Saturday, May 29, 2004
1. I see a little spider which looks like some mutated soldier black ant crawling on my monitor.
2. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a tiny bit of black-ish movement.
3. I hear a "click."
Assessing the situation, I see that the spider has jumped a distance of at least three feet from the top of my monitor to a small container on the floor. I look at the spider, and it's doing its spidey-thing and moving around, presumably searching for food. If my math is correct, then the spider just jumped from a distance over four times as far as if I'd leapt from the top of the Empire State Building. Nasty little buggers...
...until you start actually breaking down costs. At approximately $409 per person for the War on Terror, that doesn't sound so bad. The cost of my GameCube, six games, three other controllers, memory cards, and a carrying case probably are about that much. I'm pretty sure that most people would value not being flown into skyscrapers more highly than a GameCube setup. Furthermore, given that the rich pay most of the taxes in America, the amount that I personally paid is probably fairly low (being a college student who is employed off-and-on). So, while the number is big, it's not all that impressive when you really look at it.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Let's face it: many of you aren't very good drivers. Oh, I'm sure you know how to operate your vehicle, and I've seen some of you fit your Suburban in spots where only a Jetta should fit. I have no doubt of your technical ability.
However, many of you are rude, and sometimes downright mean. When someone has their blinker on, especially when traffic is hardly moving, then it is common courtesy to let them in. Not doing so, especially if it means nearly running them into a pylon or off the road, is just plain mean. Similarly, getting all up on my rear bumper isn't likely to make me go faster or get out of the lane, especially if I'm not in the passing lane or I have a tractor-trailer in the spot where you'd like me to move.
Many of you also violate the law. In Virginia, the speed limit designates how fast you are permitted to travel. State law recognizes no instance where you may lawfully violate the speed limit, unless you are an emergency vehicle or cop. You are also forbidden from passing on the right. When you drive the way that most of you do, you put those of us who actually obey the law at risk. If you have children in your car, then I think you ought to be charged with neglect for driving the way many of you do. If you are pretending to be a Christian and still speed, then I question whether you're actually a believer or not. I'm upset when cops are going at least 70MPH (the maximum speed in Virginia is 65; also, cops and emergency vehicles may not speed unless their lights are on), and even more so when they fail to pull people over whom they know are speeding. Look: either raise the speed limit to where you actually believe it should be, or obey the law. Allowing people to drive over the speed limit is a pretty dirty thing to do, since you allow them to believe that they may speed and then pull them over whenever your podunk town needs more money. It's fundamentally dishonest, and I don't like it.
The law is the law. Either obey it or work to change it. Until it is changed, though, you still need to obey it. I'm upset that so very few people obey the law, though I should expect as much in a fallen world.
ALSO: Would it wrong for me, as a Christian, to put a sign on the liftgate of my truck that says: "SLOW DOWN, You're Not That Important?"
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Two days after my surgery, I'm feeling
Monday, May 17, 2004
The appointment was at 1PM. I'm feeling good right now (novocaine!). The rest of the day shall be occupied by sherbet, movies, and food. My sinus headache is gone, as is the nasal congestion. Oddly enough, I feel better after the surgery than before. I'm sure I'll hurt later, but for now (before any percocet or anything like that), I'm pretty good.
It looks as though the Fearsome Pirate may have closed up shop. This would be a real shame, as he was one of the most entertaining and intellectual bloggers out there. If he happens to read this, I hope he comes back.
Today, I get my wisdom teeth removed. I'm going to just go with local anaesthesia, and hopefully will be able to blog some time this evening.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Okay, I'll make this short and sweet. I've read the Iliad and seen the movie Troy. The book is better. What did the movie get wrong?
-Paris doesn't die
-Aeneas is some random guy, rather than a prince
-No explanation of Achilles' heel
-No mention of the Chryseis/Briseis thing
-Helen doesn't go back to Greece
There were some other minor things, but these were the things that really grated on me. The last time I read the book was in sixth grade, but I remember enough to know that they played pretty fast and loose with the story. It was entertaining, but it would've been a lot better if I hadn't already known the story.
Friday, May 14, 2004
He also slices, dices, and even makes julienne fries with defense of mild'n'tolerant homophobia.
