Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Commandment regarding the poor

But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—if only you will strictly obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you. (Deuteronomy 15:4-6, ESV)

I've read this before, but it is an extraordinary command regarding:
  1. How a nation should be a lender, not a borrower, and in being so, rules over them
  2. There are to be no poor among you - and the chapter goes on to describe an economic system for how that is to take place.
See also v. 11 - that we will always have the poor with us.

It's been very interesting to read this section of scripture as a systems engineer and see how God was creating a whole way of life for his people.  That includes a law system, an economic system, cultural norms, and a whole worship system.  The whole thing admitted of The Fall and sin, and yet pointed the people to God and His grace and how to show that to each other.  This whole system was utterly different from the people around them.

I wonder how different just our family looks from our culture, or how much our church family looks different?  Admittedly, we're in a very Christianized area with many churches, so some things will not look different, but some will - and should.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Technology and Short Term Missions

Interesting article about the relationship of technology to short-term missions. When we didn't have the ability to keep up with friends and family while in a far-flung place, this wasn't an issue as it wasn't really possible. However, now that the Internet is so pervasive, I would think it is a strong temptation for short and long term missionaries to remain closely connected to their home, with a consequence being that they are not fully engaged with the culture they are ministering to.

There's plenty that is good about technology in this sense. Those that support missionaries can get very timely updates about how they are and what needs they have. However, how to use the technology so that it serves this purpose but not to draw the missionary away from engaging with friends in their own culture is difficult.

Kristy and I have lived in three different towns since we were married. I'm very glad to keep up with some of our friends from the previous two towns via Facebook as I want to know what's going on with them. But, I can certainly see how people can get so involved with friends on Facebook that they don't make time for friends that are real and present here.

While I miss many people that are in other locations, I'm called to be with those that are here, geographically. In spite of Internet hype, geography is still an essential factor of life, and I think the more deep ministries (e.g., of the church) recognize that.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Failure is Not an Option

I recently read Failure Is Not An Option by Gene Kranz, a former flight director (among many other jobs) at NASA. He's the flight director that is the main focus of the Apollo 13 movie. It's his memoir of his life, focusing mostly on his time in NASA and on the missions he was a part of.

In short, I loved this book.  Spaceflight is terribly interesting to me, and I'm still amazed that they accomplished what they did with the technology available at the time.  But this book brings out the personalities of the many people involved. 

One thing that struck me was the amount of leadership, ingenuity, and deep expertise expected from everyone involved.  Many involved were from a military background and so naturally tended to leadership positions.  The great importance of the project made it necessary for only really good leaders to rise up - no "social promotion" or promotion based on years experience.  Definitely a meritocracy.  Also, leaders had to both know their technology backwards and forwards.  It wasn't enough to be a good manager, but you had to have come up through the system having not just the ability to look up information but the ability to pull it out of your head at a moment's notice. 

The ingenuity to deal with not just the extraordinary circumstances like Apollo 13, but designing everything from the rockets to the landers to the procedures to make it all happen in mission control to the communication system in such a short time was extraordinary.

I highly recommend it.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Forcing Tech on Others

A fellow named John Dyer has an interesting post on his blog about how since his father cannot access the Internet, he does not get all of John's updates about his life. He must use "older" technology like the phone or postal mail to keep up or send pictures.

This inspired a few thoughts.  One is that we have higher expectations of others to keep up with our lives.  We expect them to use the same tech we do, such as Twitter, Facebook, or just a blog, and to follow those in whatever way they wish to keep up with what we're doing.  That can be framed in a positive light as allowing others to choose whether or not to keep up with us.  It can also be framed as us expecting them to conform to our means of communication and to make sure they check it on some regular basis to find out if there's an update.  It seems to me that if we really value someone, we will want to keep up with them no matter the technology medium.

A second thought is that our communications to let others know what we're up to has become less personal as it has become easier to broadcast.  I remember when my mother would hand write individual letters to friends at Christmastime.  Family friends started writing a generic letter that was just copied and sent to everyone, and mom decided at some point to do that as well.  Kristy and I only do a generic letter at Christmas, as do most (maybe all?) of our friends.  Surely that's multiplied now as our Facebook status gets broadcast to anyone with permission to read it.  Now, it would take quite a bit of time to write individual letters, or even individual electronic messages to everyone I would like to send an update to.  The technology (copiers, printers, Facebook, Twitter) now facilitate broadcasting an impersonal message.  It's much easier, but I fear we've lost meaningful personal contact in the process of getting to this point.

