Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"You Can't Stay Mad at Someone Who Makes You Laugh." -- Jay Leno

OK, I need to update! Let's just start things and see where they head, shall we?

I've been working on the van at the rug shop the past couple of weeks... and when I say "working on the van" I don't mean changing the brake pads. We lost our main pick-up/delivery manager. And by "lost" I don't mean he's walking aimlessly around somewhere near Rancho Santa Fe... he was let go. And by "let go" I don't mean he was, in any way, related to a fart...

Where was I?

Oh, yeah, so I've been filling in until we find a replacement. As most of you know, I really am a behind the scenes guy. And by "behind the scenes", I mean, behind a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Being in people's houses, picking up their rugs, makes me nervous and antsy, really. And that makes me sweat. And by "sweat", I mean "good grief, bring this man a towel!" My brother Bryan used to be our field manager back before he died (and by "field manager", I mean pickup  delivery guy... sounds better, eh?). He was so good at it! He loved people, and felt very comfortable around them, and made them feel comfortable and chatty as well. Me? It makes my chest get all tight. But the shop needs me, so I'm sucking it up and gettin' it done! And by "sucking it up", I don't mean the shop... if I sucked up the shop, where would the employees go to work at? I mean, come on!

Bottom line, I'm way out of my normal routine, which, actually, is fine. I've been praying for a change, and apparently, this is it. It's nice to feel needed, and I get to hang out with Yanni all day, which is fun, since he's smart and willing to talk about absolutely anything. And he listens to different music than I, which is helping to introduce new music to my listening repertoire.

Thank you, Gondor! Good night!

On a completely unrelated note, congratulations to Mattson Tomlin, who had his blog chosen to be eBlogger's "Blog of Note" the other day. Dang, that's cool. Trust me, it's a big deal. One side benefit so far (other than many new "followers") is that he's updated his blog 2 days in a row! Today's post is (was) about costuming on his reshoot of Solomon Grundy. Go check it out!

On another unrelated note, the blog Fantasy Book Critic posted something I found interesting - probably because I read Legend by David Gemmell... I don't know how many of you have also read it, but even if you didn't, you might want to check out a recent post they made about the genesis of Gemmell's character Druss the Legend, including the posting of a rare short story Gemmell wrote about the early events in the life of Druss. It isn't a long read - feel free to pop on over and check it out. Even if you don't read it, there are some cool drawings that accompany the text.

OK, video time. I'll let you decide which one you want to watch. First is a clip I saw on Today's Big Thing, which features a soccer goal celebration... I can't decide if it's really cool, or extremely lame.

If there was an ad before the clip, I apologize. I hate that!

OK, the next video is the latest Pooter video by Jack Vale... I can't help it, I find these clips endlessly amusing... and trust me, I've REALLY needed a good laugh lately. Yes, it is humor of the basest sort, but I laughed so hard, my stomach muscles felt like they'd been through 50 sit-ups...

Jack got a new HD camera! Now you can watch people get disgusted in hi def! Whee!

So I'm still making my way through Devices and Desires, by KJ Parker. What an interesting combination of fantasy and analytical engineering. I think Logan would love this book, and it's characters. It appeals to the part of me that loves a good adventure, as well as the part of me that loves to figure stuff out and see how things work (logic problems, strategizing, that sort of thing). I can see how Parker gets bashed a bit by those that think he/she is too dry or dull... but I don't have that problem. I must fit squarely into the intended demographic. Very well done - I'm savoring it. Much more so since I know there are three books in the series. I can easily see myself accumulating all of Parker's books... there are many...

I saw this funny plate while driving the other day in Mira Mesa... Snapped a quick pic.

OK, what else?

I had a boba drink the other day for the first time. It's hard to describe, unless you've had it. Here is a link to a wikipedia page about it... it's like an ice cream drink, with these little "balls" of tapioca mixed in, that, frankly, are slimy. But delicious. It comes with a fat straw, and as you drink it, you suck up the tapioca balls and chew 'em up. It's a weird sensation to get used to. Certainly unique. I'm sure I'll try it again...

It looks weird/gross, but actually it is yummy and fun... no clue if it's fattening or not...

OK, I think that's it for now. That should give you plenty to think about. If not, here's one last funny pic...



Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Book Signing: Rothfuss, Sanderson and Weeks

OK, we went to the book signing today in downtown San Diego! Here is an account of things as they went down.

