Religious Dissonance, Or, Dr. Dobson Investigates The Border

I just finished reading Dr. James Dobson’s July newsletter detailing his White House tour of a border outpost in McAllen, Texas. I find the views that he shares to be really frustrating.

Dobson starts off by detailing pretty horrific conditions that thousands of men, women and children are dealing with. He points out that the vast majority of detainees are fleeing Central American countries and turning themselves in to border patrol. (He doesn’t mention it in his article but I believe this is called “seeking asylum.”) Dobson is grieved over the situation, even telling one of the men in detention that “God loves him…[and] I love him too.”

Then he offers a solution to his readers: support the president’s border wall so that these people can’t get into the country anymore. Setting aside the idea that the wall is largely ineffective if these people are turning themselves in to border patrol and not sneaking in through the desert, I have some real concerns about this.

As someone who has sworn their ultimate allegiance to Jesus Christ, I just can’t understand how Dobson can claim to be “profoundly grieved over the misery of thousands of people” in one sentence and then proceed to say that because they are “illiterate and unhealthy” and have “no marketable skills” we need to shut them out of the country so that they don’t “overwhelm our culture.” Jesus had a lot to say about “loving your neighbor” and even “loving your enemy.” His prime example of this was the story of the Good Samaritan. It’s a story of extreme compassion and material care for a true enemy. After telling his audience about the unsolicited compassion the Samaritan man had for his enemy, Jesus says “go and do likewise.” This is the way we are supposed to live as followers of Jesus. Dobson says that “we have met a worldwide wave of poverty that will take us down if we don't deal with it.” I agree. The way Jesus’ people deal with poverty is by giving away their riches, opening up their homes and seeing the outsider as one that Jesus loves, an image bearer of God, and worthy of our support. Obviously this crisis is much too large for a single person to remedy, or even a single church. It’s a problem that requires that will of a society to meet effectively.

Do I think that we could formulate a comprehensive national policy on border enforcement, immigration and care for the refugee that honors Jesus mandate of care for the least, protects our nation from foreign threats and effectively assimilates immigrants into US society? I do. I’ve always thought that the United States is the greatest country in the world and that we can do anything we put our minds to. We won WWII, we put human beings on the moon. We could figure this out if we wanted to. I think the unfortunate reality is that politicians of both parties will continue to use this issue and the lives of the people that are affected by it as pawns in their petty games to win votes and demean and belittle their political opponents. It’s a complicated problem that most of us in this country don’t have the data or the means to solve. However, I just can’t square the clear directives of the one I believe to be the King of the Universe with the idea that the solution to this humanitarian crisis is to wall it off so we don’t have to deal with it.

Zak Adams
New Job Thoughts, Or, Freedom and Unfamiliarity

I started my new job last Friday. It's been 2 days of work so far. Here are some observations:

1) I forgot how hard it is to enter in to a new environment and absorb all of the information required to function in that environment. Thankfully everyone's picture is next to their name in all of the intra-office communication software. There are so many processes that I'm unfamiliar with and the feeling of totally not knowing how to navigate is something I haven't felt in a long time.

2) The main reason I left my old job was to find more time in my schedule. It was really hard to do that. I already miss it on some level. However, in the space of 2 work days and one weekend, I already feel like a major burden has been lifted. There is nothing at my new job that I need to spend mental energy on, there is no one that I am responsible for working while I'm away from the office...I just go there for 8 hours and work. It's really freeing.

3) I don't think I've ever done so much concentrated video editing before. I've never really been in a position where most all of my 8 hour day was devoted to actually sitting in front of Premiere and cutting footage together. I'm excited to get faster at it with practice.

4) Related to #1, it's interesting viewing an environment and group of people that I really don't know at all. Everyone seems really nice, but so far I have no attachments whatsoever. If I get fired tomorrow (not that I want to get fired tomorrow) I would mourn the loss of job but can't say that I would mourn the loss of relationship. I know that's something that's built with time, but it's just strange to feel disconnected at my workplace. It's been a long time since I've felt that.

That's all for now.