What do you think?  What is lost and what is gained in terms of keeping up with people?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pictures from Summer & Fall 2010

These are pictures from this summer and fall that I finally got off the camera.  This covers the local festival, VBS, beach trip, summer fun, Raleigh trip, birthdays, and Halloween.  I'm also testing out this embedded thing from Shutterfly to see how it works.


Monday, November 08, 2010

A graduate school story

Here's a fun story for those that are or were grad students.  I sincerely hope you have never had an adviser like this.


http://www.credenda.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=206:heaven-taken-by-storm&catid=102&Itemid=122

Friday, November 05, 2010

Flu Shots

Kristy, Stephen, and I got flu shots yesterday.  I've been faithful in getting them since I had flu one time many years ago.  Stephen was scared, so I went first.  He was fairly brave though he cried a bit.  Soon after, he realized it wasn't that bad AND he got a sticker form the nurse and a rice crispy treat from dad.

I was thinking about this last night and realized I'm glad he's afraid of flu shots.  If a flu shot is one of the more scary things in his life, then he is in a much better situation than many other children in the world, even in our community  He has been spared hurts and traumas faced by many other children.  I am thankful for this for him, but sad for the many others.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Yes, still here

Yes, we're still alive.  Yes, we voted today.

First, the family update.  Kristy is at nearly 34 weeks and is BIG.  Her intuition says this baby is coming early.  I'm teaching a class this fall, so I think I'd better make the exam out early.  Also, I hope everyone understands if we don't get Christmas cards out this year on time.  Stephen is 6 now, and Lydia will be 3 soon.  I'll let Kristy talk about homeschooling, but Stephen seems to be doing fine.  He definitely has a math brain.  Lydia seems more social and talkative since being in preschool.

Due to how things get scheduled in the college, November is usually a really busy month for me.  However after some changes to how we do the electronic portfolios, that work came early in the semester.  Now I have time for all the other new tasks.  But, even when I come home exhausted, I remind myself to be thankful that I have a good job.

And so the election has come.  I cared more this time than previous times I voted.  I did a fair amount of research, even on offices I don't normally research like district court judges.  There were few races where I had a clear favorite.  Mostly, I either struggled between what I thought were two good options or two bad options.  I crossed party lines on a few.  Local politics are apparently very energizing and controversial to some around this area, if you believe the letters to the editor.  One local candidate said three was "civil unrest" in the county due to the incumbent.  I admit I hadn't noticed, outside the letters to the editor.  Still, one local race was decided by about 100 votes. Our state senator was elected by a margin of 200 votes.  The North Carolina General Assembly now has both houses controlled by Republicans for the first time since 1898.

Change is good right?  Our president said so about two years ago.  (Yes, I know what he really meant)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Homeschooling, here we come!

Well, Stephen is now "Kindergarten age," so our decision to homeschool is now "official." Our first day will be August 23. He has been in preschool for the past 3 years for 2-3 days/week while I worked. I'm done with my job, and I've been gently telling Stephen that once Kindergarten begins, we will be having school at home. He was reluctant at first, but thankfully, we have many friends who are homeschooled!

Here's a look at what we'll be doing!

Bible: The Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos. We've been reading through this for a few months, and I like it! It's the level of depth I had been looking for since I felt Stephen had outgrown our other story Bibles.

Reading: About a year ago, we began The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise. I wanted to save money, so I bought only the book (the complete kit comes with already printed flash cards, audio version (I think) and a magnetic board with letters). Once we started reading I realized that Stephen needs the hands on experience. We hit a wall and took a break, I ordered a magnetic board with letters, and we should be on our way again!

Last week, Stephen got his own library card. He was quite excited! Our town is building a new library, so we'll definitely be making good use of that place.

