Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All Over the Place, Accomplishing Nothing...

"Now entering: Fall..."

Are you proud of me? I fixed the upstairs crapper at my house... yep, replaced all of the innards in the tank, replaced it all! Took me about 3 hours, lol... hey, I'm not a handyman, what can I say? I agonized over the simple step-by-step instructions, reading, re-reading, over and over, each step thoroughly contemplated before summoning the strength to continue... in my mind, the whole time, it was all about to explode in a shower of plastic and metal, spraying a geyser of water everywhere... I'm good at figuring some stuff out... but, man, replacing the guts of a toilet... what a workout...

But it was a success - and I didn't cause any floods or irreparable damage. So, yeah, one step closer to actually growing up. I can check that off my bucket list now, lol...

So I've been watching a weird array of titles on Netflix lately... A Nat'l Geo doc on King Herod's Lost Tomb (spoiler: they found it), a mini-doc on South Park (and how they create each episode in only 6 days, concept to air time), an old doc on the Nuremberg Trials (cool, old archival footage), an ESPN documentary on all the cool, huge sports-related things that happened on June 17, 1994 (including the OJ Simpson low-speed police chase)... and I also watched Downfall (about Hitler's last days as the war was ending), and Roxanne (Steve Martin/Daryl Hannah).

I'm a sucker for a good documentary.

Hey, check this out, this is great...

These guys give their kids a little scene to improvise, and they record the audio, and then act it out while lipsynching the dialog... lol, I've watched most of the vids they've uploaded. They're hilarious (to me). Normally, I'd just let you hunt down more on your own if you like them, but I can't resist posting another one...

For some reason, I find these videos endlessly entertaining.

OK, so some company is making giant cast-cement Lego pieces, to build stuff with... check it out...

I wonder if those are viable as building materials at all, or if they're just novelty items? Not sure I'd feel safe in a Lego house... I think, if memory serves, I posted a story once about someone building a life-sized house out of about a jillion little Lego blocks... lemme see if I can track down the link, brb...

OK, here's the link to the video on YouTube, if you want to take a peek...

By the way, the people that gave Raven's Shadow by Anthony Ryan so much love on Amazon have it right so far. I'm about 15% in so far, and it's a good read - it has it's share of fantasy tropes, but it reads easily and well, and it is quick of pace. Here is the review of it on Fantasy Book Critic, if you'd like to learn a bit more. I'm looking forward to getting in deeper. Another solid new author. Kindle Roulette pays off again! Wish it would pay off more often...

I wish I had more of substance to say today, but hey, at the moment life is, well, if not boring, then at least "uneventful". Still, I don't want to let the blog stagnate for lack of substantive content. Hey, those Bored Shorts videos make the post worthwhile, if anything, eh?

In fact, here's another great one...

OK, fine, I'll stop.

So the week is half-over. Hopefully something fun and/or exciting will happen between now and the next post. Otherwise I'll have to bust out some fiction... or, Heaven forbid, some poetry...

Adios for now.

Dave the Calm

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Drive-By Blast of Hot Air

A decidedly blase Summer is ending... No complaints here. It was pleasant, taken for what it was. I'm ready for Fall, methinks. Cooler weather, Halloween, Red Country (by J. Abercrombie), Legion (by Brandon Sanderson), Torchlight 2, Speilberg's movie Lincoln (starring Daniel Day Lewis), The Hobbit movie, the opening of the new Target by my house... there's quite a bit for me to look forward to before the holidays... so I'm good.

I've been kind of quiet on the book-reading front of late... I've started and abandoned several titles over the past month. What can I say? I'm not the kind of reader the normally feels obligated to finish something regardless of how good it is. If it doesn't sufficiently hook me, and I push a bit farther, to no avail, then why keep torturing myself? At the moment, I'm dangerously close to abandoning The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham. I think I'm, like 15% through it at the moment, and it's just Dullsville. I'll give it one last shot tonight, and then I'll chuck it and grab something else.

