Nolen Jones.  Basically, the book reads to me as a defense of the King James-only belief — a belief held by many that the King James Authorized Version is one of the only true and accurate translations into English of God’s holy word.  There are other acceptable English translations, but none of our modern translations (NIV, NASB, RSV, NLT) are acceptable to those who hold this King James-only belief.  We have been attending a King James-only fundamentalist baptist church, and I wanted to understand the nature of this belief because I was raised on the NIV and have found pleasure in reading the NASB.

Most of the pages I read were filled with comparisons of sections of scripture from the KJV and one of the more modern versions, to demonstrate the alleged omission or addition.  For instance, Colossians 1:14 reads in the KJV, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,” whereas in the NIV it reads, “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”  The point being that the NIV has completely removed Christ’s blood from the redemptive process.  Another example is in Matthew 9:13, where the KJV reads, “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” and the NIV reads, “for I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

The point made by the author is that God promised to preserve His word to us and that the KJV is that preserved word.  All of these newer translations are based on an adulterated version of the Greek text.  My thought is that the deletions that the author perceives could be additions from scribes over the years.  It is true that there are words that disappear between the KJV and the NIV, but could this not be words that were added by scribes in an effort to make the word of God clearer?  Or just because it seemed appropriate to the scribe, it seemed like those words belonged?  In any event, the author started to launch into a discuss of Erasmus, Hort, and Westcott, a discussion I probably would have had a hard enough time following had I believed there was a problem, a discussion which I found it wholly impossible to follow given my lack of conviction that a problem exists.

In the end, I must do as the pastor of the church I currently attend said.  I must pray on it and listen to God.  God is not convicting me that there is a problem with the Bible I choose to read.  In the end, I was saved while reading the NIV.  If the KJV is a more accurate translation, it is not the only translation that has a claim to having led thousands of people to Christ.


Filed under Bible, Review

Whizbang Garden Cart Shopping Trip

Yesterday, Caleb & I went shopping for parts for the Whizbang Garden Cart.  We found most of the parts, but we are still missing a handful, including the axle.  I ordered the wheels from Northern Tool a couple weeks ago.  One of the most important parts of starting any new project is to find some tool that I absolutely must have in order to complete the project.  In this case, I picked up two 36″ clamps for $50, which brought our total shopping trip total to just over $150.  Now I will have some big clamps for future projects.  Caleb & I plan to spend some time this afternoon cutting wood, getting ready to assemble our garden cart.  We want to have the cart completed by next Tuesday, when my Dad (“Opa”) comes to visit for a few days.

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Job Search Continues

I only have about eleven weeks of work left now. I am still a bit anxious about finding a job — in fact, as you would expect, my anxiety is getting stronger. I have been job-hunting for about six months now and I have still been fruitless. I have considered posting my resume on this site, but I fear that may give away too much of my personal information. Although I guess others do it all the time. I have sent my resume to many employers now. I have applied with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services multiple times and only managed to get through the application process once. Every other time they rejected my application. Even when I got through the application process, I was told I had a good score, but I never got a phone call for an interview.

I have sent my resume to the attorneys practicing in Tecumseh, NE, the county seat, but only heard from the outgoing county prosecutor who was in the process of moving his practice to Beatrice, NE. I also sent my resume to a handful of Lincoln firms, but only received one rejection letter back.

In February, when we went to Nebraska for the home inspection, I visited with a local judge and he told me that the deputy county attorney in Nemaha County (Auburn, NE) had recently resigned. So I dutifully contacted the county attorney there. This seemed like a God-sent opportunity because the job sounded perfect and it was an opportunity I never would have heard about but for a series of bizarre circumstances that landed me in the judge’s chambers. I sent my resume, then they called and told me they wanted to interview me, then I haven’t heard from them since.

In May, there was a posting for a part-time contracts attorney at Offutt AFB. Another job that sounded just perfect. This time because it was part time, which would allow me to work my twenty hours in just 2-3 days and stay home the other 4-5 days and work on our farm. My guess is that the part-time pay would be enough to cover the mortgage payments. I sent in my application and even talked to people I knew who knew the person making the hiring decision, but I have yet to hear anything on that front either.

In June, I found a posting for a pro se law clerk with the federal district court in Lincoln or Omaha. Pro se means to represent your self, so this job would involve reviewing all pro se documents that come into the courthouse and briefing whatever legal issue the filer was trying to raise. As you might imagine, nonlawyers who participate in the legal process often miss the mark or don’t quite spend enough time on the analysis of their issues. The person who holds this clerk position effectively assists the pro se filer to get their filings on equal footing with those filed by their lawyer opponents.

I feel that I am being taught patience. I also feel like I need to do a better job of trusting in the Lord and waiting on Him. He will move in His time. He will make provision for my family.

Here is my Resume.  Please feel free to review it and make suggestions on what doesn’t make sense, what doesn’t make me sound like you would hire me in an instant, or to comment on what you like about it.  I especially appreciate comments from non-lawyers and non-military to see what the effect is on people completely different from me.

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Whizbang Weekend

Wow! We had another great weekend. On Friday, I skipped out of work a little early and we drove up to Holbrook, AZ, in the high desert above the Mogollon rim. We spent Friday night with some friends. On Saturday, we rose early and drove out to a real cattle ranch, where we worked cattle all morning. The ranch we were at was a conventional ranch, so there were some things they did that didn’t interest me too much, but at the same time it was all valuable experience.