When I bought Saxon K, I didn't know just how basic it was. Stephen has been speeding through it - it's like playtime to him. He loves the manipulatives and will play with tiles making patterns for quite a while. I plan to skim through the rest of the book, covering new things, and moving on to Saxon 1.
We'll be working through Mudpies to Magnets for science. We also have some science kits, which Stephen loves! He is certainly his parents' son...
I saw these workbooks at a homeschool conference and couldn't resist. I got a couple levels - just a little mental excercise. They'll be much easier once Stephen can read better and do them on his own!
I haven't done too much Stephen school with Lydia around. In the past, we have done everything while she naps, but that has turned out not to be Stephen's best working time. We'll be doing normal preschool things with her (and she'll be in a church preschool 2 days/week). Our big thing coming soon is potty training - oh boy!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Today's Checklist

Let's see how today went
  • 1:30 am - get up with kids who are scared with the power out - check
  • 8-ish am - get up with kids for breakfast, take care of sick Kristy - check
  • lazy morning watching Gummi Bears - check
  • keeping the laundry going - not really
  • fix lots of different things for lunch for the kids that they don't eat - check
  • drive 45 minutes to the nearest splash pad - check
  • fun time wearing out the kids - check
  • take pictures - nope, didn't bring camera
  • drive back, listening to Paws & Tails (the kids liked it) - check
  • stop for a "snack" at McDonalds and prove that daddy is a sucker - check
  • put Lydia down for a nap - check
  • mow yard - check
  • shower and put self down for a nap - check
  • be thankful Kristy is feeling better and making supper - double check
Hmmm...not bad.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Reading Lists

Lists of books to read combines two things that I've liked for a long time - reading and lists. One of my earliest ones was an attempt to read through all the Bobbs-Merrill Childhood of Famous Americans books in my elementary library (the older ones); I even kept a journal with a one-page entry per book I read. Well, I didn't finish that one, but I still remember a lot of the history I learned through them.


Another list was in high school - my 9th English teacher gave us a list of books commonly used in part of the AP English exam (here is a larger list). I used that list as my general reading list all through high school (didn't read all of those either, but I read a lot of great literature I might not have picked up otherwise). In grad school, to escape the constant science, I picked up biographies once more (not the Bobbs Merrill ones) and thought about reading through the US Presidents - that was in 2004, and I'm still on John Adams.

Now that I'm on the brink of homeschooling, I'm getting into new lists - lists to read to Stephen and Lydia and lists for myself to read in preparation. Also lists to buy for the future. With Stephen, I'm currently going through the preschool list in The Book Tree to find stories that he will like - a great resource!


Another list I'm adding to my lists is the Great Books. As I guide, I'm using Susan Wise Bauer's
The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had. This list hits on many of the works she lists in the recommended reading for the rhetoric stage (high school age) in The Well-Trained Mind, which I plan to use as a guide in homeschooling my children. I'm going through chronologically (her guide is organized by genre) and reading the second book, The Iliad. We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Commencement Quote

Here's a truncated transcript of the graduation talk given at the University of Southern California. I have to say, this may be the best graduation speech I've ever heard. Great three questions to ask of them - one would hope that a Good education would prepare them to answer them.


Steven B. Sample, president of the University of Southern California:

What I should like to do today is pose three questions. ...

The first of my questions is: How do you feel about money? Oh, I know, you like money, and so do I. But how do you really feel, deep down, about money? How important is money to you? And to what extent can making, accumulating, and spending money satisfy your deepest desires? ...

I have no particular ax to grind here. I am not suggesting that you should turn your back on money and material wealth—far from it. ... Remember, the question I am asking here is not how should you feel about money, but how do you feel about it, in fact. ...

The world is full of unhappy people who have never figured out how they really feel about money. There are multitudes of priests and teachers, artists and public servants, who, deep down, would be much more fulfilled by the pursuit of wealth, and who, in following that inclination, would probably make much more significant contributions to society. Similarly, there are many, many people caught up in profit-seeking jobs, where the principal reward and measure of success is money, but who would be much happier and more productive if they were engaged in more-altruistic occupations. ... If a person can discover early on how he feels about money, he will be able to address many of life's choices in a more definitive and satisfying way.

My second question ... is this: How do you feel about children, both those you will someday call your own, and those of your neighbors as well? Let me suggest that, before you conceive or beget children of your own, you ask yourself what commitments you are willing to make to your child and what sacrifices you are willing to make on his or her behalf. As you move into positions of authority and power, ask yourself to what extent the welfare of our children should affect the formulation of public policy and the allocation of public resources. Ask yourself to what extent you see yourself as a teacher and protector of the young. ...

