Along with the new vehicle and stereo, came a new iPod. I previously had a iPod nano. Ipods are nice mp3 players, with good audio fidelity (similar in quality to software players utilizing floating point calculations). They lack some basic mp3 player functions, such as nested playlists, changeable batteries. However, after my nano survived a whole lap in a pool in Africa, they have achieved my approval. They are rather trendy in their minimalistic lines silly and candy flavors. Making my glovebox an excellent place for them. Apple only sells the nano, shuffle, or the video versions now, so I opted for the video. In looking for a good transcoder for video, that runs on windows, I found several medium priced products. I think that they were actually just the same product with different skins. After a little hunting, I found a great freeware one called videora, that worked very well.
December 14, 2006
December 4, 2006
November 9, 2006
I've been reading an amalgum of books lately, mostly ones I've already mentioned. I'm gearing up to get ready to submit some dissertation outlines for application to Ph.D. programs.
Philip of France was inland with his army. When word of the disasterous defeat reached the court, his officers and ministers did not relish the task of telling the king. His temper was like tinder, and no one wanted to be the first to bear the brunt of it. Then someone had the happy thought of sending the court jester in with the news.
The wearer of the the cap and bells undertook the task and entered the royal presence in a state of apparent indignation.
"Majesty!" he cried. "These cowards of English! These dastards! These fainhearted sons of sheep!"
"What has come over the fool?" asked the king, looking about him in surprise.
"Majesty!" exclaimed the jester. "They would not jump off their ships into the water as our brave Frenchmen did!"
The Three Edwards by Thomas B. Costain, 321-322
October 25, 2006
A friend and coworker launched me into Armagetron. Well, into a computer game version of lightcycles, from the fabulous 1982 film Tron. The game is freeware, available for download from Sourceforge. It's an adrenalin rush to play. Teamplay with friends is completely awesome!
October 19, 2006
With CounterStrike: Source, comes the ability to create some amazing modifications to the game. Modding first person shooters has been happening for a long time (e.g. mapeditor for Wolfenstein 3D), and some of the best games of the past are being ported to the playability of the future. To wit, there is a modding community dedicated to bringing Goldeneye to the Halflife 2 game engine. Which hopefully will makes its way onto the new server.
I've been playing a bit of CS:Source of late. It's the standard first person shooter. The graphics are decent, and the gameplay interaction is good. There are alot of options to make the game fun and exciting. Several of my Boise friends play, and so we are in the process of setting up our own server.
October 12, 2006
October 8, 2006
September 15, 2006
September 12, 2006
After the large ammount I read this summer while in Nigeria, I've been a little reticent to read.
Being mollified with the trappings of modern American life. Though I recently picked up The Last Plantagenets and The Three Edwards by Thomas B. Costain. And the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, and also a very interesting Heraldy, Ancestry and Titles by L.G. Pine. Hopefully these varied and interesting books will coax me into reading some more.
September 4, 2006
August 26, 2006
August 23, 2006
I recently upgraded the website with Drupal 4.7.3 and Gallery 2.1.2. This should make it a little faster and have new added functionality. There is now a download(s) section that attaches to stories for attached files and videos. In addition the web links section has been rearranged to provide further functionality.
August 2, 2006
While visiting the city of Jos last week, we stopped at several bookshops. While many of them were not well stocked, one of them was a decent bookstore. I picked up a few hermeneuticis textbooks. Let the reader understand, by Dan McCartney and Charles Clayton. Understanding and Applying the Scriptures, by Danny McCain and Craig Keener. Listening to the Text: Oral Patternings in Paul's Letters, by John D. Harvey. I also picked up a book I've seen around that looks interesting, A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and his Prayers, by D.A. Carson
July 25, 2006
Finished up the list of previous books, and have been working on reading Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe. It is an interesting read with lots of archaic language. I find it interesting that the people that would attended these plays when they were written would understand the numerous latin quotes, etc. But I imagine it was more commonplace then than now.
Also reading King Arthur and his Knights by Howard Pyle.
July 13, 2006
I've started Another Vonnegut book, Jailbird, which has many illusions to Watergate, which wasthe subject of another book Irecently read.
And also been reading the The Complete Short Stories of Flannery O'Conner.
July 4, 2006
Finished reading The Octopus by Frank Norris. A good book with decent flow and good subject matter. Definately a nice distraction from the warm atmosphere here.
