Wednesday, October 30

Christine is kicking some update bottom over at the twinlog. So that's what she does when I'm out of town.
All work and no play makes Jason [Kottke] a dull boy. Love it.
Collaboratory's hits are exceeding interact's. Good. That's the way it should be.
Paul's got a nice piece on the commitment required for successful monogamy. Among other things: yes.
I was in OKC at a pastor's retreat for the last 30 hours or so, so I've been a little out of pocket. It was refreshing. More to come...

Monday, October 28

I posted to SportsFilter for the first time today. To wit:

Can you really teach an old dog new tricks? Now in New Orleans, with enthusiastic fans and the arena deal they wanted, the Hornets 'took the uncharacteristic step of locking up the franchise's most valuable commodity for the next six years.'

Interesting article putting an objectively positive spin on a lot of Hornets' personnel decisions that looked really bad at the time.

I lived in Charlotte for six years during Shinn's residency, and we thought he was cheap (financially and personally). He destroyed a wealth of good will in the center of basketball heaven. What do you think, is this a new leaf?
Everything I need to know, I learned from D&D (not really, but it is evocative, no?)

Actually D&D alignment really has helped me to understand my own ethics better.

(Take the D and D Online Alignment Test.)

The scales are: Lawful-Neutral-Chaotic and Good-Neutral-Evil. The first scale is alignment relative to law, order, etc. The second scale is relative to individuals and their well being.

I come out between Neutral Good and Chaotic Good. I flex on the law, mostly because I think the law, lots of times, is not good for people. It is a subjective judgment, again. And, obviously, with me, it's a lot more in concept than it is in actuality. Any true nonconformist should not complain too much when the law comes down on her. She has to be willing to take the consequences, though she can argue the justice of it.

But I'm very concerned about individual good. Spiritual life is the highest priority (for me, and it probably includes liberty/freedom), followed closely by physical human life (which includes subsistence living, and, last of all, the right to property and wealth.)

How about you? What's your D&D alignment? And what are your reflections on these issues?

(This post started as a comment on Collaboratory, which I'm going to move to the front page and double-post here (because I'm looking for the responses of both audiences.)

Friday, October 25

I'm not a hawk on this whole 'war on Iraq' thing, right?

Still, when Steven talks about repudiating Iraqi debts to France and Russia in case of a takeover, I think 'What else would possibly make sense?' In Russia's case they've got this big new treaty with Iraq (payment from the latter to the former to nix Security Council stuff). I view it as a bet: you throw yourself in with Iraq or the US, regardless of whether or not either one is right, and I'm confident Russia and France aren't playing it that way. I don't feel much sympathy for someone who bets and loses.
Now you can watch recent refers in Meme Tracker to the right. Lagado himself built it. He's so clever!

One that's not showing up there is 'lord's prayer leet speak'.

I don't have it. If someone does, I'd like to see it (I couldn't find it on the Google search).

Tuesday, October 22

You noticed that John 13 has some nice new updates, right?

Monday, October 21

As you know, I log all things Morrissey. Well, the famous and fabulous Miguel Cardoso of mucho MetaFilter fame posted Moz to the front page. The ensuing conversation is very interesting.

Friday, October 18

Check out The PowerPoint Anthology of Literature
I think the table of what European tribes think of each other is pretty funny. It's at least extensive. Be sure to scroll down all the way to Albania. Sad, but true.

Wednesday, October 16

From the pages of twinlog:

We've been watching a lot of Rolie Polie Olie. Elizabeth came in and asked, "What shape am I?" Olie is round and Billy is square. I told her she was potato-shaped. She didn't think so. So I suggested curved and she agreed. But Wil and Daddy are round according to her. In actuality Wil is shaped more like a stick.

What about Daddy?! Is Daddy round?!

Boo hoo hoo.
Many people don't know that water is an important issue in all of the tension in the Middle East between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations. Lebanon has begun pumping water out of a river.

WAZZANI, Lebanon, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Lebanon began pumping water on Wednesday from a southern river that also supplies Israel -- a project that has drawn Israeli ire and U.S. mediation to avoid a regional flare-up.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told parliament in Jerusalem that Lebanon's new project to pipe water from the Wazzani river to parched villages could lead to an escalation of hostilities between the countries, which have no relations.

Lebanon's guerrilla group Hizbollah, which helped end Israel's 22 year occupation of south Lebanon in May 2000, has warned it would retaliate "within seconds" for any Israeli attack on the water station.

But Israeli officials have toned down recent references to the water dispute, apparently giving way to international mediation efforts to limit the amount of water that would be channelled to Lebanese villages.

Amid tight security, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud officially opened the project on the Wazzani, a tributary of the Hasbani river that feeds the Jordan river and the Sea of Galilee -- Israel's biggest freshwater reservoir.
Bali death toll rises to 188, mostly Australian young people.

