For Where Your Treasure Is….

….there will your heart be also.
~Matthew 6:21

Reading my various old journals, I have realized they’re getting fragile and that keeping them loose on a bookshelf isn’t helping them at all. So I decided to do something about it. One Hobby Lobby stop later, I ended up with these beauties.

25 years in one box, with another just waiting to be filled up. I can tell you already, it’s not going to take 25 more years to fill that sucker up! 😀

Journal Prepping – Never Run Out

Last week I showcased my 18th Journal, which given my rate of journaling recently, was only a stay of execution in terms of running out. Thankfully, soon after that, Paperblanks had a sale on journals that were no longer being made. I went through the half-priced ones and picked out the four that I liked the best. So here are Journals 19-22. Even with that, that’s maybe 18-24months of journaling. So I’ll be on the lookout for more paperblanks embellished manuscript journals as they make new ones. Of course, if any of you have suggestions, I’m always open to new experiences for journals.

Just remember folks, you can never be too prepared. So when the space zombies attack us, I’ll be able to chronicle every horrifying terrible second of it. Plus, if it gets too horrifyingly terrible, I can use the journals as emergency tp 😉

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed these journal posts. I’ve got one more scheduled for this coming Saturday and then I’ll be done. Gotten it out of my system this month.

Why I Still Paper Journal

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post entitled “A History of ….. Journaling” where I chronicled my journeys through journaling. Since then journaling has continued to be a mainstay of my life and has allowed me to vent and stay sane when life hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns. I’ve always kept on blogging, to the point where I am now a dotblog and working on establishing “my brand” (please say that with the greatest sense of irony that you can).

It got me to thinking, why don’t I save all the hassle of paper and the privacy limitations inherent in a paper journal and just move to a strictly online journal? I actually did try that for a year and it confirmed to me why I have to stick to paper.

I’ve had quite a few blogs over the years (since ’03 or ’05) and at some point, I have always nuked them. Most of them were personal blogs and bordered on being online journals. I. Always. Delete. Them. Because even if I’ve made it private and under an account in no way associated with me, I end up saying or writing something that gets me in a funk and I act out like a teenager. 2 clicks of a button and it’s all gone. The recent private journal that I tried? It lasted me about 8 months before I deleted the content. Thankfully I was wise enough not to delete the whole thing, but it’s empty and whistling in the wind at the moment while I work up to trying it again.

But I have never been tempted to destroy my paper journals. Never. I don’t know exactly why that is, but the act of physically writing on paper is different than typing on a screen. My thoughts aren’t deeper. My insights aren’t clearer. There is no mystical connection to my soul. But I could not bring myself to destroy one of my paper journals, no matter what it might contain (which to be honest, is just the boring ramblings of a self-absorbed guy who likes to write, hahhahaah).

This is one of those intensely personal things that doesn’t translate to anyone else. Some people may feel the same as me. Other people may need the act of typing. But I need paper. I need ink. I need a physical container to put my words into so that the void is answered. I am a relatively straight forward and physical kind of guy and that has translated into my journaling.

So it all comes down to knowing myself and what works best for me. Of course, I’ve also learned that electronic journals are held hostage to the whim of the companies that host them. Is Live Journal still around? What about Xanga? I know Blogspot is. At some point even WordPress is going to crash and burn. My paper journals on the other hand are still around and sitting safe and sound.

Plus, if I may exhibit a rare moment of vanity, my newer Paperblanks journals look REALLY good. I mean, really, really good.

Frederick Douglass – Freedom to Journal the 18th

Holy smokes, my journaling has taken off like a rocketship. I took a year to fill up my 15th journal, 8-9 months to fill up the 16th and a mere 4 months (technically a week less) for the 17th. Thankfully, Mrs B saw my increased usage and took the preventative action of buying me a backup for Christmas. And I started it today.

I love my journals. Just in case you couldn’t tell 😀

And next week? I’ve got more journals. Paperblanks had a sale and I was weak. I crave your forgiveness ahead of time, gomen nasai!

The Bookstooge Chronicles: The Junior Year

Back in November, I blogged about reading my Freshman Journal. Since that time I have made my way through my Junior Year from Bibleschool (it was a three year course so you had freshman, juniors and seniors). It was as tough as I thought it would be.

I came into contact with a couple of people that I absolutely could not stand and with it being a closed campus, there was no getting away from them. So I had to learn, quickly, how to deal with people whose very existence annoyed me. Them breathing the same air, in the same building as me, was enough to rile me up. So I learned some survival skills without even realizing it. I didn’t know I was an introvert’s introvert. I didn’t realize I needed alone time and time away from people. So I threw myself into everything I could, with all the gusto I could and ended up having some really miserable times.

I also had some fantastically wonderful times too. A local secular college would put on Selections from Handel’s “Messiah” every year and would hire 4 professionals for the solo parts and it was a joy to listen to. Nearly the first, and close to the last, time that music really moved me on a deep, visceral level. I also went hiking up a mountain one winter’s day and while looking back, that was incredibly stupid (I told no one where I was going, no cell phones, no real worst case scenario gear), it was also a time of solitude and balm for my soul that I still remember to this day.