Zak Adams
This Is Not The End My Friends, Or, I'll See You On Leg Day

Today is my last day of work at The Salvation Army Kroc Center. In 2012 I started a tradition of making a music video celebrating staff members that left the Kroc. Today I was gifted one of those produced by my staff.

It features a bunch of Kroc staff as well as many of the clients that I've worked with over the years. I'm super honored by that.

Zak Adams
It's My Party, I Can Cry If I Want To, Or, Janus Strikes In May Each Year

Today is my 36th birthday.

Sometimes when I tell people how old I am they shudder at how close I am to the grave. Most of the time though, people remind me of how young I am, how much of my life is before me and how much I have yet to learn.

I think both of those reactions are probably somewhat true.

I look back on my late teens, twenties and early thirties and think of all the things that I have accomplished...and all the things that I didn't accomplish. I don't regret the major choices I've made in my 36 years but I often wonder how my life would have gone had I taken a different path.

I think about the opportunity that I had to go to Hillsdale College in Michigan for my undergraduate studies when I was 16. My parents felt that it would be unwise to send their 16 year old to college in Michigan. They were probably right. I wonder though about the path that decision would have set my life on.

My decision to marry at 20 also shaped my life significantly. My marriage is absolutely fantastic, and Joanna and I have worked hard to make it that way. One of the major motivations to start our childcare business with my parents in 2003 was her love for children and training in early childhood education. Our time at The Cottage has been a significant positive factor in any financial success that we have had since that time.

Looking for a part time morning job at The soon-to-open Salvation Army Kroc Center was also a turning point for me. Nine years later I have earned a position at the highest leadership level there, The Salvation Army paid for a substantial portion of my graduate studies, I learned a whole new set of skills (film making) and my leaders there have fueled the fire of pastoral ministry inside me to the point that I have finally stepped out to plant a church.

After thinking about all of my life that is over, it's comforting to hear the counsel of older friends and acquaintances that life is just beginning. In many ways I know that that is true.

I will be taking a new job as a film editor at the end of the month. I haven't made a career move like this in my entire life. I expect that I will learn and grow in innumerable ways at byDesign Films just like I have grown everywhere else I have been planted.

Revelation Church continues to feel more "like a real church" every week. Wherever the people of God gather is a real church, but ministry seems more real as we gain momentum. I am excited to see what God does through this endeavor.

I'm usually fairly depressed on my birthday every year. I honestly think it's some sort of chemical imbalance that takes places every several months. Joanna is determined to make this birthday incredible...we are about ready to leave the house and begin her secret birthday plan.

I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure I will have a good time. But there is a gravity to a birthday, the reflection on years past and the anticipation of the time I have left, that always leaves me a little melancholy. There is a part of me that welcomes the melancholy, that would like to just be alone in the woods with my thoughts on my birthday.

There is another part of me though that is looking forward to drowning my thoughts with Iron Man, Captain America and their friends as they battle to save the universe from Thanos. I think I'll go with that.



Zak Adams
House Blog, Part 4

About a year and a half ago I started telling the story of how we have this house and we are turning it into a completely different house, one piece at a time.

My first goal in remodeling our house was to accomplish a recommendation from our home inspector: replace the old galvanized water pipes with pex. The basement was finished so that meant tearing out the ceiling in order to get to the pipes. So that's what I did.

Note: toilet not from ceiling.

Note: toilet not from ceiling.

Ceiling on patio.

Ceiling on patio.

Over the course of a couple of weeks I sawed and hammered and ripped and tore hundreds and hundreds of pounds of old finished ceiling and walls apart to get to a bunch of rusty pipes.

There was so much old duct work in the way of the water pipes that I tore that out too. When I was done, the ceiling was empty and we had neither drinking water nor an HVAC system. I installed new water pipes immediately.

Beauty and wonder.

Beauty and wonder.

It was July, so I had some time to figure out the HVAC thing. I decided that since I had already torn apart the ceiling that it would be a good idea to install a radiant floor heating system. I still maintain that this was a good idea, but it was a lot of hard work. Thankfully my retired parents had nothing to do so they did most of the work for me. Thanks mom and dad!

