Monday, February 28, 2005

It's the end of the world as we know it ...

and I feel fine.

Just thought I would give a quick update on our leaving California plans. We still have a lot of paperwork going on here, but for the first time I'm really starting to feel like we're leaving. It's just been sort of surreal the last few weeks. We knew it was coming, but nothing was really changing. Sure, we sold our house, but we still live in it. That sort of thing. Now it's starting to hit me, as I realize I'm doing things for "the last time". My old roommate and his wife threw us a great going-away party on Saturday. A ton of people were there, even including an old college buddy of mine coming up from the Bay area and a couple of good friends of ours coming down from Portland. Had a lot of fun, and the party was long enough that I felt like a got a chance to talk to most everyone there individually. Then, on Sunday, I did announcements at the Gathering (our young adult church service) and did a little going away speech. Right before, as I was thinking about how much the Gathering has meant to me over the past 5+ years, and what I was going to say, I started to get a little teary-eyed, which was something of a surprise, as I am not much of a crier. However, I managed to pull it together and say most of the stuff I wanted to say, although once I had the microphone I got excited and skipped around and forgot a lot of what I wanted to hit. Oh, well, I think it still went well.

Anyway, I'm starting to get eager to just have the move over with and to get settled in our new life and see what God has for us in Texas.

Audience

I just want to note that when I post talking about seeing a big turd in a grocery store, or asking people if they would cut off a toe for ten million dollars, I get tons of comments. However, when I post thoughtful and insightful (well, something like that) commentary and analysis on trends in American culture or politics or ethically challenging scientific advancements, etc., I average about one comment for those posts (one comment that isn't me commenting on my own post, anyway). Hmmm.....what does that say?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

U.S. teens involved in their faiths but have major gaps in religious knowledge, survey says

AP Wire | 02/23/2005 | U.S. teens involved in their faiths but have major gaps in religious knowledge, survey says: "Though the phone survey depicted broad affinity with religion, the face-to-face interviews found that many teens' religious knowledge was 'meager, nebulous and often fallacious' and engagement with the substance of their traditions remarkably shallow. Most seemed hard put to express coherently their beliefs and what difference they make."

I wish I could call this a surprise, but it's not. I actually think this reflects two trends in American life. One, the general dumbing down of our culture, such that few people can articulate the prinicples behind anything that they believe in, religious or otherwise. Two, that Americans are having so-called "tolerance" pushed down their throats so much that people, instead of tolerating (in its literal meaning) different beliefs are actually being encouraged to assimilate and approve different beliefs. This leads to fewer and fewer people being able to ascertain the differences between belief systems, which in effect renders those systems meaningless.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Public Service Announcement

Caffeine = BAD. I've been trying to cut it out because of my aforementioned bouts with high blood pressure. Does that make me sound like a 65 year old man, or what? Regardless, I've been trying to cut down on it, for the most part successfully. Hence, when I do have it, it really affects me. I had some last week fairly late in the day, and then I had trouble sleeping that night. Thinking this was due only to the late hour, I again had caffeine on Monday. We went out to eat at this incredible restaurant called Chicago Fire Pizza in Folsom. If you live in Sac and you haven't eaten there yet, you need to. Anyway, I got a soda there and had it refilled about 10 times. We actually ate pretty early, 5:30 (actually that is VERY early for us), so I thought I would burn off the caffeine before bedtime. NOPE. It was 4 AM before I even started feeling sleepy. I guess once you try to cut down on caffeine, you just about have to eliminate it. So, now I'm back to nursing a 2 liter of caffeine free diet pepsi at work.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Seattle Paper Tells Court It Faces Collapse

Seattle Paper Tells Court It Faces Collapse: "He called it 'disingenuous' to suggest 'that the P-I could somehow survive this. It is not financially viable. It will not exist.'"

This link details how one of Seattle's two newspapers will fail if the other paper gets out of their joint operating agreement. Now, if this is a breach of contract case, I'm all for it. Present the evidence in court and see who is in the right. However, it seems that the chief argument centers more on the fact that the one paper will fail without the agreement than on anything else. I'm pretty sure it isn't the government's job to ensure that a particular newspaper continues to exist. "It is not financially viable" - isn't that code for, "we don't offer a product good enough for people to want to buy"?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The only certainties are .... taxes?

Philadelphia Inquirer | 02/14/2005 | He stays fit to see humans live forever

This guy is doing everything he can to extend his life out to the point where man's medical innovations (gene therapy, using nanorobots to repair damaged cells, etc.) can actually enable him to live forever.

1) Do you agree this will be possible?
1b) in our lifetime?

2) Is that really something to look forward to?


*************** Update 2/18 ***************

A different link to the same original story above, which apparently is now requiring registration to view.

Also, a more in-depth article on a different guy who believes humans will soon be able to live forever.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Why or why not?

Would you cut off a toe for 10 million dollars?
Current results

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

We don't have to show our house anymore!!!!!!

We accepted a bid on our house! SO NICE! I worked on our taxes last night (I think I'm pretty much done - how impressive is that?) and I didn't have to clean everything up when I was done. So much more relaxing. I still have an irrational fear that people will call up and need to come over to the house for some reason, though. Kind of like how people still have that dream about being late for an exam even after they finish school.