My view: what he said. Look, given that 46% of the population doesn't even think that homosexual acts should even be legal, I'm practically bleeding-heart on the issue. Just keep the snake in its cage while the kids are around, and I think everyone will do pretty okay.
I will be graduated today.
If you've got some extra cash lying around and are looking for a good cause, why not consider supporting Erika? She'll be doing the same thing I did last summer, and will be helping a lot of kids. I'll be doing it as well, and am already set monetarily, but once again, why not chip in an X-, XX-, L-, or C-note towards helping her out?
(yes, I'm a dork)
Monday, May 10, 2004
Sometimes I think it'd be nice to just give up for a while, instead of trying and losing. Then again, I know I'm not going to do that.
Well, that's not entirely true. However, as implied by the post directly below this one, I value effort over achievement. One way this was made manifest was this past year.
I'm in the Marching Virginians and the University Pep Band, meaning that I play at the football and men's basketball games. If they go to a bowl game or tournament, we usually go as well. So far, I've been to two Gator Bowls and the San Francisco Bowl with the football team. I would've had the chance to go to our first and last Big East tournament with the basketball team, except that I already had plans to go to Chester over that weekend.
I prefer football to basketball, but I think going to the tournament would've been more important to me than any of our bowl games. While our football team is good, and tries hard, there are times when I'm just underwhelmed. The archetype of this, in my view, is DeAngelo Hall, who would run his mouth all week, then allow his man to get ten yards before tackling him. It's not that the team wasn't trying, but just that I didn't see them giving their 110% when it came down to the wire.
In contrast, our basketball team probably could have a TV movie made about them if we weren't Virginia Tech. For our first three years in the Big East, we always just missed out on the tournament, often appearing to give up near the end. This year, under the leadership of head coach Seth Green and players Bryant Matthews (our only Senior) and Bryan Randall, we made it, beat Rutgers, and played #1 Pittsburgh in a close game. Do you know how we got there? Pure heart. We had two games that I saw where we were down by around fifteen, only to battle back and win by one point in literally the last second. You don't get that by giving up. Most of the players were young, had come to a losing program with a new coach, and weren't really expected to do all that much. Instead, they stepped up, despite plaing against quality opponents and dealing with this year's Big East officiating.
Back to football, I've got a somewhat similar view. Bryan Randall, by all accounts, works very hard at what he does. Even when it looked as though he'd be benched, he worked to help his replacement. Marcus Vick, by all accounts, seems to think that he's Michael Vick 2.0 and is therefore both an awesome player and above rules. I'd rather have a team of people like Randall and lose all of our games (well...beating UVA and Miami would be nice) than win the championship with people like Vick. I seriously plan on booing Vick whenever he starts or replaces Randall for something other than an injury. That may seem wrong, but I think character counts. Bryan Randall and our basketball team have character.
Friday, May 07, 2004
Well, I've been learning a lot about Microeconomics today, but that's not what this post is about.
I'm sure that by now you've probably seen the picture of President Bush comforting a girl whose mom was lost in the World Trade Center. The picture was not a photo op, but rather was snapped by the girl's father. People who've met Bush seem to have similar experiences with him (and that's just from one Mark Shea post). While many disagree with him, either on many or, as I do, on a few, issues, honest people all seem to come away believing that he is at least a good and upright man, whether misguided or not.
As I've mentioned before, I've started preparing for marriage, though there's no girl in the picture yet. I've been praying that God would show me how to be a good husband, and asking for guidance in the Bible by seeing how those counted as righteous lived. Even more so, I realized that to be a good husband, one must first be a good man. From that, being a good husband should flow.
The theme for this year's Navigator Bible studies has been a survey of the New Testament. However, after a certain number of Pauline letters, I felt as though perhaps getting back into the Old Testament for a while might be a nice break. I won't say that I was looking for some "light" reading, but I was at least in the mood for stories, rather than direct instructions, especially when I wasn't as familiar with those stories as I am with the Gospels. So, I decided to start reading Judges. I skipped Ruth, but then read through First and Second Samuel, and am now in First Kings. Basically, it's been the narrative of the post-Exodus leaders of Israel up until the Babylonian captivity.