I'll probably start Raven's Shadow by an author named Anthony Ryan, to see what the scoop is with it. I mean, it has 317 ratings on Amazon (at the moment), which in and of itself is remarkable, but to also have a 5 star average? Come on... something's fishy. It's either a fantastic book, or the rating system was somehow played by some friends of his or some such. Hey, for $3, it's worth the risk.

And now, Real Actors Reading Yelp Reviews...

I have sat here for the past several minutes, staring at the blinking cursor, nothing coming to mind to write. I believe I shall take that as a sign to call this post quits. Lemme post a couple random funny pics, in an cheap effort to make your visit here seem more worthwhile, and then sneak out the back door...

I work at a family business. Thankfully, it's not this bad...

What if her hands are grabbing my wallet?

Now THAT is funny...

I should have shown this to Eldest while she was planning her wedding..

OK, that's enough nonsense for now. Sorry about the weak post. Have a good week.

Dave the Uneventful

Sunday, August 19, 2012

OK, So the Question Is...

OK, so here's the question: How would you like *that* view out of your hotel window?

It's a (now abandoned) hotel on a cliff-side in Bogota, Columbia. Something to do with water pollution or some such. Look, here's another view, of the place nestled onto the cliff edge...

Yes, the place exists. And yes, there's talk of correcting the problems and reopening the place... Would be a great place to film a movie, perhaps...

So, here's the question: Do you think it would be possible to find a cool location to film a movie, and then write a script to fit it? Rather than the traditional way of writing the script, and then scouting locations to fit the script? I was talking to Ethan F. about it tonight, and he seems to think it's a good idea... although he is only 7 years old... give or take...

OK, so here's the question: What's the least intelligent way to pull out your own tooth?

That's got to be in the top 5, for sure. I wonder how many days the resulting headache lasted? Not sure what language is being spoken there... I hope there isn't any profanity in it! Or I will be gross embarrassed.

So, yes, I'm sure by now you've already heard the news. Nic Cage has signed on to play a role in the next Expendables movie... he's a perfect fit: a goofy old(ish) action star, with a number of corny action roles already under his belt. Believe it or not, the producers of the next film are also trying to get Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood to sign on for cameos. That should just about exhaust everyone from that genre, going back to the late 70's.

Time for a Gratuitous Cat Photo:

OK, so here's the question: Are you a fan of classic hymns sung acapela by a talented (though extremely white) guy to a hushed (awed?) crowd in packed auditorium? It's sort of a specific question question, true... still... if you answered "yes", then this is for you...

If "no", then, well, your loss, I suppose... gives me chills, especially at the end. Hey, anything to cool off, eh?

Eldest Daughter's wedding ceremony was Saturday, in the back yard of my mother's house in Ramona. I tell you, it was wonderful, far surpassing my expectations. I'm extremely proud of her for pulling it off. We were outdoors at the tables, at dusk, with the white lights wrapped around the trees and strung overhead, champagne glasses at hand, while the best man and maid of honor gave their speeches... and it dawned on me what an amazing "moment" it was. I took a minute or so to soak it all in, and take a solid mental snapshot, cementing it in my mind. I'm going to remember it forever, I think. I'm trying to recall the last time that happened - if ever. I mean, being aware, in a moment, as it's happening, how special that moment is (as opposed to after the fact).

So here's the question: Do you have a moment like that? Where, as it was happening, you realized how special it was, and took time to soak up every detail? I don't know if that's ever happened to me before.

Run, bird! Run! I mean, fly!

I'm out.

Adios for now.

Dave the Goof

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Birthday Games, Weddings and Other Stuff I Don't Get...

OK, this post is going to run the gamut... I know not what you will make of it. Let's see, shall we?

First, today was my birthday, so let's just get that out of the way. Went to work, did a killer workout with my trainer Markshane in the afternoon, and then had dinner with the family at a nearby restaurant. Then I updated my blog. OK, that last part, at this point, is more of a prediction, since who knows? I did just start writing it, you know! I may not finish this!

