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My New Nickname is Don Julio. Thanks Mantopia.

Pat's Lake Lodge - the Cabin in the Woods for Mantopia

Pat’s Lake Lodge – the Cabin in the Woods for Mantopia

Several years back, when I first met Eric Ledy, I introduced myself as July-August-September-October-November-December. It was a fun way to remember my name: “J-A-S-O-N-D”. What I did not realize until this past week, was that when I mentioned the month July, for some reason the name ‘Julio’ immediately struck Eric’s brain. So when Eric was putting together a week long adventure in manliness for a group of ten guys in the frozen tundra of Drummond Island, he recalled our first meeting. All the guys there have nicknames – but not me, as one of the newbies. After a little massaging through the week as co-chef with my buddy ‘Wheels Baby Wheels’, my nickname became ‘Don Julio’.

Eric, or Rico Suavé as he is more commonly referred to, calls the week long event held in Northern Michigan “Mantopia” – and it lived up to and exceeded my expectations. I first heard about it from my buddy The Canadian Bacon, otherwise known as TC Bacon or Evan Manning, when we were both in California for a Togetherness Weekend that another group of young people put on from several different Church of God organizations. It was here that I first heard about eating lots of meat, exercising every day but the Sabbath, and sharing our heart as men. Ah, but there was so much more. Continue reading

My Car Wreck and Baptism

White car with front bumper dented in.

The car is fine, but my pride is not. I was baptized far from perfect, and this is obvious proof I have not found perfection yet.

Yesterday was my nine-year anniversary of being baptized, finally deciding to commit my life to God and His way. And yet, while pondering this while driving into work yesterday on a beautiful fall day, I rear-ended a woman driving an Oldsmobile. On a day that was supposed to be sober and encouraging, the fender-bender gave my heart a terrible mixture of embarrassment, fright, alarm, worry and guilt even though there were no injuries. Even after nine years, I have a lot more to learn.

I Was Not Ready – But You Never Are
Many a minister has said making the decision to commit your life to God through baptism is THE most important decision you will ever make in your life. I have talked to many people about how they are approaching baptism, and almost universally there is this thought that you need to be ‘ready’ – you need a sign or omen that lets you know you are ready to take the literal plunge. I guess it would be similar to the things we look at to determine whether he or she is the ‘right’ one for marriage, which has been called the 2nd most important decision you will make in your life.

Was it the wreck that woke me up – or was it just Continue reading

Oops – Didn’t Make Time For That

At least I stayed true to the title, right?

As I have been purging and cleaning my house and work-space preparing for the move, I found it funny I found the following book that I never found time to read: “Time Management for Dummies”. Oops.

How many books do you have that you were going to read? How is that exercise equipment you bought doing? Hey – I am as guilty as you are, my friend: I originally bought the Nintendo Wii because I thought I would use the Wii Fit and the Wii Sports boxing as an exercise routine.

Well, they were nice thoughts at least.

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes said by one of my minister friends at my graduation from the Ambassador Bible Center that I attended: “You make time for what is important to you.”

I thought that was a good quote at the time – but didn’t really understand the true depth of that saying. I still do not think I got it completely yet … but I am on my way. That saying was one of the big factors for the move in the first place.

MiniPost: To The Future Mrs. Nitzberg: “Watch Out!”

So I have finally come around to the realization that I just don’t have enough time to put my whole heart and soul into a blog post, but I have all these great mini-thoughts that I would like to share – so I am introducing a much more frequent MiniPost – and today’s is about awesome engagement stories.

I love hearing my friends’ and co-workers’ engagement stories. I was visiting some friends recently and in their kitchen they have a picture frame that has the actual ‘moment’ my friend Mike asked his bride-to-be Laura if she would marry him. Then right next to that picture is the moment recreated on their wedding day, same spot, same pose, with both of them in their beautiful wedding outfits. The next addition, so I am told, is apparently on one of their future anniversaries to recreate it yet again, now with their wonderful daughter Kelsey. Good stuff!

What started this thought was a video that brought a tear to my eye after watching the following video – one that really takes ‘popping the question’ to a whole new level of antics, stage presence, and Continue reading

My Ups and Downs With the Nest Learning Thermostat

Jason Nitzberg Angry at the Nest Thermostat

Beautifully designed and fun to use ... when it finally decides to turn on

The Nest Learning Thermostat has taken the gadget, thermostat, design, and so-called ‘green’ markets by storm, picking up awards from the Consumer Electronics Show and Good Housekeeping since it’s October 2011 launch. In my own recent installation, I was impressed with the ability for it to blend with any color of wall (actually making the house look nicer) and the drop-dead easy use of adjusting the temperature by simply turning the outside ring left or right. Apparently, however, my nightmare installation and setup experience has not been shared by thousands of others, and unfortunately showed several holes in Nest’s product, installation and support only to me – which did not help the $249 hole left in my wallet from buying the product.

Besides the issues, the Nest Learning Thermostat is definitely a sign of Continue reading

What are you willing to fight for?

Eeyore being sad.

Eeyore, the most interesting character in Winnie-the-Pooh-land

Just tonight I read several comments on my friend’s status message that made me get a little ‘up in arms’. The gist was ‘well, there is nothing we can do …’ kinda like the friendly but ever so ridiculous character from Winnie the Pooh named Eeyore. Eeyore was definitely not the hopeless romantic – he was the fly-in-the-soup kinda animal – the “oh, whoa is me” dude.

I give it to my friend that he kept at it by asking the community ‘why should I quit – why should anyone quit?’ And the only response was that of Eeyore – there is no hope.

Where there is no hope, defeat lies at the door.

My friend (and I whole-heartly agree with him) seems Continue reading