We put that in the ceiling.

We put that in the ceiling.

That's what occupied much of my free time through that first summer. I'll show you some pictures of dirt in my next house post.

Zak Adams
I Can't Even Imagine, Or, The Siren Song Of The Rain Head

Here's a thought that leans a tad philosophical. 

Do you ever have moments where you think about an action that you need to perform that you can't really imagine performing but which you know you have performed countless times in the past?

The most major example that I can think of is sleeping. Most nights I am gifted with the ability to effortlessly fall asleep moments after the lights go out. However, there are occasions where I can't sleep. I lie in bed thinking about sleeping and while I know that I sleep every night and have for almost every night of my time on this planet, I just can't imagine what I need to do to accomplish sleep in that moment.

The situation that I am thinking of though is a bit different. It's being in a hot shower. There are many times in my life when I am taking a hot shower and it is delightful. The quiet, the hot water, the steam. Goodness. It's at those times that I know that I have reached down, turned off the water and exited every single shower I've ever taken, but in that moment, I just can't imagine that that is true. What could possibly motivate me to leave the shower? It's awesome.

In the past, running out of hot water was a quick way to be driven from the shower. However, for the last 3 years we've owned a tankless water heater and our hot showers can potentially last forever. The pull to never leave the shower is strong. I may give in to the temptation someday and never be heard from again.

Zak Adams
A Brief History Of Employment Time, Or, What Am I Going To Eat Now?

Realistically, I have only ever had 4 jobs.

The summer after I turned 15, I got a job at JB's in Coeur d'Alene washing dishes. I enjoyed it mostly. I spent most of my paycheck on all the beef stroganoff that I ordered during my meal breaks. It was delicious. I quit after 3 months because I wasn't comfortable with all of the pornography that the cooks posted in the break room. Also one of the waitresses was constantly talking about how much her boyfriend appreciated her tongue ring.  

In May of 1998 I got a job making burritos at Qdoba. It wasn't called Qdoba though, it was called Z-Teca. A couple years in the restaurant was sued by Azteca and changed its name. I ate a lot of burritos there. So many burritos. I worked there for 5 years. I was General Manager when I left.

I quit to open a childcare center called The Cottage with my new wife and my parents. She has a background in early childhood education and my parents are entrepreneurs par excellence. I had restaurant experience. I quit my job knowing that I wouldn't be getting paid right away from this new business. We didn't take a salary for a year. I ran the kitchen mostly. I developed my macaroni and cheese recipe there. It's fantastic. We owned The Cottage for 5 years and sold it in 2008. 

In 2009 I didn't have a job (cause I sold it) and I was teaching music lessons in the afternoons. My wife said I was driving her crazy and needed to get a day job. I applied at The Salvation Army Kroc Center. They were having a job fair prior to their opening. I interviewed with Stacy Barney and got hired as a part time front desk attendant. 

On my first day of work, April 27th, 2009, I was offered a full time front desk lead position. Not because of anything I had done, just because the Kroc Center was exploding with popularity and it wasn't even open yet.

So at The Kroc I have been a Front Desk Attendant, Front Desk Lead, Theater Technician, Theater Coordinator, Congregational Life Manager, Worship Pastor, Theater Manager, Theater and Rentals Manager and Director of Hospitality and Client Media Services. I think that's all the titles. 9 titles in 9 years. That seems excessive. Since I took over the Kroc Café, I've really enjoyed being able to taste test all the menu items.

May 31st, 2018 will be my last day of work at The Salvation Army Kroc Center. I am leaving for a new job. A fifth job. I have taken a position as a Senior Editor for byDesign Films in Post Falls. I think I will learn a lot there and from what I know about the company it seems like fun. It's also a better schedule for my family and church responsibilities. 

Everyone at work wants to know if I'm either "excited" or "ok." I tell them that I am both excited and ok, but really I don't think I'm either. I'm not really one for excitement in general, and I don't think asking whether or not I'm "ok" will matter too much until the last week of May. Then I might not be "ok." We'll see.

