Tuesday, December 31, 2002

2002 Year in Review

This blog is almost (by one week) a year old! That means that I've been doing this for almost an entire year. What have I done??? Well, a brief, but not all-inclusive, recap is in order:

Earthcam New Year's 2003

"EarthCam's New Year's 2003 presents live coverage from dozens of countries around the world. Of special interest, check out the live views from our eight cameras that will observe the New Year's celebrations in Times Square, New York City!"

I wonder if there is a contest for having the first blog post published in the New Year?

Andrew Sullivan | A Blogger Manifesto - Why online weblogs are one future for journalism.

"...One thing we've learned from web journalism is that predictions of sudden change have tended to evaporate as months and years have gone by. But it's still true that bloggers are perhaps among the first writers to have the medium direct them rather than the other way round..."

I liked this article so much that I had to link to it, so that I could revisit often.

The Pleiades

"Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades?" - God, to Job in Job 38:31 (emphasis added)

Check out this Astronomy Picture of the Day for the Pleiades.

The Creative Anniversary Calculator

As of the time of this post, I am 392.50 months old! In (Earth) years, that would be 32.71 years old. Find out when your next 'anniversary' will be!

Re-date.com | The Creative Anniversary Calculator

Monday, December 30, 2002

God is not a neurotic parent

Amen to that! IreneQ's post reminds me that I need to pull out my copy of David Seamand's "Healing For Damaged Emotions" and read it.

Better Homes & Gardens | New Year's Eve Traditions

Get set for the best New Year ever with timely toasts, tips, and trivia. go there...

On Zeitgeists and Such - 2002

"Zeitgeist", the good folks at Google.com state, "is defined in English by Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary as 'the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.'" So here, in the spirit of zeitgeists and such, are some more "Top" lists from 2002, in no particular order (note that all links open in new windows):

Licensing Your Blog

A Lawyer Licenses Her Weblog. details...

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Some thoughts...

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Self-Injury No Longer Rare Among Teens

Jennifer Warner, from WebMD Medical News, reports that self-injury is becoming a more common means of self-expression among teenagers. Read more...

Space.com | Top 10 Space Science Images of 2002

"In several ways, 2002 was a year in which space came down to Earth..." Read more...

Friday, December 27, 2002

Puzzling E-mail

I received an email from someone I know but whom I rarely receive any email. It stated:

This is a very nice game
This game is my first work.
You're the first player.
I wish you would enjoy it.
Anyone ever seen or heard of this before?

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Template Help Wanted

DAYTON, Ohio -- Typical of the times, I want to change the template to something 'non-Christmasy' soon. Sure I can use one of the Blogger templates out there, but I wonder what you, gentle readers, would like. I don't want to 'necessarily' copy someone else's work (That might make a good spoofing idea... Imagine showing up to my blog from yours only to see the same design!!!). Please email me by 12/31/2002.


2005 Update: Obviously the template has been updated. I still think spoofing someone else's blog is an interesting idea.

1000 Words, 2002

Courtesy of the folks at Newsweek, we have pictures from the Top Ten stories from 2002...

2005 Update: To access these photos now, you need to register

Monday, December 23, 2002

North Pole Trivia

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1,570 people live in North Pole, Alaska. No information was available as to the number of elves.

via Encarta | Stat Bites

Blogs Make the Headlines

"... bloggers' individualistic perspectives have allowed them to burrow deep into issues the mainstream press wouldn't ordinarily touch..." read more...

via Wired News | Blogs Make the Headlines

the ageless project

Welcome to all visiting from the ageless project! For those that have no idea what I'm talking about, at the ageless project:

We're sending the message that the personal, creative side of the web is diverse and ageless and if each of you personal website builders out there will openly share your date of birth with us, we'll be on our way to proving it!
I submitted this blog last week, and I'm already listed. To find the listing for my site, go to the ageless homepage and do a search for 1970, the year I was born. I'm currently on the second page of the search results.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Remembering High School

I received word recently that the mother of one of my close classmates from high school had passed away. It prompted me to spend some time last night looking through my high school yearbook. I saw a lot of people that are fresh in my memory, but then there were a lot of people whom I used to know, but now I barely remember them.