Anyway, highlights of the day include trying to answer everybody that wished me happy birthday on Facebook, and trying yet again, in vain, to beat Bob at Words With Friends. I've probably played him a dozen times so far, and have yet to even come close to beating him. Which is odd, because word games are my thing, and everyone else I've played I have beaten soundly. Took me a few games to beat Havah, but the rest of the time, I have little trouble, winning 95% of the time... except with Bob. I know he thinks I suck at the game! I have my excuses, of course, but still...

Anyway, that's moot.

Bottom line, it was a low-key uneventful birthday, which was just fine this year - as opposed to the last two years, where my birthday was a huge deal to me. This year, meh.

Time to break all this text up with a funny video... NOTE: You will likely not watch all 30 minutes of this video, I know. Still, a few minutes will be enough, I won't be offended...

Reggie Watts is my kind of weird. He's smart, quirky, amusing, and crazy talented, in a way that I not only will never be, but would never even think to be.

OK, next...

In 2 days, my Eldest Daughter and her husband will be having their wedding ceremony. Yes, you remember right, they are, in fact, already married. They tied the knot in front of a justice of the peace back in June. But they also wanted to have a ceremony, with a dress and brides maids, and food and (most importantly, to Eldest) a chance to take professional wedding photos. So we've dressed up the back yard at my mother's house, and we're having about 35 people -- close family from both sides, and a few closest friends -- up Saturday evening. Mother-In-Law flew out this week, so she can be there. Anyway, when I get a few pics, I'll post them here.

Funny Picture time...


OK, so the last post I made, I proposed a theological conundrum about Christians saying "that should have been me" on the cross, and the idea of being "born condemned". I appreciate the feedback I got, and still hunger for more, if you're up for it. The conversation slid into "faith vs works", which is always a fun topic for me, though I'm not sure it really dealt with the topic to hand. I was trying to understand the logic behind the two concepts I mentioned in the first sentence of this paragraph. I'm not quite content with the fallback response of "God moves in mysterious ways, His ways are above our ways, we aren't supposed to understand, just believe." Don't get me wrong, nobody said that in the comments, but militating against that was one of the reasons I went ahead and wrote the post in the first place. I feel like the traditional understanding of the gospel may be missing a few pieces. I'd like to think the gospel is something we're supposed to understand and be able to explain... "born condemned" doesn't make sense to me...

Another video for you. Saw this one on Bits and Pieces today. This guy does food reviews from the inside of his car. In this episode, he reviews a burger/fries from Five Guys Burgers near his house.

I enjoy characters like that. I'll check out some of his other vids, for sure.

I've started working out with my trainer Markshane again, which is awesome. Yes, it makes me feel vain. I like to feel strong and healthy, and that soreness I feel for a day or two after a good workout makes me feel strong and healthy. I'm combining it with modifying my diet (a la the Four Hour Body "Slow Carb" diet by Tim Ferriss) and I feel great. What can I say? The workout regimen we've embarked upon is supposed to add muscle weight quickly, but only really works if one consumes enough protein. So far so good. I'll be the Incredible Hulk before I know it! OK, fine, I'll still be a lumbering white nerd, but one that is in somewhat better shape.

And now, the blog post takes a weird turn... I'm going to talk briefly about Hitler and the Holocaust.

Here's what's odd... I know the last thing you want to read about is Hitler/The Holocaust, but I *really* want to talk about it. If I talk about it briefly, to spare you discomfort, I run the risk of over-simplifying it and incurring your annoyance. If I talk in too much detail, I will lose your interest, if I haven't already. Let me try in one short paragraph, to explain why I want to talk about it, and summarize what I want to say. Bear with me.

I've read books, watched documentaries, and contemplated the Holocaust since high school, and for the life of me, I could never, never, NEVER understand how on EARTH so many people could be convinced to do something so unfathomably horrible. I mean, it boggles my mind and so thoroughly saddens me that it defies my ability to describe it. I could never put it together. The best I could come up with was that Hitler was simply an evil man possessed of an off-the-charts ability to convince people that he was worth following, ideologically, even if it destroyed them and the whole country of Germany in the process, and resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of people. It did NOT make sense.