Back to Bush. Reading through the comments at Mark Shea's and other sites, I saw that there were essentially two responses. The first was from supporters of Bush who appreciated what they were seeing, and the second was from detractors who nonetheless admired Bush as a man. This second group has decided that, if it came down to it, they'd rather have a bad man in office (and I'm not labelling Kerry as bad, but a bad man could fill this role) who did what they thought was right for the nation than a good man who messed things up. I can understand this position. I've often considered that I'd rather vote for a Pro-Life scumbag than a good man who, for whatever reason, supported access to abortion. Many of us are single-issue voters and are more concerned with issues than with character. However, I suspect that most of us, at least ostensibly, would say that we'd rather have an honest man whom we disagreed with than a bad man of our own party. The thing is, some issues are so volatile that they get in the way of that view, especially if we decide that support for an opposing view reflects a wicked character (which is not to say that this is never the case, but rather that it isn't necessarily so).
However, we often forget that while God allows us a certain amount of free will, His will always trumps. God would not allow abortion to exist if it meant that his overall plan were to be thwarted. If you believe that the war in Iraq is wrong, then you still have to admit that it does not prevent God's plan from coming to fruition. When Israel chose to be ruled by human kings, God granted it, though He warned them through Samuel that they would suffer for their choice. In fact, God tends to take the bad and broken and turn it to his purposes as a new creation. Through the Pharisees, people such as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea met Christ. Through the Roman occupation, Cornelius met Peter. It would take an entire book to chronicle the evil that put Paul on the road to Damascus yet allowed him to experience the risen Christ. Judas' treachery and Satan's scheming paved the way for the ultimate redemption of mankind. Hopefully, through being face-to-face with abortion, people will come to appreciate the value of a human life. If the Iraq war is wrong, then hopefully we will learn how better to deal with our enemies (and, if it is a just war, how to identify ones in the future).
Looking at the leaders of Israel, we see a bit of a pattern. When the leader was a good man (or woman, in Deborah's case), God blessed Israel. When the leader was wicked, calamity ensued. When a leader did right or did wrong, the question was not about the consequences of the action, but rather whether his heart was inclined towards God. King David did some pretty scummy things, from executing opponents to not punishing Amnon for raping Tamar to orchestrating Uriah the Hittite's death so as to cover up his affair with Bathsheba. And yet, the Bible tells us that David was a man after God's own heart, and we see that Israel prospered under David. This is not to say that his actions did not have consequences, as seen by his not being allowed to build the Temple and in Absalom's revolt, but that despite falling down repeatedly, David was still trying to walk with God. We can contrast David with Solomon, who, despite his unrivaled wisdom, should be considered a failure. There was peace in Solomon's time, but at the cost of alienating most of the Israelite tribes. When Solomon built the Temple, I think he did it as much for his own glory as for God's. We read of him wastefully covering valuable materials such as cedar in gold. Furthermore, after building the house of God, his own palace was twice as big. Though the reign of Solomon would appear to be a success, it sowed the seeds of Israel's ultimate downfall and the destruction of the Temple.
The leader of a nation is that way due to the will of the people. This may be active, as in the United States where we vote peacefully, or passive as in a dictatorship where the people see more personal benefit in being as slaves than rising up or fleeing (and, to clarify our own status, I don't know how many of us could say that we'd be revolutionaries if we lived in a place like North Korea). Thus, the leader can be said to represent the people, because if he were sufficiently unrepresentative, either he would be removed or the people would be removed (either through fleeing or because they were executed for their opposition). If a leader is righteous, it is because the people at least have tolerance for righteousness. In the same way, an evil dictator is allowed to wield power because good men do nothing. In Israel, when the people cried out when under the yoke of wicked rulers, they were rescued. When they rejoiced in the rule of a good king, they were rewarded. However, when we read of them not rebelling against the rule of someone like Ahab, God punishes them.
We are rewarded or punished for the devotional failings of our leaders because our leaders are representative of us. When you vote for President, you are essentially saying "I cede my right to execute decisions directing this country to the future President, and I furthermore would like for X candidate to be that President." If you vote for a good man and a bad man becomes President, you will still suffer for the choice of your country, but it will be credited to you as righteousness that you supported the Godly man. Likewise, if you vote for an evil man or do not vote, you cannot claim any share of the glory resulting from the actions of the good man. "Caesar" is not necessarily evil. If it were, then Peter would've told Cornelius to leave the service of the Roman emperor, much as Christ told one rich man to sell all that he had. Instead, we see in government a reflection of ourselves that can be seen by all. If we have a bad government, then we need to examine ourselves. If our leader is representative of us, then we need to emulate good leaders.
