December 14, 2006

iPod Video

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.


I recently upgraded to a newer vehicle. Yes, gone are the days or taking my Mustang convertible on logging roads that suburbans fear to tread upon. No, I have a vehicle with more than 3" of clearance. It's a return to something aking to my '66 Ford Truck. Instead of being a truck though, it's an SUV; a 2002 Ford Explorer Sport. It also had an upgrade to it's stereo capabilities. Though there wasn't room for the vaunted riocar (linux on wheels), I did drop a nice Sony xplod marine CD head in with an iPod controller. Marine you say... Semper Fidelis Exploris.

December 4, 2006

Don Quixote

I've been reading Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes. I've had it on my list of things to read since the last millenium, so I figured I'd best be getting around to it. Definately a fun read so far. I also found some stickers of the Charmin' bears. Along with trading bumper stickers and antennae balls with my friend Edgar.

November 9, 2006

Books 11-9-6

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

Goldeneye: Source

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.

CounterStrike: Source

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

Secesh Hot Springs

Third time's the charm with the Search for the Secesh Hot Springs. Nestled deep in the mountains of Idaho, high on a secluded mountainside, these springs are rarely visited. In fact, they are snowed in for almost half the year. The hike is a four mile trip downstream from a backwoods trailhead, over rocky, meandering hiking paths. Then you get to ford the Secesh river, which is painfully cold. Next you have to scale the mountainside up to the springs. Though the reward is a pool with a very nice view!

October 8, 2006

Secesh Excursion 2

The GPS coordinates were bogus! That's the conclusion we arrived at after marching up and down the hillside for a few hours. Yesterday was consumed with another attempt at finding the missing hot springs. This time we had a GPS and mountain bikes to facilitate easier access. Though the trail was a little rough for the mountain bikes, especially coming back in light of a full moon. We have alot more information now, inculding alias names of the missing hot springs, so perhaps our next encounter will be more relaxing.

September 15, 2006

Secesh Excursion

Went trekking for a Hot Springs yesterday. This one is in the hard to get to classification. It's called Secesh Hot Springs. It was a long hike into the area where the springs are supposed to be. My directions were a bit scarce, as a result I ended up scaling the wrong hill. Perhaps I should have checked the coordinates in a topographical map. I've checked there before, but didn't this time. It was a nice march, though now my feet are a bit sore.

September 12, 2006

Books 9-12-06

This summer, I was teaching a Bible Study Methods class, and worked up a curriculum to help the students where the school's was lacking. Now I'm working on finishing it and polishing it up. Perhaps with the intention of teaching a class at a local church. So, I've been reading several of the books which I picked up this summer.
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

Nigeria Recap

I've been back in Idaho for two weeks now, and have been growing reaccustomed to the very dry climate. I have been traveling a bit between Boise and McCall, visiting friends and family, etc. I took some video when I was in Nigeria, and have assembled it into a collage of sights and sounds from there. It's shows some of the crazy traffic, the standard housing of the people, and the lush tropical flora. The video is set to music by Tangerine Dream: Astral Voyager. Which reminds me of some ancient Nova special about the moon. For some reason this seemed to fit the videos.

August 26, 2006

McCall, Idaho

The golden rays of the setting sun slicing through the horizon's clouds, fluorescing the grass with a golden hue. The blue waters; frigidly cold and mysteriously deep. Soaring down dirt roads in a convertible. Biking through meadows of flowers and sage. Lucid blue skies, lazy blue mountains, vivid green valleys. It's nice to be back in Idaho, especially in McCall. The heartland of Idaho has an almost magical existence. Like the legendary Forest of Arroy in the Arthurian legends: one who ventures there is sure to meet with adventures and wonderment.

August 23, 2006

I Go Chop Your Dollar

During my recent stay in Nigeria, one of my friends was driving through a market and yelled out the window to some trailing children, "I go take your money and disappear." That seemed a bit out of place, but I found out that it was was of the words to a popular Nigerian song: I Go Chop Your Dollar by Ukwa. Anyway, it's sung in Pigeon English, like most English spoken in Nigeria. It's a parody of situation involving the 419 scams.

Website Construction

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.
Downloads fixed!
Weblinks fixed!

August 2, 2006

The Books 8-2-6

    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

Nigeria in July

Being in Nigeria for the summer has been an interesting experience.  The area that I am in is under-developed. Pale skinned people (caucasian) are actually outnumbered by albinos in the area I'm staying at, so one really does feel like a super-minority.  I almost got arrested for taking a photo of the police station (a rather small building), which is a security concern, apparently.  This week I am in the northern half of Nigeria at a town called Jos, that is more developed.  Being in Jos has been a nice vacation... of sorts.

