Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008


I apologize for not being around much lately. That crazy thing called "life" keeps happening.
The positive side to that is that I have a lot to write about. The negative side is that I don't have a lot of time to sit down and write it.

So in the the meantime, since part of my job is to write specifications for various construction projects, I thought I'd share a little something with you.



The work we want did is clearly showed on attached plans and specifications. Our Engineer, whose had plenty of College, spent one hell of a lot of time when he drawed up these here plans and specifications. But nobody cant think of everything.
Once your bid is in, that’s it, Brother! From then on, anything wanted by our Engineer, or any of his friends, or anybody else (except the Bidder) shall be considered as showed, specified, or implied and be provided by the Bidder without expense to nobody but himself (meaning the Bidder).

Extra Costs
If the work is did without no extra Expense to the Bidder, then the work will be took down and did again until the extra expense to Contractor is satisfactory to our Engineer.

Our Engineer’s plans are right as drawed. If sumpthin is drawed wrong, it shall be discovered by the Bidder, corrected and did right with no extra expense to us. It won’t cut no ice with us, or our Engineer, if you point out any mistakes our Engineer has drawed. If you do, it will be one hell of a long time before you do any more work for us or him (meaning the Engineer).

Vendor Conduct
The Bidder is not supposed to make fun of our Engineer, his plans, or the kinda work we’re having done. If he do, it’s just too damn bad for him (meaning the Bidder).
Any Bidder walking around the job with a smile on his face shall be subject to a review of his bid.

If the Bidder don’t find all our Engineer’s mistakes before he bids on the job, or if the Bidder ain’t got enough sense to know that our Engineer’s gonna think up a bunch of new stuff that’s going to have to be did before the job is completed, then it’s just to damn bad for him (meaning the Bidder).

The Bidder has got to use good stuff on this job – none of that crap from Japan.
We done picked the best stuff for our client and won't let no cheep stuff be approved to save the Contractor money.

Value engineering and substitutions is alright as long as the cost savings go to the engineering budget or adds more purty do-dads to the project.

We don't take to no crybabies. Once you done bid this job you got no one but yourself to blame, especially the engineer or his client. Arguing with the engineer is like wrestling with a pig in the mud, after a while you’re going to learn he really enjoys it.

Questions and Answers

We have not succeeded in answering all your questions. Indeed we sometimes feel we have not answered any of them. The answers we have found have only served to raise a whole set of new questions. In some ways we feel that we are as confused as ever, but we think we are confused on a higher level and about more important things.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Finding His Purpose….

Remember this time of year when you would return to school and be asked to write an essay about “What I did this Summer”?

The following is a true accounting of something that happened not far from our home earlier this summer. It involved my 17 year-old step-son, Jonathan Ryall. So as to not try to steal away any of his thunder, I will let him tell the story, just as he wrote it. Jon gave me his permission to post it here.

My Purpose
By Jonathan Ryall

Steven Hawkins once said that “nothing leaves this universe.”

I am looking down at little Ruby. She is an odd shade of blue and her eyes are closed. I think she is dead and I am too scared to think about it. Without thinking, I act. I am pumping her chest hard and hoping not to break a rib, not thinking about how delicate a two year olds ribs are. Luckily, through the procedure, I tend to not break any. I push my breath into her mouth and hold her nose. She has lived two wonderful years, and I could not imagine how it would be to take away the possible remaining. I have lived seventeen. Her parents are screaming on the dock above me. Ruby’s mother is on her knees next to me, praying to Jesus, and a crowd of other children are either running around in complete hysteria, or crying in complete shock. What makes me wonder is, how did I get to be performing CPR on a dock in Lake Geist, Indiana?

Let me go back to 1979, the Indian Hill High School prom in Cincinnati, Ohio. My dad was dancing with my mother and they knew that one day they would marry and start a family. I was the third child of four and we lived a typical American suburban family life. Several years ago, however, our family broke apart with divorce and my mom moved to Indianapolis and soon re-married my step-father. I was devastated. My dad re-married as well and I found myself shuttling between Cincinnati and Indianapolis. I could not favor either side.
How did this happen? How did my ideal childhood break apart? Why is God doing this to me? Why can’t my parents get back together? Where is God in all of this and why has He forsaken me?

