Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I'm ashamed to admit that it's totally my favorite game for the console. It's actually a pretty good workout too - my legs have been sore for a week from playing that game. And to make it worse, my favorite song is "The Sign," that horrible techno-pop song from the early '90s by Ace of Base.
Does liking Dance Dance Revolution make me a bad person, or less of a man? Probably so. I'd write more, but I've gotta clear Disco Inferno on Hard.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
- With our recent travel to Canada, all of us being sick in some form or other, and other general busy-ness, we never got around to decorating the outside of our house. We put up our tree and other decorations inside, but we didn't do anything outside. We definitely live in the 'burbs, so our neighbors are quite prolific in their decorations, and our house tends to look a little bare. The other night we were driving home, and the Monkey was enjoying all the lights in the neighborhood, oohing and aahing over the decorations. Then he pipes up: "When we see a house with no lights, that's OUR house." As we turned the corner and saw the bare façade of our home, he said, "Yep, there's our DAAAARK house!" Next year, HE gets to put up the decorations.
- The other night he said something about wanting a cat. I told him that, since we have Cappie (our dog), we're not going to be getting a cat anytime soon. He thought about that for a second and asked, "Will we die when Cappie dies?" I said no, we would still be alive when Cappie died. So he said, "Well, then when Cappie dies, I want to get a cat." It's good to see him have such loyalty for the family dog.
- We took him to Chik-Fil-A for his birthday the other night. As we're going out to the car to leave, there's a guy leaning up against the car next to us, smoking a cigarette. I was just ignoring the guy, when the Monkey pipes up in a voice, loud enough for people in the next zip code to hear: "Pee-yoo! What's that stinky?!" I'm not sure if the guy heard us (although I can't imagine how he didn't), or whether he noticed me trying not to laugh hysterically, but about thirty seconds later he put out his cigarette and walked away. Ahh, to be as uninhibited...
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
About a month ago Ann offered to get me a Nintendo Wii for Christmas. I was excited, but knew they were hard to come by, especially this far into the shopping seasons. Store after store I went to said they were out and didn't know when they'd get more. Last weekend the Monkey and I happened by Fry's about half an hour before they were supposed to open. We weren't there to buy a Wii (no, seriously, we weren't), but there was a line of about 100 people waiting for the store to open. And they'd already handed out vouchers for all the Wiis they had in stock, and that was for the bundle pack, which cost about $240 more than the regular Wii. So half an hour before the store opened, they'd already sold out of the console bundle that costs almost twice as much as the regular unit! I pretty much gave up on getting one before Christmas at that point.
Then yesterday the Monkey and I were at Target and I asked the electronics person when they were getting more. She said they'd have them today when they opened at 8:00. So I showed up at 6:50 am, Thermos of hot chocolate in hand, and was 44th in line for one of their 96 units. By the time I walked out of the store at 8:30 I was cold and hungry, but I had my Wii! Hopefully it's worth it!
Sorry I've been late in posting again. It's been a crazy week. Vanilla Bean got croup on Thursday, but she's getting better now. Croup sucks.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I can't imagine trying to live with a disability like that in today's world, much less 70 years ago when society was much less accommodating of the disabled. But it didn't slow her down one bit: she went on to have a career as a ham radio operator (not a hobby, a career), run her own seamstress business, get married, and raise two boys. Disciplining those two boys must have been difficult without being able to walk, but I'm guessing they received the violent end of those canes more than once.
So here's to a woman who, before women were allowed to do such things and with a potentially-limiting handicap, had a job, took care of her husband, ran a household, and corralled two kids.
Grandma Jean, you rock.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Yeah, so here's this guy I've never met, and I was insulting his dress and personal hygiene. Way to go.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
In the foreground of this shot, you can see a Native American council hut on the right and a Spanish-style mission on the left. In the midground is a mosque just behind a Buddhist prayer wheel, across the street from the Buddhist monastery. Finally, in the background you'll notice a beautiful old Protestant church and a Japanese shinto pagoda.
One of the coolest buildings in Equilibria is the Catholic representative: the grand cathedral known as Our Lady of the Simulacrum:
And a couple of closing shots. First, this is my wind-powered generator facility, owned and operated by none other than BP (my wife's employer):
And finally, this neat picture of the monastery in Equilibria's Monastic District:
Next on the list of cities to create: a cyberpunk dystopian city of tomorrow! (Think The Matrix, but with less kung-fu).