It ended up just being Laythe and myself that went down - the others that planned to go had to cancel for one reason or another (you pansies!), but we were undaunted, and piled into the car after a hearty after-church lunch, and made our way downtown (where I hate to drive!), listening to Muse and chatting all the way. We parked at a downtown parking structure, and made our way on foot the few blocks to the downtown 2-story Borders bookstore, where the signing was to take place.

We stopped while walking so I could grab a quick pic of Laythe in front of the Double Deuce. The scatological entendre was amusing to us. "Hey, let's drop by Double Deuce!" We chuckled like school kids and pressed on.

We arrived about a half-hour early and decided to grab some books for the signing. Laythe thought to bring his own books, but I didn't. I wanted to grab some hard-backs to get signed, but the only author with a hard-back available was Brandon Sanderson, and that was the Wheel of Time book he just released. That's Book 11 in a 13 book series - a series which I have never read. So it was pointless to buy that one. I decided to grab a new copy of Name of the Wind, and proceeded to wander the large Fantasy Sci-Fi section looking for one. And finding none. I asked an employee, who had no idea who Pat Rothfuss was - even though the guy was going to do a reading and signing at his own store within the hour! He led us back to the same section, where we all stood with mouths open, looking for the book, which was not there.

Thankfully, another employee with a clue came by and pointed us to the big display at the front of the store, lol.

So I bought the book (large, soft-cover) and we went upstairs and found a place with Laythe among the costumed Comic-Con geeks and other assorted Fantasy fans, and waited. Seemed like a small crowd at the time - maybe 120 or so people. Laythe's school friend Nikki showed up, and we all hung out, chatting. It was a good scene.

The authors showed up and were introduced, to much applause. They announced that they would be reading each other's stuff - an announcement that Brent Weeks admitted they all found to be rather odd. But they did it anyway.

Rothfuss, Weeks and Sanderson.

Sanderson read a selection from Brent Weeks' upcoming novel The Black Prism, which, frankly, lost me immediately and failed to impress. I don't know if it was the writing or Sandersons' delivery, or simply that I had no clue who the characters were, in spite of Weeks' effort at setting the piece up. Next, Pat read a selection by Sanderson, from his upcoming novel The Way of Kings. By the way, Sanderson had brought 21 copies of the latest version of The Way of Kings with him (the book isn't to be officially released in hardcover until August 31) and gave 20 away to the first 20 people that showed up to the signing. It was an unannounced giveaway, so I missed out. Then he raffled off the 21st copy - I came close, but missed getting my ticket called by a few digits.

Pat read the passage well, though again, I had trouble following along. There were amusing moments during the reading, which I tried to video tape, but the results were too poor to post here, sorry. Pat got a lot of laughs, but most of them were from dialog within Sanderson's writing, so he gets props, too.

Last, Brent Weeks read a scene from Rothfuss' forthcoming Kingkiller Chronicles Book 2, The Wise Man's Fear. He read a scene where Master Elodin interacted with his class. It was so friggin cool, I was beside myself. Part of it was how well Weeks read it (very good reading!) and part was I'm sure because I knew the characters so well. The reading of that scene was a highlight of the day for me.

After I took the failed video clip of the reading, the "low battery" warning came on on my camera, causing me much bowel angst, since I failed to bring extra batteries - and I wanted more pics! So I was forced to use my camera very sparingly from that point on, which was sad, since I wanted to document it all, and still get pics with Pat at the end...

After the readings, there was a brief Q&A, with mostly interesting questions and answers. Someone asked Sanderson if he came up with the magic systems or the stories first (answer: each book is different). Someone asked about having books optioned into movies and/or video games (answers: Weeks said he's done it, and it's scary. Sanderson said it's a win-win for him, since it doesn't matter if a movie versions sucks, no one can touch the book, which will always be available as is. Rothfuss likes the video game angle.) Someone asked the Quintessential Epic Cliche Question about advice to new writers. (Answer: Pat - "sit your butt down and write." Brent - "write what you know/fear." Brandon - "Write what you love.") Other questions were asked, but they escape me at the moment.

Then the signing started. To my shock and chagrin, they had everyone form one giant line and slowly pass the table where all three authors sat. I figured it would make most sense to sit the authors at three separate tables scattered across the store, with three lines, but apparently no one asked me. So even though there were only maybe 200 people there, the line moved at a glacial speed. After about a half hour, they got the idea to split things up into three lines - but they kept them at the same table still! So it was a mob again.