Someone suggested I pray and things will get better. Yeah right, like that is going to bring back my family. I told them I doubt that would happen, because I knew nothing could be done. “It can’t hurt” they said, but I didn‘t listen. But I knew I needed at least something to help me, so I only hoped and wished to have something happen. So, with that, I guess it was a prayer.

One weekend while visiting my mother, my prayer was answered. I met a girl, named Lily, a stunning beauty with wit and charm. She immediately took a liking to me and welcomed me into her family. In the summer, we would spend weekends together and have so much fun. I would do things with her family, and she would do things with mine. We spent an equal amount of time doing both. Eventually, we would spend times out at her grandparent’s house on the lake in their boat, the Sea-Ray, or in their pool and Jacuzzi.
One Saturday afternoon, while we were packing up and getting ready to leave the house, we decided to go for one last boat ride. Lily’s little sister, Ruby took off ahead running to the boat, after hearing us all cheer about the decision we had made. She always liked being first. By the time we caught up to her, she had been floating face down in between the boat and the dock, in about five feet of water. It was such a scary image to see, of a little child, showing no act of movement to survive. Apparently, by the mark on her forehead, she had hit her head trying to get into the boat and was slightly knocked unconscious, making it harder for her to escape. My little brother saw her shortly after the children did, and began screaming at me Ruby’s name. I was confused on what he was talking about, because I could not think or begin to believe what he was talking about of her was true. Soon, Lily and I went up to the edge of the dock and saw her. Lily jumped in the water and lifted her out into my hands on the dock.

I can’t describe what it felt like to stare in the face of a dead child – to see one’s childhood gone in a second. I quickly remembered taking CPR in high school. One of the most boring classes in my High School career, attached to gym, but surprisingly understanding the material. The situation that occurred was like some version of Tom Cruise, getting into action and rescuing people. I tuned out all the sounds around me – the weeping, screaming, and praying. It all got very still and quiet as time stood still. I know it sounds cliché, but what we learn does come back to help us sometimes.
Finally, after the fifth chest compression, Ruby spit up some water and as I tilted her head back, she coughed up some more and started breathing again. Her eyes squinted and she looked up to me. Her blue eyes looked deep into me, penetrating me like a bullet.

There it was all at once.

Maybe the whole point of my life was to be right here, right now. Maybe that prom dance led me to be born and to be available to Lily’s little sister. To think as if I wasn’t born, how would this of been played out?
Maybe the pain of seeing my mom move away and start her new life in Indiana was some cosmic plan for me to visit Indiana and meet my girlfriend and save this little girl.

Soon as she started breathing, I was told to go search for neighbors that could help us. I took off going in all directions. I had no clue of where I was going, or any sense of what I might run into; But all I was thinking of was the voice of the father saying “Go get my neighbor!” When I got to their neighbors, there was no one home, and I began to run more. Thankfully I found a man on a bicycle, and got his attention to call 911. Shortly, another girl from the family, appeared on my left and helped me tell him where we are, so he could tell the paramedics.
The paramedics had arrived within 3 minutes. While they were doing procedures on Ruby, I searched for Lily. I had found her sitting and weeping in the back lawn. I ran to her and told her of what is happening to Ruby, and how she is going to live. Right then, she looked at me, with her pearly blue eyes, in disbelief of what I said. I told her again, holding her, and she started bawling. Ruby was later sent to the hospital, to get more lake water pumped out.
Everyone says I saved this girls life, and that I am a hero; but in fact she saved mine.
Up to that day I was living a life without purpose, not understanding what my role in this big universe is. I know now that God has a plan for me and that if I stay open to all the possibilities He provides me, I will live a really happy and productive life. I now see how what I learn in school can have huge impacts on my life. I learned that one person can make a difference. I realize that I am not alone and that Steven Hawkins is right. Ruby didn’t leave this universe. She has some things she needs to do when she gets older, just as much as everyone else. Having the ability to bring someone back to life is a gift, but using the ability to give back someone’s life is a trait.
I am extremely thankful to be a hero, and save that girls life.

Jon visiting Ruby at the hospital the next day.....

I have watched Jon grow during this last year since he met Lily and her family.

He is turning into a fine young man, and his mother and I are very proud of him.

“…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
(Philippians 2:13)

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
(Jeremiah 29:11)

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
(Proverbs 19:21)