Sunday, December 31

I preached this morning, but don't have the notes here. I'll have to post them when I get back to the office.

I heard we're going to break the Tulsa record for length of time with snow on the ground. We got a beautiful snow last night and this morning. It's cold but not too cold and not too windy.

However, this snow will surely slow down people's plans this evening. Ours were slowed, since Wil has been a little bit sick - diarrhea and puke yesterday. But he's doing better today.

After the kids go to bed, we're going to watch Notorious and drink a little bubbly.

Cory got me 'Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator' for Christmas. It's awesome! It has a lot of his pictures. It's really cool to see his vision of Middle Earth. You can make me happy, too, by getting me something off of my wishlist (you might remember that it's my birthday tuesday).

Saturday, December 30

Have you noticed that sarcasm is over? It's tiring. I'm tired of it. But I find it's my natural style. To speak plainly, I actually have to think and be intentional. Isn't that crazy? I've been thinking about this for awhile, maybe about a year. I was reading Anne Lamott and, as much as I like her, the sarcasm thing got old. Later, I saw this post on Metafilter, but didn't read the discussion. I'm thinking about this relative to my kids, too. I don't want to speak sarcastically to them.
Yippee! Check it out - comments below!

Friday, December 29

I agree with Nathan: If anyone wants to pay me 75k$ to write this weblog professionally, I'm open to considering it.
Okay, I'm encouraged. I emailed you all and two of you actually emailed back.
Redeemer Presbyterian Church is the bomb, and Tim Keller, their pastor, is one of the smartest guys I've ever heard. Browse the site. Listen to any one of his messages. It's good for you!
Here is perhaps the more pertinent question. Are there any of you?
Sorry for the lack of links. I'm back on.

By the way, that discussion on Metafilter got heavy. Even more reason to check it out.

Christine is sitting in here opening her new Hello Kitty calendar. She's very happy.

I like the fact that Google searches bring up Internet Keywords. That kills two birds with one stone.

I changed the name of this weblog. Did you notice? It now reflects my personal mission statement - to interact with ideas in relationships to promote awesome community. This is the first time I've seen a personal mission statement on a weblog. Do I take myself too seriously? Am I too honest?

Hmm. Is it better to post multiple times per day or just edit one post per day?

I've found a way (oh such a way) to do discussions here (via kottke). That's one of the things I love most about Metafilter. But are any of you going to discuss?

Tuesday, December 26

Okay, I'm a total geek-monster and I don't have cable, so I've been watching a lot of satellite at my brother's, mostly the History Channel - Modern Marvels: Tanks, Jeeps, Caesar's Bridge, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I also watched some of Battlestar Galactica on the SciFi Channel. The episodes I saw weren't bad for 70s.

Here's an interesting psychological study: I'm a conscientious objector pacifist, but I'm fascinated by military history. I think it's largely because of the application of technology and the dynamics of human decision making and leadership.
Interesting discussion of the morality of Bill Gates' wealth on Metafilter.

Saturday, December 23

Nathan's new site has the tag line 'electric boogaloo', which I always love to hear. Can you name the reference?

Nathan says his weblog is one big unasked opinion. My take is that by reading a weblog we are implicitly (and maybe explicitly) asking for opinions. That's what most of the logs I read are.

I'm in NC for Xmas. I'm a little sick so that about 50% of the time when i move i can hear/feel the blood rushing in my ears.

I'll probably post again before Christmas, but just in case I don't, God bless you this Christmas. I hope you experience God's real presence. As we tell our kids 'When we give presents at Christmas, it's one way of saying "happy birthday" to the Baby.'. Happy Birthday, Jesus. And, in the words of the angel, Gabriel 'Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to those who fear Him.'.

Have you noticed my alternative punctuation? I've decided quotation marks should be used like parentheses, that it increases the potential power of grammar, know what I mean?

