Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Blog

I realize that the last thing I need is yet-another blog to read every day, but this guy is really good. Check out his thoughts on creationism and the flood for two examples.

Quote of the Day (and Week, Month, Year, and Maybe Century)

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Wow. Someone Needs a Hobby

This is incredible. The commentary asks, "Does anyone know at what point does passion and patience becomes Asperger's?" I'd say this definitely falls over the line into at least mild Asperger's.

Let me guess; these guys are single.

Cindy Sheehan Figures it Out

I don't agree with her politics or her methods. But more importantly, I didn't like the Democratic Party using her as a tool to beat Republicans over the head. It seems she finally figured out the truth of the American political system: there isn't two cent's difference between a Democrat and a Republican. Both are nothing more than loose aggregations of moral defectives.

Key quote:
The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing... Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives.
I know how I felt when it became public knowledge that the political party I supported (Libertarian) was riddled top-to-bottom with the same sort of cronyism and under-the-table deals that define the other two political parties. I understand that power corrupts, but you have to be completely devoid of moral character to be corrupted by the insignificant power held by a third party that struggles to capture 2% of the vote. But in the end, all I lost was maybe a couple acquaintances, about a year's-worth of time and a few thousands of dollars. Ms. Sheehan lost her son to the moral bankruptcy of the Republicans, then lost her marriage and health to the moral bankruptcy of the Democrats. I can't even imagine what that feels like.

Homework assignment: read the Declaration of Independence. Make a list of the reasons given in that document for our separation from The Crown that mirror current headlines. Write a 500-word essay justifying your continued support for our current political system. (Hint: if your justification can be summarized as "it's the only system we have," please write "I will read with comprehension." 100 times on the board, then go back and re-read the Declaration.)

The storm clouds continue to gather. Get small. Get fast. "When people are saying, 'Everything is peaceful and secure,' then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape." (1 Thessalonians 5:3, NLT)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Politics or Orphans?

Ken Ham just opened The Creationist Museum. This is not science. This is not even theology. (OK, maybe it's poor theology....) This is politics to the tune of $27 million. Now imagine a $27 million donation to these guys.

I don't see any verses in the Bible instructing believers to build faux natural history museums. I have read a great deal about believers' responsibility to widows, orphans, etc. I must have one of those ultra-liberal translations.

I hope for the sake of Ken Ham and his supporters that there isn't a god after all, because if there is, I'm betting he's pissed.


...and pretty much every other job I've worked:

Angst at Arco

This weekend, we hosted the annual Spoken Word Festival here on the site. Some of it was pretty good. We listened to a couple spoken word acts that were impressive, although one was so depressing everyone wanted to throw themselves off the mesa. There was also a bluegrass band called The Family, and a pyrotechnic performance group called Flam Chen. But the rest of the weekend was a poetry slam (team poetry competition with audience judging). We can hear every word that is said in the amphitheater from our room, so even though we weren't really interested, we got to listen to it anyway. Maybe we missed the more intelligent parts, but it seemed to consist mostly of edgy, hip post-adolescents (and you just knew they were edgy and hip because they dressed in weird and, in the case of the female participants, barely legal clothing and screamed "fuck" into the microphone every three seconds or so) venting spleen and boo-ing any judge that dared to score them based on their actual ability. (As Kip notes, "The reason there are so many starving artists is because most artists suck.")

Anyway, it is mostly over at this point and we seem to have survived. The rest of the holiday weekend will be tours and, most likely, site cleanup.

Hogzilla II

An eleven-year-old kid recently shot a world-record hog. With a .50 caliber revolver, no less. The hog weighs 1,051 (or maybe 1060; the owner of the scale used wasn't present at the weigh-in) and is 9' 4" from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail.

Only in Alabama.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Official Language at the First Lunar Base will be...

probably not English.

But don't worry! The GAO is all over it....

Do I need to say it again?

Stickin' It to the Man

Want to buy music, but not support the RIAA? Here is a list of the 100 top-selling albums on Amazon that are not controlled by The Man.

Monday, May 21, 2007

And Another Concert

Friday late in the work day, one of my coworkers asked if I wanted to not go home right after work. Hmmm...with a lead in like that, how could I refuse to find out what was up?! Her daughter decided she had too much to do and backed out of going to a concert with her. It wasn't a "real concert" -- it was a special event -- a mother/daughter "women" event -- (I believe it was called a SHE event) The special guest was Rebecca St James. I called to make sure Ric didn't mind me going out with Bunni at the last minute. I had to get some directions from another coworker since this was someplace else I hadn't been to before. I wanted to make sure I wouldn't get lost trying to find my way home by myself. It looked pretty harmless after Alexa (another coworker) gave me better directions than the AAA TripTik did! I gave Bunni the thumbs up -- she had to leave early since we was volunteering at the event.