It was a little emotional, seeing the faces of everyone again. I remember the kind of person I was back then. I'm glad I've grown up somewhat. Wow. Has it really been almost 15 years?

Cleaning Tip

Did Your Holiday Party Leave Stains on Your Carpet?

Then try this cleaning tip:

Some greasy stains can be removed with baking soda, cornstarch, cornmeal, or talcum powder. Leave on 6 to 8 hours, then vacuum. Coat less stubborn greasy stains with aerosol shaving cream or carbonated water. Use a hair dryer to speed dry. Then vacuum.

Friday, December 20, 2002

My Elected Officials

Prepare for a career in writing

In today's information age, work for the nation's 340,000 writers and editors abounds. And, whether to fulfill old dreams or to satisfy practical needs, many Americans are moving into editorial roles... The outlook for writers is good. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that by 2008, editorial opportunities will have increased 21 to 35 percent over 1998, assuming moderate economic growth. Many of the available jobs will be in high-technology and electronics fields and in journalistic outlets in small markets.
From Encarta eLearning Center | Prepare for a career in writing (original link removed because it's no longer valid)

Faking Your Child's Illness - An Extreme Case

So, She Didn't Have Cancer!

Is it just me, or is the Miami Valley getting a lot more national news coverage lately? Here's what I mean:

Urbana, Ohio - Police say a mother tried to trick her daughter and the rest of the community into believing that her daughter had leukemia, even to the point of shaving her child's head, giving her sleeping pills, and putting her into counseling to prepare to die. Members of the community had donated money. The child has now been taken from her mother and placed into custody with other relatives.

from an MSNBC report (link no longer exists)
This situation reminds me of what happened in "The Sixth Sense". The one mother always added PineSol or other household cleaner to her daughter's soup. Could this be another case of Munchausen by Proxy?

Celebrity Trivia, Part Deux

It took 19 nominations for this Queen of Daytime Television to be crowned with an Emmy. Who is she?

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Is That Being Narcissitic?

I'd have to say that I am probably the biggest fan of all my blogs. I probably generate the most traffic to them myself. I don't think that's conceited.

More Trent Lott Stuff

When I found this quote some time ago, I never realized how true it could become.

Competition for the Lamest Post

Believe me, your blog will seem more interesting!

From reading the comments, some of which are my own, I feel that there is a competition going for who can have the lamest post, "the dullest blog", or anyone else who comes to visit it. It also reminds me of a bit I've heard on the Bob and Tom Morning Show called "Mr. Obvious".

Here are some of my own personal offerings:

  • I was sitting in my chair when all of a sudden, I felt an itch. I realized it was on my leg. When I scratched it, I felt better.
  • I felt hungry. I looked at the time and discovered that it was time for lunch. I went to get something to eat. I gave the man at the drive-thru some money, and he gave me food in return. I ate the food and was happy.
  • I heard this ringing sound in my ears, and I looked over to the telephone. I picked it up and it stopped ringing. I said 'hello'. I heard a voice on the other side. When I was finished talking I hung up the phone.

Spam Fighters Plan Conference

Mitch Wagner reports:

Spam fighters plan a conference in the Boston area in January to compare notes on means of fighting the scourge.

"Arrangements will be very informal: no fees, sponsorships, proceedings, luncheons, contests, etc.," according to the announcement on http://www.spamconference.org. "Just a series of quick, concentrated talks, and then we all go off and get Chinese food."
Don't you find it a little funny that they mentioned that they'll be having Chinese food? As opposed to what... Spam? MUWAHAHAHAHA!!!!

2005 Update: Fight Spam! Click Here!


I used to have WebWasher installed on the home PC. I first learned about it from an HTML trainer. I can't remember why I got rid of it. Oh well, here's an article about the new release of the software, which is, for home users, still free.

Obnoxious Automobile Ads on the Radio Rant

I find it so easy to get irritated by those obnoxious ads I hear on the radio from car dealers. In their desperation to get someone... anyone... to show up at their dealership... they resort to YELLING! LOUD MUSIC! OBNOXIOUS SOUND EFFECTS - LIKE A HAMMER, LIKE EXPLOSIONS -- I SURE FEEL LIKE GOING TO THEIR DEALERSHIP BUT NOT FOR LOOKING AT A CAR! RATHER, TO BEAT THE SNOT OUT OF THE PEOPLE WHO PRODUCE AND STAR IN THOSE ADS!! AAAAAAAGGGHHH!

