Tuesday, September 23, 2008


This Jake Shimabukuro arrangement has always given me chills. So beautiful.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

startup 1: market research

I've been recently asked to advise an Internet start-up in the early moments, and I'm trying to give good advice based on what I've seen and am seeing in the industry. I would appreciate any comments on the short articles I'm going to be posting here over the next while.


If you want to see your web-based business succeed, my best recommendation is to begin by scouring the Internet and profiling any related sites... because inevitably, you aren't the first netizen with at least similar ideas!

Create a document that lists out every related website you can find and ask these questions about each one of them:

* What do they do?
* What do they do well?
* What do they do poorly?
* What do they not do at all?
* Did I know this site existed before? If not, then why? (What's wrong with they ways they did or did not market themselves?)

Why waste time and make mistakes when you can watch other people do exactly that, and then learn from them the easy way?? Knowledge is key.

If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.

-- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

silent killing machine

Prius drivers suck far too much to be in control of a silent vehicle!*

* In general.
* From what I've observed.
* Results may vary.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


"Good luck," I said haphazardly, for lack of a better send off.

She looked back, paused a moment, and then replied, "No, I don't like that so much."

It struck me a day later that luck doesn't exist; our God is far more purposeful than that.

colin at work, volume 2

another photo essay
by colin black

1:29 AM. Comcast is not giving me the answer I want to hear.

4:12 AM. Must... finish... Cisco... configuration...

The end.

See also: Volume 1

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

trade magazine practice

Check out the new photo... I'm practicing for my trade magazine interviews! HA HA

As if...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Some years ago I thought maybe I was called to be a pastor.

I don't think I was. I doubt I ever will be. I would make a terrible pastor. I would spend all week on a message; wear out a few delete keys; in the end I'd deliver about two minutes of content, and about one and a half of those minutes would probably be me looking out at the congregation in pause, hands on the table in front me, staring, saying nothing. (No doubt that is a service you want to be at, so let's see a show of hands and I'll get rolling.)

Words are not a good carrier for God's message, which in my limited understanding is likely written in love... but they're what we Christians readily use. I don't think I like that, but I'm as of yet unsure what a church would look like without them.

Also I am not a good carrier for God's message because my delivery is inherently hypocritical. If I knew God, then sin (the alternative) would not be part of me.

But do you even know what I'm saying when I say "knew"? Wait, do I know?

Words are a shallow descriptor of love, of meaning, of the truth. Words can be delivered hypocritically. Real love cannot.

God is lovely. So is love. So love and seek God; I think that's about enough.

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
Jeremiah 3:33

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Please pray for a homeless man named Sevin, who lives a painful existance; he is afflicted by schizophrenia.

There was a man this morning who boarded the streetcar, sat down in the seat facing me and immediately started talking to me.

"Are you an art school student?" he asked.
"No," I replied.

"PSU?" he asked.

"Where are you going, then?" he wanted to know. I told him I was going to work, and he seemed taken aback a bit.

"You are young, to be going to work." Then his face changed a bit.

"I am 50 years old. I have schizophrenia. It is a terrible disease." He started to cry. "My mother warned me about this disease. I am homeless, and I sleep under blankets... blankets... please......"

I looked him straight in the eyes and asked, "What do you need?"

"Pray for me, please. My name is Sevin: S-E-V-I-N. Pray for Sevin, please..."

I got off the train and watched it pull away. He held out his hand toward me as it left the platform. I am shaken.

Please, if you can, I am asking you to take the time to seek the Lord on this man's behalf. All He asked for was prayer.

Soften our hearts. Make us ready to be of assistance to those in need, make us your light, equip us with hearts to love your people.


For maybe a couple months God has been showing me an image of a peaceful ocean. I quickly cut Him off from whatever He was trying to say at that time and interpreted it myself to mean that He wanted me to be like the ocean in my life. At peace, deep and calm; perhaps as a beacon of serenity to people around me.

The problem is that, despite the rains that come along and fill me up every now and again, I am a tiny puddle, compared to The Ocean. A tiny puddle that perhaps wants to be the ocean... but certainly no puddle can will itself into being the ocean; it has no control over such things.

When the sun and the hot comes out, I have a tendency to dry up. Someday The Son will come out and I will dry up completely; I will no longer be. Everything of me relies on rain from Heaven every day to exist. But The Ocean persists without question.

People attempting to find some sort of solace, some form of solution in me will not find it. They might see some water and attempt a swim only to find that their feet are barely submersed in my shallow depth. So unsatisfying; suddenly I'm simply a body of disappointment. It seems that instead of playing party to such ideas, the smart puddle erects a sandwich board next to itself with an arrow that points coastward; "You want to be over there"...

God saves.

Monday, September 1, 2008


GOD has let me in on a few new things tonight. I am writing them here so that I don't forget but also so that perhaps someone else will receive as well.

The name of Jesus, in Hebrew, is written in the NT I believe "Yah'shua", which translates to "God (Yah) saves". These particular facts I have to check when I wake up in the morning and have access to light and reading materials.

In my deepest sleepless struggle His name came to my mind, first in Hebrew "Yah'shua" and then translated "God saves". Suddenly I was hit with a certain clarity. In my struggles, wrestling with myself, trying to solve my own problems, attempting to make myself worthy of God's presence or will through my own means, I have neglected the simplest of truths, that God saves, not I.

Such a profound concept, Yah'shua, that it was our Lord Savior's name. Name above all names, they sometimes say. But why, what's in a name? Could it be that this name is the answer to life, to the world?

The Human condition: our capacity is too small. We were not designed to save and therefore cannot. Our complexity outstrips our capacity; attempts to save self or others fail continually. Failure is pain. So for some, life is continual pain.

To be saved, it seems, is complete surrender of all aspects of life. If we do not surrender all, then which of those pieces of us are we still trying to save, ourselves?

A guest speaker on Sunday described a baby as a blank page on which its parents write through their actions. Oh, to let God write His name (His plan!) deeply into our pages, deeper every moment, that our actions in view of others were so that they would be willing to open their pages to a God who saves...

I have to read this tomorrow, to make sure I have been accurate in passing along this information, that I have not colored it through my own head, my own will. Until tomorrow.