My third question is the most difficult of the three, and by far the most personal and embarrassing. No, it has nothing to do with sex. Rather, the question is: How do you feel about God? ... The vast majority of people duck this question altogether. It is simply too scary or too overwhelming for them to address in any serious way. There are millions of people in this country who regularly attend religious services and yet haven't the foggiest idea of how they feel about God, or what kind of relationship they have with God, or what they expect of him, or what they believe he expects of them. And similarly, there are millions of agnostics who have concluded that questions pertaining to God are simply unanswerable or unimportant, and yet who find it impossible to fully suppress their concerns for the spiritual and transcendent aspects of their own existence. ... You may be able to run from your true feelings about God or non-God, but it is very difficult to hide from them in the long term. ...

I can't say that addressing these questions will make you any happier, in the conventional sense of that word, or protect you in some talismanic way from life's pain and disappointments. But I do believe that giving careful consideration to these three questions in the years ahead will prove beneficial to you. For in so doing you will learn a great deal about yourself. You may even come to like and accept yourself a little better. ... You will almost certainly gain a better understanding of the meaning of life, of your place in the universe, and of how you might live in productive peace and harmony with your fellow human beings. And that, after all, is what living well is all about.

Source: http://chronicle.com/article/On-CompromiseGreat/65979/

Friday, March 26, 2010

Glued to technology

Our family went out to a local restaurant last week, and I keep reflecting on an incident there. We were in a row of booth/tables and soon after we sat down, a young couple (probably undergrads) were seated next to us. At least I assume they were a couple as they came in together. They said less than 10 words to each other the whole time we were there.

Why? The guy spent almost the entire time texting on his phone. He started soon after he sat down, paused to order, and started up again. At first, I thought it odd but assumed he was finishing up some text conversation. Our family continued our conversation and fun. The place had a bunch of "stuff" hanging from the ceiling so that was a distraction for the kids for a while. Later, during a lull in the kids activities, I noticed that the guy was texting (still?). I hadn't heard a word from their direction in a while - so even if there was a time when he was not texting, he wasn't exactly making conversation.

Now, I have no idea what the girl is like, but she seemed to be putting up with this with great patience. If this is habitual behavior, I think she should dump him for treating her rudely. Should we be so attached to being connected anytime, anywhere, that we ignore the person in front of us?

And I would be remiss not to give a plug for Nick & Nate's where this happened.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Soul in Cyberspace

Though we don't think about it much, technology surrounds our lives in modern-day America. Technology is even in my job title, so it is something I tend to think about frequently. However, I won't claim to have a full worldview framework through which to understand it, perhaps because I'm usually wrapped up in getting a particular technology to work. I recently finished The Soul in Cyberspace which has pushed me further to a broader view of technology.

A major point of this book is that much of the information technology we employ now (and back 13 years ago when written) disembodies us and decontextualizes information. And, this is bad. Bad for deep understanding and bad for community (among other things). Also, this technology makes information ethereal - easy to create, transmit, remix, and to delete either accidentally or purposefully.

I think of this in relation to keeping up with a few guy friends from Clemson. Most of us are on Facebook and post something at least on occasion. We also use e-mail to coordinate in-person gatherings. However, those electronic forms of communication don't let us share a beer together in person, pick up on the nonverbal cues during conversation, or give us memories (like staying in the house that had frozen water pipes for a weekend).

Certainly information technologies and the Internet can be used wisely and well, but Groothuis argues that we do not do so. More recent technology doesn't change this book - though it is 13 years old (a few web generations), the insights still hold and may have even better exemplars now.

I recommend reading it - it is a fairly easy read (most of the time) and will keep you thinking.

I'll also note that the author was interviewed not that long ago by Tim Challies.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Why I Quit Lost

Disclaimer: This post is my own opinion and does not at all reflect the opinions of my wife on the show.

I quit Lost. Yes, after only the first two seasons. Why, when so many enjoy the show?

First, I want to be fair and give some praise to it:
  • High production values - it is very well made; the acting, sets, effects, etc.
  • Mainstream science fiction - I have to put it in the science fiction genre, and making a show with such mainstream appeal is an amazing thing
  • Draws you in - the cliffhanger at the end of nearly every episode is a great means to get you to watch next time
  • Killing off characters - not every show does that, but it certainly adds suspense
  • Details - I have to doff my hat to show creators that can manage the level of detail and consistency that (I understand) was applied that can keep the obsessive fans intrigued looking for the connections.
Second, I should mention that I was cynical about the show before my wife got me to start watching the first two seasons. I'll admit I can't pinpoint the source of it - my best guess is that it's related to the obsessiveness of the fans that I noticed before watching it. I doubt I would have been so cynical to start with if I had watched it from the beginning.

