Step into my tricked-out Hyundai...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Years ago when we only had two kids, Lori and I decided we wanted a bigger family. We decided to have one more biological child and then adopt the fourth. We quickly got pregnant with Ethan who entered our lives in the summer of 2005 (Spicy Boy!). We then started what we thought would be about a 6-month process to bring home an adopted child from China. We felt an infant girl would best fit the dynamics of our family so that's what we indicated as our preference from China. We chose China for reasons I won't go into here. We had no idea what lie ahead of us. Shortly thereafter we found out we were pregnant with Carlie... God had a different plan for our fourth child. And Thank You God for that plan! I've always said God has special plans for Carlie. But regarding the adoption... We had already fallen in love with this girl in China... Even though we knew nothing about her, we had named her... we had dreams for her... we hung a stocking for her at Christmas. There was absolutely no way we were giving up on her. She was a real baby girl somewhere out there... we could not abandon her. Lori and I never even had a conversation about whether we would still adopt another child. Of course we would.

Then the adoption process with China slowed significantly. For which we still have no reasonable explanation. Months turned into years. It's very heart-breaking to know there are children in need in desperate regions of the world..... it's difficult for me not to turn this into a rant.

After starting the adoption process several years ago... I was recently out of town on business when I got a call from Lori that we had received a "referral" for a baby girl from China. It was a truly blessed moment. I still remember many little details about where I was and what I was doing when I received news about our daughter. Details I'll remember forever. Of course we still had to review her medical records and go through other formalities before we could "accept the referral", but even though we didn't openly say it, we both knew this was Avery. Our fifth child we'd be praying for over the last several years.

I love my first four children more than I can describe. However, the anticipation and longing for Avery has been tremendous for us... especially Lori. The connection a mother has with her child is something I could never try to explain. It may sound strange, but I look forward to seeing Lori meet Avery as much as I am looking forward to meeting Avery myself. I'm so proud of Lori and thankful for her determination and faith throughout this process.

Avery is living in foster care in Inner Mongolia in northern China. Lori and I will travel to China to bring her home hopefully before the end of the year. God is good.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Annual Post

Well, it's been exactly one year since my last blog post so I thought I'd try to make an entry. I enjoy the idea of blogging but every time I start to make a blog post I decide what I have to say is just not interesting enough. So, I'll try to pick a few topics that might be interesting from the last year.

First and foremost, we are still waiting on the adoption. As all our friends know and probably most of any visitors to this site know, we applied for an adoption with the Chinese government several years ago. We have not yet received a referral but we believe the adoption will probably happen before the end of this year. We applied to adopt an infant girl, but know nothing else about what child they may refer to us. This has been a very emotional experience for our family. When we started the adoption process we expected the entire process to be about 6 months long... that was in March 2006. I'm sure once the adoption occurs, I will have a blog post here, but you can read more about the process and see the much more active blogger in our family at Lori's site.

Conner is growing into a wonderful young man. He is 12 years old and in the 6th grade in Union school district. He's enjoying Boy Scouts (except for camping this last weekend through thunderstorms with 60mph winds), playing french horn in band, learning a Facebook addiction from his mother, and still playing video games. He even managed to beat his father at Halo a couple of times lately. I couldn't be more proud of him.

Nicole is a great older sister! We always knew she had a very nurturing spirit and it's been great to see her around her younger siblings. Especially with Carlie. Her and Carlie share a room and Nicole usually gets Carlie out of her crib in the morning and brings her downstairs with her when she wakes up. One of Carlie's earliest words was "yikki" which is what she calls Nicole (whom we usually call Nicci).

Ethan is our "spicy boy" and is always good for generating stories! My theory is that he started with an already strong personality but when you combine that with competing for attention from the older siblings, it creates a very strong-willed child! But there is not a single thing we would change about him, even if we could. Last summer he insisted on wearing bathing suits 24x7. The only time we would not let him wear a bathing suit was for church. It was funny to see him tripping out of his church pants one step inside the door taking them off and reaching for one of his favorite bathing suits. Well, he's left bathing suites behind and moved on to Spider Man. Spider Man underwear, t-shirts, socks, shoes, watch, glasses, etc. However, it seems the last couple of weeks we can see him tending toward Monsters Vs Aliens gear. He's become quite enamored with Susan.