A snippet of some I've heard over the past year... "A BIKE FOR CHRIS --- PAID FOR!!! A DOLLY FOR SUSIE --- PAID FOR!!! THAT NEW DIAMOND RING --- PAID FOR!!! (loud music begins, some explosions) GET A MINIMUM OF $2000 FOR ANY TRADE... ANY TRADE!!! ANY TRADE!!!!!"


Oh yeah, there was that miserable spoof of the "12 Days of Christmas" in which they sang about all the people who were approved for a new car loan: "... TWO FIRST-TIME BUYERS, AND A MAN WITH A BANCRUPTCY!!!"

A few years ago I heard the following: "PLANET FORD WILL TAKE OVER YOUR PAYMENTS!" Now I know they said payments because I heard the ad over and over and over again, but the first few times I thought they were saying a certain part of a man's anatomy. Combine THAT with "PUSH IT IN... PULL IT IN..." and we're about ready to call the FCC.

Okay, enough. I feel better now that I got that off my chest.

What to do with your Cincinnati Bengals Tickets

AP Sports Writer Joe Kay reports that Cincinnati councilman Chris Monzel is trying to get more fans into Paul Brown Stadium for the final Bengals game by collecting tickets that would otherwise go unused. Ticket holders can donate them to the city, and the city will distribute them at local recreation centers.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

The Dullest Blog in the World

I may have found the "The dullest blog in the world." But it does remind me... I'm wearing a pair of socks that are two different colors: one is black and the other one is white. I have another pair just like them back home.

Measuring Success

With New Years Day only two weeks away, here's something to consider when you think of New Years resolutions:

Not every goal is measurable. For example, if your goal is 'I want to organize my home,' you can't specifically measure how organized your home has become, although you may sense that things are easier to find. Writing some specific, smaller steps that move you toward your larger goals can help you track where you are in pursuing that goal. For organizing your home, for example, you can set up steps such as the following:
  • Every night before I go to bed, I will do the dishes, put them away, and lay out my breakfast setting.
  • I will sort mail or paperwork immediately as it enters my home into three piles: Take Action, File, or Trash. Nothing will stay in the Take Action pile more than a week. The File pile will be filed every two weeks. The Trash will be thrown out on the spot.
  • This week I will clean out the medicine cabinet.
At the end of the week, give yourself a checkup to determine whether you've completed each particular step. If you successfully reach your mini-goals for several weeks, you will see measurable progress toward your larger goal (an organized home). Even though you can't measure all goals, you can measure the progress you have made toward them -- and celebrate!

Organize for success: Resolve to read Success For Dummies, by Zig Ziglar.
Yahoo! DailyTips: Measuring Success

Strange News - AP | City May Require Free Air at Gas Stations

It made more sense to me once I looked at the story.

The Melancholy Body

From Top Stories from U.S. News & World Report | The Melancholy Body:

Increasingly, it appears that what we call depression is not strictly psychological but is, instead, a condition that occupies the whole body. "Depression is really the only systemic disease that affects--and complicates--almost all other diseases," says Philip Gold, the chief of clinical neuroendocrinology at the National Institute of Mental Health. In fact, depression not only affects and complicates existing disorders like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, even osteoporosis; it might also trigger them.
2005 Update: I removed the link to USN&WR because it was no longer valid.

Wacky Technology Word of the Day

Buffer Underrun: A buffer underrun error occurs when data (such as MP3s, PC files, digital images, and so on) is being recorded onto a CD and the data-input stream falls behind the laser that is burning the CD. Usually, buffer underrun results from poor CD recording software, a slow computer, or a CD-R drive with insufficient buffer memory.

Now, let's see you use this new word as you go about your day.

If you dare to go beyond this word, then check out The Complete CNET Tech Glossary. This site is especially good if all your Net-savvy friends laugh at you every time you open your mouth. By the way, it's not because you have a food particle stuck in your teeth.