While I waited in line to see Pat, Laythe made his way through the Weeks line and Sanderson's line.

Laythe talks with Brandon Sanderson. Right after I snapped this, Laythe called Brandon a tool and kicked him in the nutsack.

While waiting in line, I chatted with the folks around me. One guy had a copy of Pat's "children's" book, which he let me read. Funny stuff. Then Laythe cut in line with us, just in time to get his Name of the Wind signed by Pat.

Headline! Rothfuss signs his name!

When I got to chat with Pat, I started by saying, "Pat, you are The Man!" We chatted about the friends I've turned onto his book, and about the T-shirt design I sent him, as well as some of the other designs. He asked if it was Dave or David. I said "Either one's fine." He just looked at me. I said, "Dave". lol He signed the book, I thanked him for his time, and strolled away a happy clam.

Then I read what he wrote...

How cool is that?

Here's how Sanderson signed Laythe's book...

It looks like he just scribbled out his typed name! What the!

And here's how Weeks signed Laythe's book...

"Night angels are watching"... O_o

I should have brought my hardback of Sanderson's Warbreaker, but I wasn't thinking. I wouldn't have had time to get it signed anyway, since Sanderson had to leave before I got up to see Pat. I guess I could just cross out Sanderson's name on the title page and pretend he signed it...

Pat was going to take pics with fans after the signing was done, but at the rate we were going through the line, it would have been another hour at least. I didn't think we could last that long, so we said goodbye to Laythe's friend Nikki (who managed to get two raffle tickets, by the way! She cheated!), and hit the road. We capped off the afternoon by stopping at my favorite BBQ place for some tri-tip sandwiches. Then we went to the evening service.

Overall, I'm so glad I went. It really was a cool event. Great atmosphere, cool authors, lots of fellow geeks, and outside the box enough for me to cement the afternoon as eminently memorable. Look how happy I was afterwards!

'Fake Smile' alert!

And that was that!

Oh, by the way, I saw Inception on Friday night with the little woman. Amazing film. If that movie doesn't win Oscars this year, there's something rotten in Denmark. What an incredible script. If you haven't seen it yet... welll... go see it!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Wrong is for Other People." -- Fanny Brice

Hello! It is Dave! You know... the sap that writes this blog... yeah, that "Dave"...

I wanted to bump the previous post down a notch, so I won't have to look at it anymore. And in doing so, I will violate one of my only blog rules... and that is Blog Rule #3: No Pictures of Feet!

But my brother John was showing off his AMAZING sock tan that he's been working on for months, out on the golf courses of southern California, and I snapped a pic...

Words fail me...

To help balance things out (or, as Paul Harvey used to say, "wash your eyes out with this..."), here's a pic of my sweet Maggie wearing a modified turtle pinata as a hat...

Words fail me again!

Man, there's a boat-load of birthdays going on lately! What's the deal with July and August birthdays!? Well, lemme do the math... if I subtract 9 months from July/August, I get November/December... looks like a lot of parents were enjoying the holiday season back in the day, eh?

So this Sunday, there will be a book signing in downtown San Diego, with Pat Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson and Brent Weeks. Needless to say, I will be there. They will be reading samples of each other's work from 3 to 4 pm, and then signing afterwards. I plan on buying something hardback from each author, and getting me some signed books! I was planning on getting that T-shirt design printed up (the "Pat's On Fire" design) so I could get a picture with Mr. Rothfuss while I was wearing the shirt, but I can't find a local place that will make just one shirt for me. I'd have to buy a dozen. Not sure it would be worth the expense (at $8-$10 each!) just for a cool blog-worthy moment. Oh well.

I'll still do my best to get pics and video and do a blog update afterwards. So far, also going to the event are Wifey, Laythe, Vye, Rebekah and (hopefully) Joe. I would have notified Abbie and Rebecca, but I don't think either of them were all that thrilled with either Rothfuss or Sanderson... meh, I'll send them a FB message about it anyway, just to make sure...

I hope it will be fun.

Here's a recent goofy comic from Left Handed Comics.

Yeah, I know. Still, I needed a laugh, and it came through for me. I'm a man of simple pleasures...

OK, one more nice landscapey picture, and then I'm out...

Ah, mellow blues and greens, to match my mood... ahhhh....