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Check back soon for details on my next city!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Let me say that this is certainly not the SimCity that's come before. Which is okay; on the Fun-O-Meter, the last SimCity game ranked somewhere between filling out IRS forms and having a colonoscopy. This is much more of a macro version of The Sims, making for a more casual and, in my mind, fun experience. It does away with most of the plots, long-term planning, and stress, and brings in more of the stuff I like: cool city perspectives, neat graphics, and low-key experimentation.
More to come later, but for now, here's a shot from the city I'm working on right now:
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
So I've decided that this is the sort of thing that earns me the right to walk her down the aisle when she gets married. And I look forward to the day when my daughter is standing there, waiting for me to escort her down to the aisle to her beaming groom, and I can look into her beautiful brown eyes and say, "Sweetheart, I love you with every ounce of my being. And I proved that love to you on the evening of November 20th, 2007, when I scooped your poo out of the tub with a slotted spoon."
But maybe, just maybe, I won't mention this during the toast...
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I've been thinking about the power of words lately, especially given the scandals surrounding Michael Richards, Don Imus, and Dog the Bounty Hunter. Let me point out that I do believe that words have power, however, words have only as much power as we choose to give them. What if, instead of focusing on the fact that these individuals used words like "nigger" or "ho," and then bringing down the full might of our free press upon them, we were to completely ignore their actions, thus taking away the very power of the words they're speaking?
Let me give a couple of more positive examples to illustrate my point. The Constitution of the United States is, in its most basic form, a set of words written down on parchment. But the American people have chosen to give those words an enormous amount of power and influence because we feel that those words represent an important set of ideals. As a result, people have died to defend those words, and arguably the most powerful man in the world is tasked with defending and upholding those words.
Another example: the Bible. Again, in its most basic form, it is words written on paper. But we choose to recognize those particular words as spoken by God Himself, thus infusing them with the power of deity.
So when yet another celebrity uses a racial slur, and organizations across the United States condemn that personality and hold rallies calling for their resignation or firing, we are giving that word power. And when news organizations refuse to actually print the word, replacing "nigger" with "the n-word," we elevate it to the mystical. The word becomes, not only bad, but SO bad that our lips must not utter it for any reason at all!
Words are a gun, but we are giving those who would choose to use them the bullets. What if we chose to withhold those bullets, allowing racists and bigots to wave around scary but, ultimately, harmless weapons? If the media want to report on it, tell us what was really said; don't hide behind this thin veil of calling it "the n-word." We all know what word you mean. Calling it "the n-word" only gives it even more power.
Or even better, don't report it at all. Ignore it, and then ignore those who would choose to use these words. I know far more than I otherwise would have about Michael Richards and Don Imus because they chose to use racial slurs. If they'd simply been ignored and sidelined, their words would've ended up in the ether, unheard and useless. And isn't that the whole point?
Please, I'd love to hear thoughts or discussions on this one.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
And leave a comment. She likes comments.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Here are a few examples:
- Ann and I enjoy scuba-diving. With the presence of two kids it's not something we get to do much anymore, but we still enjoy talking about it and looking forward to getting back into it. But whenever we've been, we always run into "those" people, the ones with the multi-thousand dollar underwater cameras, wearing several thousand dollars worth of gear, and they're on their seventh scuba-diving trip. That year. And it's only April.
- One of my long-time hobbies is computer gaming. Keeping decent hardware takes a non-trivial amount of money, and games easily run between 40 and 60 dollars. A standard computer game can take up to 20 hours to complete (although I have one that I've spent, embarassingly, over 100 hours on (curse you, Oblivion!)). But I heard a podcast a while back about a guy who'd spent about 2,500 hours on an online game called Guild Wars. And the game had only been out for a year and a half or so. They figured out that this guy had to have spent around 5 hours every day for a year and a half to log that many hours.
- This afternoon the Monkey and I went to Fry's. In the parking lot, they had guys showing off their pimped out cars. You know the ones I'm talking about, with the custom rims and paint jobs and a sound system that sounds like he's performing nuclear warhead tests in the trunk (and the driver always has a Bluetooth headset). There was one guy who had an Excursion (base price, probably around $40,000) with a blue and orange paint job (I'm guessing several thousand dollars), an XBox mounted into the dashboard, a video screen in the dashboard, another small screen over the backseat, and then two ENORMOUS videos screens over the back seats (probably 15-inches each). So that's FOUR SCREENS in the car, twice as many as I have in my house. Then he had the sound system in the trunk, with a huge sub-woofer. I'm guessing the entertainment system alone was several tens of thousands of dollars. And of course the entire car was detailed and spotless. But it gets better: right next to the Excursion was his motorcycle with an identical paint job, and right next to that was the helmet for his motorcycle, with an identical paint job. So the whole setup had to have been well over 100 grand.