2005 Update: The CNET link no longer works. Well, we had fun while we could!

Remembering the Wright Brothers

The Dayton Daily News reported yesterday that

Federal officials and Air Force generals helped Dayton celebrate its aviation heritage today by dedicating a new National Park Service interpretive center close to where the Wright brothers learned to fly almost a century ago. The interpretive center dedication took place on the 99th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flights and coincided with the Wright family's annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Wright Brothers Memorial in a hilltop park that overlooks the flying field...

Orville made the world's first sustained, controlled flight in a powered airplane near Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903. He and Wilbur continued their flying experiments on Huffman Prairie in 1904 and 1905. The patch where they flew is now a part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and one of four sites that make up the national park.

Trent Lott's Failure to Explain Himself

What more can the guy say?!!!

A Santa Claus Story

from my friend Laura H. from high school:

I remember my first Christmas party with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second cinnamon bun.

"Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's. I was only eight years old.

I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of
everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobbie Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class.

Bobbie Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobbie Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobbie Decker a coat. I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

"Yes," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobbie." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons, and write, "To Bobbie, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobbie Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobbie's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and few back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobbie.

Forty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my grandma, in Bobbie Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous.

Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Home Networking Gets Easy

Ever wondered how to set up a home network? TechTV | Call for help has the answer.

MSNBC | The World According to Google

12/29/2004 Update: The link no longer works.

ABC Kills Off 'Dinotopia'

Good riddance!

Reuters/Variety TV reports that ABC's 'Dinotopia' has gone extinct. It's last showing will be on December 26th. Frankly, I'd rather watch a repeat of CBS's CSI before I'd watch 'Dinotopia'. What a waste! I never liked the mini-series, and I could not understand why they decided to make it a regular series.

I guess it's back to the drawing board.

The Cure for Blogger's Block - The Topics Blog

Hey, this is a good idea:

Make up a story using the titles of the top 10 movies of 2002. Or, you could use your personal top 10 list.

Running Out of Time - Creativity in Action

From the "It Could Happen" / Creativity-in-Action Department

Allow me to shamelessly plug "Running Out of Time".

Pearly Gates - JOKE ALERT!

A man appears before the pearly gates. "Have you ever done anything of particular merit?" St. Peter asks.

"Well, I can think of one thing," the man offers. "Once I came upon a gang of high-testosterone bikers who were threatening a young woman. I directed them to leave her alone, but they wouldn't listen. So I approached the largest and most heavily tattooed biker. I smacked him on the head, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring and threw it on the ground, and told him, 'Leave her alone now or you'll answer to me.'"

St. Peter was impressed. "When did this happen?"

"A couple of minutes ago."

again, from Jeff I.'s email

Family Car - JOKE ALERT!

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the family car. His father took him into his study and said, "I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study the Bible a little, get your hair cut and then we'll talk about it."

After about a month, the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car. They again went into the father's study where the father said,
"Son, I've been very proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied the Bible diligently, but you didn't get your hair cut.

The young man waited a moment and then replied, "You know Dad, I've been thinking about the fact that Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and Jesus had long hair.

His Father said, "Yes, and everywhere they went, they walked.

from Jeff I.'s email

Monday, December 16, 2002

Burningbird and the Chamber of Secrets?

Over the weekend Jennie and I saw Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. When I took a look at the post at Burningbird: Practical RDF Book Cover. Maybe it's because the movie is still fresh in my mind, but when I saw the name of the site, I thought of a Phoenix, namely the one named Fawkes, who was in the movie. The picture on the O'Reilly book cover resembles the Phoenix from Harry Potter. In one scene of the movie, the Phoenix dies and burns itself up. Then it regenerates itself from the ashes. It also did a number on the big snake during the climactic scene in the Chamber of Secrets, tearing its eyes out, rendering it blind.

Could this be more than a coincidence?

P.S. I KNEW I'd seen that face before!!! Jason Isaacs, the actor who portrays Lucius Malfoy, Draco's father, played Colonel William Tavington in The Patriot.

Lipsum Generator - Dummy Text

Zeldman points to the website that claims to be “the first true Lipsum generator on the Internet.”

And now you know. You will never, ever, be the same, won't you?

Recommended Reading

Eliot Gelwan found out that when you input the URL of your webpage, Mark Pilgrim's utility will return a list of blogs for you to read. The links below are recommended reading for my blogs:

  • Journey Inside My Mind
  • Letters to God
  • QuotesBlog
  • Get That Job!
  • Streams of Consciousness
So, we'll have to check these out. It would also be cool to learn about how this tool works; i.e., what algorithm it uses to return the recommended links.

