Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Find out who your friends are

Move you residence to a different city and you quickly find out three things:

1. Those who couldn't give a shit.
2. Those who give a shit, but couldn't possibly inconvenience themselves to give moral or labor support when you are in need.
3. Those who recognize what the situation is and help or support you. (thank you to those who acted like friends!)

I'm not talking about anything unreasonable...like trying to get people to do work for you when nothing was offered, or in any way that takes advantage of them. Perhaps that is the downfall of "Minnesota Nice" or "Wisconsin ...er... whatever"...that it is the offer that counts...not the follow-through.

Just talking about specific offers for help, or those who already responded to a call for help, or just friendships whom you'd like to spend time with in the few chances you have left before it gets really difficult to travel and hang out.

But...can things be that reasonable? Definitely not, apparently. I've had people who offered their help postpone the help they offered, so I postponed doing the work until I had the help I need, and later they just flat out cancel because it is too cold. Hello! It's friggin' January in Minnesota...think for the minute.

I'm only here for 6 days...and people are wasting my days, projects are getting pushed back...which means that we can't list our home for sale. And even with hanging out in the evening when there are no projects that can be done without waking the neighbors...no...'friends' can't even barely spare an hour in a week's time.

I am a fool, as clearly I've been played.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Nintendo Focuses on Entertaining, not Complicating

Nintendo has a good mission in entertainment. They want to create an extremely simple to use product that provides a good, fun, and diverting time for the user. Their gaming strategy doesn't generally create a paradigm when you have to spend hours at a time in tedious gameplay...as many PS2/3 and Xbox/360 games tend to focus on.

And this very simple and no-nonsense approach is working for them, as evidenced in their sales:
Nintendo to ship 6 million Wii by March. 35 million DS sold. 1.5 million Virtual Console games sold
(supadupagama, videogamesblogger.com, Jan 25, 2007)

In my opinion they are the best entertainment system for video games on the market. Check out Nintendo's site for the Wii and DS to see their products.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"Whether They Know it or Not, Everybody is at Heart an Open Theist" - Greg Boyd

This is from Greg Boyd's blog on January 15, 2007
------

Whether They Know it or Not, Everybody is at Heart an Open Theist
(or, How to Drive a Calvinist crazy!)


Hello faithful bloggers. Hope your 2007 is going well so far.

Here's something to ponder: Whatever a person may theoretically believe, they act like the future is partly open. It's not their fault. For, as a matter of fact, there's no other way to act.

Think about it. Every time we deliberate between options on the way toward making a decision, we assume (and we have to assume) that a) the future consists of possibilities and b) that it is up to us to resolve these possibilities into one actuality (that is, our concrete decision). It's utterly impossible to deliberate in a way that manifests a different set of beliefs.

Go ahead and try it. Right now, think about a matter you need to resolve. Consider your possibilities and weigh your options. Now, try to do this without presupposing that these possibilities are genuinely real and genuinely up to you to resolve. You may consciously believe that the fact of what you're going to decide has been "out there" for an eternity in the mind of God, but you can't act on this belief as you deliberate. In fact, you act against this belief in your very act of deliberation.

What makes this interesting is that it's something of a truism that we reflect our true convictions more by how we act than by what we say or even think (for our conscious minds are frequently deceived). If I truly believe my car is rigged to explode when I started it, for example, and if I truly believe life is worth living, then I will not get into my car and start it. If I profess these two beliefs and yet get into my car and start it up, you'll know that I'm either insincere or self-deceived in professing one or both of these beliefs. Again, the truth of a conviction is rooted in how we act, not in what we say or think.

If this is so, does it not follow that everybody – including those who adamantly deny it – really believes the future is partly open? Just watch them deliberate. It's obvious.

So, go ahead and deliberate about what you should believe about the nature of the future. Is it open or exhaustively settled? Weigh all the philosophical options carefully. But realize that in the very act of deliberating about what you should believe, you're already manifesting what you already believe.

At heart, you, like the rest of us, are an open theist!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Ice, illness, and snow on the way

I wents to the Family Fitness Center for the first time last night to work out. It was a really nice and spacious facility with good equipment. Ran about 2 miles total. I'm sure that Jason will be thrilled to hear that. :-)

So Jeremy and I drive back to a friends house that we have been staying at, and swing by his house first. Lo and behold...POWER is back! We decide to put frozen things back in the freezers and heat the home up...but stay at our friend's home, since all our stuff is there.

Well...after being there for a while I started feeling pretty awful. I recalll hearing about a sickness going around his house that started with his children. If I may use this saying again, lo and behold, I have a freaky stomach ailment that gives you stomach and intestinal aching, body aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. Yummy. Oh, man am I sick! I run to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so, and have been unable to sleep for very long at a time.

I hope that a lot of ice melts today prior to the snowstorm tomorrow. And I hope my stomach and bowels settle down so that I can get some proper rest. Like everything else...I guess I'll take it one day at a time.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Holy Ice Storm, Batman!

I drove the rest of the way to Springfield this morning. Along the way there were cool forests of tree covered with a thin layer of ice...which glimmered in the sunlight like there was a huge crystaline forest that existed there.

