Sunday, November 27, 2005

la times

i admit, i get a lot of my news online, especially nonlocal news. i find the la times' web page to be a pretty good news source. i also really enjoy their different sections. today, i found 3 opinion articles that were pretty interesting.

two were debating the value of hip hop, particulary social conscious hip hop and it's ability or inability to instill change.

the other was about darwin in patagonia.

here's a quote from the latter, "Poor old Darwin. Like an incorrigible drunk, he always seems to be in the dock. First it was the Oxford debates in 1860, then the Scopes monkey trial in Tennessee in 1925, and now Dover, Pa. He is forever being dragged before some school board or another (in November, Kansas became the fifth state to allow discussion of Intelligent Design as an alternative to Darwinism). To a sizable percentage of America, the mild-mannered beetle-collector from Shropshire is no more than a bearded blasphemer."

now, these are all opinion pieces, are slanted, and are not trying to be factual journalism. i found them well written, especially since they all seemed to have word count limits.

there was also an interesting read about a woman who is basically the queen of online gambling & porn.

the la times has such a good online presence, it makes me wonder why my local paper has such a terrible one? is it really that difficult to have a well laid out, easily navigated, web page?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

buy nothing on friday!

friday is buy nothing day.

for a comprehensive history, check out this webpage

happy thanksgiving

much love out to all of you. happy thanksgiving, i hope you enjoy your time.

today has started pretty cool. our church teamed up with another church to serve meals to our community this morning. the motto, 'serve a meal before you enjoy a meal'. it's also nice because it's helping with the important goal of reconciliation. for those that don't know, we share a parking lot with a church called true light community church. they are predominantly a black church. we are predominantly a white church. our pastors have gotten to know each other, and we've been looking for ways to work together, share in ministry. they invited us to join them in this event, and we jumped @ the opportunity. so, we rolled up there @ 8, and got down to work. it was fun hanging out, talking, getting to know our neighbors.

hopefully, family stuff will be fun later today.

in other news, the XBox 360 is out. I don't have Xbox 360. I won't buy Xbox 360. Fortunately, Playstation 3 comes out in May or March, right around the time i should graduate from seminary. timing, baby, timing.

finally, if you haven't seen Walk the Line, go see. freekin great. i've seen it twice. it's got all the oscar buzz, and it's as deserving as Ray was last year. unfortunately, this will probably mean that don cheadle will get screwed again. last year was for hotel rwanda, this year will be for crash. really, hotel rwanda was 100 times better than ray. and, although i think fox did a good job, cheadle was super convincing. he looses himself in the character like few do. seriously, i was convinced that was his normal accent, and you could tell he felt the pain of telling that story. although crash is fictional, it's just as good, and cheadle again showed his great acting chops. and it's another movie featuring him that made me cry.

enough for now, peace out, enjoy your bird.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

XBox 360

in a sneaky attempt to screw with people, I've put the phrase XBox 360 in here, now twice. i'm seeing if a bunch of people will hit it via search engines. this could theoretically cause all people i know to get more hits. ok, really, putting XBox 360 will probably get me nothing, except for one second hits.

btw, Playstation 3 will be better. and that's why i'll get it.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

thanksgiving ignored

adam or tim, or maybe both was recently lamenting the loss of thanksgiving. it used to be that xmas would start after thanksgiving. now, even in our neighborhood, xmas decoration and ads pretty muched jumped right after halloween. it does suck. thanksgiving is a nice holiday, and is something that we should take time out of our lives. i mean, it's not like they're emphasizing the religious aspect of xmas. it's all about buying crap. spend spend spend because it's christmas or holidays or something. and so as soon as possible, get that idea in people's minds.

so, i'm trying to enjoy this thanksgiving as much as i can. went to my first family one today. had a good enough time. it's making me look forward to the ones to come. i've got at least one more.

but, this also reminds me of my own recent traditions. for the past few years, we've gotten together as friends, and done our own thanksgiving on some alternate day. unfortunately, our friends keep moving away. jerks. so, we haven't got anything planned and it's coming up. new traditions dying!

this has also got me thinking about xmas. the decorations, gifts, distractions. these last few years, we haven't done gifts. last year, we encouraged people to spend the money that they would spend on us by giving it to a charity. don't know how well that worked. it was a good gesture on our part, as our lives are filled with junk and more junk is far from what we need. i don't know about this year. it's hard to kick against the goads (what's a goad, i'm too lazy to look right now).

welcome back mr car-ter

i'm back from indianapolis. really nice downtown, that city was cold as, well, um it was cold. nights in the upper teens and lower twenties last week. highs in the thirties. that's a lot different than the seventy that it was in fresno on the day i left.

i was @ the national convention for c.c.d.a. the devotionals were done by john perkins. he's a good speaker, and his devotionals were very inspirational. the plenary sessions were mostly enjoyable, and i think i took some decent notes to reflect on.

then we get to the seminar sessions. there were a ton, and most had pretty interesting write ups in the conference guide. and, the ones that i chose to attend had good hand outs. unfortunately, the speakers didn't always deliver. at least i have their notes.

overall, i had a good time in indi. unfortunately, my visit didn't bring the bad karma to the town that i needed, and tweety and the colts managed to pull out another victory this weekend.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

faithful readers

i'll be away from the computer from wednesday @ 1:30pm to saturday evening. i'll be able to check emails, but most likely won't be able to update the blog between those times. but you never know, so obsessively check back to make sure.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


ah, the championship match of a sport few care about.

i enjoyed watching a good match. the galaxy had pretty good offense all day, plenty of opportunities. solid through the midfield, never really allowed new england to get much going on offense. and, in overtime, got the winning goal. good stuff.

congratulations to the los angeles galaxy, mls champions for 2005.