Wednesday, December 20

Is Napster right or wrong? I thought this interview with David Boies, their chief counsel (of DOJ vs. Microsoft and Al Gore fame), was enlightening. Christopher Locke wrote 'The Cluetrain Manifesto', which talks about information wanting to be free. The idea virus is another presentation of this. Generally, I'm on the Napster side. We need to find different means of distribution, paying artists directly. Let's take the money-grubbing RIAA out of the middle. They're the monopolits here.
I promise this isn't going to be a Vikings weblog. I just have to speak out on this. Everybody (eg) says that the Vikings aren't playing up to their potential and is looking to point fingers. Wrong. The problem is that they are playing at their potential. Remember how they were predicted to have a losing season, or .500 at best? There's a reason for that. Yes, Daunte Culpepper has been great, a great surprise, and Robert Smith has had a breakout year. But the offense can be stopped. It has been by mediocre Rams and Packers offenses, not to mention Tampa Bay. They make too many mistakes that we can't recover from, especially turnovers and penalties. And the defense is horrible. We just don't have the personnel there. It's my impression that they've been overachieving because of the good work of the defensive coordinator to compensate for our horrible secondary. Now, teams have it figured out.

Here's the smart bet: don't expect much more from the Vikings this year. We have to draft for defense and keep what offense we can while trimming our salary cap number 19 million $. It might get worse before it gets better.
Here's an interesting article, similar to the one posted below, about the trends which will continue to be strong in the web, including where the money is. Read it if you're interested in that segment of the market. via He points out, among other things, that amazon staying the course is really provocative and if it works out, if Jeff Bezos was right all along, it will be an amazing result. If you care, I happen to think he's right. amazon has so many good things going for it.

Tuesday, December 19

Well, you can't read this because blogspot is down, but I can post and then you can read it later.

Here's a good article on the place of the Web in commerce and why it's still a great thing, even though a lot of dot-coms are going under, chiefly because they aren't utilizing it the right way.

The Target gift card is the bomb. I sent one today by calling their toll-free number (on the website). The postage is free, and they expressed it so it'll get there thursday.

We're going out of town tomorrow for a week. I'll try to post some remotely, but my time for posting will be severely curtailed.

Feed has an interesting article on why the results of this election might be better for the Democratic party than winning. Interesting perspective.

Sunday, December 17

Want to take the Wired/Mazda Portfolio Challenge?
Want to be blown away by some pretty heavy stuff that's out there on the Web? Heavy, but the articles I've clicked through to have tended to be bite-sized.
The Economist science and technology column is about my speed.
My daughter is great at recognizing animals. Recently, she saw the Napster logo and said 'Kitty, kitty.'. Will some glory-seeking sociologist dub her and her peers the post-Napster generation?

Here's an article about a pretty well-known couple in weblogging circles. If you've been around weblogs, you've probably seen it. If not, it might interest you: it's love in the 3rd millenium.

We went to see 'Unbreakable' last night (check out a good review of it). M Night Shyamalan sure is kicking butt. He says he has a secret formula for successful movie making these days, but he won't tell what it is. It's dangereous to say, but I've liked Bruce Willis in a number of movies: 'Die Hard', '12 Monkeys', and the last two Shyamalans. We really liked it. Christine, unfortunately, didn't sleep very well after it.

I probably won't sleep very well tonight, since the Vikings lost today. That's my nightmare. Oh well, I'm the one who's been saying their defense isn't strong enough to take them deeply into the playoffs. Now that the season has progressed, it seems teams have a pretty good idea of how to slow down our offense and totally exploit our defense.

Someone wrote in 'Sports Illustrated' a few months ago that the Cubs will never be winners as long as they play in Wrigley, because people love to go to games there, so they make money. This guy said the only way to turn the Cubs into winners would be to tear down Wrigley. However, I thought of another way: get a dot-com billionaire (like Marc Cuban, who bought the Mavericks) to buy them from the Tribune and put some money into them. Any takers?

Do I like some sad teams or what? The Iowa basketball team is undefeated so far this year, but I'm only a fair weather Iowa fan.

Why do I care so much about sports? I don't agree with a lot of the values. I don't agree with the money involved. It's one of those things I can't control. It's crazy.

Saturday, December 16

This last issue of Wired was a dud.

The two issues before that, though, had some great stuff in them.

In December, they had the incredible One-Half of a Manifesto by Jaron Lanier (reprinted from it's original appearance on EDGE). Lanier talks about the tendency these days toward 'cybernetic totalism', the term he coins for a variety of beliefs. The first one he lists is that 'Cybernetic patterns of information provide the ultimate and best way to understand reality. These beliefs culminate in the idea that 'Biology and physics will merge with computer science'. This merger will produce 'posthuman' who transcend humanity (per se) through technological means like everyone's favorite example - uploading their consciousness into technology. Now you may think this sounds crazy, but the cybernetic totalists take it as an article of faith.