Well, as I approached Springfield...that thin layer of ice became nearly 1/2 inch of ice on everything. Trees were pulled down, branches broken, and even trunks snapped under the weight of the ice on the tree. It was pretty incredible to see all the trees everywhere in such a state. I don't think that I've ever seen such a bad ice storm before. LeAnne and Jeremy were still without power at their home, though some friends of theirs 3 blocks away did have power.

All my stuff is moved into their house...though I'm at a hotel tonight in Branson, MO. There were tons of utilities trucks driving into Springfield as I drove in. Hopefully tomorrow things will be better. There are still over 25,000 without power as of tonight from what I hear on the news.

Here are some of my photos from the drive between Kansas City and Springfield, and of the fallen trees at my brother and sister-in-law's:
http://picasaweb.google.com/unconfused/SpringfieldIceStorm

Monday, January 15, 2007

Nearly to Springfield

I'm nearly in Springfield. I'm at my parent's home in Kansas City right now hanging out with my father. We had a nice time together, checked out some photos of a recent trip of theirs to San Diego, and got some food and a couple Smithwicks at an Irish pub near their house.

So...this weekend is when I was supposed to move to Springfield. I'm staying with my sister-in-law until our house sells and my family is able to move to Springfield. By the way...for everyone that will ask if I'm going to pay two mortgage payments...are you insane? This is also the weekend of one of Springfield's biggest ice storms ever. So, like 65,000 people [homes] are without power in Springfield right at this moment. Stores are doing things that should be illegal...like raising the price of generators from $400 to over $1000.

I'll be heading down tomorrow. I'm hoping that by that evening that there is power at my sister-in-law's. But if not...I'm taking this one step at a time!

[as an additional note...there are still 25,000 homes without power as of 1/17...though that is a huge improvement from Sunday!]

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Apple's iPhone

Everyone needs to check out this phone. It makes the Microsoft "Smartphone" into the idiotphone. Apple's iPhone does everything from being a portable media player, to being a portable web/e-mail device, to being the most kick-butt cell phone that anyone could imagine....all with tremendous ease of use.

This phone does movies, music, the web, e-mail, contact management, SMS messaging, voicemail, conference calling, photos, maps, weather, instant messages, stocks, takes pictures, calendaring, etc.

It is everything that the average smartphone has been trying to do for years, and failing (or doing a clumsy job of it). And the price point is right at were the new smartphones are priced as well.

Apple iPhone

Sunday, January 07, 2007

MacOS X outshines Windows Vista

I'm a Mac geek...really a can't resist sharing this article.

Review: Mac OS X Shines In Comparison With Windows Vista
(John C. Welch, InformationWeek, Jan 6, 2007)

Excerpt:
I could keep bringing up examples, but I think you get the idea. At the UI level, the human level, Vista is different far more often than it is better. Even so, I think it must be said that Vista is indeed an improvement on Windows XP. Honestly, I think that's the only metric that really counts when you think about it: Is Vista better enough than XP to be worth the upgrade? I'll say yes. This may be more of a comment on how bad XP really is more than how good Vista is.

However, is it significantly, or even slightly better than Mac OS X? Maybe in a couple of low-level ways, like the randomizing memory address usage function, or being able to use USB memory sticks as additional RAM, but at the human level? Not even close.

I've yet to see anything in Vista that blows away the Mac OS, even a version of the Mac OS that's over a year old. Microsoft still can't manage to make something simple and easy to use. Vista reeks of committee and design by massive consensus, while OS X shines from an intense focus on doing things in a simple, clear fashion and design for the user, not the programmer.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Now!

A flashback to my post on New Years' Day. Greg Boyd seems to agree...

Now! 1-2-07
(Greg Boyd, Christus Victor Ministries, Jan 2, 2007)

Robertson claim U.S. attack in later 2007

Alrighty fellow believers. This is time to hold Pat Robertson accountable. Did God tell Robertson about an attack plan in progress for 2007? I certainly can't say. But what is clear is the necessity to watch, be vigilant, and hold Robertson accountable for what he says. Its not like Pat doesn't make claims about future events every single week, but this is something that people can verify...and hold him accountable for his words.

Pat Robertson: God told me of 'mass killing' in 2007
(Associated Press, CNN.com, January 2, 2007)

Evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson said Tuesday that God has told him that a terrorist attack on the United States would cause a "mass killing" late in 2007.

"I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he said during his news-and-talk television show "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcasting Network.

"The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

Robertson said God told him about the impending tragedy during a recent prayer retreat.

God also said, he claims, that major cities and possibly millions of people will be affected by the attack, which should take place sometime after September.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

It is curious how our society is so fixated on our Hellenistic view of time, and how it adds so much significance to an arbitrary moment. Even more curious is how people take that arbitrary moment and attach reckless abandon to it. I have no problem with a holiday and a celebration...or remembrance of what has occurred even in an system of documenting moments, mind you.

So...looking back, here are some interesting tidbits of this year:

The Bill of Wrongs: The 10 most outrageous civic liberties violations of 2006
(Dahlia Lithwick, Slate, Dec. 30, 2006)

U.S. to declassify secrets aged 25 and older
(Scott Shane, International Herald Tribune, December 21, 2006)

Missouri: Police Roadblock Harassment Caught on Tape
(theNewspaper.com, Dec. 30, 2006)