12/29/2004 Update: Mark has eliminated his utility, so I removed the links.

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Christmas. A time filled with traditions and symbols, found in decorations, singing of carols, gift-giving, and so forth. It can seem challenging to keep the "Christ" in Christmas, but a look at the history of Christmas and the symbolism can help us to keep the proper perspective:

Have your ever wondered about the "12 Days of Christmas"? That carol, with the partridge in a pear tree, two turtledoves... well, I won't labor you with the entire list, but hopefully you remember. Anyhow... the Catholic Information Network describes the carol as "An Underground Catechism".

(12/29/2004 Update to the above: Snopes.com reports that as an urban legend. Shucks.)

Also, more comprehensive sites delve into the Symbols, Customs, and Traditions of Christmas. At that site there is even a link to take the Christmas Quiz to find out how much you learned. Finally, someone has prepared a Christmas Symbols Unit Study that can not only be used to instruct children but anyone who is interested in the symbolism of Christmas.

Whether the intent of the various symbols was to point back to the true meaning or not, we are not without reason to keep Christ in Christmas.

Update: Jen has some ideas on the True Meaning of Christmas. I couldn't find a permalink, so you'll have to find it yourself. It's her 12/18/2002 11:06 AM post.

History Channel | History of the Holidays

The History Channel has some interesting details about the history of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Definitely worth a read.

Friday, December 13, 2002

The Brewery - JOKE ALERT!

courtesy of Jeff I. via email

Brenda O'Malley is home making dinner, as usual, when Tim Finnegan arrives at her door. "Brenda, may I come in?" he asks. "I've somethin' to tell ya."

"Of course you can come in, you're always welcome, Tim. But where's my husband?"

"That's what I'm here to be tellin' ya, Brenda. There was an accident down at the brewery."

"Oh, God no!" cries Brenda. "Please don't tell me ..."

"I must, Brenda. Your husband Seamus is dead and gone. I'm sorry."

Finally, she looked up at him. "How did it happen, Tim?"

"It was terrible, Brenda. He fell into a vat of Guiness Stout and drowned."

"Oh my Dear Jesus! But you must tell me true, Tim. Did he at least go quickly?"

"Well, no Brenda... no."


"No. Fact is, he got out three times to pee."

Never Say Never Again

I remember several years back Don Henley was asked when the Eagles were going to get back together. He replied, "When hell freezes over." The Eagles did get back together and released an album entitled "Hell Freezes Over". I like that album.

I bring this up because that memory flashed into my mind when I read this post over at Bene Dicton Blogs On. When you go there, you'll understand why.

2005 Update: The blogs4God link takes you to the main page, for some reason.

Mike Peters' Editorial Cartoons

Mike Peters is the editorial cartoonist for the Dayton Daily News. He also writes the comic strip "Mother Goose and Grimm". I was just browsing through some of his latest cartoons:

  • 11/29/2002: UN Inspectors Go To Columbus, Ohio
  • 12/5/2002: Captain Hook Comments on Disney Cruises
  • 12/8/2002: Paul O'Neill tours with U2
2005 Update:Changed links from the original ActiveDayton.com links to Mike Peters' archive page.

Dayton Ranked as a Dangerous City

I agree with Tim Apolito, a University of Dayton instructor who teaches courses on criminal justice and U.S. policing: "When you look at any statistic you have to look at what that statistic really means." Statistics alone don't tell the entire story. Nevertheless, here they are:

  • MSNBC reported on December 10, 2002 that a recent study ranked Dayton, Ohio one of the most dangerous cities in the US. According to the report, the study was done by a Kansas Publisher, and it based the rankings on FBI statistics about the number of murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, and automobile thefts.
  • On December 9, 2002, the Dayton Daily News reported that Dayton was ranked 15th in the nation; St. Louis was first, outranking Detroit. Atlanta, Georgia was third, followed by Gary, Indiana and Baltimore, Maryland. The safest cities? According to the report, they are Amherst, New York; followed by Brick Township, New Jersey, Newton, Massachusetts, and the California communities of Thousand Oaks and Sunnyvale.
  • On December 11th, the Dayton Daily News reported that "at least 30 cities with populations of at least 75,000, including Akron and Canton, weren't included on the list because the police departments there didn't submit complete statistics to the FBI." Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, and San Francisco were also missing from the list.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Happy Holidays Template

By now you probably have noticed the red and green. I've changed the blogger template for this blog for the holidays. I still don't have the 'bottom' tag anchored properly. That's for another time.

