Sunday, February 27, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
I decided that I wanted to spend the rest of my money on individual songs instead of full albums. You know how it is, you buy an album and you only like half the songs, if that. So, instead of falling into that trap, I decided only to buy the songs I knew I liked. Back when my work computer was worth a damn I could listen to Pandora Radio (seriously, my work computer can not play music or videos without crashing now) and found a lot of new artists I liked. Bret Dennen, Forest Sun, the Decemberists and Ben Gibbard's solo stuff came from my Avett Brothers station. The Panic! at the Disco and Metro Station songs came from my Owl City station. I bought:
- Just Like The Moon
- When I Go
- Make You Crazy
- Aint No Reason
- She’s Mine
The Decemberists: The entire “Picaresque” album. (Yea, I know what I said, but I liked enough songs that buying the entire album was cheaper than song-by-song.)
- No Regrets
- Walk Through Walls
- Weep and Wail
- Drops in the Ocean
- In the Morning
Panic! At the Disco: Nine in the Afternoon (fun music)
- We Need Each Other
So, I still have 34.37 left on iTunes. Any suggstions?
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Today I am taking a page out of my friend Kyle Case’s blog and writing up a little grumble of mine: 3D movies. This new fad has made Hollywood a bunch of money but it is a rip off. Some movies are not shot in 3D but are later converted so that they appear to be in 3D. Beware these types of movies; they suck. The 3D is awful and the reality is they would look better in 2D. They just slap 3D on there so they can squeeze 3 extra dollars out of you. An example of this type of scam is Clash of the Titans.
Other movies claim to be 3D but the truth is that only portions of the movie are 3D. So, you could be watching a two hour movie but only 20 minutes are in 3D. What a rip off. An example of this is Tron: Legacy. I saw this in 3D, expecting to be blown away. I was not.
The final type of 3D movie is one that is shot entirely in 3D. This is the requirement all movies who get to put 3D on their listing should have to meet. This is what should make the movie worth the extra money. The upcoming Drive Angry movie was shot totally in 3D. I don’t have any desire to see it, but I applaud the filmmaker for taking it all the way.
(By the way, the above can also apply to IMAX movies. There are some that were not shot in IMAX at all but are shown at IMAX, some shot with some IMAX film (like Batman Begins) and those shot totally for IMAX. The difference is, even if a movie was not shot for IMAX at all, it is still worth the extra cash to see the movie on that enormous screen.)
Other grumbles about 3D:
The glasses just haven’t reached a high level of quality yet. Those one-size-fits all glasses really end up being barely-fits-one-person-correctly. What I hope for are something more in the style of Geordi La Forge with an adjustable strap in the back.Do we really even need glasses at all? They have developed screens that create the 3D effect without glasses at all. These are at work in some 3D TVs and is the technology behind the new Nintendo 3DS.
One day 3D movies will be the norm and they will be awesome. The kinks will be fixed. The price will stabilize. Right now, I avoid them like the plague.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
This is a band that you all need to listen to. This band consists of six guys from the Lakeland, FL area, three of which I can call a friend. They have a good bit of Anathallo in them. Whimsical, lots of musical changes, very intelligent lyrics. Their music makes me happy and their lyrics challenge me. An example:
“We die. I guess this raises some questions. Like what would it profit us to find our worth in a place we’re about to leave?”
What a challenge lyric! This one hits me every time. I do, so often, find my worth in the things of Earth instead of setting my mind and heart on the things above.
Solia Tera has two EPs out, both of which are on iTunes, a total of 9 songs between the two. You can listen to full songs on myspace. Please check them out: http://www.myspace.com/soliatera/music
Monday, February 7, 2011
Monday, January 31, 2011
The main reason Zach and Lyndy are going to Northern Mozambique is to train pastors. The church is exploding in Mozambique but there are not enough pastors to teach the new Christians. There is something like 70 churches in northern Mozambique with only 3 trained pastors between them. The people in Mozambique are hungry for God. It is harvest time. Please help Zach and Lyndy get there and begin training these new Christians who have heard a call of God in their life to be in ministry.
This is the link to their website, The Extension Chord. Please check it out and donate, even just $5 or $10. Every little bit helps. I know these people. I will vouch for them. They are going to do great things for the kingdom of God.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
That is, until three weeks ago. From Jan 10-Jan 21 I did not have much hot water. Some days It would start hot but within 5 minutes would be cold. Some days it would stay mild the whole time, warm enough to shower but not so warm that I was not paranoid that any second I would be in freezing water. Some days it was just freezing. As I said, this went on for about two weeks. However, this week the water has been very hot the entire time. I have a theory as to why this is.