Zak Adams
At The Risk Of Repeating Myself, Or, The Place I Work Is Pretty Neat

So I wrote last Friday a bit about how I often get so numb to certain ideas that I assume that they aren't worth sharing when most often my audience has never heard those ideas before. This is another post about that.

Tonight I got to present for Film Alliance Northwest about The Kroc Center, where I work. I talked primarily about our audio/video recording services but I opened by showing them a video piece that we use in our employee onboarding that starts with a brief history of The Salvation Army, moves to the history of the first Kroc Center in San Diego, and finishes with the story of the creation of The Kroc Center in Coeur d'Alene. It's about 12 minutes long. I wrote it, shot it, edited it...blah blah blah. I have seen it SO many times. 

However, none of these people had seen it. I was reminded of how powerful the story of The Salvation Army is and how amazing it is that Coeur d'Alene was blessed with a Kroc Center, and all kinds of other really great things about the organization that I work for. It's a good reminder.

Zak Adams
Giveth and Taketh Away, Or, A Woodworkers Meditation

Here's one of my favorite things to do when I'm working in the garage:

nom nom nom.

nom nom nom.

For some reason, I find sucking up a giant pile of wood shavings and saw dust with my shop vac incredibly therapeutic. Is that weird? Probably.

I feel like there must be other things like this that are strangely satisfying. 

I don't cut hair, but does it feel like this to cut hair? Any hair cutters out there care to comment?

Part of it is playing with the contrasting darkness of the floor and lightness of the wood. Making and changing the shapes and patterns. 

There is also something pleasurable about the finality of the decisions I make. If I suck this up, I can't get it back. I get one chance to make whatever it is that I'm making.

I also like the varying heights of the wood shavings and how the vacuum reshapes them so effortlessly.

I'm a weirdo. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯



randomZak Adams
My Favorite Kind Of Saturday, Or, Productive Is My Happy Place

Today was my favorite kind of Saturday. I got to sleep late, have a nice breakfast, and get things done from 11am to 7pm without any significant distractions.

One of the things that consistently surprises me about my day job is how little I accomplish on a daily basis. There are days where I go from meeting to meeting with unscheduled guests popping into my office in between for 10 hours straight. 

Every night my daughters ask me what I did at work. Most days I don't even know. I listened, I problem-solved, I delegated, I led? but I didn't actually do anything.

That's why this Saturday was so great. I did things. Lots of things. Several things simultaneously even. It felt good.

Let Me Tell You What I Did

I started off clear coating doors. I have 10 knotty alder doors in my basement and all of them need 2 coats of sealer before they finally get hung. I completed 2 doors today.



Side note about the doors. There are a total of 4 doors on our main level. A closet, 2 bedrooms, and a bathroom. The basement for some reason came out with 10. Most of them are closets.

After a trip to Home Depot, I came back to begin building a countertop for our new master bathroom. It's a pretty strange space. There are 2 floating cabinets at 90 degree angles to each other on adjacent walls. We wanted a single, "L" shaped countertop to connect them to each other. Joanna requested epoxy-covered wood. She also requested black.

The bigger one is Joanna's.

The bigger one is Joanna's.

After scribing a couple pieces of 3/4" plywood to the not square walls I fit them into an "L" shape with pocket screws and glue. I decided to cut the corner at 45 degrees. After that I began cutting strips of cedar that I bought last week and gluing and nailing them into the plywood.



This is where I left off. I will go back with a trim router and a flush trim bit to follow the profile of the plywood and cut off all the extra bits of cedar. Then it's a trim piece around the edge, ebony stain and epoxy. After that I should be able to mount it to the cabinets.

In the midst of these projects, I put 2 coats of dark brown stain on the live edge bench in our new "dressing room."


Sit here to put on your socks.

Sit here to put on your socks.

It still needs clear coat, but after that it should be ready to use...if we ever move into this bedroom.

Anyway, I got 8 solid hours of doing stuff in today, and it feels really good. Oh! I also finished writing a sermon for Sunday. So good.