It was a good concert and night with alot of women. Rebecca St James's mentor Evie was also there, along with a couple other singers. Evie was the oldest (51yrs) and her best comment about getting older was about your eyebrows thinning/falling out and THEN appearing on your CHIN! She had a few other good zingers -- especially embarrasing to the guys in the band. It was a good message about friends and forgiveness. It made me miss my friends from Michigan. I didn't want to call and wake anyone up at 1am, so I left a message for one at the church. (I hope she got it) The message on forgiveness hung on my heart also. I wanted to talk about it when I got home, but nobody was there was I got in. The opportunity was lost -- maybe I wasn't really ready to "put it to bed yet."

Other news: I finally finished up my training and other requirements for my ACC. (Acredited Cruise Counselor) I mailed in my logbook and other paperwork on Friday. I should get things back in 3-4 weeks and be able to add ACC after my name now in the travel business. Our AAA office move is pushed back again -- now they are telling us June 13th is the big move date. Again -- I won't be holding my breath. I hope we are in by the end of summer!

Still working on closing of the house auction. It is turning out to be a big pain that the lawyer won the bid. We may have to push back the closing date of June 15th if we don't have all the new reports and things in yet. That might work well for us, if we tell them we want to close the Friday or Monday around Tristan's open house. We will have to see. We had to ask favors again of Ric's parents and nephew to take care of some things in Michigan for us. Hopefully this next step is simple and cheap.

Ric finished up the round window --- painted circles on most of it. Looks later. Next, maybe squares on the small squae kitchen window that gets sun in the late afternoon? He is working on sanding and painting a bookshelf. We will have someplace to store the DVDs we brought home from MIchigan last trip and the three knick knacks we brought out with us.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Higher" Education

Another data point in favor of my thesis that sending your child to a university is worse than a waste of time and money.

Once again: Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Another Concert Night

Debbie and I went to a concert at a local church last night to listen to this guy. It was fun, although I must be getting too old because the music was too loud.

The interesting part is that he is currently biking across the United States from Los Angeles to Boston to raise money for The James Fund. So you have someone who, I think it is safe to say, isn't exactly a household name on the Contemporary Christian Music scene, yet is donating 100% of tickets sales from his concerts, merchandise sales, and web site sales to The James Fund, plus takes up a free-will offering at every event that also 100% goes to The James Fund. This all started on May 7th and not counting whatever came in last night, he has already raised over $39,000. One week. One guy. He plans to do this for approximately three months.

Thought experiment: what if every person in the United States that claims to be a follower of Jesus devoted 1/4 of their income for one year to helping widows and orphans? Not just sending few bucks for new shoes or some old clothes from the back of your closet, but sending serious cash that can change a life.

Homework for our Christian readers:

1. List all the excuses why doing this is impossible for you, even as someone who most likely lives on even less than you do is doing it.

2. Reconcile the above list with the teachings of Jesus in the gospels.

More Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore

This site is written by another dissenter in the IPCC ranks. Another ignored dissenter, of course. "All credible scientists agree" is only true if you define "credible" as "agrees with me."

It's very simple: we don't need more global bureaucratic shin-digs. We need data. We need models that can "predict" today's climate based on the climate 100 years ago. We can have that for less money than we pour into the sands of Iraq in a month.

Of course, even if Uncle Al is right, what then? And don't tell me to go buy a Prius, which has lower fuel economy combined with less passenger and cargo space than a 1970 VW diesel Rabbit. Not to mention a much larger total ecological footprint from manufacture through disposal (engine and motor, not just an engine; giant NiMH battery, etc.). And don't talk to me about Kyoto, which is nothing but a prescription for the destruction of every Western economy, while exempting places like China, with one-quarter of the world's population. If sacrifice is necessary, I'm not against doing my part, but don't ask me to destroy the economy of the US while giving a pass to a country with an order of magnitude greater population. That is ten kinds of stupid.

Dry, Dry, and DRY!

Well, they were right about one thing: it's a dry heat. It beats Michigan's humidity, but I still wouldn't call it pleasant. Today, the humidity in the ceramics area (they have to track the humidity because it affects the manufacturing process) was 7%. You don't sweat; instead, you can actually feel the moisture being sucked out of your skin. I'm putting down nearly 2 gallons of water a day and still couldn't spit, even if someone offered me $100.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hot, Hot, and HOT!

This week has been unusually hot for this time of year in this area. When we came back from Michigan it got up to 85 that Tuesday and then it steadily got hotter. So far the high for the week here was 94.5. We hear from the locals that it doesn't usually get this hot until June.

Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there. (Especially to my Mom!)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Brains? What Brains?

Fred is once again making waves by stating the painfully obvious.

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Going, Going, GONE!!!

We have officially survived our first (and hopefully last) real estate auction. We were hoping for 300K, but we didn't quite make it. But we got enough to pay off everyone (including ourselves) and still have a nice little cushion sitting nice and safe in a money market account somewhere.

Three months of preparation, and it was all over in 15 minutes. Well, actually, the first ten minutes was the auctioneer going over how the auction was going to work, what was being auctioned, etc. The actual auction took five minutes.

I just wish we had thought of this before we bothered with a conventional real estate broker. We could have had this all taken care of before we left Michigan.

But better late than never.