Reading along I realized that in ’99 was when I was introduced to Land Surveying. My (future) boss came over and taught us some of the math and told us anyone who was interested could keep on going. So my friend and I worked on the math and experimented with some of the equipment. I had forgotten I had started this before graduation. And that summer I worked for him until college started back up in the fall. Good stuff!

Of course, one of the miserable things I alluded to above was that I had to deal with the reality of a broken heart and someone’s interest moving away from me. Between that and learning to exist alongside people I couldn’t stand, I did a lot of growing up in ’98 and ’99. Not by choice, but considering my personality, that was about the only way it would have happened.

My writing also took off during this time period. Besides my regular journal, I began keeping a notebook with meeting and sermon notes (long since lost) and I started a Happy Book where I noted 5 things every day that made me happy. That didn’t last too long, hahahaha. It soon turned into a heart broken sob journal where I could pretty much record how much I hurt every single day. Sigh, to be that young again. I also wrote a lot of emails and referenced them in my journal too, not realizing that I was entering a phase where I treated emails like disposable napkins. I think in this year of school I went through 3 or 4 with various companies? I even wrote down a couple of passwords. I tried to see if they were still active, but either I had changed the password at some later date or I had deleted the address altogether. It was a fun time though because I was exploring all that life had to offer me at the time.

Wow, this has gone on longer than I thought. I would sum up that year as one of forced growth that was ultimately the best thing for me. My character, not exactly jello even at this point, was further cemented into the mold that shapes me even today.

I chose not to include a particular quote like I did last year because either the day was utterly banal or so intensely personal. I had no middle ground at that time and it has taken me these 3 months to read through it. This is why I journaled though, I didn’t want to forget the times that formed me into the man I am today. I hope to talk more about that idea next Saturday when I do another post about why I still paper journal.

Apparently I have not created a “journal” tag yet. I have corrected that with this post and now I have to go through my previous entries and add it to the correct ones. Man, being a blogger is tough and definitely not for the faint hearted.

Journal the 17th – Cervantes: Letter to the King

Last April, I showcased my latest journal, The Tesla Journal. Usually, it takes me a year or more to fill up a journal. Well, I have been racing through that one and filled it up and started another this month. So of course I’m going to show off what version I got this time 😀 Paperblanks Embellished Manuscripts have become my favorite journal and they come out with new ones every year. It is worth the money.

So without further ado, here are pictures of the journal, which is titled “Cervantes: Letter to the King”.

Just to put things in perspective, it took me 11months to fill up my 15th journal. Then 7months to fill up the Tesla one (the 16th). We’ll see how long it takes me to go through this one. I’m already salivating about getting whatever the 18th journal will be. Does that mean I have a problem? Hahahahahaa! Well, whatever the case may be, you can be sure that I’ll keep on posting whenever I get a new journal. yum yum yum!

The Bookstooge Chronicles: The Freshman Year

I’ve made my way completely through 400 pages of my freshman journal. Like I described in my Midlife Crisis Post, I was equally horrified, amused and entertained. 9/10ths of my entries were centered around girls. This girl, that girl, the next girl, some random girl, a previous girl. I could practically smell the hormones wafting off the pages. But in between my tortured musings on Being Alone Forevah! it was quite the little time capsule.

September 1997 through August 1998 was a wonderful time to be alive if you liked tech. I had a quad speed cdrom and let me tell you, it was 100% better than those measly 2speed ones! What other things popped up? Oh yeah, you didn’t need a passport to go into or come back from Canada. I was a total drama queen and reading about some stuff now makes me realize how out of proportion I would blow things up in my mind. Funnily enough, that STILL happens a lot to me, hahahahaa 😀 Despite being 20, I still fought with my little brother and littler sister like I was 10.

But what stood out to me, in the 400 pages, was my reaction to my first spam email. Do you remember your first? There are a lot of firsts in life but in the late 90’s, spam email wasn’t quite what it is today. I wrote this down in my journal. So cringe along with me as we go back 25 years to a more innocent time when email was only used for good, sigh :-/

2/8/98 – 11pm Saturday
Got a weird e-mail, supposedly from Bill Gates. It is testing some new e-mail tracking software. Once the list reaches 1,000 people, we will all get $1,000 & a free Window98 package. I hope it is real!
If it is bogus, Microsoft will be angry as anything & I bet there will be lawsuits flying.
But I’m hoping & praying it is real. I could really use $1000 & W98. Specially now with my new computer.

Now is that just adorable or what? Makes me want to pinch my younger self’s cheeks and go “ohhh, you cute little thing”. Of course, back then I didn’t have cheeks because I was so skinny, I was skin and bones, poor guy.

But it took me over 6 weeks to read the whole thing because there were times I just had to put it down and give myself a break from myself. Man, I was an intense young man and it really carried over into my words in my journal. At the same time, it has whetted my appetite to read more (but I’m totally not a Narcissist, really!). I am giving myself a 2 month break before diving into my Junior year, as I remember life got super intense for that year and I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it even now.