One of the things his argument does is take some of the boogey (as in man) out of Bill Joy's neoapocalytic treatise. I discuss Joy's ideas in an article on my website.

By the way, I'm going to post about this over on Metafilter, too. You might want to check the discussion.

Back in november Wired had the great cover story on the Microsoft Antitrust Case. I'm anti-Microsoft and anti-unbridled capitalism anyway, but this article left me even more strongly convinced that Microsoft is guilty, and that the decision to split it probably isn't strong enough.
Okay, correction. Christine, upon reading the post about Opera below, called my bluff. I didn't even know how much it cost. Now I do: 39$. Too much for right now. I guess I don't like it that much. (Besides, it doesn't work very well with blink, where I keep my bookmarks.)
The other day my daughter Elizabeth was playing Caillou's magic keyboard on my laptop. She accidentally popped the '?' key off and we couldn't find it. We looked everywhere. How far could it have gotten? When we went to bathe her we found it inside her diaper, in back. How in the heck did it get back there, through two layers of clothes? Amazing.
If you want a good laugh (it takes about 10 seconds):

1. call National Discount Brokers

2. listen to all of the options

3. AFTER hearing #7, hit 7
Don't worry, this isn't becoming a Vikings weblog. Still, I dreamt last night that I got to go to a Vikings-Rams rematch and the Vikes won. Now that's a good dream.

Friday, December 15

The war in the Middle East is breaking my heart. Though there's plenty of guilt to go around for all sides, I'm disturbed by the USA's continued involvement, especially militarily. Sure, I understand that there's a lot of pro-Israel money heading toward politicians and media. Still, even the disproportionate violence ought to raise an eyebrow or two. Here's an article about the West's pro-Israel bias (via The Web Today). Here's The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (If you link there you'll get a popup that prompts you to download the Hebrew language support. You only need it if you plan on reading the site's contents in Hebrew. Otherwise, just cancel that prompt and move on). It's made up of Israelis who protest the violations of Palestinian rights. They have a recent report about the current events. If you're not educated on this topic, please get that way, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Add to some of the complexities of conservative Christians (of which I am one) too often over-identifying with national Israel, and you have a real environment of looking the other way.
Ever flown next to someone incredibly large? One of the kids and I were supposed to be seated next to two such women, side by side, on the way home from Canada. They had the middle armrests up and still overflowed into our seat, up to maybe six inches. I marched straight to the flight attendant and we were reseated. Of course, I'm impinging on other people by flying with a child on my lap. Anyway, here's some discussion of it (via terrapin on Metafilter).
Here's some cool stuff about the International Space Station, it's visibility in the sky, and how to see it over your house (via lagado on Metafilter). I support the Space Station and all other space travel. Sure, I'm a romantic. More of this stuff is going to happen sooner than later as the spirit of exploration gets the technology. Private individuals will take chances that NASA would never take.
What a coup! Daunte Culpepper is starting in the Pro Bowl for the NFC! I'm a Vikings fan and a Daunte fan, but this is so great, it might even be a little much.

Thursday, December 14

Interested in the baby signs I mentioned below? Christine gave me the link.
There's a lot of talk about the Vikings. People love them. Culpepper and Moss were the top vote getters in the fan Pro Bowl balloting. Robert Smith is a leading pick for MVP. It's been a fun season, especially when people picked us to finish even at best. But can we make it to the Super Bowl? The defense looked bad against the Rams, though they had been looking better. Can they bounce back against the Packers at home this week? We'll see.
I downloaded Opera to check out as a web browser. I tried it a couple of years ago and didn't like the feel. But I really like it now. You should try it. I may even pay the $ to register so I can lose the banner ads that make it free.

My 17 month-old twins have a babysign for hat. When they were looking at our wedding picture today, me with big hair, they made that sign. Christine said 'That's right. Daddy's wearing a hat.'. It was my hair, hair only a mother could love. She did.

Well, the election's over and I'm glad. Both of those guys have already been bought and sold, or, as my boss said, at least rented.