A man who leads a church must also be successful in leading his own family, and to lead his own family, he must be a good man. By looking at things that are a step removed from us, we can see things that aren't visible when we focus on ourselves. One way for me to learn to be a good man is to see what leaders in the past and in the present have done that makes them good men and apply it to my own life.
UPDATE: Check this out.
While I don't condone torture, the idea that prison shouldn't be humiliating is just stupid. The purpose of prisons should be primarily to correct, and secondarily to contain criminals. Given that much of the trouble was their own warped sense of pride, a little humble pie might just be the right thing for shocking some of these people into civility. So, let's recap: torture of prisoners=bad; women jailers of prideful men=feature, not a bug.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
The threat of terrorism is better than the threat of global nuclear annihilation. Progress isn't always pretty.
There are some things that I definitely am, and some things that I'm definitely am not. Sometimes, I can only define myself by what I'm not. Here goes...
IS NOT a member of ECUSA
IS NOT a member of the Anglican Communion
IS an Evangelical
IS NOT Protestant
IS NOT part of the Roman Communion
IS a Sacramentalist
IS NOT a Sacerdotalist
IS open to miracles
IS NOT Charismatic/Pentecostal
IS NOT a Dispensationalist
IS a fan of Catholic/Lutheran arguments on Free Will
IS NOT a Calvinist
IS a Bible inerrantist
IS NOT a Bible literalist
Delofting- (DEE-lohft-ing): the act of disassembling a loft bed, typically done during finals week
I've decided that it would be good to decide which of the albums I own is the best. All genres are competing against each other, though conceivably I may give out sub-awards. Quality will be decided not only be aesthetic appeal, but also message, status of the performer, and perhaps even things like cover art. Bands will be limited to one submission apiece, though solo albums can earn a separate spot. Not all my albums will be listed; only those which, in my view, are worthy of consideration. Let it begin!
Alpert, Herb and the Tijuana Brass: "Whipped Cream" (instrumental)
Ambassador- "Christology: In Layman's Terms" (Christian/hip-hop)
Audio Adrenaline- "Hit Parade" (Christian/pop)
Canadian Brass- "The Essential Canadian Brass" (instrumental)
Cash, Johnny- "American IV: The Man Comes Around" (country)
Catch-22- "Keasbey Nights" (ska/punk)
Cross Movement- "Holy Culture" (Christian/hip-hop)
DC Talk- "Jesus Freak" (Christian/pop)
Doctormanette- "The Same Thing Over and Over" (ska)
Eddie From Ohio- "Looking Out the Fishbowl" (folk/alternative)
Fountains of Wayne- "Utopia Parkway" (pop/alternative)
Gin Blossoms- "New Miserable Experience" (alternative)
Green Day- "Warning" (punk)
Hippos- "Heads Are Gonna Roll" (ska)
Insyderz- "Skalleluia" (Christian/ska)
Jesus Christ Superstar- "Original London Cast" (soundtrack)
Marching Virginians- "Gameday" (instrumental)
O.C. Supertones- "Supertones Strike Back" (Christian/ska)
Police- "Every Breath You Take: the Classics" (alternative)
Queens of the Stone Age- "Music for the Deaf" (rock/alternative)
Reel Big Fish- "Turn the Radio Off" (ska)
Relient K- "Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...But Three Do" (Christian/punk)
Rush- "2112" (rock/alternative)
Social Distortion- "Social Distortion" (punk)
Toasters- "T-Time/This Gun for Hire" (ska)
U2- "Greatest Hits: 1980-1989" (alternative)
As I was praying and reading this morning, I got to thinking (which is never a wise idea). I've recently had several Calvinists try and convince me that Predestination is right, and one of their arguments is that God isn't constrained by time.