TBC computer lab

Been working on a project of updating Trinity Bible College of Nigeria's computer lab, while I'm on campus.  They have a bunch of broken Macintosh SE's two Macintosh Centris' and two IBM compatibles that run Windows for Dinosaurs™.  Anyway, it's been an interesting experience working on computers that are, as I reckon in computer years (10 to 1), about 200 years old.

Books 7-25-06

     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

Reading 7-14-6

I've been reading some Vonnegut of late. Player Piano is the first of the Vonnegut I've found here.  An interesting read, as always, andapparently Vonnegut's first book, written in the early fifties.
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

Books 7-5-6

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

June Reading

I've finished up several books, A book of protestant Saints By Ernest Gordon. An interesting read of biographies, many who were involved in the Salvation Army. And also, Puritan Profiles by William Barker. Biographies of those involved in the making of the Westminster confession. I finished up Alexander the Corrector and am still working through The Battle for God: A History of Fundementalism. I've started The Octopus by Frank Norris. Good literature set in nearly ancient California.

May 28, 2006


I've arrived in Anyigba, and had some fun times getting acclimated to the local culture. The locals speak pidgeon english here, but many things are very different.  A colloqial greeting is "Well done."  People that sell things are called "customers."  It's very hot and humid, much like Israel was at the end of summer.  The rainy season is just starting, and lasts till the middle of October.

May 24, 2006

Wie Gehts

I've been in Deutschland here for three days now.  Visited Frankfurt and Heidelberg, and  to the scenic boat to Neckar.  Lots of cool stuff to see at the castle and awesome bavarian food, etc.

May 13, 2006

World of Warcraft

I've still been playing World of Warcraft, getting my computer gaming done before I head to Africa for three months.  It's been alot of fun, as I've got to participate in a bunch of fun raids, and other multiplayer content.  Recently, one of my main characters hit  level 60, and since that time I've been working on getting the character decked out with cool stuff.  It's been alot of fun playing with people from my guild, finishing bosses like Hakkar and Ragnaros.

May 1, 2006

Reading 5-1-6

I picked up several books to read this summer today.  I picked up one Saddam's Secrets , by an Iraqi General Georges Sada.  I hadn't heard anything about this book and then saw it in the bookstore, and it looks really intriguing.  It should have some interesting information and perspective in it for sure.  I also got the Davinci Code, by Dan Brown.  It's coming out as a movie this summer with Tom Hanks.  I think most people realize it's fiction, and I'm hoping to enjoy it on that level.  I also grabbed A History of Fundementalism, by Karen Armstrong.  This looked interesting and should make for a fun, thought provoking, and perhaps agitating, read this summer.  Oh and Alexander the Corrector, by Julia Keay.

I also finished Sun Tzu's Art of War.  Read more for some choice quotes.

April 26, 2006


The third incarnation of the Rocket Plane series has arrived!  This time, the scene was Potter Valley, California.  Nestled in the mountains of Northern California, the clearing underneath pine grove made an excellent base of operations.

April 9, 2006

Africa for the Summer

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

Books 3-27-6

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

Scintillating Miasma

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

World of Warcraft PvP

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

Reading 3-6-6

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

2-26-6 Books et cetera

I'm reading Frend's Rise of Christianity now.  It had an interesting section about certain philosophers who had contact with Christianity.  One of these philosophers, Peregrinus Proteus, a Cynic, ended up as olympic history.  He happened to do it by burning himself alive at the climax of the Olympic games at the 236th Olympiad A.D. 165.  I suppose the phrase, "it’s better to burn out than to fade away," might be considered Cynical in origin.  

February 16, 2006

A use for an xBox

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

Website Flashed

Several years ago, I did some HTML construction work for a website called  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

Reading 2-9-6

I finished reading Will Durant's Story of Civilization: Reformation.  It was a good read by a good writer and fun historian.  I think he overcaricaturizes a few of the main players, such as Luther and especially Calvin.  It's good to get a nice picture of history, which Durant's well read (though not perfect) insight usually opens some doors toward.
     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

Books 1-30-6

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

Rocket Plane: Episode 2

Today was a day when the forces of nature aligned to give us a shot at the stars.  Well, maybe more a shot at the clouds.  This afternoon, a few friends convened to create a sequel to our Episode One.  And after spending several exhaustive minutes working out the engineering stats and flight dynamics we did just that.  Not to mention egregious amounts of electrical tape.

January 20, 2006

January Rain

     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

Unceasing Worship

     Unceasing Worship by Harold Best is a refreshing look at how we approach worship in our lives and local church bodies. This book is a gem, packed with practical knowledge about how to go about bringing proper and truthful worship into our churches. The author showcases a great extent of wisdom gleaned from years of ministering in music and teaching at Wheaton.
     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

Books 1-7-6

     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.