So much for one paragraph...

So I watched a 6-part BBC documentary on the history of Auschwitz, hoping to glean new insights, but was left feeling the same thing: unbearable sadness and a renewed realization that I still could see no logic in how or why it happened. And then I watched a German-made documentary from 1989 called The Architecture of Doom and was shocked to have all of the pieces fall into place. I get it now. I've had bits and pieces of it arranged in my brain, like an unsolvable jigsaw on a table, since high school -- and the pieces all flew into place. That's the ONLY reason I'm bringing it up here, now, in this odd blog post. The feeling of epiphany was almost overwhelming - it really rocked me. So much so, I'm still pondering it, days later, and have watched the 2-hour documentary again twice since. I had no idea it would be so important for me to understand something that huge, that has eluded my understanding for so many years.

And it is unnerving. Not because I agree with him now - just the opposite. But I suppose in the same way you might understand the mind of an abusive spouse, an adulterer, a pedophile, a serial killer, any person that finds it acceptable to behave in a way that is thoroughly repulsive... to get a clear glimpse into the mindset that would find that behavior acceptable... and to see the strange logic to it... unnerving is an understatement.

Perhaps the most powerful photograph ever taken. On the back was handwritten "the last jew in Vinnitsa"...

How can this happen? I think I get it now. And it scares me. And to try and summarize it here could only be received as trivialization. I won't do it. If you have NetFlix and the subject interests you, and you have the stomach, and are ok with subtitles, The Architecture of Doom is on Watch Instantly. There are also thorough reviews of the doc available, if you want to read before watching.

OK, so I told you this post would run the gamut. I didn't even cover everything I wanted to cover - but that last topic wrung me out, like I knew it would.

If you read this far, thank you for your patience. Perhaps my goofiness will kick in again soon.

Dave the Somber

Monday, August 13, 2012

Warning: Theological Conundrum Ahead

Beautiful Aspen trees, eh? Love the lines and colors in that pic. Found this pic on All That Is Interesting recently.

Man, what a hot week it's been here in SoCal. Sweltering is a good word. Although I'm sure it's been this way just about everywhere. It is the middle of Summer, so there's that about it.

I think I'm going to drop some more theology on you tonight, so if that's not your bag, or if you lack the patience at the moment, I won't be offended if you stop now. Thanks for dropping by; next time I'll bring the goofy nonsense...

So tonight's topic could be considered the next in my series of rants that appear to be calling into question some rather basic orthodox tenets of the widely-accepted Christian gospel. I hope you don't mind my contemplating them. I'm certainly not trying to talk myself out of my faith, or be disrespectful... I'm just having a hard time squaring certainly widely-embraced gospel concepts with both logic and scripture. It isn't the Bible or certain scripture I'm chewing on, but rather how they are presented, and certain conclusions that have been drawn by them and offered as truth.

Tonight's Topic: That Should Have Been Me

On the way to church this morning, a song was playing on the local Christian radio station as we drove. I've tracked it down just now, since I want to discuss the lyrics, and ask some questions. The song is called Should've Been Me and the artist is Citizen Way. Here is the pertinent section (the chorus, I believe).

It should've been me, it should've been us 
Should've been there hanging on a cross 
All of this shame, all of these scars 
Should've been stains that were never washed 
Why do I hide, why do you try 
Over and over and over again 
I guess it just leaves saying thank God 
It leaves me saying thank God, thank God 
For the should've been

I've heard this concept a million times, in many different ways. "We are all filthy sinners who deserve eternal punishment, but thank God, Jesus died for us, forgiving us and granting us eternal life when we didn't deserve it." Pretty much the backbone of the gospel, yes? Just being human is enough to warrant eternal condemnation, and that it's deserved, because of God's sense of judgment and all that. Based, it is said, upon Adam's original disobedience.