2005 Update: I've obviously changed the template.

Celebrity Trivia

This self-proclaimed wild and crazy guy was at one time a serious student of philosophy. Who is he?

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Turkey Consumption

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the typical American consumes 14 pounds of turkey a year. That's a lot of gobbling!!!

Mental Health from WebMD

from their "We Knew You Wanted to Know" section:

I AM Mental

from QuotesBlog:

  • "It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end." -- Ursula K. LeGuin
  • "Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it." -- Confucius

As I journey inside my mind, I try to understand some of my neurotic behavior. For example:

Since I was about seven years old, I have had a habit of picking at scabs. I am currently taking some medicine and going to therapy about this and other obsessive-compulsive behavior. I ask that you who read this remember me and pray for me and my family for God to continue to use me and this situation for the best. I often don't see how this can be good.

I did a Yahoo! Search for "self injury", and I found this site that you may want to look at to get a better understanding of this behavior.

Here are some links to specific community message boards, via WebMD:

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Pets are Family, Too

Some companies such as Miller Brewing, Blockbuster, eBay, and ICI Americas, according to an article at NorthJersey.com, are beginning to offer pet insurance as part of their employees benefit packages. "Maintaining a strong workforce, especially at no cost to a company, is the primary reason some employers say they're adding plans for Spot and Fluffy to their benefit offerings."

'Da Beard'

That was a nickname I got the first time I ever tried to grow a beard. Two of my coworkers noticed how obsessive-compulsive I was about it. The last time I grew a beard, it wound up on my personal website, albeit in poor resolution. I've since changed the picture, by the way.

I just found out that I'm not alone: you can watch this guy grow his beard. found via Evhead.

2005 Update: the pictures are gone, but the placeholders are still there. The blog has since been abandoned. Archives are still present, however.

On Being Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Our five-year old daughter Keisha is hearing-impaired and has to wear hearing aids

Seeing those words I just typed cuts my heart still. It's been almost two years since we found out that she had hearing loss. It was determined that her cochleas, the spiral-shaped part of the inner ear, were never fully developed (see this image of the inner ear from Center for Advanced Computing Research, Caltech, Pasadena, California USA). I bring this up because within the last couple of days we've been reminded of it, and, while we've grown to accept it, it still hurts in our hearts. We realize even more how fragile we human beings are, and how much more we need God:

This past Sunday we spent some time with some friends from church. They have two daughters: one who is eight and one who is eleven months. Rachel, the eight year old, asked me, "When is Keisha not going to have to wear her hearing aids anymore?"

I replied, "Never. She will most probably always have to wear hearing aids for the rest of her life." The finality of that statement struck an emotional chord that hadn't been touched in awhile.

Then, yesterday evening, as my wife was tucking Keisha into her bed, she observed something else. Keisha has to take her hearing aids off before she goes to sleep, and as Jennie was tucking her in, Keisha brought out a stuffed bear. This bear, when you squeeze its hand, sings "Jesus Loves Me" and says the "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" prayer. She received it from her aunt a couple years ago.

Keisha squeezed the bear, and it started playing "Jesus Loves Me". Jennie, my wife, noticed that Keisha had put the speaker part of the bear, from which the music issued, against her ear just so that she could hear it. At first Jennie thought that the batteries might need to be replaced, but when Keisha had it play "Jesus Loves Me" again, Jennie could tell that the batteries were okay. It was just that Keisha needed to have the speaker up to her ear so that she could hear it better. Then she put it up to Jennie's ear as though that was the only way that Jennie could hear it, too.

The doctors have said that Keisha's hearing loss can get progressively worse. This is one of the reasons why we're all learning sign language, even Nana, who has come to live with us recently. I also think that it is great that Keisha herself sees the benefit of having the hearing aids, or "magic ears", as we like to call them. I think she is aware of how special she is, and that she definitely feels everyone's love. We all understand that Keisha is exactly how God wanted her.