Something else floating around in my mind was Jim Downing reminding us that God had promised to "remember our sins no more" for believers
Calvinists argue that because God transcends time, and knows everything that is, was, or ever shall be, He is in complete control, as He knows exactly what consequences every action will have, and will not let things happen that violate his Sovereign Will. However, I got to thinking: what if that promise is literally true, rather than just a figure of speech? What if God actually will not know of any sins that we've committed, rather than just assigning them to Christ? As I see it, you've got three things: God, Supernature (angels, demons, etc.), and Nature (for which "Universe" and "Creation" can be synonyms, at least here). The Universe, and at least much of Supernature, was created for the sake of Man. This includes time. While time exists, God knows how we were, how we are, and how we will be all at once. While He knows all, it may be that despite the fact that He also knows all possibilities, He still gives us free will to accept or reject Him. At the end, time will be destroyed, and all that will be left is how things are. Those that are unrighteous will be away from God, in what we call "forever," despite there not being any more time. Those who are righteous will be with God. As there is no more time, our past simply does not exist. God will not remember because our sins do not exist once time has been abolished.
Now, I don't really have Scripture quotes for this yet, but I'm working on it. So far as I know, this doesn't violate my understanding of the Bible. This argument, by itself, doesn't prove that God gives us free will, but simply provides a scenario where free will doesn't violate God's will. Also, I don't think this is a new argument. I think that it's been widely understood, and to such an extent as to not seem to be necessary to state over and over again. It's as though I walked outside and said "There's air outside!" Well, duh. However, I could be straying way off into the realms of heresy, too, so any critiques and comments would be appreciated. I'm happy to clarify, and to retract if I'm wrong.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
The Virginia Anglican Bishops finish the season 11-1 and ranked #10, with a 24-0 victory over Oregon State in the Sun Bowl. I'm losing my starting QB, TE, FB, KR/PR, and best DT, so I'm hurting! Given that I use a mobile QB and throw a lot to the TE and run with the FB, I need a seriously good recruiting class!
UPDATE: Talk about being a glutton for punishment! This coming season, Virginia Anglican will play #1 Texas, #14 Colorado, #15 Washington, #16 Nebraska, #18 Notre Dame, #22 Virginia Tech, and #23 South Carolina. We'll close out our season against UVA. I could've also scheduled #3 Miami and #20 Boise State, but Miami didn't really fit my schedule and I can't bear playing on that stupid blue field again at Boise State. This is either going to be a seriously long season, or I'm going all the way.
Monday, May 03, 2004
So I was looking at my GameCube a few days ago, and decided that something was missing. That something was a football game. I already had Madden for the N64, but what I wanted was a college-level game. Thus, I picked up a used copy of NCAA Football 2003 for under $10 a few days ago.
It's become my new addiction. I created my own school (Virginia Anglican, home of the Bishops) and started a dynasty. I got stomped by the visiting Utah in my first game, depressing me, as I saw that my next game was on the road at #9 Nebraska. The one thing I knew, though, was that Nebraska likes to run. I pretty quickly realized that they would run on the first two downs, then go long on third, and so I managed to contain them. After a few field goals, I somehow managed to get a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Final score: 13-0, Virginia Anglican. Next, I hosted 1AA Northwest at Cathedra, my stadium (I'm a dork). We'll get to the subject of my pass defense in a second, but suffice it to say that I was happy to come out with a 7-0 victory.
I'm currently in the middle of the gauntlet, having played at Iowa, at Boise State, and hosting BYU. Iowa was tough, with several miracle drives on both our parts and an astounding lack of pass defense. Time ran out with the score 28-28, prompting overtime. On a pair of fourth-and-long completions followed by a short run, I managed to sneak in. Then, another miracle: my porous pass defense managed to pick off an Iowa pass, ending the game. After that, I trudged to the immensely-disliked Boise State. Why do I dislike BSU so much? Please tell me: is there anything cheaper in all of football than blue uniforms on a blue field? I thought not. In any case, BSU also seemed to consistently manage to catch balls that were thrown off-balance by the QB when the receiver was in double, triple, or even quadruple coverage. They also have an annoying habit of going for it on fourth down, even when they need five yards (they usually make it). In the practice games I played, they would keep things even, finally scoring on a miracle drive at the end. During one game, I forced them to settle for a field goal (or so I thought). Little did I know that my outstanding returner would pick this one time to muff the kick, setting up another Boise State touchdown. I felt pretty hosed after that game, and was determined to whup the heck out of them in the actual game. After a fruitless first half on both sides, it dawned on me that blitzing all the time was actually a good strategy, as they kept throwing either far downfield or into the flat. I recorded several sacks, and set myself up for two touchdowns, which I capped with a field goal in the final seconds. Pumped, I immediately decided to take on BYU without any practicing.