Zak Adams
I've Heard This One Way Too Many Times And So Must Have You, Or, The Curse Of Knowledge

In their book Made To Stick, Chip and Dan Heath talk about a concept called the "Curse of Knowledge." Here's how they explain it:

"In 1990, Elizabeth Newton earned a Ph.D. in psychology at Stanford by studying a simple game in which she assigned people to one of two roles: 'tappers' or 'listeners.' Tappers received a list of twenty-five well-known songs, such as 'Happy Birthday to You' and 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' Each tapper was asked to pick a song and tap out the rhythm to a listener (by knocking on a table). The listener's job was to guess the song, based on the rhythm being tapped...

"...Over the course of Newton's experiment, 120 songs were tapped out. Listeners guessed only 2.5 percent of the songs: 3 out of 120.

"But here's what made the result worthy of a dissertation in psychology. Before the listeners guessed the name of the song, Newton asked the tappers to predict the odds that the listeners would guess correctly. They predicted that the odds were 50 percent.

"The tappers go their message across 1 time in 40, but they thought they were getting their message across 1 time in 2. Why?

"When a tapper taps, she is hearing the song in her head....Meanwhile, the listeners can't hear that tune - all they can hear is a bunch of disconnected taps, like a kind of bizarre Morse Code.

"In the experiment, tappers are flabbergasted at how hard the listeners seem to be working to pick up the tune. Isn't the song obvious?

"...The problem is that tappers have been given knowledge (the song title) that makes it impossible for them to imagine what it's like to lack that knowledge.

I find myself reflecting on this idea that I have been "cursed" with more knowledge than those that I'm trying to communicate ideas to fairly often. Whether I'm leading a team at work or speaking at church, I've rehearsed ideas in my head and spent countless hours working through my thoughts in detail. When it comes time to present them to others, I often forget that they are still at square 1 and haven't been walking through the process for weeks like I have. It's my responsibility to take them through the process to get them to where I am.

It's really easy to present things in a way that I think is clear while at the same time leaving out key details and making assumptions about what my audience already knows. I think I see this most clearly when I use an illustration or "cliché" that I almost decide to leave out because I am so tired of hearing it. I say it simply because it does a good job of making the point, even though I know everyone in the audience must be rolling their eyes at me. Invariably though, someone is impacted by it and tells me that they'd never heard that before, or never thought of things in that way. It's usually those things that seem to affect people the most.

Zak Adams
Don't Buy Tools You Will Only Use Once, Or, If It's Worth Doing, It's Worth Doing Yourself
There are three stages to every great work of God; first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.

Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to China, said that. While most of the activities of my life don't fall in to the category "Great Work of God" I find myself often reflecting on how that sentiment plays out in my head. 

Very often I'm presented with a problem. Usually it's a mechanical problem at home. I can't imagine how I'm going to find the time and discover the skills to conquer this problem. Sometimes I ruminate on how I'm totally unequipped to handle this problem for weeks and weeks. Then something inside me snaps. I suffer a mental break where the neurons in my brain that have sensibly convinced me that I don't have what it takes to solve this problem have been pulled so tight by my mental struggle that they just succumb to the pressure and let go.

Here's one of those problems.

Mo' laundry, mo' problems.

Mo' laundry, mo' problems.

Our washing machine is leaking. Not a lot, just enough to make a tiny little pool on the floor by the end of each cycle. After investigating, I found out that the rubber gasket that makes the seal between the drum and the door had a hole in it. So, after deciding that I didn't have the time or the skills to repair this large appliance, I ordered the gasket on Amazon and I got to work replacing it.

With the impossible phase over the difficult phase began. This whole procedure would have taken all of 20 minutes if I had decided to purchase the special tool that is used to attach the spring-loaded ring that secures the gasket to the drum. That tool is $88.90. 



I saved $88.90 in exchange for about 3 extra hours of work. I like to pretend that I'm worth about $50 an hour, so I got ripped off there a bit.

Oh well, the gasket is replaced, the leak is repaired, the washing machine is running again, and most importantly, my wife is happy. So maybe tonight's endeavor wasn't a great work of God, but I feel pretty good about it. 