I think that some of the ladies of Kresge made a New Years resolution. They were going to be responsible adults and wake up early. They would not hit snooze until 7:55 then frantically dress and run to class. They would shower and eat breakfast before their 8 o'clock class. Because they did this, they used up the hot water that I usually use during my routine...for two weeks. As the days wore on, less and less of them made the attempt. The lure of sleep outweighed the desire to get up early. Slowly, one by one, they gave up. And now my routine is back to normal.
Thank you ladies of Kresge. Thank you for giving up. Thank you for hitting snooze. My mornings are so much better because you do.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Do you think one day we will be held accountable for every dime we spent on sports, and every minute we spent watching sports? If you are not aware, there are some terrible things going on in the world—oppression, starvation, slavery—the sorts of things we as Christians are supposed to be standing up against. How many times have you heard that nearly half the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day? That’s $730 a year ($732 on Leap Year). Or to put it into perspective, about $500 less than I spent on season tickets this season.
Will I get a pass on this at Judgment Day? Will Jesus say, “You spent more money on football tickets than 3 billion of my children lived on in one year, but I understand, those games sure were exciting, well done, my good and faithful servant.”Of course you can get as legalistic with this as you want. I spent just as much on the cable and Internet bill as I did on football tickets. Is it OK for a Christian to have cable when children are starving in Africa?...Perhaps it’s a question of comfort. If you have disposable income to spend on sporting events, maybe your life has become too comfortable.
Disposable income. I know some people will immediately scoff and say, "I don't have disposable income." Yes you do. Its the money you spend at McDonalds, the movies, the mall, paying for gas to drive anywhere other than your job, etc. We have it and more often than not we use it on ourselves.
Now, Abby and I have a way to keep our disposable income spending down. Its called a budget. Within that budget is "Aaron's Fun Money" column and "Abby's Fun Money" column. (For a full explanation see Fun Money). The only way I can feel comfortable with us even having fun money is if I know we are giving away at least the same amount of money or more to charity, and that does not include tithe. So the way we determine our fun money amount is: total amount set aside to give to charity this month divided by 2. Then Abby and I each get that amount (roughly). This keeps me sane.
Then Christmas came. I got quite a bit of cash for Christmas. I was excited thinking, "I get to buy myself lots of stuff!" Then I read that article and it reminded me that Christmas is not my birthday and I will be accountable one day for the things I spend my money on. What a sobering thought.
For me, as I ponder all of this, what I think it means for me is that I need to find a worthy organization to be the recipient of some of my Christmas cash. But is that the answer or just a way to assuage my guilt?
To read the full article that started this mess:
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I know, my first book isn't super intellectual. It was purely a guilty pleasure read. I said I would put a book review up of each book I read in 2011, and review it I shall.
Transformers: Exodus gives us the history of Cybertron from before Autobots and Decipticons existed through the time they leave Cybertron and make their way toward Earth. I grew up watching the Transformers TV Show. I loved the 1986 animated movie (still do). The book caught my interest because it promised to show us how Optimus Prime and Megatron came to be the leaders they are. The book sets up a number of intriguing and exciting plot lines that ultimately fall flat due to execution. I will give only one example: Megatron begins as a rebel who is trying to overthrow the oppressive caste system of his planet. Optimus shares his ideals and they become friends, ultimate becoming co-leaders of the anti-caste movement. This is good stuff. Anyone who has ever seen any form of the transformers know Optimus and Megatron are mortal enemies. They hate each other. But, wait, what? They were once friends? This opens the opportunity for the author to really develop their friendship. To show them grow together, then slowly apart, with some event leading to a violent break between them. Instead we get 30-40 pages of weak build up with an unconvincing event leading to a lackluster "betrayal".
The author also failed to ever establish a consistent form of measurements or terms. In using words like "cycles" and "orbits" he tried to help the reader feel like they were truly reading a foreign history. Instead, the inconsistencies make reading a juvenile novel feel exceedingly difficult.
I was hoping that Transformers: Exodus would be the Silmarillion for the Transformer mythology. Not even close. Hey, Hasboro, let me take a crack at this thing. I promise to do the mythology and its characters more justice.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Yesterday we were able to give him a bath. They bath Eli once a week but we had not been offered an opportunity to participate until yesterday. It was wonderful. He really liked having his hair washed and his scalp rubbed, but hey, who doesn't right?. The best NICU nurse in the world was there to walk us through each step. Her name is Rhonda.
Look at him. He is just so happy.
We were also able to measure him and he is now 15.5 inches long. He was 13 in long when we has born which means he is growing at approximately .5 inches a week.
Looking right at his mama.