They had rounded up most of their herd and seperated out the cows from the calves. When we got there, they were just finishing ‘pouring’ the cows. Pouring the cows means pouring a blue liquid on their back that aids the cattle in staying free of lice, ticks, and other pests.

After the cows were all done, we moved half of the calves into a pen and started moving them one by one into a chute where they would be caught, flipped on their side, and worked on. Each calf had to be branded, get two shots, and be de-horned, if necessary. They did not band the bulls because they said they have found that the bulls will put on an additional 50 pounds if they wait six months to convert the bulls into steers. The brand they use is HUGE. I felt sorry for the poor calves. The shots they got were one vitamin shot and one vaccination; the vitamin shot was intramuscular and the vaccine was subcutaneous. I gave the vitamin shot quite a few times, but the vaccine I only tried once. I also branded one of the calves, but I stayed away from the dehorning. The dehorning sent a stream of blood spraying out of a hole in the middle of the horn, which they would use a hot iron to cauterize.

After the first half of calves, I moved into the pen with the second half of calves and practiced wrestling the calves. Most were my size or smaller, but a few were as big as twice my size. Basically, I would grab an ear with one hand, the tail with the other hand, and place my hip against the calf’s hip, so that the calf couldn’t kick me as easily. Then my job was to turn the calf until he was facing into the chute and twist his tail to make him want to walk into the chute where he would be caught and worked on. At one point during this fun, I had my back turned to a calf we called ‘crapper’ because his back was covered in manure (this was not a clean job). The other fella in with me was working on getting crapper to go into the chute. Apparently crapper got away from my co-worker and place his head right under my seat and lifted me off the ground and drove my head into a crossbar above. He only lifted me 6-12 inches, but it was enough. The only other injury I sustained was two of the calves stepped on my toes, which hurt but they didn’t turn black or fall off.

After working cattle for a few hours (it felt like a full day’s work), we went back to the farmhouse for a big breakfast. Yummy! After breakfast, we went back out to the ranch, where we mounted horses and 4-wheelers and rode out to meet another 13 cows and 10 calves. We drove this small herd back into the sorting yard and seperated out the cows from their calves. We did the same work again, but at a much quicker pace. We also banded two bulls and they decided to keep one bull for the herd. I got to ride a horse again, this time totally unsupervised — and the horse liked to lope! I wish I knew better how to ride a horse.

That afternoon, we slaughtered a laying hen and a rooster, scalded them using 140° water, and then I tried out my Whizbang Chicken Plucker, which I still need to show a picture of on my blog. The WBCP worked fabulously, removing almost all feathers within 15 seconds. The plucker worked better when both birds were spinning inside, rather than just one. One bird tended to get hung up, but with both birds when one would get stuck, the other would knock the first loose. I can’t wait to build my Whizbang Chicken Scalder, because that will make the whole process that much more efficient — scalding was very frustrating.

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Filed under Cattle, Chickens, Whizbang

A Good Weekend

We had a very slow, relaxing weekend at our house.  We really didn’t do much of anything.  We went out Saturday morning to pick up our vegetables at the co-op, then went to lunch with a family I know from work.  Same thing Sunday morning, we went out to church, then went to lunch.  Both days, Gina & I spent hours playing a computer game called Heroes IV.  I know it was a colossal waste of time, but it allowed us to sit next to each other and enjoy a challenge.  We both tend to allow ourselves to lose alot of time on computer games.  Some big timewasters from our recent past have included SimCity and Railroad Tycoon.  I am hoping the farm life will cure us of this, but it probably won’t.

Over the weekend, I made a lot of progress in the book I am reading, “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote.  I also spent some time looking at how to arrange our farmstead and what work would need to be done this fall, when we get to our land.  I am a bit confused about when we should plant our fruit trees.  I have seen some say November (John Seymour) and others say March (John Jeavons).

This morning I studied Ephesians 4:7-16.  Part of the passage came back to one of the items I have been working on for my What I Believe page.  Following is an explanation I read this morning by Vance Havner:

Every Christian is commissioned, for every Christian is a missionary.  It has been said that the Gospel is not merely something to come to church to hear but something to go from the church to tell — and we are all appointed to tell it.  It has also been said, “Christianity began as a company of lay witnesses; it has become a professional pulpitism, financed by lay spectators!”  Nowadays we hire a church staff to do ‘full-time Christian work,’ and we sit in church on Sunday to watch them do it.  Every Christian is meant to be in full-time Christian service … There is indeed a special ministry of pastors, teachers and evangelists — but for what? … For the perfecting of the saints for their ministry.

There are three main sections of the above passage that are clearly distinguishable in my mind.  The first section refers to the idea that we are all missionaries.  Admittedly not something I have been dwelling on lately, although I have always liked the churches that have signs as you leave their parking lots that read, ‘Now Entering the Mission Field.’  That first section is also necessary for the conclusion eventually reached.  What I have been dwelling on is his idea that the NT church is supposed to be a gathering of believers, in a circle, to share their inspirations and troubles and triumphs.  There is no need for the professional pulpitist.

This morning I am off to PT — I will try again to run to PT and run home, although last week I had trouble with my energy level on the run home.  I have another long week of work ahead of me, but the end gets closer every week.

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