thanks to abc for showing all of 2 mls games this season (all star + champs). okay, there are games on cable and like i said before, few care enough about soccer here to watch it. actually, i was happy with the announcing crew. they called it like they were talking to a crowd that knows the game. no long, stupid explainations of rules, didn't spend the whole match just gushing over the stars, etc. just commenting on the match.

so, i got to sport the jersey, watch the game, and enjoy my afternoon.

policy of torture

ummm, why isn't more being made of this? the senate overwhelmingly passed a bill that limits the torture that the u.s. military is allowed to use while interogating. but, vice evil cheney is going around lobbying against it. wha?

and this is the party that is allegedly moral?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

toothpaste for dinner

these comics are freakin hilarious to me. i highly recommend you go to his website daily and read toothpaste for dinner

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

*&$^#&*$!!!!!! (wave arm angrily)

as some of you know, i sold my car. this means to get places i either:
1. coordinate w/heather for the car
2. ride bike
3. ride bus
4. walk

some would say the timing of car sale was bad because of oncoming winter & spring. well, cold doesn't bother me much. shoot, i won't sweat as much. maybe. rain, that may be a problem.

so, i was riding the approxiamate 4 miles to school. cruising along. (sidenote: oh yeah, there was a chance of rain today. hadn't rained yet, that is, until i got my bike out of the garage and was putting a little air in the front tire. then it starts sprinkling. it did so about half my ride. not hard, just enough to make me put on my windbreaker to deflect it and keep my backpack dry. this, of course also maybe me hot and sweaty. since it was a bit cloudy and sprinkling i figured i'd turn on my headlight (visibility + i figure w/ca.'s law about having to have lights on in your car if it's raining). now back to the story.) i was cruising through downtown, on a 2way street. it's in business district, so speed limit is 30. the street i was on, has traffic flow broken up frequently by stop signs. basically, stop sign, street without one, stop sign. well, i was coming up to street without stop sign, not going very fast (21 of 24 speeds = big front crank and mid of back is lots of peddling for little speed) and was looking at this oncoming car that had just left street with stop sign. this person is not going very fast. they are making left hand turn. this is a problem, as i am going straight. i know they see me because they start turn, hesitate & correct, then proceed with turn. the other thing i try and do when riding is make eye contact with person who i am approaching and do that as much as i can until i pass them so that i'm sure they see me. so, i'm looking dead into their car, it's difficult for me to imagine that they don't see 250lb, 6 foot guy on bike coming right at them. uh oh. uh oh. uh oh! here's how those uh oh's break down. uh oh 1 = realize car is turning, stop peddling. uh oh two = apply breaks and try to get a foot on ground to further break. uh oh 3 = realize breaks are applied and tires are simply skidding along pavement because it's wet from rain.

fortunately, i didn't crash into this car. although mr. or mrs. dumas (that's french) was turning slowly they managed to get out of my lane just fast enough. i managed to get my foot on the ground to slow and stop myself before smacking their rear door or quarter panel. did person stop, wave, anything? nope, but i know they realized they were wrong because i could see it in their eyes as. yep, passenger mirror (very brief), rearview (longer eye contact), driver mirror (looking back but trying to look away). i also know that they know i was there because i was yelling pretty loudly. unfortunately, my mom would not be proud of one of the three words that came out of my mouth. my wife may not have liked the wildly flaily arm (but no fingers folks!). i didn't like almost dumping myself onto some fools car.

so, the hair on my legs was standing straight up like a cat's back for the next 1/2 mile. the rest of the ride was uneventful, the sprinkle let up, and i was able to ventilate slightly by opening up my windbreaker.

and, typing this out has almost allowed me to stop sweating completely. good times. now i've got a bike ride home to look forward to later.


not a good spot to be in

about a month left in the semester
one more semester to go after this one

little desire to do any work

got to push through this malaise
got to write 2 big papers (and quick)

fun fun fun

on another note, heather got me a canvas for my birthday. it's not just any canvas. it's huge. i'm talking 60"x36". 5'x3'!. it's a bit intimidating. i've wanted to move to bigger canvas, but i was thinking the next step is 3'x3', maybe 3'x4'. even 4'x4', although i know that's actually more sq ft that 5x3, but the shape is different. so, i get to stare at, walk by, and dream about this next chapter of my life as i work on a huge project. this has got me excited, and i'm definately not in a malaise about painting right now. unfortunately, paintings aren't assignments that seminary accepts. and, i'm not working towards a m.f.a. but a m.a. in o.t. d'oh.

Friday, November 04, 2005

always low prices or buyer beware

i'm not a fan. tim thinks they are an evil company. they are a fact of life, especially in certain regions of the country. they are walmart. (i must now rinse my keyboard for typing that) apparently, they sponsored a truly independant study & conference about themselves. they stepped completely out of the way, and whatever results came about, they acknowledged. here are some choice quotes revealed in these 10 independant studies: (The 10 papers are to be presented by economists, urban planners and other experts.)

"One study concluded that Wal-Mart's giant grocery and general merchandise Supercenters brought little net gain for local communities in property taxes, sales taxes and employment; instead, the stores merely siphoned sales from existing businesses in the area."

"Michael Hicks of the Air Force Institute of Technology and Marshall University found that each employee of Wal-Mart caused "the average state to expend just under $900 a year in Medicaid benefits."

"A study of the San Francisco Bay Area also presents a mixed picture. UCLA researcher Randall Crane and his coauthors found that once Wal-Mart established itself as the region's leading grocer — the company is already the national leader — it would probably depress grocery store employees' wages by hundreds of millions of dollars. But, they found, the company also would save shoppers hundreds of millions of dollars by offering cheaper food."

Thursday, November 03, 2005