But, why quit? Here you go in no particular order:
  • Coincidences (connections between characters before the crash)- the first few were funny, but it got old to me quickly
  • Flashbacks - I understand they get less as the series goes on, but they were getting old. I just don't care enough about the characters to find out all this background info on them. Were they all bad? No. But they just got old and seem to make events drag out more.
  • Difficulty taking it as science fiction - it took me most of the first season to realize I was watching a science fiction show. In the SciFi genre, it is typical to jump in to a crazy situation (e.g. an intergalactic war) and explain things later. As a scifi reader, I have come to expect that I may be disoriented at the beginning but will have answers to what's going on at some point. Having the show set in the current day and only very, very slowly reveal the scifi elements, I had a hard time dealing with the scifi elements cropping up. It was just outside the typical formula for me.
  • Lies - I really think this is a better name for the show than "Lost" The lies really get old. Michael's lie to get Walt back. Ben Linus (not to mention all the Others) - one big pack of lies. Kate - I really don't care about her mysterious motivations to run anymore, I just assume she'll lie about them. Sawyer makes his living off of lies. Echo - lying about being a priest. Charlie - lying about heroin. Dharma films - lies or not? I understand there's a big lie about the freighter coming up (that I'll never see). Do I need to go on? I would say that lies are just as foundational to this show (if not more so) than the crash. And a lie is a poor foundation.
  • Pushing the button - this is a huge problem for me. Even with the level of computer technology we had in the 70's, it was entirely possible to execute some automated sequence every 108 minutes. There is no reason for manually entering numbers every so often. Knowing what I know about computer technology, I just can't get around that fact and have major problems with that piece of the show.
  • Cliffhangers - at the end of EVERY FREAKING EPISODE??? Ok, not every episode, but easily 75% of them.
I think that hits my main problems with it. I admit I would like to find out "what happens," but I have no desire to sit through that many hours to find out. So, yes, I am reading through the synopsis of the remaining seasons on LostPedia. The problem there is that they assume you've watched the show, so it has been difficult to follow references to things.

So, Lost fans, have your fun. I hope you enjoy the show and that many of your questions get answered. I admit it is well made and very popular. But for my part, count me out.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

22 Hours Without Power

It was an adventure. It really started yesterday afternoon about 3 when Kristy let me know I needed to go to the store. There was "wintry mix" coming down at the time and about 38 degrees, so not too big a deal. Ingles was fairly insane. (We of course needed, bread, milk, and eggs.) It was really coming down by the time I left and was sticking nicely to the road. I didn't think I could make it up our road, so I parked at the end of the road and hiked up with most of the groceries. (Yes, I hiked half a mile, uphill, in the snow, carrying a weekend's worth of groceries.) So, we ate supper and started watching The Secret of NIMH (recent purchase from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart), which we could watch for about 10 minutes at a time until the power blinked off again.

It finally went off for good around 7 pm. So, we all got ready for bed. It has never been off for more than about 6 hours, so I assumed it would be back on sometime in the night.

Oh well.

We spent most of today up in the kids bedroom. Thankfully we had a fair amount of food like cinnamon bread and bagels, so we had breakfast and lunch. We had bottled water too since the pump was off. The iPod was charged, as were our two laptops, so we got to watch some shows. We read books, played games, and slept. I brought up 5 candles and lighting those seemed to help warm the room. Still, the rest of the house got down to about 54 degrees.

Around 4 pm (while we were all having a nap) the power came on for about 10 minutes and then went back out again. About 4:30, it came on for good (so far). Whew! We of course went out to play in the snow for a bit. It was great snowball and snowman snow, so both were part of the festivities. We got about 5 inches.

And yes, I'm buying a generator.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sad commentary on PCUSA

This is a sad finding within the PCUSA. A survey was done of PCUSA members. Responding to the question "Only followers of Jesus can be saved," the following percentages of each member type responded with "strongly agree" or "agree"
  • Lay members: 39%
  • Elders: 45%
  • Pastors: 35%
  • Specialized Clergy: 22% (I'm not sure what this category means)
There are other interesting statistics found here.