My condolences. This is a terrible tragedy.
Eric has a touching thread about being a 30something gay man and straight friends having kids and dialing into them and him feeling out of the loop.
We've got a good discussion going on at Collaboratory about Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and L/libertarianism. John 13 is there, too. A few excerpts from my comment:

...I think you've rightly identified the excesses of Obj. and Rand. Her 'phil.' is facile/utopian/simplistic. Maybe that's why her followers elicit some disdain. They've thought about it less than her (and you) and their conclusion is 'I get to do what I want and it's good. Sweet!'.

3. We can agree that responsibility is really, really important. I think where we separate is the next step: what do you do when responsibility doesn't cut it or in the case of irresponsibility? My answer is, literally, pity. We pity people. We should try to help them. This comes directly out of my theology, concluding that God has had and has pity on us...

How do we find a way to live together? Indeed, that's a really important question. Since rational (good looking, well-married, artistice, etc.) friends like you and I cannot agree, I imagine we'll just keep limping along. It's brought us to 5 billion with no sign of slowing.

Tuesday, October 15

John (lagado) Hardy has a really cool post about a really old human-made bridge between India and Sri Lanka. I think it links some natural formations to cover the 20ish miles. Really.

Monday, October 14

Whoa. Got a special thanks in John's right sidebar. Well, you're welcome. I simply have always enjoyed your links and kept after you. So thank you.

(Wow, he lists Collaboratory, in which he participates, as essential. We're beginning to suspect this guy's credibility :-)
Also from referrers: there's a certain satisfaction in knowing people who came to my site for 'dancing francis' or 'paul granlund sculptures' found at least a good place to start, if not what they were looking for.
Whew! If it hadn't been for the search in my referrers, I might have forgotten that the government is controlling our minds with football.

Friday, October 11

This has been on everyone's weblog, but the guy who's done Escher in Legos is amazing. I like the pics that show how he achieved the perspectives. If you haven't checked it out yet and it sounds interesting to you, take the time. (I didn't look at it until I saw it on Scott's site.)
Eldred v. Ashcroft (the copyright case) went to court wednesday. Matt's got an essay on it. Then, he's got a first day update, with other links.

Tuesday, October 8

Kottke's got two interesting posts consisting of Google I'm Feeling Lucky results for months and days.

Monday, October 7

I can't believe people:

- give any creedence to Richard Dawkins, as he now maligns all Catholic doctrine and, by extension, all religion.

- think of evolution as a closed-case fact:

What happens if superior schools insist that previously accepted facts have become mere theory?

Don't miss my vibe here. I'm not saying I can't believe people believe in evolution. I can't believe people believe it's a closed case. I can't believe people take it as established fact, divergence from which is madness.
We had a nice time at Jonah. The kids did great. They really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it too. It was well-done and focused on compassion and showing mercy. In this way it was less moralistic than many of the VeggieTales videos. The handled the story nicely, too. They just left Jonah crying in the dust. The kids listening in the other plot-line said 'Didn't he learn anything?' to which the storyteller replied 'The important thing is: What did you learn?'. That's right.

(Incidentally, Jonah finished 6th at the box office this weekend, according to estimates, despite showing at fewer than half the theaters of any other movie in the top 8. Good show. They have certainly garnered a loyal fan base.)

Wil started chair-dancing pretty early in. That's when we realized we didn't take him to the bathroom before we went in. I kept asking him if he needed to go to the potty. Of course he said no. I thought there was a pretty good chance he was going to have an accident. But he didn't and we made it to the potty afterwards without event. That's where I realized he was quoting from the movie on one hearing 'Something touched me!' (lampooning 'Jaws').

Wil's amazing in attention and recall, when he's interested. We're similar that way. It's not intentional. I can't turn it on and off, and neither can he. It didn't work for me in Hebrew and Greek, but I can quote you all of 'Raising Arizona'. It can be maddening when he has such perfect recall of things he likes but can't and won't listen to Christine and me and often will reply, when questioned, that he doesn't know what we just said.

Elizabeth went to the potty during the movie. She liked the movie, though she was afraid of the whale (she said). Come to think of it, she was pretty scared going into the movie, too - it was pretty dark. I pointed out all of the kids and I think that calmed her down a little bit. Afterwards she was horrible and really misbehaved. Oh well.
Best play yesterday:

I listened to the end of the Cleveland-Baltimore game. Cleveland staged an exciting comeback under Kelly Holcomb and Dennis Northcutt. They needed an onside kick, lined up on one side, and Phil Dawson, the kicker, kicked it to the other side and recovered. How stud is that!?

(I started him yesterday. Wish I got bonus points for cool plays.)

Friday, October 4

Paul tells some stupid stories on other people that will make you laugh out loud.
We're going to the VeggieTales movie Jonah tomorrow. We were going to go today, opening day, but Christine has something else she had to do. This will be the twins' first movie in a theater. I expect them to do really well. I'm looking forward to it.
Sheesh, it's been a while. Sorry.

Today I've been working on Old Testament timelines: 1 2 3 4.

I found a lot of helpful stuff at Bryce Embry's personal site. He has a number of OT things up. I edited and reformatted his OT Book Summary, How the OT Books Fit Together, and his Bible Events Timeline

Tuesday, October 1

Does anyone have street encounters like John13? Guess not enough of us spend time on the streets in cool towns like Chicago.