Everyone in our household, except for the dog, ails with something. For Keisha, it's her hearing loss. For my Mom and me, it's our mental illnesses. For Jennie, it's probably a hormonal imbalance of some kind. It's very humbling. Not only that, but it's also encouraging as we continue to remind ourselves that, ailments and all, we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:13-14). Seeing myself - ourselves - in this light is definitely a good thing.

World's Best Bathrooms

Just when you thought the conditions of public restrooms were going down the toilet, here comes this nice story:

It's no great secret — everyone has to do his or her business, and historically, the public potty was not the preferred place to do it. Once considered a nasty nuisance, today's public restrooms are starting a trend toward the terrific.
via Discovery Channel | World's Best Bathrooms

Monday, December 09, 2002

Listen to My Online Radio Station

Yes, indeed. I have my own LAUNCHcast online radio station. Take a listen if you'd like to see what's playing. Then let me know what you think. Okay, then. Have at it!

Children Who Are Givers

Just in time for the holidays, here is a snippet from KenPierpoint.com, entitled "Children Who Are Givers":

No one loves Christmastime more than I do. But when you are the head of the household it has its attendant frustrations. One of them is finding the money to cover regular expenses and the additional expectations of Christmas gifts and celebrations and trips.

What's a 'Guidepost'?

You may have wondered why the term 'guidepost' exists in the comments section of my posts for 'Journey Inside My Mind'. You may have even wondered what a guidepost is. Here is a definition that I came up with:

Guidepost n. 1. A post with a sign giving directions for travelers, usually placed at a crossroad. 2. Something that serves as a guide or an example; a guideline. 3. Any thoughts/advice/critcisms/wittisms/tips you have.

So, fellow travelers on the 'Journey Inside My Mind', feel free to leave any guideposts here, next to the blog entries. It's way easier than scrawling on the monitor, by the way...

Thanks for Linking!

I just went to Blogrolling.com and did some searches for my weblog URLs to see who else - other than I - has them in their blogrolls. Well, I have yet to visit them, but the following Blogrolling.com users like QuotesBlog enough to link back to it:

Also the owner of thisentity.blogspot.com appears to like this blog and Letters to God.

Thanks for visiting, and keep in touch!

P.S. Speaking of Blogrolling.com, you may want to check out their list of Recently Updated Links.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Philosophizing the Dog

I don't understand dog behavior.

Today it snowed, and, as usual, when I let our 8-month old puppy out, he started running around the yard. No particular reason why this happened, I guess. He just sprinted to one end of our yard to other. And again. And again. He'd stop for a moment to see if I was looking at him. Then he'd dash off again. And again. Funny animal, he.

Sometimes I would make like I was going to chase him, and he'd run some more. And what is this thing with socks, handkerchiefs, and whatnot, that he has to thrash it while he has it in his mouth? I don't get it.

I don't understand dog behavior, and maybe not for a long time. Maybe never.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

E-mail Dilemma

Let's say you found mail/e-mail -- something meant for someone else to read and that was never meant for you to read, and you read it. Now you know something very personal about that person that they don't know you know. How do you respond?

Recent Jim Borgman Cartoons

Jim Borgman is a Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist for the Cincinnati Enquirer. He's had some real good ones lately:

Blogging the Christian Internet


The latest Internet for Christians newsletter has a section about Christian blogging. Blogs4God.com is mentioned. My weblogs

are a part of that community.

Monday, December 02, 2002

An Aggregating Situation - blogs4God

Definitely something to add to the 'To Do List'.

Alias Season 2 Episode 8 - "Passage Part 1"

I watched 'Alias' last night. It was nice to see Sydney's mom out of her cell, but I am even more intrigued by the preview I saw of next week's episode. By the way, I also think that Sloane and Sark should be taken out and have the same things done to them that they have done themselves. Indeed, I was almost disappointed to find out that Sloane survived the attempted assassination.

I also think that Will Tippin should be recruited into the CIA so that his investigative reporting skills could be put to better use.

There. I've done it. Hopefully I haven't spoiled it that much for those who haven't seen the episode yet.

Okay, all you Alias fans -- what do you think?