Carlie is our newest princess. We describe her as our "easy baby." From the very beginning she has always been a very low-maintenance child. I think God decided to give us a bit of a break! She's easily entertained, rarely cries, and goes to bed with a smile. But we can see a bit of a Drama Queen developing... I think she's figuring out how to get attention in a large family too!

I had planned on blogging a bit about my embarrassing addiction to my iPhone, build-out of our new home office, and latest developments in my professional life, but I guess I'll save that for my next post currently scheduled for May 17th, 2010.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Invasion of the Macs

In January Lori's notebook was on it's last leg. It was a notebook I got about 6 years ago and it's been running 24/7 on the kitchen counter for 3+ years. So, I couldn't ignore my curiosity any longer and I talked her into getting our first Mac. We got her a Macbook Pro from the 'zon (of course) and even though I hadn't had much time to learn much about it, I could quickly see why everyone has been so geeked-up over Macs lately.

Well, after the family fighting over it for months, we decided to get a 2nd one! Actually, this one is "just" a Macbook. We've only had it a few days but I like to use it for sitting in front of the TV, sitting in bed, etc.

The most impressive thing about Macs, I believe, is the community. My Mac friends and of course all the online communities are all very eager to help you. I'm also very surprised at the selection of software available - much better than in years past certainly. The iLife software on these is amazing. I'm really excited about creating home movies, etc. Lastly, the battery life is very impressive.

I'm curious to see if my energy for it fades once the new wears off. Being the computer geek that I am, I'm very much enjoying learning about the new things and having a completely new, shiny operating system. Friends who have bought macs said they eventually find themselves "going to the mac first." I certainly won't call myself "switched" until I go to the mac by default.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Latest Technical Development

I ordered a new under-desk keyboard drawer today from (of course). Apparently this is no ordinary keyboard drawer! Here are the "Technical Details" taken right from Amazon's page...

I was sold as soon as I read this. I'm so excited. This is going to be an awesome keyboard drawer.

UPDATE: Turns out its an ordinary keyboard drawer. /sigh

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I have a fair amount of disdain for bloggers who think they know a lot more than they do. So, at the risk of self-disdain (and a smidgen of "did-I-just-call-myself-a-blogger?)...