I suppose my question (if it isn't obvious already) is why on Earth would God created us condemned, as if we had a choice in the matter? We deserve eternal punishment because... why, exactly? We are "born in sin and shaped in iniquity?" Did God create us that way, or does He create us holy but we become tainted (and thus worthy of death) just by being born? Can you hold a newborn, look at it in your arms, and say, "yes, this baby deserves eternal punishment in hell, just like the rest of us." Really? Seems ridiculous on the face of it, to me. But then the conversation would naturally segue into the idea of an Age of Accountability, and that's not where I want to stray in this post.

That should have been me on the cross, the song says. My stains should not have been washed away, but remain forever, as a testament of my filthy sinfulness, the song says. Which stains? The stains I was born with, or stains I acquired here? The song says all we can do is thank God for His mercy... in finding a way to bypass His own rules, I guess. He created us condemned, and then mercifully created a way for us to escape it if we want, but we don't deserve it.

So, what am I missing? How am I looking at this incorrectly? Is that an incorrect summary of that piece of the gospel puzzle? Born condemned? Born deserving eternal punishment? Where's the logic in that? But if we call on Him, He saves us, and then we get eternal (undeserved) reward instead? Where is the logic in that as well?

I'm apt to think it stems from incorrect conclusions drawn from certain verses that may have been talking about something else. Blanks filled in by well-intentioned folks trying to simplify a complex issue for the sake of mass consumption, perhaps. It reminds me of something my pastor said today about righteousness. Are there righteous people in the world, or not? Are we (as Christians) supposed to try and live righteously, or not? It may seem silly to ask such things, but he told us to ask fellow Christians that we know those questions, and see what they say.

The verse that always comes to mind is when Paul (in Romans) quotes the verse from Isaiah that says "there is none righteous, no not one." From this comes the idea that every person on earth, including those that have lived before us, are all unrighteous, and thus (I presume) unworthy of eternal life, etc. Meshes nicely with tonight's topic. HOWEVER, there are numerous places in the Bible which name righteous people (Noah, Abraham, the parents of John the Baptist) and also passages that admonish us, in no uncertain terms, to be/live righteously. Here's a couple:

  • Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times. (Psalm 106:3)
  • Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. (Isaiah 3:10)
  • But in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him. (Acts 10:35)
So are there righteous people, or not? "We can't be righteous apart from God." Is every act of righteousness that a person (Christian or not) performs only God-inspired? Does God prompt every act of kindness that is performed, or is it possible that a person could, of his own accord, hold a door open for someone that has his/her arms full?

So getting back to the initial idea of "that should have been me," don't you think that it would have been illogical for God not to provide a way of escape from the predicament He put us into (born condemned)? How is it possible that God could ever hold a person eternally responsible for the way He created him? That doesn't make sense to me. It is wonderful that He has "made a way of escape," but wouldn't a way of escape be expected as part of the plan? The other side of the "created condemned" coin?

And I better not get started on the idea of eternal punishment/rewards in and of themselves. Because of choices we make in a comparatively short time frame on earth, while living in an environment cut off from God, which we had no choice but to enter and live in, we receive eternal consequences that will never end or change. I have a feeling there's misunderstanding in that soup as well. Perhaps it's true, and it makes sense in a way that I'm just not seeing, or not programmed/capable of seeing, but for now, that makes no sense to me. It makes more sense that the punishments/rewards will be dynamic, forever contingent upon our day-to-day actions, forever. That would require a fresh, moment-by-moment relationship with God, with His involvement in our every decision, which is (I believe) the real goal in it all (not just a house in Heaven). The relationship is the goal, and the key to preventing rebellion forever, I think. THAT makes sense to me.

So, should that have been me upon the cross? If so, then why? Because I was born? Because of the way I was made? Or because of what I've done in my life that has missed God's best? Or another reason I'm missing?

What say you?

Dave the Puzzled

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Have No Idea What I'm Talking About

If Summer days, then what are the rest of them? BUAHAHAHA!!!

