Friday, September 30, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Our team at work has been hard at work this last week meeting a deadline related to our company's integration of an acquisition company (insert obligatory borg reference here). I don't recall the whole team ever working so well together. Is it the pressure of the deadline and potential failure? Is it the size and scope of what we're doing? Is it the personal buy-in on the project?
I'm not sure what gives this project such a different feel but I'm really enjoying being a part of the team and I want to keep this kind of momentum and excitement going. I'm honored to be a part of such a talented group of individuals.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Here's a neat site "What I should read next" [via lifehacker.com] If you enter in a book you've liked it will reocmmend others along the same lines. Registering with the site will let you keep track of all the books you've read to better fine tune your recommendations.
Jennifer has been wanting to find a way to help for some time now and as of yesterday, we're doing a little bit more to make the world a better place. We're now fostering an abandoned dog named Magelleon. Magelleon, like so many other good dogs in Springfield, was soon to be placed on doggie death row.
He's a sweet boy and quite smart. We're guessing he's a cross between a Heeler and a Boxer. Magelleon is really eager to please and I think he's going to enjoy his stay with Dobie and Haley until we can find him a permanent home to call his own.
I'll post pictures soon, and if anyone is looking for a good dog to call their own please consider Magelleon or any number of other good dogs at your local animal shelter.
Monday, September 26, 2005
General Tonic, of the Springfieldian, has started a discussion on the war in Iraq that I had to chime in on. So here's what I think of the whole thing, if you're not into politics please feel free to skip this:
Ok, here it is, straight from a "Bush Supporter." I believed the President when the sales pitch for going to war was the "WMD" line. I still believe the UN would have never put any teeth behind it's resolutions.
However it is obvious that the WMD pitch was misleading, whether the President was also mislead or did the misleading is another debate. Either way a good leader takes the blame when there's blame to be taken and I think the President should have simply come out and said something like "sorry, my bad, now here's what were going to do to fix it."
The reality of it is, we're now there, we've created a power vacuum, and we have to stabilize this area before we can leave.
American politics aside, both sides want the troops to come home (of course except for the extreme left and extreme right, which I'm discounting completely). Timing is the issue that is really up for debate.
If you believe the President intentionally misled the world (and I'm not arguing that he did or didn't) then so be it. But does that mean that a hasty withdrawal is the correct answer? Even if one hates this administration you have to see the tactical and strategic mistake that would be (in terms of the greater "war on terror" not the upcoming 2008 election). We can't simply apologize and start packing up the security forces. We have a responsibility to help restore order. I believe we can do just that. It worked in Germany and Japan, it can work in the Middle East. It seems those who are demanding an immediate pull-out of our troops are only seeking vengeance against the current administration, a political point to be counted in 2008. I don't see how it could possibly benefit the US or the world if we simply packed it up and went home.
And while I would love to see a "timetable" I believe that's also silly to presume that one is possible. What would one expect to see on this, realistically?
I believe comparing Iraq to Vietnam is actually appropriate in some ways. We did loose the battles for Vietnam, but we ended up winning the greater war that was the Cold War. Vietnam was a proxy war. The war was fought in Vietnam but was part of the larger conflict of Democracy against Communism. In this light I believe the comparison is valid. Iraq is also a proxy war. The battles are taking place in a Iraq but this is about the bigger war of American ideals and way of life against the "ideals" and way of life of Islamic extremism.
Here's hoping the Springfieldian will go back to some more light-hearted blogging.
[update: Go here to see the version of this rant print in the Springfield News-Leader.]
Friday, September 23, 2005
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Battlestar Galactica is the best show on TV right now. I just watched the Season 2 finale... wow... can't wait until the next one.
I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for fun and inexpensive day trips or weekend activities in Springfield. Post em if you got em.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Interesting search string that someone used to get to my site:
MSN: different types of funeral home commericals. If I could spell, they would have never gotten to see my site.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I scoped out some of my proposed bike route yesterday (part by vehicle on the way home from work) and found that google maps thinks some streets connect that actually do not. After dinner I went for a ride to see how it would go. I strapped my backpack on with all the stuff I normally carry in my briefcase and found that I would be a sweaty mess by the time I got to work and would definitely require a shower as part of that routine. There are locker rooms at my office, so it is an option.