Monday, July 19, 2010

"A Self-Taught Man Usually Has a Poor Teacher and a Worse Student." -- Henny Youngman

I am in an odd, uncomfortable place.

No, I don't mean California. I mean, inside. It's been a really crazy last couple days. Buncha inner turmoil stuff. Nothing new under the sun, eh? Been here before, I'll be here again, no doubt. But for some reason, I thought this was different. I was prepared (and still am, really) to make huge changes, ones I've simultaneously dreaded and looked forward to (in a twisted sort of way) for twenty years now. Thought they were inevitable, really. But now they're not, and honestly, I'm more confused now than I was during the ungodly kerfuffle. I'm spent, and really, I don't care anymore. I'm sort of taking it as it comes now, and I'm ok with it. We'll see.

I said some mean things, and I meant them. Never been there before.

For some reason, I feel ok typing that. Like I said, part of me just doesn't care. But to spare you any further discomfort, I will shift gears and post something inane.

Nope, no clue who that is in the picture. Just thought it was pretty cool that someone would pose for a picture in front of a tornado like that. It's not like it's a fountain or a tourist attraction or something. It's a friggin twister.

Actually, it kind of fits my mood, now that I think about it. Looming disaster? What looming disaster!? Cheeeese!

Sorry. I said I was going to change the subject.

Nope, no clue who that is in this picture either. Pretty cool t-shirt, though. It's called "Infini-tee". I like it. Kind of has an introspective vibe to it that seems to fit my current mood...

Dangit, lemme try again.

Speaking of T-shirts, it seems Pat Rothfuss found the t-shirt design I made for him to be worth posting up on his blog, as an example of the good stuff he's getting. Kind of surprising, really. I certainly don't doubt his taste, nor question his prerogatives in posting what he wants to on his blog, but really, I kind of thought the design was lame. If I'd slept on it before emailing it to him, I doubt he would have got it, since I would have trashed it. I mean, for crying out loud, the whole premise was a play on words with the phrase "lyre lyre, Pat's on fire"... and Kvothe played a lute, not a lyre! I'm a huge fan of the book, and I got the instrument wrong! I mean, that's a pretty big detail for a "fan" to screw up! Besides, the layout of the shirt design was gaudy and too big. I was embarrassed that I'd sent it, really. I thought I could do infinitely better, but I flaked out on creating other designs.

In any case, some people seem to like it, flaws and all. Hey, if people got a chuckle out of it, then I'd call it a success.

They finished that lego house I posted pics of last year some time...

Mixed-cool-lame, methinks. That guys long, stringy hair has got to go. I thought it was funny that the art guy said the place was worth half a million pounds, whereas the real estate guy said five thousand, lol. Well, one man's trash, etc etc.

Eldest Daughter saw Inception tonight, and came home spouting superlatives and otherwise gushing about it. Looks like I'll have to give it a watch. Still want to see Knight and Day as well. Maybe I can squeeze in a double feature this week some time. Anyone care to join me, eh?

Come on, you have to laugh at that one.

I have a crazy amount of things to do. It's odd to be overwhelmed with stuff to do when you feel fractured. Well, the show must go on. When my brother Bryan died in 2000 (on a Saturday) we were back to work on Monday. It's not like the shop could close down for a week while we tried to get our heads and hearts together. We had a business to run, bills to pay, needed the dough to keep flowing in. It sucked. Granted, I'm nowhere near as undone now as I was back then, but it's the same on some levels. I just want to go into a dark room, close the door and hide for a week. But nope, gotta suck it up and pretend all is well. Too much to do. Being practical or being a hypocrite? You decide...

Bleh, what do I have to complain about. I know tons of people have things far worse than I, that's not the point. It doesn't matter what you have or where you are in life, we all have problems, and sometimes they swamp us and threaten to upend everything. Then it all blows over and everything's fine. I get that. Sure, I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am thankful. But that doesn't make the crap maelstrom any easier to navigate.

OK, I'm done venting. If this post doesn't drive away my few remaining readers, I'll be amazed. I know I'll look back on this post one day (probably soon) with some measure of embarrassment. So what. It's where I'm at right now. You'll have to forgive me for scurrying up to the crow's nest to look for land. I don't trust the instruments, and visibility is low. And with that last spurt of ridiculously inapt nautical references, I will hit "publish", hit the sack, and regroup.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And Now: The Dismal, Disparate Dump of Doom... (New, All-Centered Edition!)