Zak Adams
My Fire Marshall and Me, Or, Loving To Be Liked

Wanting people to like you is a strange thing. There is a large part of my psyche that walks around almost all the time believing that I don't care if people don't like me, until someone doesn't like me. That's when I quickly spiral into sadness, anger and depression. These emotions honestly surprise me when they occur because they occur so rarely. I never see them coming.

We had an event at work a couple of weeks ago and it was a packed out house. The room's capacity is 400 and there are 400 seats. We knew that more than 400 people would arrive (it wasn't ticketed, so it was a first-come, first served thing) so we told everyone as they came in that they needed to find a seat. That way we could keep track of how many people were in the room. The Fire Marshall happened to be present as well. He could have shut us down if we'd gone over capacity.

Anyway, a gentleman arrived with a video camera to film the event and wanted to know where he could stand in the back. I told him he needed to find a seat. He didn't like that. The Sheriff's deputies that were on site got involved (the client anticipated that it would get rowdy) and the gentleman found a seat near the front. Arguably a better place to record his video.

I got an email today relaying his complaint that my staff and I were rude, insulting and "wrong" about needing him to sit down. We were hypocritical and several other terrible things as well.

I don't know this man. I'll probably never see this man again. I am 100% confident we did the right thing. And I am sure we weren't rude or insulting. But it still hurts to know that that guy doesn't like me. The part of my brain that tells me that I totally shouldn't care is absolutely right, but the other part of my brain is still a little bummed about it....not bummed enough to lose any sleep over it, but bummed none the less.



Offsite Staff Meeting, or, Breakfast Dessert For Lunch

"What could be better than our signature buttermilk pancakes?" the menu asks. To which I reply, "lots of things, but I'll bite: what?"

"...when they're filled with festive rainbow sprinkles, then topped with cupcake icing, more rainbow sprinkles and whipped topping!"

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

We had a staff meeting at IHOP today. It was the 4th restaurant I tried to find a meeting room table at. I wasn't excited about it, but it worked. 

I think the problem that the International House of Pancakes has is that when competition requires constant innovation, at some point every industry has to hit a wall. IHOP hit their wall. 

I had an omelette, partly because I try not to eat a lot of wheat. My wife is allergic to it, so we don't have it at home. Since I don't eat it often, it makes me a bit sick when I do. IHOP puts pancake batter in their omelettes though, so c’est la vie.

Back to the pancakes. I expect product photography to look better than the actual product, so I'm not sure what's happening here:

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

That's the English Sticky Toffee Pancake. "Four world famous buttermilk pancakes turn British when they are filled with crunchy English toffee & layered with salted toffee mousse, then topped with salted caramel sauce & even more crunchy English toffee." 

"I hope you turn British" is a curse that no one deserves apparently.

Zak AdamsComment
Hey! I Like Making This! or, I'm Going To Blog Again

Every so often I stop writing. Then I read what I have written in the past, enjoy it quite a bit, and then I decide to start writing again. This is one of those times. I have a brand new website and I'm going to make the most of it.

Sometimes I will write about theology. Sometimes I will write about art. Sometimes I will write about the junk mail I receive. The options are endless really. But I'm going to write. It's good for me. If you read it, it's probably good for you too.

Enjoy! I'm going to.


randomZak Adams
House Blog, Part 3
Nature: Conquered.

Nature: Conquered.

Before I got to work tearing down walls at the new house, I had to mow the lawn. It had been neglected for weeks. Our previous house was built on a .1 acre lot and the backyard was pretty small. I designed the landscaping to make the lawn even smaller.

Because I had such a small yard, I bought a sweet lawnmower by Brill. It was really fun to use, quiet and made quick work of our small yard.

Our new yard, however, required a more serious machine.


This house sits on a 1/3 of an acre and most of it is in the backyard. Our backyard is on a fairly decent sized hill and there is currently no sprinkler system. All of those things, combined with a grass hungry pig, have made our new backyard something of a wilderness. I'm afraid we probably won't be able to tackle the back landscaping for several years, but it's still a safe, fun place for the girls to explore and play.