So how is it that somebody goes from saying, "I enjoy swimming underwater," to "I'll spend every spare dollar and hour I have to have the best gear, so that I can swim underwater"? How does someone go from, "I'll enjoy a couple hours of video-gaming every now and then," to "I will forget about having a life in the real world, so that I can have a life in this simulated world"? And how on EARTH does someone say, "You know, I don't think my kids really NEED to go to college; what they need is to be able to play their XBox on 15-inch screens in the back of the car, while I ride my matching motorcycle next to them!"?
Maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety...
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I've already had two requests for more details on my slapping-someone-upside-the-head story, so here it is.
We're travelling to Canada at the end of this month to visit Ann's family. Unfortunately, three days before our intended return, I have an extremely important meeting at work I need to attend. So I need to switch my tickets to allow me to return early, leaving Ann, the kids, and her parents in Canada for the rest of the week. There's a fee incurred with this switch, about $100, plus another sixty dollars or so for a shuttle to the airport, and since I'm having to cut short my own personal vacation for work reasons, I asked if the company could cover the cost of changing the ticket. No big deal, right?
My boss had no problem with this, and agreed that the request was justified. My secretary had no problem with it. But the travel coordinator didn't appear to understand the concept. Apparently, since this was outside the bounds of normal travel expenses, it was too hard for them to understand. They needed specific details on what day I was leaving, what day I was returning, and what flights I would be on. They asked whether my family could take me to the airport to avoid the cost of the shuttle. I responded with a very terse "No," and then waffled and sent another e-mail explaining that it would be about six hours out of the way for them, and that the mileage costs that the company would have to reimburse me for would be more than the actual cost of the shuttle ticket. They asked specifics on car rentals and how I would be getting around. Finally, after two days of this back and forth, they approved the cost. You'd think I'd asked them to solve world hunger or something.
Besides all this, we have a personal friend who is making some, if not poor, at least very immature choices about her lifestyle and the types of people she associates with, and the effects of those decisions tend to trickle into our lives a little. It makes me want to grab her by the shoulders and say, "What are you thinking? How in the world does that seem like a good decision to make?"
And now, I will step down from my soapbox. Wow, these Internet rants are kind of therapeutic. I feel better, even knowing that it's quite possible no one will read this! I'll have to do this more often.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Now, if you want have the "My kid is an honor roll student..." sticker, fine. Not my style, but I can at least understand people wanting to brag about their smart kids. If you even want to have the "My kid is a student at Weaselchum Middle School," I guess that's fine. I'm not sure why that'd be something you'd advertise on the back of your Excursion, but whatever.
But no one, I repeat, NO ONE, cares where your dog went to school. And maybe I'm the first one to break this to you, but no matter how smart your dog actually is, he can't read the bumper sticker.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
"I played in the kitchen."
"Oh, really? What did you make?"
"Did you make some tea for Daddy?"
"Was it black tea or green tea?"
"What color is meat?"
"Um, well, I guess meat is red."
"I made you red tea."
"You made me meat tea?"
"Yeah, it was disgusting tea."
Friday, October 19, 2007
I've read a couple of books about this subject recently and have become more and more interested in how language and writing have driven events in history, and the way in which they play a fundamental role in how we think. I've become convinced that language itself is a critical element in defining how our brains work.
Here's an example from my own recent experience. In parallel with my readings, I've been on a couple of trips to Japan. The Japanese script is, to put it lightly, completely foreign to me. The combination of Chinese logographs, a native Japanese syllabic script, and a Roman alphabet seems completely obtuse and overly complex to my Western mind. I noticed tons of people texting from their cell phones on the subways in Tokyo (actually talking on your phone in the subways is frowned on), and was interested in how a script that has literally thousands of characters could ever be used on a cell phone. During a dinner, I asked a Japanese counterpart about this and he pulled out his cell phone to show me. He said that when you type, you use the syllabic script, writing the words syllable by syllable - for example, you might write the words "cell phone translation" as "ce-lu-fo-nu-tra-nu-sla-sho-nu", or something like that. So for what in English would be a twenty letter phrase, you'd have a nine-character line of text. That's probably way simplified, but you get the idea. Now here's where it gets weird. He told me that in the syllabic script, the words can be pronounced, but they have no meaning. So at this point, the software on the cell phone takes over and makes a prediction as to what the phrase is in the Chinese logograph text - where each character would represent an entire word. So now you're down to only three characters.