I hope this is seen as a cause for weeping. How sad that a denomination should have such a distribution of responses on the doctrine of justification, particularly among the ordained leaders.

Hat tip: Presbyterian Weekly News

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Guys and the Long Weekend

This weekend was the (sort-of) usual annual get together with some Clemson buddies. The plan was to get a cabin near Hendersonville, NC and just hang out starting Friday evening and leaving Sunday morning. Well, it wasn't all according to plan. The "cottage" turned out to be a rental house in a residential neighborhood of Hendersonville. This wasn't all bad since it was close to everything in town. And, it was fairly secluded with trees all around. Overall, it was quite nice except for one thing: no running water. The pipes were frozen between the street and the house somewhere.

Being guys, we were able to deal with this situation fairly well. And the company gave us our two nights for free. So we sat around, played Settlers of Catan with both the Cities and Knights and the Seafarers expansions - very fun. We also played Risk, but used this version that has a much shorter play time. I highly recommend both. One also brought some episodes of Top Gear, which I also recommend. We also traded old in-jokes most of the time.

It was a great time with some friends that I see too rarely. It's great to be able to pick these relationships right back up after being out of contact for long periods of time. Facebook doesn't count - nor does it allow time for more serious, reflective conversations that can take place.

Well, it turned out that everyone wanted to leave by Saturday evening. Admittedly, without showers we were all getting a bit stinky. I debated staying the night and called Kristy to talk about it. I found that Kristy was sick and probably couldn't teach Sunday School in the morning, so I came back that night as well. In the midst of this, I had dropped the kids off with my parents for the weekend, so this morning on about 5 hours sleep, I went to church (40 minute drive), went from there down to Greenville to get the kids (another 2 hrs and 20 minutes or so), and came back up to Cullowhee (another 2 hrs and 15 minutes or so). And Lydia was up Saturday night/Sunday morning with a cough - thanks to my mom for nursing her for that one.

Leaving Hendersonville was bittersweet. Good to get back to the family (and get a shower), but sad to see good friends scattered again.

On my way from church to Greenville, I took a route on Hwy 123 that goes by Clemson. I drove through campus, enjoying good memories - and even some unpleasant memories that have shaped me. Those guys have been good friends to me - I'm thankful to know I have them.

Anyway, it was a good weekend. The kids are in bed, Kristy is on the mend. I'm tired but happy - and I have tomorrow off to recover from my weekend.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stephen is Reading

Stephen has just started reading! Video evidence:
video

Monday, January 04, 2010

So Empty

I often enjoy picking apart commercials and various marketing text. However, this one just made me sad. It's text from an advertisement for a magazine called "Details" which I had never heard of until now.

DETAILS is the guys' magazine that's focused squarely on what's coming down the road. Style. Music. Film. Cars. Electronics. Careers. Money. Sex. Celebrities. Whatever you're into, DETAILS is all about what's next. What's on the way. What it is you should watch for.

As a DETAILS reader, you're virtually guaranteed of being ahead of the curve, and clued in to the culture. In DETAILS' pages, you'll meet people worth knowing. You'll dress and look better. You'll live the good life. And you'll know way more about everything.

Embrace what's new, what's coming, what's best. Get DETAILS today.


And from the flip side of that ad:
DETAILS is the guide to getting the most out of everything - pop culture, fashion, current events and technology. It's the men's magazine that understands what guys want - and what they want to know more about.


I realize this is one little advertisement for one little magazine, but the shallowness amazes me. Since when is "everything" considered to be "pop culture, fashion, current events and technology?" What an empty chasing after a fleeting image. Do some of these topics have great weight? Certainly. Do I think this magazine will treat them with more than an ounce of it? No.

I leave you, dear reader, with a thought from scripture. Though this is written to women, I believe the concept applies here.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. -Proverbs 31:30

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Lydia's Sampoo Commercial Tryout

So we don't leave Lydia out of the videos, here is one of her shaking her head. She loves doing this. I think of it as her tryout for shampoo commercials.

video

Friday, January 01, 2010

Another Homemade Movie

Being off work is great. Stephen and I made another movie. Compared to the last one, it has a similar plot, different protagonist and new Special Effects.

Enjoy!

video

In case you didn't quite catch the title, it is "Dinosaur Rescue the Princess from the Globbies Good Luck." Once again Stephen's choice.

I have no idea where "globbies" comes from.