I've also read The Prince by Machiavelli. Definately full of political theories, basically built upon the precept of the end justifies the means, and the superiority of the state and its leader over citizen. Much political theory has been built upon the foundation of the thoughts and insights of Machiavelli. How deception is ok, when it serves the purposes on the greater good.
And I've also read Born Again by Charles Colson. The autobiography of the 'Hatchet man' of the Nixon whitehouse, and his trials and travails during the watergate scandal. How Colson expereinced first hand the fallout of Machiavellian politics, and that the selfisness of man , and the supposed glory of the state was in fact not to the service of the populace, but treading the rights of those it was created to protect. What a difference in perspective in two books, between The Prince, and Born Again.
June 25, 2006
May 28, 2006
May 24, 2006
May 13, 2006
May 1, 2006
I also finished Sun Tzu's Art of War. Read more for some choice quotes.
April 26, 2006
April 9, 2006
So I'm headed to Africa this summer to teach at a Bible College there. I'll be heading to Germany for a few days, arriving on the 22nd of May, and then Leaving to Nigeria on the 25th of May. Staying there til the 17th of August, at which time I'll be heading back to Boise.
I recently recieved a bunch of shots for my impending safari. One of them was the Yellow Fever vaccination, and I think it's been playing around with me a bit. I've had muscle aches, headache, and all around susceptibilty to stupefaction. Pretty much making me have at least one 'moment' a day, and also contributing to me being really tired. Plus working 4 consecutive days of 12 hour night shifts helps dull one's sense.
Went to one of my favorite hot springs a little over a week ago, the Bruneau Indian Bathtub. That was great, to watch the stars out in the uninhabited wilds of Idaho, next to a running river, while basking in the warmth of the geothermal mineral waters.
March 26, 2006
A few years ago, I was in a discipleship lab at seminary (grad. school), and we were sharing which books had impacted us the most. This seventy year old gentleman indicated that Sun Tzu's The Art of War had made a rather lasting impact upon him. I thought that curious and since have always wanted to pick up a copy. I received a bookstore giftcard for my recent birthday, and ran across it. On the back of one of the paperback versions (I nabbed the Oxford version), the publisher was saying how relevant Sun's work was for today's modern business. So, I'm going to read up on being a battlefied commander. Perhaps it will help out with PvP in World of Warcraft. Or maybe get me on The Aprentice.
I also picked up Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Some people hail this as a continuation of Douglas Adams' style. However, though i've only got through the first third of the book so far, I don't think that the humor and ingenuity of the authors is on par with the manaical wit of Adams.
March 21, 2006
I was browsing around Meridian, Idaho on Google Maps and realized there was a huge rift running along Cherry Lane/Fairview boulevard. It's there for everyone to see: the rift in the time space continuum as caught on Google Maps. I'm pretty sure that Jean Luc Picard Patrick Stewart is somehow involved, though I'm almost positive that William Shatner has nothing to do with it. Oddly enough, the rift has watermarks bearing © 2005 Google, which leads me to believe they are somehow responsible. Unrelatedly, I'm not normally a fan of the Oregon coast (excepting Cape Perpetua), but check out these cool panoramas. Also of interest are these cool computer graphic movies involving water, sharks, and helicopters (always a fun mix).
March 17, 2006
I've been playing some of the Player versus Player (PvP) parts of World of Warcraft lately. This game is one fun MMORPG. The PvP portion of the game pits your characters against those of other players, so the strategy and gameplay become rather intense, as the opponent is going to be alot different than a computer opponent, and learn and react and approach other players differently. And there are cool in game rewards for being an awesome PvP player.
March 5, 2006
I recently started reading though Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, by William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland. Two professors out of Talbot School of Theology, who are also deeply involved in the scholarly Evangelical Philosophical Society. I picked this book up a few years ago after some time with some friends who attend Talbot, and attending an E.T.S./E.P.S. meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. I've been hoping to make it back to it before I turn 60, and I think it's found its time. It's an excellent read so far, and not nearly as incomprehensible as philosophy books tend to be.
I'm still working through W.H.C. Frend's Rise of Christianity, also. It's an interesting history, and I'm not sure that I agree with some of his perspectives on a few issues. Notably, it would be interesting to see an analysis of primary literature of Christian Fathers where the Christian church is vying with the Jews as a new Israel.