This idea of a script communicating sounds but not meaning is what I had a hard time understanding. Here's my (again very Western) metaphor for comprehending it. Imagine if your cell phone didn't have the capability to input numbers. So if you wanted to write the number "42," you had to type out "f-o-r-t-y-t-w-o." Now imagine that the words "forty-two" don't actually convey the significance of the numerical data, so the text prediction software takes over and makes a guess that what you really want to type is "42."
So here's my point - that's a completely foreign and bizarre concept to me. I've got to think that someone to whom that makes sense thinks on a completely different plane than I do.
Now imagine that, instead of a co-worker sitting next to me in a sushi bar, it's a Mayan who lived 3,000 years ago in the mountains of the Yucatan peninsula. That way of living, way of writing, and way of thinking would have to result in a lifestyle that someone living in the suburbs of Houston could never come close to understanding.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Lunch was at a Korean barbecue restaurant. Korean barbecue is sort of like Mongolian barbecue, but you cook the meat yourself at a little grill at the table. The one I went to last time I was here was better, with a big buffet-style selection of meats and vegetables. This place was a little nicer, but we just ordered steak and there wasn't much of it.
Dinner was really good at a little hole-in-the-wall yakitori restaurant in Tokyo. Yakitori is just little grilled skewers of meat or vegetables. They brought out our chicken selection, which included regular chicken-breast meat, but also had skewers of skin and gristle. The gristle one was especially weird; it was basically just the little part at the end of the bone that no one ever eats. Well, my co-eaters weren't too excited about those skewers, so I ate them myself.
About halfway into the hour-and-a-half train ride back to the hotel, things started to go wrong down south, if you know what I mean. It was a loooong ride back, and an interesting lesson that, just because they serve it to you and you can actually eat it, doesn't mean you should.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
But the highlight of the day, nay, of the week, was dinner tonight. We had a social party at a very traditional Japanese restaurant. We ate sitting on the floor, and the food was amazing. A Korean stew, tempura, sashimi that melted in my mouth, sushi that was SO good, lotus root - you name it, it was out on the table. Oh, and three Japanese beers and a cup of delicious sake (so I'm feeling nice and relaxed right now.
I can't imagine that I've lost a single pound with the way I've been eating, and there are still two days to go.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
It was served, interestingly enough, with a side of mayonnaise. It was actually quite good, very salty with a distinct ocean taste. The texture was a little strange, not meaty, but more like a soft cartilage, which I guess is what it is. The mayonnaise went really well with it, offsetting a lot of the overt saltiness.
I did find the last few bites a little tough to muscle down. A little bit of ray-fin goes a long way.
I think I'll end up getting the American breakfast tomorrow morning since it's gonna be a long day. But we may be going to the "I dare you to eat that" restaurant in the evening - that should be an experience.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
To keep it interesting I've added a poll out on the sidebar where you can vote on what you think the outcome will be.
One quick story about that. Last time I was in Japan, I got the American-style breakfast most mornings I was there. Eggs, toast, sausage, pretty normal stuff. Towards the middle of the week, I got the Japanese breakfast, thinking that'd be a cool thing to try.
They brought it out and it consisted of a bowl of rice, a small piece of baked fish, a bowl of miso soup, an egg in some form I've never seen (I think it was poached), and some pickled vegetables. Anyone who knows me knows I like my breakfast - this looked like some kind of cruel joke. Needless to say, breakfasts were all-American after that.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
I am completely and totally uninterested in sports.
I really am. Couldn't care less. And it's not because I haven't tried. I've actually read Football for Dummies. I attended Texas A&M University, where during the fall semester you can't walk ten feet without being told that you WILL love Aggie football. I've gone to baseball games. I've even watched ESPN and gone to Super Bowl parties. I've really, really tried.
But I just don't care.
Sports don't do anything for me. I have zero desire to sit on my couch with a bowl of potato chips and watch football on Sunday afternoon. I can think of nothing more boring than sitting through a nine-inning baseball game. I'll watch the Olympics, but only the far-out weird stuff, like the luge or fencing. And once the match is over, it deletes itself from my mind immediately.