And Now: The Daily Spoonerism
"Trail Mix" or "Mail Tricks", which one?

And Now: Informal Greeting
Hey everyone, it's Dave! Crazy week, lots going on, but I thought I'd take the time to post! Random Under-Explained Nonsense to follow!

And Now: Star Wars Subway Scene (Improv Everywhere)

And Now: Mildly Amusing/Interesting Picture (with explanatory caption)
Check that out. Believe it or not, it's the design of a proposed world currency, unveiled at the UN this year. One step closer to the new world order!

And Now: Undercover Jewel Goes To Karaoke Bar (Funny or Die)

And Now: The Ultimate Zombie Killer (rocket propelled chainsaw)

And Now: Quick Rant of the Day
Man, I'll never understand women...

And Now: Abrupt, Rude Sign-Off
Seeya! (__|__) <--- slap here

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"There's No Way To Describe What I Do. It's Just Me." -- Andy Kaufman

Remember that time I finally posted a new post?

I know how lame it is to check your favorite blogs and see that it still hasn't been updated with a new post! Don't you hate that!? And since I know that this is your favorite blog, I think you can relate. Going too long without a fresh dose of Dave can ruin anyone's mood...

With that in mind, let me proceed! We'll start with more theology!

I took the "Eternal Judgment" topic over to the Theology Forums at Faithwriters. It's an online Christian writer's community that I've "belonged" to for years. In fact, I don't know that I've ever plugged them here before! If you're a Christian, and a writer, check them out! Maybe you'll like it too! They have a lot to offer. Here is the site, and here is the forum. Actually, Faithwriter's is where I know Havah and Paula from...

Anyway, I took the Eternal Judgment discussion over there, to see what they had to say. And I also started a thread on the "who you are vs. what you do" topic... did I discuss that one here? I don't recall... basically, the idea is that God loves/values us based on who we are, not on what we do. My question was: what other way is there to know "who someone is" except by seeing what they do/say? I'm not saying that "what we do" and "who we are" is synonymous - I just don't think they can be separated easily, that's all. I think what we do is a good reflection of who we are...

I don't mean what we do for a living - I mean our behavior each day - the decisions we make. If God loves "who we are" without reference to "what we do" then why does the ENTIRE BIBLE from Genesis to Revelation place great importance on what we do? Whenever you see God angry in the Bible, He is angry at the way His people are behaving. Seems to me that "what we do" is of paramount importance - and can even lead to that "eternal judgment" we've been chewing on here.

If in my heart I want to be an adulterer (for example) but use self-control and force myself to stay true, which one is the "real me"? The one that wants to sin? Or the one that modifies my behavior to keep from giving in to what my heart wants to do? Which one is "who I am" and which is "what I do"? Aren't they both intricately tied together? If I decide to cheat, does God still love "who I am"? If I resist the sin, does God love me more/less? Does my behavior really have no impact on whether God loves/values me? If not, then why resist sin?

And check out this verse:

Deuteronomy 8:2
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 

Well, does God know what's in our hearts, or does He have to find out (through our behavior) like everyone else? And if He loved/valued them for who they were, then why did He need to test them and see if they'd keep His commands or not? Would it be moot?

I think this idea has kind of crippled the gospel/church, really. "Yeah, I sinned, but it's ok, God knows my heart." As though we're expected to sin, and God is ready to forgive, so ultimately it doesn't matter if we sin or not, or if we resist sin or not. It's a separate issue.

In other words, God loves us for "who we are" and not "what we do".

I just don't buy it.

So again, the question is: what other way is there for us to know who a person is except by seeing what they do and hearing what they say? Is there another way?

Wow, theological rant time! Sorry about that... I better break things up with a funny picture or something...

You gotta love a good pun. 

So my two eldest daughters come home to us on Monday. Yay! Today was Middle Daughter's 15th birthday. I'm looking forward to getting them home safely. I think they're just as anxious to return home. This is the first time, really, that they've gone anywhere solo, without one or more parents tagging along, ever. I think 12 days was too long. They want to come home. I don't think it was like they imagined it would be.

I'm making good progress on Device and Desires, by KJ Parker. Good stuff, so far. I really like Parker's writing style.