February 26, 2006
February 16, 2006
Since the release of the xBox 360 the older xBoxes are pretty much doorstops and paperweights. My xBox hasn't been used much recently (apart from a weekend stint at the superbowl, and once last November, and then once at the previous superbowl). Thus I have decided to try my hand at an xBox media center. I'm going to try to end up with X Box Media Center on it. Apparently the install process includes dancing wildly over the carcass of your xBox while throwing pikachu dolls at it. XBMC even has a matrix screensaver and can predict the weather!
February 11, 2006
Several years ago, I did some HTML construction work for a website called IdahoRec.com. Wherein contributors would write up content about various recreational activities around the great state of Idaho and post them on the site. They would also be required to purchase work related items like mountain bikes, hot springs guides, skis, snowboards, and huckleberry pails. Of course, their business model was more of a tax writeoff, thus it never really got off the ground. But in the meantime, I got some experience using macromedia flash. I've enjoyed it ever since, and recently added a few pieces of flair to the website.
February 9, 2006
I recently picked up A Dictionary of Greek Orthodoxy, by Nicon D. Patrinacos. It's been pretty interesting to see self defined points of Orthodox theology. The book's definiations are very similar to Roman Catholicism's, and it has a fair ammount of mystic history. It also has a bit of ecumenical flavor of goodwill towards the Roman Catholic Church, with is apparently standard post-Vatican II (dropping mutual anathemas and such). On a related note, I think it's interesting how the priesthood developed in Christiandom. It didn't have a place until at least one hundred years after the last of the apostles, and I think it really flourished with the synchronization of the Roman state religion changing to Christianity. Possibly an interesting research project.
January 29, 2006
Finished To End All Wars, by Thomas Knock. It was a good historical look at president Woodrow Wilson, specifically relating to his progressive ideals and contributions. Wilson saw many of the abuses of our constitutional form of government, "Once the government regulates monopoly, then monopoly will see to it that it regulates the government." (17) and brought to light many grievances that are now magnified in corporate America. The book was illuminating in regards to America's 20th century emergence from an isolationist pacifist into a world consortium of nations dependant upon each other. Very interesting how Wilson's progressive internationalist ideas of peace and interdependance have impacted global foreign policies. "Nobody can hereafter be neutral as respects the disturbance of the world's peace for an object which the world's opinion cannot sanction." (97)
January 28, 2006
For Mozart's 250th birthday, I decided it was time to get a new MP3 audio player, since my last mp3 player went kaput. Not my car audio one however, which continues to be a champion performer. So, for this new player I decided to go with an Apple iPod nano. I also got an InvisibleShield, which is pretty much a prerequisite because of the propensity for the nano to become heavily scratched.
In other news one of my friends recently purchased an xBox 360. So far the only game I've played on this nex-gen console is the classic arcade game Joust. Excellent fun!
January 22, 2006
January 20, 2006
It was snowing big, fat snowflakes yesterday. Today it's been either a light drizzle or quickly melting snowflakes. It's really soothing to hear the rain pattering away on the skylight. I've started some mid-winter spring cleaning. I've rearranged a room worth of stuff, but need to sort through half of it. I also cleaned the car, which was starting to get dusty. The convertible top really makes cleaning it out easier.
January 14, 2006
Every once in a while a really great book comes along and you want to share how it impacted you. I want to give a sense of how good this book is, so I have quoted from it pretty extensively. If I were to rate Unceasing Worship, I would give it a exemplary 5 's out of 5, for being informed, well written, and thought provoking on its subject matter. And also for the fact that the author is an Idahoan: “When I moved to the Idaho panhandle a few years ago…” (174)
January 7, 2006
I recently finished up Unceasing Worship, which was an excellent read. I'd give it five stars, and am planning on writing a little more about it. I also was recently given a book by a friend of mine who is academic dean for Trinity Bible College, Nigeria. He gave me Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard. We also had a discussion about how much existentialism Kierkegaard actually displayed in his theology. Apparently, according to my friend's masters thesis, it is less than usually accredited.
Also recently picked up To End All Wars, by Thomas J. Knock. I've been a fan of president Woodrow Wilson for quite some time, he seems like a rather enigmatic leader of America, and was also a scholar and had some good insight into the American Constitutional system, particularly the abuse of congressional commitees. Woodrow was also the president of Princeton before becoming president of the United States, and is the only president to have ever earned a doctorate degree.
Another book I recently got is Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I've had several friends and acquaintances say how much they enjoyed this book, I'd say it's like Vonnegut meets Christianity. It was a bit flippant at points, and it even has pictures similar to Vonnegut.