And I'm not saying I'm uninterested in sports like some guys are. Even if you're not a big fan, you usually follow your local baseball team or cheer on the Americans during World Cup soccer. But I really don't care whether the Astros win. I don't lose a wink of sleep over whether or not the Texans win (which is good, since they suck). And I certainly don't care about the stats, abilities, or paycheck of individual players. And I really do just watch the Super Bowl for the commercials.
So I am forced to the dark halls of geekdom. I'll wear the facade at work, and gripe about how Donovan McNabb can't throw a ball, or argue whether Nolan Ryan was the best pitcher of the '90s. But deep down, I'm thinking about the next computer game I'm going to play (SimCity Societies) or what sci-fi movie I'm most looking forward to (I Am Legend). So forgive me if I show up at your football party and seem more interested in the french-onion dip than the game. Because I really do love french-onion dip.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Looking back, I realized that the first thing that went through my mind was a realization that I hadn't been looking away long enough for him to be in serious trouble. Then, embarassingly enough, I recall doing a quick analysis of what was in my pockets that would be lost by jumping into the water (my cell phone and two key fobs). At that point I realized I was gonna have to get a little wet. I ended up jumping down onto a step up to my knees and pulling him out. He coughed up a little water but overall was fine. Scared the poop out of Ann and me.
Two lessons from tonight. Don't even look away for a minute - at this age they can get themselves into serious trouble VERY quickly. And second, make sure you've checked in with your spouse on who's responsible for watching the kid. These are the moments you hear about on the news when the dad says, "I thought SHE was watching them!" In this case, I knew I was the one watching him, but if I'd stepped inside for a bit or been distracted for any length of time, it could've been too late.
I cuddled up with him a little longer during bedtime tonight. And apologized profusely to Ann.
I can't wait until they're teenagers and get so much easier. Right? Right?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
First, let me point out that, despite what most people probably think, English is not the most spoken language in the world. Not by a long shot. Mandarin Chinese is spoken by something like 950 million people - roughly one-sixth of the entire Earth's population. Coming in at close ties for second and third are Spanish and English, with roughly 332 million and 322 million speakers, respectively.
That being said, I'm amazed by this idea that languages are literally disappearing. It's interesting to think of the extinction of something as intangible as a language, but there are literally languages in the world that only one person speaks. And once that person dies, that's it.
Another interesting finding by the study is what areas of the world are seeing the fastest disappearance of languages:
- Northern Australia
- Central South America
- North America's upper Pacific coastal zone
- Eastern Siberia
- Oklahoma and the Southwestern US (seriously, Oklahoma??)
Australia has 231 spoken languages - and it's the least populated continent in the world! (No, I'm not counting Antarctica). There are 113 languages in central South America alone. And when you consider how many years it takes a language to form and develop, it seems weird that they would literally come down to one speaker left.
So what does this mean? Is this just a necessary artifact of the small world that we now live in? What will these numbers look like in a hundred years? Are we converging to a world where most everyone speaks a handful of languages? Based on a very rough calculation, I'd say a little less than half the planet's population speaks one of ten or eleven languages. So in a century, will it be 90%, or more? Will everyone be speaking English, the language of international commerce and the Internet? Or will it be some international hybrid of Chinese, English, some Romantic languages? I hope the cursing's in German - German's great for cursing.
And what should I teach my children? Should I focus on languages that are useful here, like Spanish and French? Or should I teach them to live truly internationally, by learning Chinese, Bengali, Hindi and Arabic?
Or maybe it's just time to go to bed...
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Graphics are pretty bad though. Look like something from 2003, not 2006.
Here's a screenshot of my city so far:
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
We're trying to teach him good table manners: not to spit at the table (seriously), to speak in a soft voice, to try some of all your food, that sort of thing. The other evening he took a grape, shoved it between his glasses and his eye, and waved his head around saying, "I can't see! I can't see!" As a guy, my first response was to laugh uncontrollably. But, of course, I had to respond as a parent and reprimand his bad manners. Unfortunately, those two responses were in direct conflict with each other. Ann had the presence of mind and self-control to suppress her laugh instinct enough to ask him to remove the grape from his glasses. The best I could do was cover my face with my hand and not snort milk out of my nose.
The second story took place while I was putting the Monkey down for bed the other night. He has a book with pictures of everyday objects and the associated word in French. We usually read it by him pointing at the picture and me pronouncing it in French. He pointed at a doll house and I read the title as "maison de poupée." He immediately giggled and said, "Hee hee... poopie."
