The Masons

One of the families that has had the most impact on my adult life deserves a Thursday post. Thursday, over on, is “Thankful Thursday” – and it has been so for quite some time. Our whole family is thankful for their whole family – every day of the week.

Louanne and Jessica became fast friends when we met at the seminary church. Her husband Mike was the one who introduced me to Alt-N, my employer for over 12 years now – it’s good to be friends and co-workers.  Their friendship is precious and has blessed many, but their generosity and labors towards spreading the gospel, loving others and reaching out to the world in kindness have blessed so, so many more.

If you don’t subscribe to their blog you should, it’s a regular light in my day. Also: foodies!

Flat Tire

This morning I took our car in because our front passenger tire had a screw in it.  It was a slow leak, but you don’t want to find the boundaries of the puncture – air pressure balance.  At Discount Tires (the only place I go for tires, yes, that’s sort of a plug) Evie was noticing logos and patterns on the rims that were for sale.  She was fascinated by the work that was being done in the garage bays.

I’m really thankful for my 5 year old.  She’s precious.

On my desk is a hand written note from my 8 year old telling me she really missed me while I was on a business trip earlier this week.  I missed her, too.

I’m really thankful for my 8 year old.  She’s precious, too.

It’s good to be a dad.

Smooth. Jazz.

I’m praying for our friends the Masons as they gear up to head to China.  In China they will meet and adopt their new daughter for the first time.  They already have a precious daughter Nadia and she’ll be excitedly meeting her Chinese sister for the first time, but from the perspective of a child.  I’m hoping that the trip goes well, the kids settle in together, and that Nadia says something funny, like she usually does, and Louanne or Mike will tweet it, blog it, or Facebook it (where Jessica will see it).  She’s said some pretty funny things before – but she’s pretty jazzed right now, so the funny may be quite amped.

Evie is Tying Her Shoes Now

Evie can tie her shoes now.  It does take her a bit of time, but she can do it by herself.  As her dad who has watched her grow up it blows my mind that the ‘baby’ of the family is able to read simple words and books, and she can tie her shoes.  We can’t turn back the hands of time, but my hope is that we’ll be able to spend as much time as we can until next year when she starts in at Vanguard like her older sister.  Who is also able to tie her shoes.

I sure am thankful for my little-but-getting-bigger girls.

Guitars, Guitars, Guitars

I have 6 guitars.  I’m not saying that to brag because I know folks with way more guitars than that.  I’m just going to start out with that information so I can tell you the story of how I acquired those guitars.  There are some fun stories behind a few of them, and frankly, they’ve all been gifts of one form or another.

The oldest guitar I have is my bass guitar.  I got that when I was about 15 because we needed a bass player at church and I volunteered to learn to play the bass.  I saved up some money and through a good deal that I worked with my youth group leader the guitar was purchased for about $200.  I loved  having a bass guitar, it was the best after having fiddled with my dad’s acoustic guitar.  I’ve worked on the electrical wiring, and it still gets the job done as needed.  That being said, I’d love to have a 5 string for those extra low notes.

The second oldest guitar I have is a 12 string Yamaha I bought from a co-workers husband when I was about 17.  It is impossible to keep in tune and it hangs on my wall collecting dust.  I interrupted worship at church a few times just to tune it because it was so out.  Yes, I was that tacky.

Third is my Washburn 6 string.  I saved up my money from work for a few months and purchased this guitar because at that point in time I wanted to be a worship leader professionally and that required a good guitar.  After some work and such I had about $900 invested in it and it is singly the most expensive guitar I have and all of the other guitars together didn’t cost that much.  Even with that much money it’s still not an expensive guitar by today’s standards.  I lead worship with that guitar and have so for about 14 years now.  I don’t lead worship professionally, so I guess that didn’t pan out 😉  I did manage to record this and this though. There’s also this historical Texas number.

Next is the Washburn 6 string electric I got the first year for Christmas from my family.  Jessica orchestrated to have everyone pitch in and I got the red burst electric.  I really wanted a solid color guitar, but Jessica didn’t know and my first reaction was to be sad that it looked “too country and western” and not enough “Nirvana”.  I play it semi-regularly and I’ve recorded with it for a long time.  It’s a great guitar and I’m over the country & western thing, and instead remember how proud my wife was to get it for me that first Christmas.

Several Christmases ago I picked up my acoustic bass.  It was really cheap and it has some fret buzzing on the upper frets, but it doesn’t require an amplifier and it sounds pretty good for the most part.  I wanted to be able to play with friends (namely my friend Brad Maston at the time) and it seemed like a good idea.  It probably wasn’t 😉

Lastly is the classical guitar that my friend Mike gave me last year.  It was in his closet and he asked me if I wanted it.  Excitedly I said yes.  I really dig the classical guitar, the sound, the feel, and the playability of the classical guitar are really engaging.  I’ve recorded with it a few times, too.  I’m grateful for the gift, and I’m glad that I can use it – I’m hoping to use it at church soon to do a Willie Nelson-like number I’m writing.  Yes, that’s very silly.

I have told Jessica a few times, “I’d like to get another guitar.” She rolls her eyes and laughs at me because let’s face it: 6 guitars is a lot of guitars.  Just in case you wonder how I could want another guitar here’s why: each one is unique and has its own sound and feel and stylistic quality.  I would like a dobro guitar (also known as a resophonic) because they’re classic blues guitars.  I would also like to get a fretless bass guitar – because they’re super smooth sounding and jazzy.

