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Archive for the 'Distractions' Category

Written February 17th, 2007 with No Comments »

My dear wife and precious daughters went out tonight for a few groceries and came back with an uber cool ceramic mug that looks deceptively like the oh-so common but so very familiar Starbucks cardboard to-go cup. I saw it coming and thought it was a run-of-the-mill coffee, in a common cup, but then I spied its handle! I was so confused! I thought to my self, “Why is that cup sporting a handle?” The ceramic took more than a few seconds to actually register in my mind. My precious wife and daughters got a big, hilarious kick out of the whole thing! At any rate, I dig my new mug. In fact, I feel a manly pastor law coming on …

So it shall be written: This official 20 oz. Starbucks ceramic shall travel with me to all morning theology classes, from this point forward. I shall no longer be burdened by cute, predictable, and politically correct stainless steel! I will no longer endure kiddie-like sippy tops! What do such subliminally feminine tops have to do with me! I am going big, ceramic, and topless! I want to gulp my coffee in the A.M. hours! Too, I shall carry my mug’s beaming Starbucks logo with pride! Manly pastors gulp from ceramic! So let it be written … so let it be done!

Starbucks Ceramic Mug

Written February 14th, 2007 with 3 Comments »

My son has recently discovered Google’s usefulness for his school and personal research projects. Well, truth be told, his elementary school homework does not actually push him toward this sort of deeper research, yet. I think it should be, but I digress. I admit I am a pretty big influence on his blooming desire to look deeper into interesting subjects via the Internet and Google. I think its great, even amazing. The generational differences displayed in my son and my father are absolutely incredible, and totally exposed by Internet use expertise. His Grandfather has barely mastered the strange art of e-mail; my son has not yet reached double digits in age and is already well versed in Google, technology and the Internet. It’s absolutely amazing and absolutely necessary. Too, I think it’s time to start looking for family filters for the Internet …

My son’s latest Google journey: Seahorses. He climbed in dad’s chair, fired up Firefox, typed “Seahorses” into Google, hit enter, and did his own thing. I love watching this development unfold before my eyes. God is good.

Kids Google

Written January 22nd, 2007 with No Comments »

I think color has much to do with presentation and representation. Color speaks volumes about what is going on beneath visible surfaces. Subconscious color choices can give us a deeper and discerning peek into attitudes, feelings and potential possibilities. Premeditated or conscious color choices can set the tone of our agenda and seriously influence present & future direction. A cheerful effort - regardless of the specifics of said effort - will be represented by bright colors, most of the time. Simplistic colors - like black and white - can also be used to move or direct eyes toward a specific and pure target, such as textual content published by an online newspaper or weblog. Color is so important in our everyday lives and cumulative journeys. Color and its effects are simply amazing.

The patterns and relationships shared by colors is another story completely. I’m not at all prepared to comment on how this sort of thing works, or if it even works at all, but it is very, very interesting to look at, nonetheless. I finally discovered a great little java applet that will display a website as a graphical form. Its color branches, arrangements and overall forms are fascinating. The images below are a few examples of websites in their representative graphical forms.

I fed three different pages of this weblog into the applet. The first graphic is a representation of the front page of Lo-Fi Tribe; the second is my Colophon; the third is my Themes page.

Lo-Fi Tribe as Graphic

I also fed the three websites of the front running 2008 democratic candidates for President into the applet, just to see if there were any telling graphic differences. The first graphic is a representation of Hillary Clinton’s website; the second is Barack Obama’s graphic; the third is John Edward’s site (which incidentally is a far superior website that beats the competition like a 6th grade bully on a elementary school playground).

Lo-Fi Tribe as Graphic

Any graphical interpretation of any of the above is yours and yours alone! Have fun!

Written January 19th, 2007 with No Comments »

Nathan Sakunkoo’s (Stanford University) MapMyWord Dictionary won the title of “Best Overall Universal Gadget” in the 2006 Google Gadget Awards. It is an interesting gadget, to say the least. It’s fun too! I fed it a number of different theological terms and phrases just to see what would happen. Most of my terms were found by the gadget, to my surprise. A few were also accompanied by an example of audible pronunciation (just click the familiar speaker gif to listen). A dictionary built upon dynamically drawn and incredibly vivid, color-coded representations of words and their etymological relationships is pretty amazing, obviously. It’s a great tool and it is presently loading onto my Google start page. I really can’t imagine that the suddenly “old fashioned” act of turning paper pages to look up definitions of words will follow us - or our children - into our not so distant future of technological advance and wonder. Imagine what dictionaries will be like in a few more years.

MapMyWorld Google Gadget

Written November 23rd, 2006 with 7 Comments »

Happy Thanksgiving! The 2006 holiday season begins today! Happy Holidays everyone! I pray you have a blessed time of unity, fellowship, and fun reflection with loved ones!

Thanksgiving

My Thanks: I am especially thankful this year for the relationship I share with God through his Son, Jesus Christ. Life just doesn’t work if it is not united in authentic relationship with God. I am also thankful for my wonderful wife and kids. My family is everything, to say the least. I am also deeply thankful for my home church and her incredible, incredible pastor who has lovingly walked my family and I through a great transition of monumental proportions. Thank you. I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for life.

All praise be to the Giver of All Life, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Written November 21st, 2006 with No Comments »

It occurred to me as I was looking over my book shelves with a tempting edge of lazy procrastination (I’m still cataloging my books for insurance purposes) that many book aficionados have no idea how to store their prizes properly. Many buy books to merely read them. Others read and collect. I am a proud member of the later group. I read and collect books. I am a dedicated home library builder. This deep affection is accompanied by a few preservative responsibilities.