Lori and I have four children. Conner (11), Nicole (8), Ethan (2), and Carlie (5 months). And we've also applied to the Chinese government for the adoption of a baby girl sometime in the next year or so. We currently have a child in what I would consider most of the major pre-teen stages. You could almost say we're becoming quite experienced at being parents. I'm guessing I'll be a parenting-Yoda by the time we get all the kids out of the house. I see other couples expecting their first child and I think back to when we were there. Yes... it's going to have a much bigger impact than you could ever image and you'll feel a connection to your children that is indescribable. However, I'm going to try to give a few pointers that maybe you haven't heard before...
- When still at the hospital after delivery, leave the baby in the nursery as much as possible. Get your rest.
- Babies cry. They cry a lot. They cry a lot at night. Sometimes they cry for no reason. The best thing you can do is remain relaxed. When you get stressed, they can sense it and they get stressed. If you need a quick break just put the baby in their crib and walk around in the yard for a few minutes.
- Most newborns like to be "swaddled" in a blanket. Watch very carefully how the nurse wraps your newborn at the hospital. When they are newborn they are accustomed to being tucked very tightly in the womb.
- Read to/with your kids every night. Conner now reads to himself before he goes to bed, but we read to each of the other kids individually before they go to bed each night. It's a very important time that you'll be glad you made it a priority. It's very important one-on-one time when you have multiple children.
- Prepare to be very, very patient when they are learning to read. Resist the urge to be critical when they get stumped on a word they just got correct one sentence back.
- When your children start to get older and you try to let them make a lot of their own decisions (and mistakes)... make it a habit to remind yourself they are just learning. My biggest parenting struggle is patience with Conner. Conner would agree.
- Be consistent. (Someday you'll understand how huge this is.)
- You can never tell your daughter too many times how beautiful she is. I have this routine with Nicole when I blow dry her hair and pretend I'm this fancy hairstylist taking care of my hollywood client, gushing over how she is the most beautiful movie star in the world. She pretends to be annoyed by it but I KNOW she loves it.
- Show your daughter lots of affection. Most grown women with severe relationship problems had a father who was detached from them emotionally. Fathers, you need to study books on how to raise a healthy daughter. You don't know what you're doing.
- Take vacations (with and without your kids).
- If you tell your child to do something, do not change your mind. Don't back down if they start throwing a fit. Back down and not only are you being inconsistent, but you've just taught them how to beat you. It's not just about getting those toys picked up - it's about being consistent and letting them know you are the boss.
- Tell them you love them, especially when just passing in the hall or whatever. Just saying it when they're walking out the door is routine and they don't even hear it.
- If you have children that are much different in age, be sure you don't deprive the older ones from activities because you have younger kids. Drag the younger kids along.
- If they are involved in extra-curricular activities (and make sure they are), MAKE them practice regularly beyond what they are required. Teach them that if they are going to do something, they have to work at it.
- Always remember your children are going to be a lot like you. Think about it. A lot.
- Let your children overhear you complimenting them.
- Sometimes being a parent means you can't be their friend.
- Don't spoil them. And don't use that lame excuse "I just want them to have what I wasn't able to have." A lot more kids are messed-up by the things they get than the things they don't get.
- Teach them to take action.
- Don't give all of yourself to your children. Contrary to popular modern belief it is NOT an admirable thing to sacrifice 20 years of your life when raising your children. Remember yourself and show them you can still have fun when you're a parent.
- Play with them.
- Filter and monitor their internet activity. We installed NetNanny recently after Nicole was trying to search for baby "chicks".
- On Christmas morning when they've just opened 20 gifts and they are strewn all over the floor, grab a few that they haven't taken out of the box and hide them in your closet. They'll never miss them. And then pull a couple out some stormy day when they are stuck inside.
- Find a good church home now. Don't wait until the kids are older. It's important for them to grow up in a Christian environment, not just be introduced to it later.
- Start saving for college NOW! We'll spend at least half a million dollars if all our kids go to college. Google "529". It's a fantastic tax shelter.
- Take lots of video. Not just basketball games, but just when playing a boardgame or whatever. It's great to go back and relive casual moments.
- Love your spouse. There is no better influence on a child's future than having parents that love each other. Remember that love is not something that's just there - it's something you do.
- Pray for them every day.

That.... was much longer than I thought it would be.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Steriods in professional sports!?!? SHOCKER! Next we'll hear there's cheating on high school math homework. Then maybe we can publish all the names of those teenage cheaters and make sure they never do math again. There! We just fixed cheating! All better now.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Misc 10/28/2007

We've lately discovered Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. If you have never tried it, you owe it to yourself. Our favorites are "Everything But The...", "Phish Food", "Half Baked", "Chubby Hubby", and "Cherry Garcia".

I've spent some time on the xbox lately. I played through the single player campaign for Bioshock - wow, that's an outstanding game. I also finished this game called Halo... ever heard of it? I'm now about 1/3 of the way through Halo2. You'll never guessed what's next.

PS3 price cut right after I got mine. Yeah, that's true, but it didn't apply to the 60gb model which was important to me based on the post below.

All our favorite TV shows are back on (Beauty and the Geek, Survivor, The Office, The Biggest Loser, Heroes). Not sure when I became this reality TV fan - I used to hate them.