Actually, I guess the answer would be "nights"... and that's not really funny, is it... How about if I modify the pun a bit...

If Summer Daves, then what are the rest of them? BUAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I guess the answer to that one would be "inferior"... and that's not really funny, either. (not to mention that it isn't true, lol).

Hmm... lemme try again...

If Summer dresses, what are the rest of them?

Ahhh... Summer dresses... I'm a big fan. That's why I own so many of them. I like the sleeveless ones the best... they really show off my farmer tan...

OK, fine, I don't wear women's clothing, you got me. I just lie for comedic effect. Yes, I know that all liars end up in the Lake of Fire! I know! I'm working on it! In the interim, at least I'll be nice and breezy in this summer dress....

This is the part where I admit I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Ah, an unsurprising indulgence in two of my interests, in one shot! Cats and comics! And theology, if you want to reach a bit. And absurdism, too, now that I think about it. If the cat was passing wind, I'd have won a game of 'Interest Bingo'!

Although passing wind isn't really an interest with me... it's more of a lifestyle...

I still have no idea what I'm talking about...

So, my family is home, and things are back to normal, for better or for worse. And man, is the weather hot! "How hot is it!!?!?" Well, it's so hot that.... it... umm... so hot that I whined about it a lot... and stuff...

The artist is named Jen Stark (of Winterfell?), and the medium is paper, meticulously hand-cut. The gallery, to see some amazing examples, is at THIS LINK! So click it! Click it like a seat belt! Click it like a ballpoint pen! Click it like a postage stamp! Wait... that would be "lick it like a postage stamp", not click it... and you'd better make sure it wasn't a self-adhesive stamp first... those don't need licking... hmm... ok, well, just click the link. In fact, I'll make the picture a direct link as well.

Yeah, I'm thorough like that...

You know, I bet if Windows crashed and I lost the backup of this blog post, and went to re-write the thing, I'd have no idea what I'd typed to this point. It appears before me, I write it out, and then it's gone out of my mind... very little awareness, very little self-editing... which is a dangerous way for someone so socially retarded to live...

In fact, I will now give frank, callous assessments of each of my blog readers.... I'm going to list everything I like and dislike about each of you. Ready?

Yeah, right. I'm not THAT socially retarded...

And now, a cat with issues...

I bet he was angry because someone installed the roll so that it unrolls under instead of over, like it's supposed to.

O, don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about! You know it drives you crazy too when the TP doesn't unroll right! Right?

I have so many funny/cool pics stored in my archive, waiting to be posted here, that I even have a pic that is on topic! The topic being cats and bathroom tissue...

Come on... what are the odds of that? Seeing as how I'm making this up as I go.

That reminds me, here's another photo with a weird-looking cat I saw today...

A weird-looking cat contemplating a watermelon. That has GOT to win me some kind of Randomness Award...

OK, well, the only fitting way to end this ridiculous post is abruptly, mid-sentence. So on behalf of the staff and janitorial crew here at My Little Corner of the World, I bid you farew--

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Not All Who Squander Are Lost...

Yes, I realize that you've gone too many days without a fresh dose of Dave. Look, I'm doing you a favor, all right? Too much Dave is addicting, and frankly, you've been showing all the warning signs. It just isn't healthy. I mean, the stomach cramps (from laughing), yellowing teeth (from emulating my coffee habit), the perpetually cracked windows in your office (uh... methane!), and your increasing propensity for finding bad puns amusing. The signs are there. You're not a professional, like I am. Your heart and soul can't take such abuses -- I've trained my whole life to be Dave. You've got to ease up. For your sake, and the sake of those that love you.

Yes, I'm calling for an interdavention.

And part of the recovery process is for me to go upwards of 5 or 6 days without updating this blog. I know the withdrawal pains are hard, but think of your kids. You must endure.