That's MY boy.
Monday, September 10, 2007
So is it normal for a three-year old to be asking questions like that? Man, I thought potty-training was tough...
Saturday, September 8, 2007
It's hard to know at this point how serious the condition is. The doctor didn't tell us much in the way of a prognosis, either because he didn't want to overburden us or because he doesn't know. For now, she's wearing a harness that keeps her legs in a position that might force the joints together. We go back in two weeks to see if she's made any improvements and talk about what the next step is. Best case scenario: she wears the little harness for a few months, the joints slide back together, and everyone's okay (that's the scenario to pray for). Worst case: she has to have surgery and wear a cast for several months, and her crawling/walking development could be delayed.
So far, Vanilla Bean is taking the news much better than Mom or Dad. But, like every other problem that's come up so far, we'll figure this one out too. Once we get used to it...
Thursday, September 6, 2007
This idea extrapolates out to things like disease research as well. We're ready to spend bajillions of dollars to prevent things like SARS, which is (at least so far) VERY harmless in the grand scheme of things. And yet, every year, millions of people die because they don't have access to something as simple as clean water.
So I pose the question: why would God build us this way? Why would God make us so able to relate to individuals, but be unable to extrapolate out that feeling to large groups of people? If we see a news bit of one person being persecuted in a foreign country, why don't we feel millions of times worse for the ongoing genocide in Dharfur? If we feel sympathy for a single disfigured child in Iraq, why don't we feel many, many times worse for all the child victims of war violence?
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that support and help for the Baby Jessicas or Youssifs of the world are misplaced. I'm simply wondering why it is that people like to focus those feelings on individuals, instead of "spreading the love", so to speak.
Monday, September 3, 2007
I don't care how many theology degrees you have, how many C.S. Lewis books you've read, or how many years you've been a missionary: your faith can never be as full and complete as that of a three-year old kid who just wants Jesus to be his friend. How often do we bog ourselves down in needless complexity when it really, really can be that easy?
Friday, August 31, 2007
Civ IV just didn't really capture my attention, so two days later I picked up Caesar IV. It's good, although it certainly has its flaws, especially compared to 1701. The colors are very brown and blah, as opposed to 1701's vibrant and cartoon-like qualities. Also, the cities in Caesar IV have been very space-limited so far, so you feel fairly constrained to building in a very set fashion.
Next on the list to check out: City Life. The screenshots make it look really cool. I downloaded the demo and will check it out tonight.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
And finally, here's a pet peeve: people who complain about gas prices while driving a GIGANTIC SUV! If you want to complain about gas prices while doing everything you can to cut down on gas consumption, fine. If you want to drive a soccer-mom Excursion, that's your right. But you don't get to DO BOTH!
Guess I'm a little ginchy today.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
That all being said, the name really doesn't carry any significance beyond the fact that it sounds cool and it's a weird semi-sci-fi reference. It's a name I often use for activities where a cool name is required, such as laser-tag or fantasy football.
So, the bottom line is that this blog is called Tales of the Electric Monk simply because I think that sounds neat.
I live near Houston, Texas. I work in the manned spaceflight industry, which is amazing, but also just feels like a job from time to time. I love reading, computer games, and more than any other thing on this Earth, my family: my beautiful wife Ann (not her real name), my hilarious 3-year old son the Monkey, and my gorgeous 3-month old daughter Vanilla Bean. And no, those aren't the kids' real names either.
I'm a devout Christian, although I'm wary of the presumptions that often come by being labeled as such. My core beliefs are few but firm: I believe in the greatness of God and in the saving power of His Son Jesus Christ. I believe that man is by nature a sinner, and that only a sinless sacrifice could breach the gap between God and man. Jesus was that sacrifice. I believe in the sanctity of life. I believe that the best way to teach people about Jesus is to act like Him. Everything else is pretty much up for debate.
I like to consider myself a fairly open-minded person about most things. That often makes me feel wishy-washy in that I'm easily swayed in my opinions, but I'd much rather come across as wishy-washy than a belligerent know-it-all.
I love science and what it teaches us about the universe. Unlike many Christians in today's society, I'm not threatened by science as I believe it is continually revealing to us a Creator way more clever than we give Him credit for.
On the lighter side of things, I also love the Star Wars movies, sci-fi, electronic gadgets, and all other kinds of geeky things.
So this blog will be about whatever strikes my fancy. If you find the subjects interesting, please feel free to stay, post some comments, visit for a while.