I've been into audiobooks for a while ( I always listen to the unabridged ones. I finished Kite Runner - great book but hard to recommend. It was pretty sad and dark. I also really enjoyed The Road, which I actually read (ebook), and it's REALLY dark, but an amazing book. I read it BEFORE it was an Oprah Book - I promise! I'm about an hour from finishing Into The Wild. I'm not diggin' it, but I'm forcing myself to finish it. Apparently you must have to do a lot of thinking to realize how good of a book this is... and apparently I'm not up to the task. Yawn.

Gmail. Why doesn't everyone use it? More importantly, why don't all email apps (web-based or not) organize their mail by conversation? I've tried to do it in Outlook and it just doesn't work. Seriously, it's one of those things that once you start reading email organized by conversation the way GMail does it, you just don't understand why it was ever done differently. Maybe the latest version of Outlook is better - I avoid Outlook except where I'm forced to use it while on a client project.

I got a new HTC Mogul phone. So far I'm diggin it. Maybe I'll blog more later on it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Yep, we now have all the major consoles (current and last gen... and a PSP and two DS's). I have previously had no desire for a PS3 as the selection of titles is not that great yet. However, in all their new models of the PS3, Sony has replaced the embedded PS2 chips with software emulation and their backward compatibility with PS2 titles has dropped from close to 100% to somewhere around 60%, depending on who you talk to. (This topic has been covered extensively online - google it if you want more info.) We have a pretty large library of PS2 and PSOne titles so we decided to get a 60gb PS3, which is apparently the last model that you can still find on store shelves (or Amazon for us) that has the PS2 chips inside. So, if you want a PS3 that can play close to 100% of all PSOne, PS2, and PS3 titles then you better snatch up a 60gb quickly.

So far, I'm pretty underwhelmed. Complaint #1: The PS3 is ridiculously expensive and it doesn't even come with HD cables! It's supposed to be this revolutionary console and yet it only runs at 420p out of the box. Complaint #2: You have to leave the console running to charge the wireless controllers. Complaint #3: The online environment is lame. Didn't Sony have about a year to watch XBox live on the 360?? Have they seen it? Apparently they've learned nothing from XBox Live's success. Complaint #4: The first game I tried on it was a Harry Potter demo as I was trying to find something family-friendly. Wow, is that game painful to look at. We actually own the game for the Wii and I could tell no difference. So, that was certainly a bad first impression.

Having said all that I still think the PS3 has a bright future. The technology is certainly great. I remember when I held-off on getting a 360 because of the lack of title variety and now it has a huge selection. Also, the 360 is more aimed at the "hardcore" gamer (online shooters, Madden, etc) and the Playstation series has a much more broad array of titles. Once the next generation of the Playstation's platformers, RPG, and children/tween games start coming out I'm convinced it will get a lot more momentum.

We enjoy platformers at our house (Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, Crash Bandicoot, etc) and the next Ratchet and Clank title is coming out on the PS3 next month. They've released a demo online and not only does it look amazing, but it's a ton of fun. (If you've never tried a platformer and you have a ps2 then grab Jak and Daxter or Ratchet and Clank - amazing games).

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Carlie pics

I put more pictures online.
Carlie's Birth Day

Carlie Grace McMurphy!!

Well, the Tulsa McMurphy's now have a 4th child! Carlie Grace was born Monday, Oct 1st at 4:12pm. She weighed 6lbs 11oz.

My wife, Lori, has been a champion throughout this pregnancy, just like all the others. I love you Lori and I'm proud of you.

So, this evens up the score at 2 boys and 2 girls. We need a tie-breaker you say? hmmmm....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Kart Racing!

No, we didn't race, but Conner and I went to Hallet race track near Tulsa and watched some kart racing between rain showers today.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Where's my cup?


Wired Cover

Well, I finally made my cover. I thought it would be GQ, but I guess Wired will do. This picture has a lot of interesting things from my childhood if you look closely... Karate, 4-wheelers, monster trucks, computers, Vans, my retainer, BMX, D&D, etc.