Store Your Books Properly!

First of all, you should never store books in a basement. This would seem obvious to many, but there are more than a few oblivious individuals who are - at this very moment - exposing their books to a mildew and mold inducing moisture. Not good! Also, don’t haul your books all the way up to the attic either! Most attics are excessively arid, hot and still (as in no air movement). The attic is the basement’s extreme - but equally detrimental - opposite. Both are very bad environments for your books.

Your book collection will find its environmental utopia in a darkened room with a stable thermostat set to 16ºC - 18ºC, with a relative humidity of around 50-60%. Sunlight is a natural enemy of books, and even a small amount will fade and warp a book over time. Cover any windows with heavy curtains. The room should be dry, but not excessively arid like the attic. A total lack of moisture is as detrimental as an excessive amount of moisture. Paper and book binding deteriorate under either extreme. So, a commercial humidifier might be a wise option for those preserving special or expensive collections.

Books should be shelved in an upright position (vertically). Larger books, however, should be stored on their sides (horizontally) to a prevent page/binding separation which can occur as a result of the weight of the book itself. I purchased a row of deep shelves specifically for my larger books, which needed to be stacked on their sides. Also, be sure to leave a bit of space behind your shelved books, for air circulation.

Vertically stored books should be shelved tight enough to prevent leaning, which leads to warping. Do not shelve your books so tightly that you are forced to rip at the binding to retrieve a book from your unit. Books like to be comfortably shelved.

Visit Your Books Regularly!

Books are like plants. They love to be visited and talked to. They love to be dusted on occasion too. So, don’t merely collect and shelve your books. Read them daily, even if only for a few minutes or so. Grab an old book you’ve had on the shelf for a while and reintroduce yourself to the priceless wisdom it contains between its covers. Book are wonderful. They are a privilege. Do enjoy them! Store them properly so your children can enjoy too!

Written November 21st, 2006 with 2 Comments »

I really love finding books I totally forgot I owned! Deep in a storage closet in my study I found a medium-sized box chock full of books I forgot I owned. They were put in the closest at one time or another simply because I ran out of shelf space. Wonderful! They were lost; now they are found!

A small sample of lost but found titles: Hell’s Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort (Ray and Kirk Cameron are doing some great work right now); Faithful and True: Sexual Integrity in a Fallen World by Mark Laaser; A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot; The Jesus I never Knew by Philip Yancey; and Evangelism in the Early Church by Michael Green.

Those are just a few titles from my orphaned box of books. Titles I highly recommend too, I might add. Laaser’s book re: sexual integrity is an important read for the Christian believer. Sexual integrity is a very important aspect of the Christian life, to say the least. It is also one aspect of the Christian life that is seriously misunderstood at the moment in America. Lasser’s book is a must read (for more biblically based resources also see: Patrick Carnes, Harry W. Schaumburg, David Wyrtzen, Terry Wier and Stephen Arterburn).

Also, every Christian - and I do mean every Christian - should read Elliot’s “A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael.” Amy Carmichael is an inspiration.

Written November 11th, 2006 with No Comments »

It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining. The hue of the sky was a shade of powder blue, with a few chalky clouds hung perfectly here and there, in sparse fashion.

I was outside, blogging, while the children withdrew from their Sony Playstation 2 and the Home Theater System to enjoy the great outdoors.

A neighbor gave my children a 25 year old steel Radio Flyer Wagon. The old Radio Flyer sure was in excellent condition, in spite of the rich history it proudly wore in the form of splotches of missing red paint, a few scratches, one or two dents, and the occasional rust spot. The bright white and world-renown brand “Radio Flyer” flashed off both sides of the fire-engine-red wagon, like an ageless beacon of Americana. It was an old, old wagon; and a very, very sound one too! The children were still attracted to the old Radio Flyer, as if its purpose was instinctive, timeless, and transcendent, in spite of it actually being a product of a time they have never known.

They needed no instruction as to what its long black handle was for. They took hold of it with all the reckless abandonment three childhoods joined in playtime could muster, and they clanged-rickety-banged across the yard and back again, several times over.

It was a joy to watch this experience unfold just above my laptop’s screen. I realized the impact of the event occurring in my own backyard: on one hand my children were becoming one with a piece of tangible history that was far removed from their own; on the other hand I was sitting nearby recording the wonderful event via a Dell Inspiron hooked up into a wireless Internet network. I was blogging technology, and they were toying with an old Radio Flyer Wagon. Ancient, at least from my children’s perspective, and future merged in my backyard, right before my eyes. The contrast was obvious, at least to me. My children were, on the other hand, too preoccupied with the joys offered them by an Old Radio Flyer Wagon to even notice the fusion.

The past and future do coincide effortlessly, at least those aspects of our time which are worthy of a combination do.

Written November 04th, 2006 with No Comments »

I played Laser Tag with my son yesterday. I haven’t played Laser Tag since I was twelve or thirteen, at the very least. The Laser Tag I played back then has nothing on the Laser Tag I played yesterday! I’m talking about holographic image producing goggles and digital display read-outs mounted upon talking laser-shooters! Humanity - if it has accomplished nothing else over the past decade - has come along way in Laser Tag technology! My son and I had a great time rolling behind furniture, ducking behind curtains, and fleeing up and down hallways in our individual attempts to tag and not be tagged.