Wednesday, October 22, 2008

R.I.P.

After numerous nudges from friends and family–most recently coming from Angela, but that should not discount the fact that Sherry holds the record for most nudges–I’ve decided that it is finally time to move over to Wordpress. So, I will no longer be using this blog... so long constantcastro (of the blogger variety). wordpress here we come!

Click here to go to my new blog.


On another note, I also started another blog and hope to use it to discuss issue related to my area of study, international development. And if that topic interests you, you can also read my grad school cohort’s blog.

Cheers.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quotes of the Day...

Today I received some indirect compliments:

I am often an "advocate."

I am a good leader.

And one person told me that she appreciates that we don't have to communicate "with kid gloves on."

I appreciated these people taking time to speak love and truth into my life. I pray I can pay it forward and take advantage of opportunties to speak equal amounts of love and truth into the lives of others.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Really... is that how it happened?

I love going into Philly and just walking around. I especially love the Quaker history that is present all over town.

Today I took the train in to meet up with some family that happened to be in town on a trip. We went into one of the famous Philly Meetinghouses, Arch Street Meetinghouse. I've been there a few times and have loved to interact with the tour guides. I usually don't say that I'm a Quaker off the bat (mostly because they start right in and don't give me time to say anything). Normally the tour guides are pretty "fair and balanced" in how they portray the differences among Friends. Today the lady that gave the tour said a few things that made me chuckle. She went into her speech and showed a map of the various types of Friends across the US. As she got out West (where I'm from) she said "And as the Friends migrated West they soon became too tired from farming to run their meetings, so they hired pastors to run the meeting." Really... is that how it happened?

Also, she went on to discuss how George Fox is the one man responsible for empowering women in the US. Really...is that how it happened?

Finally she stopped talking and let us tell her that we are from Oregon and are part of an Evangelical Meeting there, and see seemed taken aback and started asking questions. She even had us tell her the size of the congregation so she could write it in some book of hers.

Good times. I love Philly, especially being a minority when it comes to my Quaker flavor.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Site

This is easily my new favorite site.

It's the Garfield comic strips remixed, and basically Garfield has been removed. It's hilarious. You really need to check it out.

I know, I know, it sounds dumb. But really, give it a look.

Stimulus Check...

So I heard this story the other day. I was startled. For those of you who don't like following links, it basically was about the fact that the IRS has decided that for certain people in this country they will send gifts in lieu of cash for their stimulus checks... yes... gifts. The story recounts how one couple in Arizona already received an air conditioner. THEY DIDN'T EVEN NEED AN AIR CONDITIONER.

The woman they interviewed at the IRS said that the stimulus package is meant to be spent on consumer goods, so the IRS is doing research before they send out the checks and if the person receiving the money looks as though they won't spend the money but will save it instead, then they will buy something for them that is "geographically appropriate" and send it to them. HOW MESSED UP IS THIS?

Isn't this a republican stimulus package? And isn't the republican stance on economics small government and personal responsibility. So why in the world are they deciding how to spend people's money?

According to the story, Melissa and I are prime targets (aka large amount of debt). All I have to say is I hope I don't get a package in a month with $1200 worth of Philly Cheese Steaks.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Going Green PSA

I wanted to broadcast a Public Service Announcement about going green on this here blog thing.

I recently saw a report that startled me. The report was talking about ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHT BULBS.

While I still highly recommend changing from the traditional bulbs to the twisty halogen ones, there is one thing that I think everyone should know about them.

These bulbs have traces of mercury inside of them. This means two things:

1. If one of these bulbs break, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO JUST SWEEP IT UP. When you buy these bulbs check the packaging, they have instructions for cleaning the bulbs up yourself. They give you like a 5-step process, so be prepared. The other option is calling a hazard control company and paying them to do it, but I've heard that can get spendy.

2. When you are done with these bulbs, DO NOT JUST THROW THEM IN THE TRASH. This relates to the first issue, but is more for environmental reasons. Keep these bulbs separate, and take them to your local waste disposal center and they have a special disposal procedure. If these are just thrown away the mercury will leach into the ground soil of the landfill.

While this sounds annoying, I still think that it still better to use these bulbs, both for energy saving, but as well as money saving reasons.

Here is an article that goes into detail...


This has been a service of the ConstantCastro Public Service Announcement System.

Monday, March 17, 2008

10 years...

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the day my grandmother, Maxine Ankeny, passed away. She battled cancer for as long as I can remember, and finally, on Saint Patrick's Day of my Freshman year in high school, she lost that battle.

I never knew my grandpa on that side of the family, so losing my grandma was even more significant, because she had always been so loving to us grandkids. It sometimes felt as though she was making up for the fact that there was only one grandparent to spoil us.

So, to commemorate my grandma's death, and in an attempt to not forget her life, I wanted to list a few things (funny, serious, or otherwise) that I remember about my grandma.

To begin, on a serious note:

- I learned what it means to be a Christian and a Quaker from her.

-She always was a very disciplined and hard worker. She lived on a farm almost all her life and she always tended to the animals and spent time in the fields and garden.

- She taught me the value in humility, and endurance. As I said before, she fought cancer for many years, and in those years she was also fairly well off, but in talking with my grandma you would never know either of those facts. She never let on that she had money, or that she was sick, or that she was tired. She just lived her life, and was obedient to God, both in the good times and the hard times.

-She cared for the well being of her family. She always loved and looked out for us all, and really enjoyed when the HUGE Ankeny family got together. And hearing stories since her death of ways she helped people out, bailed people out, or just lovingly corrected people was a sign of how devoted she was to the protection and well being of everyone.

And now for some fun/random memories:

-I remember sitting in her dining room on the farm, being forced to snap a huge pile of beans before we could go back out and play. This probably doesn't sound significant, but being a kid from the city, I wasn't very good at snapping beans and it took my brother, sister, and I a long time to get it done.

-I also remember the lemon ice tea that we'd drink while snapping beans.

-I remember the fact that we couldn't play games with face cards at grandma's house...like I said, she taught me how to be a good Quaker. Rook anyone?

-I remember the terrible water that came out of grandma's tap.

-I remember plenty of football games on grandma's lawn after Thanksgiving.

-I remember that grandma had honey bees for a while and being deathly afraid that they were going to swarm me.

-I remember the magnetic football game in grandma's attic and the sad day when it finally stopped working.

-I remember when my cousin and my brother shot at me with their bb guns, and my grandma getting mad at them for shattering my uncle's tractor window. It wasn't me, i promise.

There's probably plenty more, like the day I wandered into her bedroom and found out grandma wore a wig, but I'll leave it there for now.

I've got a great family and we wouldn't be who we are today without the influence that grandma had on each of us.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Blog-bernation

I've always wondered two things: do bears ever die while in hibernation? And, why to bloggers feel the impulse to butcher perfectly good words by somehow morphing them with some form of the word blog?

It's been one of those phases where I haven't felt like blogging, I feel like I've been in my own hibernation. Hopefully I haven't died. I know I've never been a reliable, consistent blogger in the past, but this time I not only haven't had the time, but I also haven't had the desire.

I've had many posts rolling around my head, but they never made it to the screen. Life has just been different lately. This semester's courses have been much more demanding, the sense of being away from home has set in more than expected, and suddenly the newness of living near Philadelphia has worn off.

So, here I am just letting everyone know I'm still alive.

We could use prayer as we continue to search for God's guidance with regard to our job placement in the fall. The job search is in full swing and so far it's not looking pretty.