I ran out of daylight and didn't make it anywhere near the whole route on bike, but I'll probably try it again this weekend.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Upon closer inspection, I can knock .2 of a mile off my previous mapping using this route.
I've got to at least give it a try (riding my bike to work). So I think I've mapped out a relatively safe route. My biggest challenges will be crossing Sunshine and Chestnut but I believe it can be done. I think I might try it out some evening coming up. Here's my proposed bike route [via the google map pedometer]so far:
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Welp, that's it. My fifteen minutes is up folks, it's been fun.
Sadly, I think I was accurately quoted...
"It makes me not want to consider it."
Is that really English?
Thursday, September 15, 2005
I just got interviewed by Wes Johnson of the Springfield News Leader. He's one of the reporters who has given up their cars for alternate forms of transportation. He was very friendly and we had a good conversation, I hope the story comes out well for them and I hope I don't sound like a blathering idiot. :)
Here's a funny little blogpost about Lackluster Sports Shirts. A father noticed his son wearing a football themed shirt that proclaimed "field goal!" This has inspired him to create other lackluster shirts such as "Bunt!" shirt or the "Par!" or my favorite "good pass!" shirt. Good stuff.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Here's an open suggestion to CU to improve the bus system. Add a "belt-line" route or series of routes to connect the outskirts of the city to interior pick-up points. Perhaps even some parking lots at major entry points to the city for the daily commuters. The map below is from the CU site, the green shaded area is a 1500-foot "covereage area" of the bus routes. By adding the belt-line routes (my shading in red) you can effectively connect lots more points in the city.
I just read a new News Leader blog the "Communting Challenge" [via the springfieldian]where some reporters are parking their cars an exploring mass transit, biking, and walking Springfield.
I'm seriously considering trying out the Springfield bus system... It'd be like living in a real city! Except with hillbillies on the bus instead of urbanites. :)
Update: The Springfield City Utilities Website (responsible for busses) doesn't work right in Firefox... grr... And the interactive bus route map requires a plug-in that only works in IE! Dang it!
Update 2: I just called CU to help try and plan out my route to work. I live in the Brentwood area and work at Chestnut and 65. I would need to catch a 6:30 bus going north on Glenstone and make 2 transfers(one at Cherry and Glenstone, and another at the North Town Mall), then depart the bus at Bellcrest and Chestnut and walk a third of a mile to get to work before 8:00. I asked if riding a bike to other bus stops would make it easier but he said this was the easiest way. I don't mind the walking, but two transers and an hour and a half to make a trip that normally takes me 15 mins makes it slightly hard to justify.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
I finished reading Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown. It was a good story with lots of neat little twists and puzzles. I enjoyed it very much and I'm looking forward to reading more of this author.
Other's have called this a prequel to Da Vinci Code but other than the main character being the same there is no continuity between the two books and in fact there are some contradictory elements between the two story-lines.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Congratulations! You've got an invitation!
Your request for an invitation was received and successfully processed... in short, you're IN! We look forward to seeing you and your guest on Thursday, September 15th at 9:30 PM. Doors will open 30 minutes before the show.
Concessions will be available, but in case our credit card machine isn't working yet, you might want to bring cash. Dan and Nicole will be available for autographs during intermission and after the movie.
I'm one of the lucky people who signed up early enough for the bloggers only screening at the Moxie.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Saturday, September 10, 2005
I finally found a link to the new arcade in downtown Springfield 1984. For 5 bucks you can play all night, or for 20 you can visit 10 times!
I mentioned our patio project back in March but left it at that. Here's some pics of the project, and the final results. Many thanks to Timmo for his assistance once again!
During (and a nice shot of the roots I had to dig out):
On your next ebay shopping spree stop by Fat Fingers and give it a whirl. It searches ebay for common misspellings based on your search criteria. So items you (and the other ebayers) can't find because the owner can't spell will be listed, and hopefully you can save some cash!
I call myself a religious pluralist. What the heck is it and where did I come up with it? Well, I took a class in college that really changed my religious philosophy (if I even had one at the time). One of the assigned texts was an essay by John Hick on Religious pluralism. A wiki search on the subject of pluralism is a good place to start. And I quote:
Religious pluralism is the belief that one can overcome religious differences between different religions, and denominational conflicts within the same religion. For most religious traditions, religious pluralism is essentially based on a non-literal view of one's religious traditions, hence allowing for respect to be engendered between different traditions on core principles rather than more marginal issues. It is perhaps summarized as an attitude which rejects focus on immaterial differences, and instead gives respect to those beliefs held in common.
