Friday, March 21, 2008

Thanks James

JamesF has a history of making blog posts and the occasional short movie about a brick. It's not just any brick, but THE Brick. I know, sounds kinda unusual, but that's James. Some have been really funny, some have been informative, but all creative. He has just made another one (at my request it seems), and I have to say it made me actually laugh out loud.
Go visit his page and watch James T. Brick. (I have to believe it's funnier if you are a Star Trek fan. Especially if you remember some of the episodes he alludes to.)

Well done James.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ok ok, so we didn't eat it on St. Pat's, but we did have it soon after. Da Wife fired up our crock pot and made a nice batch of homemade corned beef and cabbage. (And was even nice enough to make one of my favorites... blondies with Heath bar chunks. NO. I will NOT share.)

And I have a new addiction/habit to feed. It all started in trying to find a way to lessen the stress of my daily commute. Granted my 11 miles is almost nothing compared to many in the area, but the 30 to 45 minutes to drive that stretch can be one of the most infuriating experiences of my day. XM comedy helped a bit in taking the edge off, but honestly on bad days... I was grouchy when I showed up at the office, and worse when I got home. Regardless of how I slept or how the day went.

Tiring of this I decided to listen the books on CD my friend Kim got for me (Thanks Kim!). What a difference! With the books on CD, I barely even notice my drive, and sometimes... I even find myself wanting to sit after I've parked to finish the section. I'm now sadly on the last 2.5 CDs of the third and sadly last book in the series.

It is excellently executed in audio with the author himself narrating, and a whole cast of characters for the voices. Apparently the series "His Dark Materials" by Philip Pullman, has raised all kinds of controversy. And as with most things like that, I like it despite what anyone else tells me to do. I can see (this far into the series) why the parties that got upset got their um... knickers in a bunch. I do not see how it caused THAT much of an uproar though.

People were concerned that it would corrupt their children into hating the church. And there are many pieces of the book that portray the church (used collectively as many different organizations across different universes) in a poor light. However, throughout the whole story, the concepts of spirituality and divinity remain intact, and are reinforced. While an entertaining (and occasionally profound) story, it does have some heavy elements throughout, and I wouldn't want a young child reading it. For children that are age appropriate I can't see banning it. Not from a child that I had properly instilled my beliefs in. Banning and/or forbidding only makes it more tempting. If the children are firmly grounded then they can put things in perspective (possibly with help and direction from a parent). What will happen to these kids when they are sent off into the world, and at that time meet things that go against their teachings? I would want my child armed.

Of course, I have no kids, and no intention to have any, and further I was not bothered by the message in the series. And contrary to the arguments raised about the books, it is NOT atheistic, it is NOT an attack on God/the Creator. It is fairly rough on a representation of "the church", though many of the things that come across as unfavorable do have factual historic events as examples. If you don't like the message, then don't take it with you, but it's still well performed.

Clearly, I need more sleep.

Next book in the queue?
Stephen King's "Duma Key"
(No idea what it's about, but I like King's writing, so how bad could it be?)
((Besides... it was on SALE! A feature that JamesF can really support.))

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Apparently I haven't blogged in a while. I had several topics for discussion including the ridiculousness of Daylight Savings Time (Why do we call it "Standard Time" if we're only using it for 4 months now...) and how I'd like to stop changing the clocks and just stick with one time, and I don't care which. I think I even heard a report on a study that recently determined that as a country we aren't really saving energy due to the number of folks using AC/Heat/Lighting/Etc at home instead of the business world. I just think it would be nice to just stop the insanity... after I get my extra hour of sleep in the fall of course.