What is interesting to me is that certain things I wrote I can picture with absolute crystal clarity. I read the words, the situation I describe and I can SEE it perfectly in my mind all over again. Isn’t the mind a wonderful thing? Truly the Psalmist spoke true when he wrote “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Well, I think I’ve talked about myself enough. For today anyway 😉

The Bookstooge Chronicles: The Midlife Crisis

25 years since I started Bible School. And maaaaaan, I think I am having a midlife crisis here. So instead of breaking down, buying a red porsche, throwing over Mrs B for a space hooker and burning down my work place, I’ve decided to read my old journals. Yeah, when I have a midlife crisis, I don’t take the easy route!

This little journal is 25 years old. It’s older than some of the people I know at church for goodness sake!

Holy smokes folks, what a trip. I was going to share some of them, but after reading several months worth, yeah, that ain’t happening. It has shown me several things though.

25 years has allowed me to have a completely different perspective of time. Every day was a new adventure, filled to the brim with new and exciting things. Now, life is a routine that I glide through on a weekly basis and sometimes I wonder where the entire month has gone. Back then, my emotions went through the whole cycle on a weekly basis. Now, if I’m lucky, that’ll only happen on an annual basis. Getting married has also changed me immensely. Back then I had a different crush every week.. Now I’ve been happily married to one woman for 14 years and she knows me and still loves me and when I wake up each morning I don’t have to wonder what I’m going to feel that day. Oh my goodness, that is such a burden off of my shoulders, that was an exhausting way to live, let me tell you.

I was also the most naive person I have ever known. Reading some of those entries I wonder how I made it through life. I also felt bad for the people around me at that time, oy vey. Which makes me laugh because in about 20 years I bet you a hill of jellybeans that I’ll be saying the same exact thing about the present me. Bet you didn’t see THAT coming, eh? Hahahahaa 😀

While Bookstooge was no Jedi Master by the time he was 23, he also hadn’t french kissed his own sister. You decide which is the greater achievement.

I remember one time a professor told a story about how he found an old journal, read it and then razor bladed it because he was so embarrassed by it. I understand that feeling now but unlike my professor, being reminded of that embarrassing time helps me to remember what it is like being that age. And hence to have a bit of mercy to those young punks who are pretty worthless in every imaginable way 😉 Believe it or not, I have learned some empathy and mercy in the last 25 years. I’m just REALLY good at hiding it, hahahahaaa.

Another thing, confidence. I was worried about working out 5 times a week, running every day, if I was too skinny, etc, etc, etc. Everything I did was through the lens of what others would think of it. Now I just don’t care. There are a few specific people whose opinion DOES matter to me but outside of them, everyone else can go hang 😀 (on a side note, my biceps are an inch bigger now. So don’t mess with me or I’ll knock your block off, then slit your throat with my kbar and then double tap you with my sig). But don’t worry, I’d never actually do that, because I’m so peaceful now and I love everyone so much 😉 See, mercy in action!

The Whammomatic 3000. It punches, it slices, it shoots, all in ONE convenient and easy to use package.

So anyway, this was good for me. I just needed to get that all out. If this is as much of a “crisis” as I’ll have to deal with, I’m totally ok with that. Only start to worry if I start putting up pictures of red porsches. Or posting How To’s on arson..

As I read more of my old journals, I might find some amusing entries that are fit for public consumption. If I do, I’ll probably be posting them and talking about them. Just wanted to warn you, you know?

A Day in the Life of…

Dear Manly Journal,


Today, I write about the trials of my life. This week has just been so hard, it’s not fair.

Take Sunday for instance. I went to church early to start learning the audio visual. Well, apparently not only movies have gone digital. The whole soundboard was digital and I hardly recognized anything. It was pretty discouraging. I’ve been doing sound for 20 years and now it’s all changing?


Aye Captain, your starship is ready to go now


Bah humbug! We should just get rid of all A/V and tell the pastor to speak up really loud, that is what I say!


Monday it was wicked hot. I ended up drinking 8 of those 1/2liter water bottles just at work, besides what I had at home.


I didn’t even realize how tired I was until I got home and collapsed on the couch.  I’m only 40, I shouldn’t get that tired yet. I’m not old!


Today was easy and fun, but I totally deserved it after yesterday. Worked on a lake, got out early, chatted up the office staff (Mrs Perl might be a grandmother, but she’s not old either! but that PuddingPop, what a lazy punk. Just sits at that computer and does engineer’y stuff. Phhhh, kids these days, right?)

PuddingPop photobombs this post!

Then I went to the gun range with W.C. Bombfunk and broke in my new Sig P938. Shot off 50rounds of 9mm, a whole box and my hand wasn’t even the tiniest bit sore afterwards.

So you can see, this week has been nothing but pure misery. I wish I was dead. Not even a reeses peanut butter klondike icecream bar could comfort me right now. Ha, I’m so miserable, not even TWO of them could help.



I don’t know how much more I can take. I love my job, I have so many books to read. everything just seems to be going my way. So how am I supposed to deal with being tired and hot? It’s just not fair!




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