The existence of religious pluralism depends on the existence of freedom of religion.
My out-look on God is: there is something greater than ourselves. But any experiencing of that which is greater than ourselves is bound by the framework and tools by which one can describe. For example If you have an iconic/symbolic language, you'll probably develop texts and ideas that fit within an iconic or symbolic framework. The key is to understand that everyone is bound by such limitations of our own minds and to understand that what you might experience as the Divine might be perceived differently by someone else with a different framework for understanding. Knowing this in combination with some historical context on the development of modern religions including cultural and political influences leads to the idea of pluralism: that no one religion is superior to another, that they are all flawed in some ways, but the ultimate goal is the same.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Check out the Eighth Wonder of the World aka the FNG at work. Yes he's old enough to drive!
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
I finished reading the Da Vinci code a few days ago. It was a great read, very entertaining in a "hmmm" sort of way. I would recommend it especially if you're interested in religion, though you have to becareful what "facts" you would like to believe as valid. It's interesting how much of an uproar the book has caused considering you find it in the ficiton section. I've already started reading the "prequel" to it, Angels and Demons. Thanks to Matt for letting me borrow it!
I love my truck but driving it around is getting to be expensive. I've managed to get an average of under 14 MPG since owning it (I'll post the full data set soon). The tree-huggers out there might even wonder why a 26 year old, white-collar, yuppie (for the lack of a better word) would need a truck. Well, luckily it's a free country and I don't have to answer to them! Ha!
But seriously, the truck does come in handy for transporting lawn equipment to our rental property (where I maintain the yard as part of the leases) or for any numerous projects around our own house (it's difficult to haul a cubic yard of mulch in a ZX2, which I previously owned).
The current generation of Fords have seen great improvement in interior quality. This probably started with the first generation Focus and has continued through the F-150, the Freesytle, the Five Hundred, and now the new Mustang. I love the FX4 package on the F-150--very sporty and slightly luxurious, for a truck. I have to admit I decided to get one after riding in a Lariat edition owned by a co-worker. My wife was happy I did!
There are going to be zealots who say "my [insert zealot's favored make] can blah blah blah your Ford" or "you know what FORD stands for doncha'? Found on road dead [ba dum dum]!"
To those people I say, "you're a moron." Not because I think you're wrong or that I believe mine is better than yours but because they're all just as good. Now-a-days you lemons are few and far between, just find what you like and knock yourself out (unless you're one of those who found the Pontiac Aztec appealing). I say that also because I'm a fan of vehicles in general and I like them all (except the Aztec). It just so happens that the parameters I set forth for owning a vehicle dealt out a Ford F-150, instead of a X or Y.
At just under a year of owning the truck I'm glad I bought it. It's so much nicer than having to borrow a truck and even plan around borrowing a truck. As trucks go, and I've ridden around in some quite a bit, the fit and finish and overall quality is great. It's the quietest truck I've ridden in with almost no wind or road noise. The V8 can get humming but the exhaust note isn't redneck obnoxious. The closest I have come to testing the power would have been when I towed a trailer with a cubic yard of rock and the bed full of sand for our patio project. I definitely could tell there was a load, mostly when I was trying to stop.
My only complaint for the 2004 F-150 is the lack of interior storage. When I have a truck full there's no place to store my laptop case. The understeat storage in the supercab is full already with ratchet straps, jumper cables, tow strap, and a toolkit and the seat doesn't move forward for storage behind the seat. For that reason I'll probably be investing in a tool box for the bed. Not that I have a ton of tools to haul around, but it would just make it more practical.
I think I've watched too much TV, becuase I don't like seeing "regular" people in commericals.
The commerical I'm speaking about is the State Farm commericial that starts off with the awkward teen boy staring blankly into the TV and goes on to show a myriad of other goofy looking people (the father, the sister, the twin boys giving two thumbs up while holding basketballs). The point of the commerical is to explain to the viewer that getting good grades gets you a discount on car insurance, but every time the commerical starts and I see that goofy stare... well, I think, I need to blog about this!
And now that I have, I feel better. :)