Monday, February 07, 2005

What were they thinking?

We made a quick pit stop into Trader Joe's to pick up a couple of things before the Super Bowl. I had dropped off my wife and parked the car, so I hurried down one aisle to catch up with her, where she quickly alerted me to the presence of something on the floor, just before my nose did. That's right, there was a big turd on the floor!!! I have no idea whether this was from somebody's dog or kid or what (although it looked human to me), but after their dog/kid takes a crap on the floor in a grocery store, who JUST LEAVES IT THERE???? "Oh, surely the other shoppers won't mind that my dog/kid crapped right next to the vegetables. It really adds to the ambiance and aroma of the store." I mean, it REALLY smelled. And someone had accidentally stepped in it and tracked it partway down the aisle. By the time we quickly got out of that aisle, someone had covered the offending item with a napkin, which didn't really help matters too much. Hopefully they cleaned that up quickly. That has to constitute pretty much my worst grocery experience ever.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Update: I'M STRESSED

Just thought I would catch people up on what's going on in my life:

1) We have an offer in on the house, and we're countering on just a few last details. Let's pray that this works out, because we both are sick and tired of showing the house. It gets really wearing to just never be able to relax in your own home because you have to keep it clean at all times. To not be able to just sleep in as late as you want Saturday morning because you have to be up and dressed and have done all the little things to make the house look good by the time people start coming (9:30). To be settling in to a relaxing dinner and have people call to see if they can come over at 6:30 PM, or 7, or 8. We've had it all. And yes we could say no, but we really want to move the house, so we've accommodated them all. And I'm sure my wife is even more annoyed because she has a different schedule as a nurse, so she's constantly had to deal with interruptions on her days off. It even makes it hard to so some chores like the laundry. And it's hard to go to the gym, because you aren't sure if you can fit in a shower. And the gym would be really helpful to deal with some of this stress...

2) This is actually a stressful time at work for me regardless of the move. I have a fast-approaching deadline for a project that I've owned for some time, and I really need to get it done. Unfortunately, we put this on hiatus for 2+ years, so as I return to coding it, unexpected issues keep arising. This is quite stressful all by itself. Fortunately I do have some great help from coworkers.

3) THERE ARE SO MANY FREAKING DETAILS TO THIS FREAKING MOVE! AND THE BUREAUCRACY!!!!!!! I HAD TO DEAL WITH 6 (LITERALLY!) DIFFERENT PEOPLE TO GET MY MOVE DATE SET UP!!!! I'm incredibly grateful that the relo will be paid for, but that just seemed like it was ridiculously hard. My lender sent me two bad fax numbers before I could finally communicate with them on the third try. I'm estimating that I handle about 30 house related communications a day right now, either by phone, fax, or e-mail. Buying a house in a remote state is a lot more difficult than buying one where you already live. Just FYI. I could go on and on, but I don't wish to depress myself.

4) My blood pressure was so high on Wednesday that I was rejected from donating blood. The limit is 180/100. Guess which number I failed on? I will say that part of that was probably due not only to all this stress but also to the fact that I got a little freaked out about donating the blood. Just before they took my bp, they plopped me down right next to another guy who was already giving blood. I had no idea how much blood they actually took out! That is a LOT!

5) I'm not sleeping well. This is not only because of the people coming to see the house, but also because I have so much on my mind that I have trouble falling asleep and that I will spontaneously wake up at night with my mind racing on some problem. The good news is that I greatly simplified a very difficult piece of code for work this way. I guess there must be some truth to your subconscious mind working on a problem while you are asleep. Still, it isn't restful.

6) Well, that felt good to type that all out. If you read this far, that's pretty impressive.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Can you spell I-R-O-N-Y?

Michael Moore is apparently peeved at Mel Gibson, and thus took a swipe at the passion of the Christ.

Moore added he was disturbed at: "How easily the vulnerable can be manipulated, twisted by images on the screen."
IOL: Moore digs at Gibson


Oh, really, Michael? I would think Mr. Glass House would not want to be throwing stones accusing anyone else of manipulating people via images on the screen.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Universal Health Care

I'm soliciting feedback on a discussion I'm having with a friend at work. We are on opposite sides of the universal healthcare debate (he is for, I am against). One question he has raised is why we think it is important that the government provide a laywer to a criminal, but would not grant a doctor to the common man. Obviously our constitution provides for the former and not the latter, but why do you think that is?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The magic is gone!

The Kings lost a pathetic scrub game where they didn't have Peja or C-Webb playing and the Sonics didn't have Ray Allen. This is the first game where I ever actually needed a program to tell who was playing. Anyway, my home win streak is over. Theories abound here at the office, with the top one being that marriage has ended my powers. However, the A's managed to win the game we went to last season, which was after I got married as well... My theory is maybe the streak really only applies to baseball, and I just hadn't been to enough King's games to really test things there yet. Argh, baseball. The most boring sport on the planet.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I HAVE A FREE KINGS TICKET TONIGHT!!!!!

It's the Kings-Sonics tonight, which should be good. This will be nice to get in another King's game before we move. Of course, I will be putting my vaunted home team winning streak on the line once again. I am confident that my powerful mojo will result in yet another King's win.