Hey, if you get a chance, head over to The Writer's Notebook blog. He has a review of the Extended LOTR trilogy up, which he recently watched back-to-back-to-back in one sitting. A monumental task, if you ask me. Not sure I could do that, as much as I love the trilogy. He also has a review of Steven King's classic book IT, which is a good read (the review is a good read, I mean, though the book certainly has its merits). I remember reading IT twice back in high school - and really enjoyed it, for the most part. But I also really enjoyed The Talisman back in high school too, and y'all remember what happened when I re-read The Talisman last year... a great disappointment. That experience prevents me from wanting to re-read IT. I'd rather just hang onto the faded, fond memories of it.

While we're on the subject of book reviews, Rebecca has a new post up, where she does quick reviews of three books: The Lies of Locke Lamora (Lynch), The Lacuna (Kingslover), and Under This Unbroken Sky (Mitchell). If you're curious about her thoughts on those books, click this link to go there.

And Logan has a review of a book of short stories simply called Stories, which was edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. Did Logan like it? Well, go over there and see! Sheesh!

This is a three-panel segment from a webcomic I saw recently that amused me greatly... there was story before and after it, but it wouldn't have made sense to y'all. This small section stands alone well, I thought. I dig this kind of humor...

Dangit, I didn't save the link (or even the name) to this webcomic... lemme see if I can track it down and edit it in later...

Sorry, no funny videos for you tonight. I'll keep looking...

I think I'm going to call it a night. The beard is growing back nicely. All will be well soon.

Until we meet again...


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"There Are Nights When the Wolves are Silent, and Only the Moon Howls." -- George Carlin

Happy New Year!

OK, sorry, I was way off on the date... it's July 7th, not January first, my mistake.

The question now is: will you ever be able to forgive me for making such a grave and terrifying mistake vis. the calendar? I mean, to miss it by a day or two is understandable... but by half a year? Unconscionable!

Hey, I spelled unconscionable right the first try! That must count for something!

So my beard is no more. I let it grow longer than it's ever been before, and then I up and shaved it off! Nice and trim and short again... check out the before and after shot...

Not only did my beard get shorter, but my glasses magically disappeared as well! At least the hat remained (to mock me)... I think I like my appearance better with the bushy beard... it hides more of my goofy face. Plus, the bigger the beard, the less massive-looking my nose appears to be. Yeah, that thing on my face that you thought was a two-car garage? Yeah, that's my nose... let's just say I breathe a bit more than my fair share of air each day...

No worries, though! It will grow back! The beard, I mean... not my nose... that won't grow back. Unless I lie. O_O

I decided to brave the crowds and take Youngest Daughter to see the fireworks in lovely downtown Escondido on the fourth. She was so excited - she talked about going to see them all day. We went early so we could find a parking spot by the theater, and sat for an interminable hour near the Starbucks (which had a looooong line way out past the door and along the sidewalk the whole time! Felt so bad for the employees!). The hour took so long because Youngest kept asking when the fireworks were going to start FOR THE WHOLE HOUR. Then when 9pm arrived, they still didn't start them! Then it was "why aren't they starting, dad!?" for 10 more minutes...

I tried to warn her casually that the fireworks were going to be kinda loud, and not to freak out, but Youngest assured me all would be fine. And it was all fine... until about the third firework... at which time she covered her ears, wide-eyed, and began asking to go home... yeah, all that anticipation to see the fireworks, and most of the time was spent walking back to the car, with her trembling face buried in my shoulder. Then I put her in the car with the windows up, where she curled up on the seat for the remainder of the show.

Here's another before and after shot...

From "barely-containable excitement" to "take me home!" in about 30 seconds! A new record!

Anyway, they were literally firing off the fireworks from about 100 yards away from where we parked, so going to the car didn't help things, vis. the noise. But it gave wifey and I a great view of the finale. Wifey recorded it on her phone, and I managed to get the video uploaded to my Viddler account... unfortunately, I don't know how to rotate the video so it plays upright instead of on its side...

You'll have to sort of tilt your head a bit to watch it... the finale starts about 30 seconds into the clip. As you can imagine, it was much better in person...

So here's your Theological Question of the Day, brought to you by Dave's Quest to Understand It All...

