2005/09/20 at 10:34

Seen in a comment here:

Stan Taylor cannibal

2005/09/20 at 09:39

While scanning my spam folder this morning before deleting the 64 messages that came in overnight, this one caught my eye:
By the way, Gmail’s spam filter is great: of the 150-200 spam messages that I receive each day, only about half a dozen don’t get filtered into my spam folder, and the false positive rate (good email that gets incorrectly identified as spam) is very low, maybe one message every few weeks.

The virtues

2005/09/14 at 15:27

Our neighbors named their children Faith, Hope and… Paul, Jr. For some odd reason I find this endlessly humorous. I wonder if they were planning on their third child being a girl.

John Scalzi on Christians

2005/09/13 at 13:14

Last week, I linked to John Scalzi’s lyrical and profound list Being Poor. This week, Scalzi follows up his post with this comment:

One of the more gratifying things about the aftermath of the “Being Poor” piece I wrote a week ago is how often I’ve been seeing it pop up on Christian-oriented Web sites, blogs and journals, followed by a sincere examination by the poster of what one ought to do about poverty, as Christians and as members of a larger community. By this I emphatically do not mean that all of a sudden these Christians are thinking about poverty seriously thanks to me, and that I should get a shiny medal or something like that. That would be a wildly stupid and arrogant assumption on my part, and while I’ve been known to be both wildly stupid and arrogrant, this isn’t one of those times. No, I believe these Christians were already grappling with issues like poverty, and this was just one more data point for them to consider.

What’s gratifying about these Christians using “Being Poor” to discuss poverty is not so much that they are talking about it but that I am seeing them discussing it, reminding me — as I do need to be reminded from time to time — that however much I rail against people I see as mouthing Christ’s words and ideas and yet living a life apart from the ideals they claim to profess, there are as many if not more people who genuinely struggle to follow the example Jesus set and stay on the path that He walked. It’s a reminder that the question “What Would Jesus Do?” is not just a snappy catchphrase on a bracelet, but also and hopefully foremost a genuine question that cuts to the core of how one should live one’s life and how one should approach others.

Scalzi touches on an issue that I try to impress upon non-Christians at every opportunity: for every wacko self-avowed Christian who makes the news, or for every fish bumper sticker you see in traffic, there are millions of us Christians quietly going about the task of trying to live out the Gospel. We’re far from perfect, and we frequently fail in our task, but we continue to try to carry out the New Covenant: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
We are your neighbors and coworkers–though you may not even know it, because for us, it’s about trying to live the Gospel, not necessarily talking about it.

Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman

2005/09/13 at 13:09

I just completed the audio edition of Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman. The more of Hillerman’s books I read (well, listen to), the more I come to appreciate the quality of his writing. In addition, this novel passed my mystery novel test: I had no idea about the solution to the mystery before the protagonist, Jim Leaphorn, figured it out.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

2005/09/13 at 13:06

I finally finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this week. I lost interest in the middle, but it picked back up again toward the end. Well written as usual, but I found it a little contrived in places. It’s really hard to say whether J. K. Rowling’s writing has changed or whether my interest in the series waned. Enjoyable nonetheless.


2005/09/12 at 11:21

We bought a new lawnmower a while back. After describing our needs to the Home Depot salesman, Katie and I asked him what it would cost us. He replied, “Well, it depends on how much you want to invest.” Katie and I were both taken aback by that answer. One of us stammered something like, “Well, I don’t want to think of it as an investment at all. We just need the cheapest lawnmower that meets the needs we described.”
Today, I read this Ask Metafilter comment. Now I realize that the salesman was probably just misusing ‘invest’ to mean ‘spend.’ I had never heard that before.


2005/09/12 at 09:14

On Friday, sixteen families in our neighborhood rented a party barge together and had a good time out on Lake Travis. This was my favorite photo from the day:

Lessons learned the hard way (or not learned)…

2005/09/08 at 15:02

Don’t gossip about one coworker to another co-worker via instant message!

This afternoon, I wanted to say something less than flattering to coworker #1 about coworker #2, but because #2 was on my mind, I double clicked on his name in my buddy list instead of #1’s, and I sent the snide comment directly to #2. Doh!
Fortunately, my comment wasn’t terribly bad, and coworker #2 is generally good natured and understands that this kind of thing happens, so the damage wasn’t too bad–this time.
Not like the time I wanted to make a comment about my boss and made the same mistake.

Not my God…

2005/09/08 at 11:32

Tim Wise offers a harsh rant based on an overheard conversation: A God with Whom I am not Familiar.

You blessed your chimichanga in the name of Jesus Christ, and then proceeded to spend the better part of your meal–and mine, since I was too near your table to avoid hearing every word–morally scolding the people of [New Orleans], heaping scorn on them for not heeding the warnings to leave before disaster struck. Then you attacked them–all of them, without distinction it seemed–for the behavior of a relative handful: those who have looted items like guns, or big screen TVs.

Go read the whole thing.