House Blog, Part 2

Ok. So we bought the house. Here's what we bought: 

What you are seeing is a 2800sqft rancher with a daylight basement. It was built in 1965 (50 years old when we bought it). I believe it was originally a single family home, but it was remodeled some time in the Carter administration and turned into an illegal duplex. The upper floor was a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath unit and the basement was 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath unit.

As you can see from the video, the 2 front doors were separated by that ugly partition so that the right door kept you up and the left door sent you down. Both tenants shared the back yard. (Watch me take out that partition below if you'd like) When we bought it, the original owner (who lived in California) had had enough. He had just paid to have the basement disinfected: a tenant put baby wipes down the toilet and flooded the downstairs with sewage. Gross. That was all cleaned up but the drywall was removed from about 3 feet from the floor throughout most of the downstairs and both of the downstairs bathrooms were pretty much unusable in the state they were in.

According to my new neighbors, this house was definitely the biggest negative about this neighborhood. It was a revolving door of strange tenants. There were noise violations, drug busts and other unmentionables on this property. Everyone was thrilled to hear that we were going to convert it back into a single family property.

I went in to this with the idea that we were going to do a few cosmetic things, change out the ugly carpeting, and possibly remove a couple partition walls. What we've ended up doing is gutting the whole house and replacing everything but the electrical wiring and framing. It's been a huge learning experience for me and I've really enjoyed it. Stay tuned for part 3 of this series where I start demo work on the basement.

House Blog, part 1

On June 12th, 2015, we signed the papers on our house. It's been over a year since then, and I have decided that it's time to write about our adventure in remodeling. Things are finally starting to slow down with the least for the time being...and it's probably a good idea to record what's happened thus far. I had my doubts when we saw this house for the first time. It was in rough shape. Joanna was excited about remodeling a midcentury home, and this home was definitely built in the middle of the 20th century. At this point I owned a homeowner's starter pack battery powered drill and circular saw that I had received from my father-in-law as an attempt to make me a man and I had practically no construction experience. We also did not have the money to hire all the work out.

Fortunately, unfortunately, we quickly found out that an offer had already been made on the house by someone else. About 3 weeks went by as we looked at other properties and didn't really find anything we liked. Then, the offer on this house fell through. Joanna really liked it and I had come around to the idea that I could handle a huge challenge: so we bought it.

I knew it was a great idea because at our signing they brought out the clydesdales.

My parade.

My parade.

We didn't move in until the middle of July, but I started work on the house almost immediately. I will write more about that later.

The Emotional Roller Coaster Of Dipping Foods

I really love chips and salsa. I love chips and guac, crackers and hummus, carrots and ranch...but I really love chips and salsa. There's so much joy in having an edible utensil. There's the art of scooping the exact right amount of salsa to compliment the chip. It's different for every various chip brand and variety, as well as the myriad of salsas. But once you find it, you aim for that perfect blend of salty corn texture and vibrant citrus punch.

Chips and salsa bring a lot of control to the eating experience as well. Your hand is closer to the food than with a fork. More precision is required. More concentration. I love the chips and salsa eating experience almost as much as I love eating chips and salsa.

There's also the community aspect. A common bowl of chips, a common bowl of salsa. You know there's a real connection with a person when you can freely double dip. (My wife and daughters in my experience) It just feels good to share such a simple, rich snack with other people.

But then there's the downside. I think I've traced it back to the reality that you're never really done eating chips and salsa. The experience ends, but you're always robbed before you are finished. Either you run out of chips, or you run out of salsa. You never use your last chip to scoop up the last bit of delicious salsa. It just doesn't work that way. You always look down at half a bowl of chips and an empty bowl of salsa, or vice versa. That's what makes me sad. I can eat a steak and some potatoes and a salad, and when my plate is clean, all the food is gone. But not with chips and salsa. There is always a component left over. Taunting me. Mocking me.

I always go back though. I really love chips and salsa.

randomZak AdamsComment