It started out okay: I held them to only a field goal when they realistically could've had a touchdown. I then drove up the field to about the three-yard-line. Well, the obvious thing to do was to hand the ball off to my bruising fullback and let him power in for the TD. No, instead, he decides to fumble (for the first time) inches before the goal line, resulting in a turnover. My D managed to hold them and force a punt, which I eventually drove back to set up a tying FG right before the half. Coming out, I received the kick and drove, once again, to the three. No longer trusting my FB in clutch situations, I handed it off to my back-up running back (outstanding RB Peter Akinola being out for eight weeks with a rib injury). He ran through the BYU line...and fumbled inches before the goal line. I was a little upset about this, but then, when I thought things couldn't get any more frustrating, my defense goes and totally redeems itself with a safety (resulting in the incongruous score of 5-3)! I managed to hold them, and finally complete a series of long passes for another TD to end the game 12-3, with an overall record of 5-1. Next up is New Mexico, with later games against New Mexico State (either NM or NMSU is good; I can't remember which), Troy State, Middle Tennessee State, and UL-Monroe. There's a pretty decent chance that I'll finish 11-1, though against a fairly weak schedule.
Virginia Anglican is a "middle-of-the-road" school, meaning that all my talent values start out at about average, and my fan base is fairly weak. So far, I've doubled fan attendance and TV viewership. I'm currently #2 among Independents (behind Notre Dame), and #13 in overall record. I'm not ranked, and don't expect to be unless I can win a bowl game and be 12-1 for the season. As for my pass defense...it's not good. I'm not sure where it's ranked among NCAA teams, but #94 rings a bell. However...my run defense is #1 in the NCAA. I held Nebraska to two yards. Nebraska. My defense is currently #5 overall, which is a darn good thing because I'm dead last in offensive yards, averaging about 215 per game (I managed to lower my average slightly in the win over BYU). Basically, no one runs against me, and their passes, to be successful, have to go long. My opponent will typically rack up around 200+ yards of passing, but stall out just out of FG range. My own offense tends to involve a lot of running and a few passes. The runs, usually, don't do much, though I tend to break a few 10-yarders. Just as often as the first down runs, though, are the sacks, which limits my total running yardage. However, I seem to have an excellent talent for stringing together third-and-long completions to my tight end and #2 wide receiver (my current running back and most productive receiver are both white, while the quarterback is black, which is a little uncommon), typically resulting in about two scores per game.
HokiePundit: Tenacious D
UPDATE: I beat New Mexico 27-17. Still no calls from the Top 25 polls, though...
FURTHER UPDATE: After a 42-7 thrashing of UL-Monroe, the 7-1 Virginia Anglican Bishops are now consensus #25 in the nation. Memo to NMSU: ph34r m3
Sunday, May 02, 2004
After many years of experience and some time thinking, I've finally decided to resolve one of the central mysteries of Christian religious practice.
If you're looking for an exclamation of praise, "hallelujah" is correct. If you're looking to state that praise is being given, "alleluia" is the desired choice. Thus:
1. "Hallelujah! He is Risen!"
2. "Alleluia to the King of Kings."
A rule of thumb might be "hallelujah for" and "alleluia to." Now that this has been resolved, I firmly expect a spirit of ecumenism to break out in five...four...three...
Saturday, May 01, 2004
Erika has some good thoughts about NLCF, one of the campus ministries. She's involved with one of their worship teams, but has found that the ministry itself (which started at Tech, has a branch at Radford, and a mission in Los Angeles) doesn't really meet her needs. This tends to be a common complaint especially about NLCF, and to some extent many of the other ministries (Navs is not immune from complaint, either). In short, while no one doubts their dedication and earnestness, the seeming focus solely on evangelism and lack of depth makes it a decent "gateway" church, but not one where most people will stay for more than a little while.