I've been pondering the idea of eternal punishment again, and the more I think on it, the less sense it makes to me. What, may I ask, is the point in keep a person alive forever only to torture them? Why not just extinguish them from existence? What could a person possibly do in a few short decades down here on earth, no matter how heinous, to warrant being kept alive FOREVER to endure unimaginable pain and torment? I mean, I know there are evil people out there... but really? FOREVER? Where's the logic in that? If they aren't fit for the kingdom, then why not merely destroy them outright? Unless it isn't forever - but merely a temporary sentence, whereby a chance will be given for parole. "Now, are you ready to play nice now?" I cannot imagine a person spending even a week in the lake of fire who wouldn't be screaming out "OK! I get it! I'll be good now! Pleeeeeeeaseee!!!!!"

Here's another angle. If the punishment is eternal, are the rewards to those that are "saved" also eternal? Will there never be a possibility that at some point in the future, a "saved" person would do something warranting punishment? Are the "sides" locked in at Judgment Day, never to change, forever? Or could a "saved" person be tossed into the lake at some future point, depending on if they screw up or not?

I guess it just boils down to my inability to grasp the idea that a person could ever warrant eternal, unending punishment for something (or a lifetime of somethings) that spanned only a few decades - our life is a vapor, remember...

OK, enough theology for today...

I'm going to end with a video I saw on TBT today, of a little North Korean girl playing a guitar like a champ. Very cool...

Dang. I don't know if that's amazing, or a little sad. Probably both. The hours it must have taken to develop such ability so young. I doubt it was her choice... probably quite a story behind that kid...

If you get a chance, go check out Logan's review of Storm Front by Jim Butcher. He was much more amenable to the book than I was. I may give it another shot in the future, who knows? For now, I'm still diving into Devices and Desires by KJ Parker. Oh, that reminds me... I lent The Folding Knife to Rebecca, who then passed it on to Abbie. From what I understand, neither of them are/were very impressed. Ah, well... such is life, eh? Maybe they can elaborate upon it in the comments section! (hint hint!)

OK, I'm done for now. Adios.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

"Unfortunately, I've Never Been Mistaken for Johnny Depp." -- Gilbert Gottfried

It's the weekend, w00h00! Too bad I have a buttload of work-related obligations to see to... the August newsletters for Piranha, as well as another interview transcript to edit and format. Then there's the camp video, which is moving along nicely. I hope the momentum carries me through to a finished product...

Interesting developments on the "hot dog scandal" front... the big contest is Sunday (noon eastern), and the word from the pres of MLE is that after reviewing the tape, they docked another dog from Conti's total and that's it. The ruling stands, and he'll compete. Which makes me realize that they're hoping that the controversy around Conti will make more people watch. Figures. No sense in disqualifying him for obviously cheating when they could keep him in the event and have ratings go up. Plus, it looks like Kobayashi isn't going to be there, so they need something to boost viewership. I mean, no one else will likely come close to beating Joey Chestnut...

But currently, my YouTube video has over 7,000 views! Thanks in large part to an article about the video on a sports/gossip website called "Deadspin"... here is a link to that article, if you want to read it. They mock the whole situation, calling it a "conspiracy" tape, complete with "back and to the left" references, but hey, it's cool, I guess. It's easy to make fun of competitive eating. In spite of the way they worded the article, I wasn't the one that contacted them - someone else is apparently trying to get the story spread around. Good luck to them.

Another cool detail about this whole event is that now I'm facebook friends with a couple pro eaters, lol. How wild, the way things play out.

So the two eldest Wagner Girls are out of town for another week or so, in Albuquerque, leaving Wifey and I with two less distractions to prevent us from tormenting each other. I think we'll survive... we still have the 4 year old to act as a buffer.

Another cool "cat trap" video surfaced recently... it reminds me of the "cat in the suitcase" version from a couple years ago... I can't find the clip on YouTube, but it's on TBT and Break... I'll embed it from TBT... when I find it on YouTube, I'll replace the embed... I hate the occasional ads...

Yes, I bought a couple more games on Steam... a couple cool puzzle-type games for a couple bucks each, no biggie... one is called Osmos, and the other called Obulis.

Osmos is a very relaxing game... very cool and atmospheric. It can get hard, too... real hard... still, it's nice.

Of course, it's not as fun as playing in the water on the freeway...

Dang. Wonder what engineering snafu led to that chocolate mess? Wild. Actually, Logan would probably be the perfect person to ask about this...

Well, I guess I'll take off now and try to enjoy the rest of the weekend, with my sanity and my marriage intact. Wish me luck.