I’m glad that when I asked my dad when I was 12 (yes, that was 21 years ago) if he would show me how to play the guitar that he said yes and he showed me the C and G chords.  It took me months to get those chords down smoothly and I could barely play a song when I foolishly told my youth group leader, “I’d like to play the guitar for worship tonight.”  I did HORRIBLE!  That being said I’ve written a number of worship songs, a number of silly songs, and a number of impromptu songs over the years.  I don’t take the guitars for granted and if you want to hear the differences in the guitars let me know in the comments and I’ll try to record something that lets each one of them shine in context.


Did you know that about 3.5 million people die every year from dirty drinking water related diseases [source,sanitation, etc]?  World Vision digs wells for communities in need at a cost of about $13,700.00 per well.  Those wells will help get clean water for 300 or so people a day.  Children who used to go collect water may be able to go to school at that point in time or do other essential tasks for their households.  They’re also much less likely to die from water related diseases.

The US federal government has earmarked about $1,000,000,000.00 dollars a year for the TSA to help save people from dying from terrorism.  I know I’ve been on a tear about the TSA in the last few months, but I was beginning to wonder what would happen if we started to think about really saving lives in a very effective, provable way.  What if we stopped funding the TSA with $1 billion and instead moved to a different, less expensive system (that could be more effective)?  What if we used half of that money to dig wells?

That would be about 36,496 wells (possibly too many).  What if we saved the lives for sure?  Those wells (in just one year’s budget) would provide jobs for the well diggers, provide water for people, and help feed through agriculture in some cases, too.  That could be water for up to 10,948,800 people.  This Christmas consider donating to World Vision at the link above to help support water rights.  Also, if you don’t mind me asking, contact your political officials to let them know that the TSA’s invasive scanners are expensive and don’t save enough lives.  Then be thankful for your glass of water.

Four Tired

I’m sitting at my favrite tire store. The staff are friendly. I’m thankful Jessica noticed the rear left tire was low. It had a screw in it. I’m waiting about 45 minutes for Discount tires to repair it. And I’m thankful this tire was not flat next week, we’ve got a long road trip planned.

Sad News, Good News

I wanted to post here something that I never, ever would want to post.  Last Tuesday (when internet connectivity was only on my iPhone and my emotions were too intense) Jessica and I drove to the hospital in Ukiah, California and after the morning and part of the afternoon in the ER learned that Jessica had had a miscarriage.  This is not the sort of thing you expect.  This is nearly the worst case scenario.  We cried a lot there in the hospital.  I wrote notes on my iPhone about how I was feeling, but I won’t post them as they’re far too intense for me to publish without feeling like its too much.  They’re also feelings that I don’t have any more because we’re OK.  We’re trusting the Lord that He’s used this to get our attention.  Prior to the unexpected fourth pregnancy (our first pregnancy was also a miscarriage), we we had planned on no more pregnancies.  Except that now our hearts are set on having a third child that we can hold, love and prepare for a life of intensity.

My brother, sister, and I were all born in Ukiah, CA.  It was strange and backwards to go to the same small town and discover that this expected Peterman life would not be seeing Ukiah.  After the doctor’s gentle disclosure of the diagnosis, “Fetal Demise”, we went to eat (having missed breakfast and our normal lunch) at a place where I recall eating with glee as a boy, the Mutt Hut.  Something about the place, and the honestly tasty hot dogs, brought a sense of comfort that sounds stupid as I write this.  I was with my wife, who I loved, looking forward to my two healthy girls, whom we both love dearly, and eating food (which we really needed).  Ukiah has a movie theater there that I remember as a child.  I went there once as a teenager, too.  Ukiah now has another memory in my heart and mind now: the place where Jessica and I decided we will try for a third child – a place that has some endings, but also an important beginning.  The beginning for the plan for three Peterman kids for Randy and Jessica.

We’re doing OK.  We’re doing well.  We’re doing this on purpose.  And we’re looking forward to seeing this little child we didn’t get to meet on this earth in heaven.


My Grandpa Peterman once responded to my statement that he worked too much that I had a negative attitude about work.  He went into further detail about it, but let me say that I did have, and sometimes still do, a negative attitude about work.  This video (contains graphic description about sheep castration) got my attention in a big way:

Work is a good thing – I’m glad to be employed and part of the problem of our economy has been the glamorization of not working.  Or working less.  I don’t like to be exhausted from work (which I have been in the last few weeks) but I do like honest physical labor, good intellectual challenges in coding, and to achieve something that is sometimes mundane, sometimes new, but always a job well done.

Keep up the good work.  And if you’re not, change that.

WordPress 2.7 Wows Me

I had installed WordPress 2.7 as a beta last month.  When the final release came out WordPress notified me, but instead of like previous versions, it just let me click a link and it handled the upgrade on the server with very little fuss.  It was like buying a 2008 Honda knowing that when the 2009 Hondas came out you could push a button and for free your Honda would upgrade to the latest.  Before several steps were required, now, I just click a button.  Wow.

The new interface for administration is very clean and polished and easy to use.  Wow.

The ease of editing posts has been taken up just a notch, which is quite nice.  Wow.

I can install plugins from within the plugin interface without having to download and unzip zip files, it just works.  WOW!

Thanks to Matt and the rest of the team at Automattic for a fantastic release that is well worth the upgrade.