So, what new and exciting things have I discovered and/or explored in the time I've had alone? I'll give you three guesses... and a hint: the answer rhymes with "absolutely nothing, because I'm a pathetic scrub." I work, I come home, I turn the computer on, I try to get myself to work, I play and/or lurk the web until 1am or so. I'm tired of making excuses, and I'm tired of asking why I do it. I just do it, that's all. When it changes, I'll let you know. Short of someone coming over and kidnapping me and taking me on a fun adventure, it doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon by my own initiative.

I did see a movie on Saturday, though, with my good friend Dave McIntosh. We saw Total Recall, and frankly, I'm glad I didn't look at any reviews ahead of time. My take-away was that it was enjoyable, and I'm glad I saw it, and I want to get in shape like Colin Farrell is. It had some eye-rolling elements, but hey, it's Hollywood, what does one expect?  Catch it on DVD when it comes out, you'll like it.

Look, here's a black lion.

There, I've made my point.

So I have something theological (and, as it turns out, greatly practical to me) in nature that I've been chewing on. I'd love some input, but I'll have to phrase it more vaguely than I'd like to. Although it won't take a genius to figure out what I'm referring to.

So, if there's someone in your life that you have to interact with, but it is difficult to deal with that person, is there any benefit at all to creating a version of that person in your mind, and dealing with that version of the person instead, as though that's the way the person is? In other words, sort of pretend the other person was different in certain key ways that would make them more palatable to deal with if they were true? I guess it would be like having filters, so that you see the person how you'd like them to be, and overlook/let go the things that would normally bug you.

I think I've subconsciously done that, with a lot of things/people in my life. On the one hand, it strikes me as lazy/cowardly - in that I should have the backbone to accept and deal with a person as he/she is, whether he/she is offensive/frustrating or not. On the other hand, why frustrate myself unnecessarily? "Oh, don't let him bother you, that's just the way he is. He doesn't mean it when he does/says that." Do you think everyone hand-crafts certain versions of the people in our lives like that?

The verse I thought of was the one where it says "God sees things that are not as though they were," or some such. Doesn't He do that with us? He overlooks certain things, puts them "under the blood" while we change, etc.? Or is that something else all together? Doesn't He see us the way He wants us to be?

Our pastor said this morning that God "finished us" from the foundation of the world. I'm having a hard time getting my brain around that. What we will ultimately be was already in His mind before He created us? That doesn't make sense. Then why struggle to change? Or struggle to keep from sinning? That seems to say that whatever circuitous route we take that lands us in the Kingdom once this life is done, God will point at us and say "That's the version of you I had in mind from before you were born."

So if I craft a version of someone and deal with that person as though that version was legit (even though I know it's not), just so the person is easier to deal with, is that a bad thing or a good thing? Isn't that what we do when we forgive someone? We forget what they've done and try to believe they'll never do it again?

OK, enough theology. The head and the heart, goin at it again...

By the way, you know you're having a hard time focusing on work when the phone rings and you agree to do a political survey on the phone instead of working. That... is sad...

The Olympics are on. They don't interest me in the least. I am sorry.

I've been Skyping with my wife and kids every night for the past week or so. It's fun and awkward at the same time. If you don't know what Skype is, it's a video chat program that lets you use your webcam (if you have one) to have video conference calls on your computer. It's free, too, which is awesome. Saves the cost of a long-distance call. Anyway, I've used it to read bedtime books to Youngest... and my webcam is so clear, I can hold the book up to it and Youngest can read every other page with me. It's fun.

So, three more days of solitude and then the fam is back. I contemplated trading my wife's car in on a new one, and having it in the garage for her when she arrived home. I decided against it. Gone are the days of the $10K Hyundai. We bought both of our Elantras (an '02 and an '05) for exactly $10K each. They're almost double that now. The only reason I considered it was that it's at the point now where paying for the maintenance on her '02 is about the same as making a monthly payment... so why keep dumping $ into a car that's feeling its age when I could dump the same $ into a more reliable car? That was my thought, anyway. That was before I saw how much cars cost lately.

OK, I've dodged long enough. Time to dive back in.

Adios for now,

Dave Double-You