I was one of those kids who always wore their coat. Which is interesting because now I never have a coat with me and I'm always freezing in the winter time.

Maybe I'm not so famous after all...

Posted by Picasa


Playing around with Google Video...

Ethan - Ewww... and Singing a bit...



Kids - Ethan wants to hop in...

Ethan is ready to get in...


Saturday, June 30, 2007

New Design...

Yep, I've changed the design again. I've simplified the implementation and just using Blogger for now. I found that I just wasn't posting that much because it was too complicated. Maybe I'll post more now that it's so much easier.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Visited Dad's travel trailer today...

My brother Mike and I went to my father's travel trailer today where he spent his weekdays while working near Canadian, Tx.  Apparently some of the folks in the area put up a little memorial for him.  Thanks.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Dad's Obituary

Mom wrote a great obituary for dad here

Sunday, May 06, 2007


We lost my father on Wednesday afternoon.  His passing was very unexpected.  Here is a news story that seems to be pretty accurate.

The support we've received from the community here in Woodward has been very comforting.  We have a house full of food and flowers, and there's a constant stream of people at the front door to offer their sympathy.  It's been great to hear so many stories about the things dad has done for so many people.  I've heard many stories this week of courage, strength, and compassion displayed by my father that validates my hero-image of him.  However, I've also been amazed to learn the number of lives that he touched in profound ways.  Dad was the person that everyone wanted to be around in a crowded room and everyone admired.  He would lead groups into conversations that always had everyone laughing or just listening to him talk. 

He was a drill sergeant, dealt blackjack in Las Vegas, wrapped a Corvette around a tree, rode bulls, built street rods, rode a Harley at Sturgis, treasure-hunted off the coast of Honduras, traveled to almost 20 different countries, built the coolest mailbox you've ever seen, constructed a castle in his backyard, fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot, lived the oil boom, lived the oil bust, and married the love of his life.  Even with all this, it still seems his life was cut tragically short.  He had yet to slow down.

My father and I have always had a great relationship.  Over the last 6 or 7 years, it has gotten even better.  I have always gone to my dad for all types of advice... getting married, business partnerships, job changes, career changes, and just about any important decision I would make.  However, I always knew what his advice would be.  I knew him very well.  But, it was always so much more comforting to hear advice from him, even if I knew what he would say.  The thought of making important decisions for the rest of my life without him scares the hell out of me.

Even with him in the "oil orchard" and I "working with computers", we would always find so much to talk about.  Often when we would visit for a weekend, Dad would talk me into going on some oilfield-related trek with him.  Those were some of the best moments we've spent together.  Just driving down some county road in the panhandle of Texas laughing and talking.  I got to see his travel trailer where he spends his weekdays, meet his co-workers and friends, and of course see his cherished planes. 

After some initial anger and frustration, I decided I should not be upset about his pursuit of flying.  There was no stopping James McMurphy if there was something he wanted to do.  On more than one occasion recently, he has said he was living his life-long dream of becoming a pilot.  It's hard to be bitter about that, no matter what the outcome.

Dad, you haxxor, I love you and miss you terribly. 

Friday, March 16, 2007

Holiday pics...

I added some holiday pictures to the Web Album.

From Holiday Season 2006


MAME pics... 2 years later...

I took about 200 pictures a couple of years ago when I built a MAME cabinet. I had grand plans of creating a long, detailed article on how I put it together, where I got all the parts, etc. But, you know how grand plans go! So, I just decided to take about 100 of the pictures and put them on my web album. Let me be very clear that I would've never been able to do this without the guidance of my buddy Damon White! He did all the research and basically told me all the parts to order and from where. He built an almost identical cabinet at the same time. I put mine together myself, but he did all the research to make sure we were getting all the correct parts, etc. I think I called him about 20 times from Home Depot and Radio Shack! Thanks Damon!

It's amazing how reliable this thing has been. We've played it a LOT in the last 2 years and I've had no trouble except for some buttons that worked loose and had to be tightened.

From MAME Project