Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category

Random Catchups

May 17th, 2010 Comments off

I know, I know, I’ve been ignoring my blog, during this last final season of madness.

I’m sorry.  To the four people that read this blog, I know, I’ve let you down.

But maybe I’ll turn it around and start my random digressions (it might be another di-word) as there are plenty of good things going on to write about.

Like how I started WeightWatchers March 30,2010 and have lost 10.8 pounds as of last week. 

Or, like how I started walking, with the intent to jog. I’ve walked/jogged/treadmilled 24 miles in the last two months.

I’m still Editor-in-Chief-ing at LOSTblog, but have a bunch of awesome helpers to keep the blog fresh, they want to do a full series re-watch, so I’ll be part of that, but not every episode.

I’ve got 9+ months of recovery under my belt, with the end in sight of my Celebrate Recovery step study that’s been really helpful in my examining my life, my emotions and a fruitful productive output for my sometimes self-destructive side.

So I have some boring things to write about, that I must tell the internet.  So stay tuned!

Categories: Faith, Learning, Life Tags:

Left Behind Pizza

April 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Around 10 years ago, probably closer to 9 and a half, I started posting on a message board for fans of the Left Behind series of books.

Well before the worlds of tweets, facebooks status updates, and blog trackbacks, message boards were how I interacted with the masses of people that shared a common interest.

This community shared an interest in christian themes, but had a bit of disfunction running through it. A group of us split off and thanks to the husband of one of our members, started our own message board. Heady times before the onslaught of social media, to have an almost instant community of friends.

The message board still exists. Sometimes I even, post there. But largely the community has moved on. I moved on to blogging, and that has had it’s ebbs and flows. I still keep track of a few of my friends from The Pizza Parlor, as we called it. Some are now facebook friends or twitter followers. Many are just faded Yahoo! Messenger nicknames, always hidden because life moves on.

I look back now, fondly, at those sometimes unhealthy times of Internet absorbtion. Who I am today, was formed in the crucible of yesterday. I experienced 9/11 with the people on that bored, formed many opinions based on those interactions. Learned that while I could ‘turn off’ the computer, these people still lived and cared ( well maybe not Melissa, and I sometimes wonder about Wilbo 🙂 ) about me.

Social networking is weird sometimes, I met my wife on a pre-Internet social network. We wrote letters back and forth using emoticons in 1993, while I was on deployment. Social networking is part of who I am.

Categories: Faith, Learning, Life Tags: , ,

Love… Dog == God?

October 19th, 2007 1 comment

I read Pyromaniacs the other day, and happened upon this post that has a video of Slam Poet, Taylor Mali.

Intrigued, I read more about Taylor, found his blog, and burned my two remaining Audible credits on two of his recordings.

Angie wants me to post, and though I’m unable to start into an appropriate meter, I thought I’d share this poem of Taylor’s.

Falling in love is like owning a dog
an epithalamion by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

It might be better when he speaks it, than when you read it.

Categories: Learning, Life Tags: , , ,

YouTube is Accepted…

September 14th, 2007 1 comment

The other night, I watched the movie Accepted.  Its a teenage centered flick about a bunch of kids that couldn’t get accepted at mainstream colleges so they fake a college acceptance letter from a fake school, then in order to keep from being discovered build a school (South Hampton Institute of Technology … *smirk*).

image They end up having a big white board installed where the students can write what they’d like to learn this semester.  And it up having a high old time doing what every other college seems to do (i.e. party, drink, dance, play loud music…) and find out they learn something in the end. 

Quoting the movie’s climatic speech by Bartleby (Justin Long, aka I’m a Mac) during the fake schools accreditation hearing:

…But out of that desperation, something happened that was so amazing. Life was full of possibilities. A – and isn’t that what you ultimately want for us? As parents, I mean, is – is that, is possibilities. Well, we came here today to ask for your approval, and something just occurred to me. I don’t give a s#!t. Who cares about your approval? We don’t need your approval to tell us that what we did was real. ‘Cause there are so few truths in this world, that when you see one, you just know it. And I know that it is a truth that real learning took place at South Harmon. Whether you like it or not, it did. …

Pure dreck.. but in a fun and entertaining kinda way.

In a truth-is-stranger than fiction story, Yahoo News has this article:

Pitzer College this fall began offering what may be the first course about the video-sharing site. About 35 students meet in a classroom but work mostly online, where they view YouTube content and post their comments.

Class lessons also are posted and students are encouraged to post videos. One class member, for instance, posted a 1:36-minute video of himself juggling.

Jeez, where was this course, when I had to learn FORTRAN from Mech E?

Categories: Learning, Life, Movies Tags:

With apologies to Mr. Cooper…

August 27th, 2007 1 comment

No moreGrab your pencils
No moreGrab your books
No more teacher’sDon’t give your teacher dirty looks

Well we you’ve got no class
And we got no principlesWave ‘Hi’ to the Principal
And we<you’d got no better have innocence
We can’t evenYou’d better think of a word that rhymes

School’s out in for summer winter!
School’s out IN forever

(orig lyrics)

Now, if someone could please do something about the traffic, thanks.

Categories: Learning, Life Tags:

Flying Pink Unicorns – budgeting and envelopes oh my!

March 26th, 2007 3 comments

First, to help set the stage for why I think doing this Financial Peace thing, read this day-by-day strip, g’head, I’ll wait.

back?  good.

I don’t want to know how much of our money each month goes to interest.  Not just mortgage interest, but credit card interest.  My lord, I think we could probably fund all of our children’s college through that Harvard Master’s they’re all gonna want if we just sunk what we pay in interest each month in the mattress.  Simply because we went pure and simple daffy crazy in 2005.  Sure we had a family vacation to end all family vacations, but we also refinanced/consolidated our credit card debt, then went and doubled if not trebled the credit debt we had.  *shakes head*

Seriously, our behavior reminds me of the movie Tin Cup, when in the final day of the US Open, tied, and needing a birdie to possible win, a safe par will force a playoff, Roy McAvoy goes for the green on a long par 4.  He hits it, only to have his ball roll back into the water hazard.  (we hit it, we had a plan to be credit card debt free like right then, but then rolled into some ‘necessities’)  He then proceeds to whale away at the pin from 300+ yards, when a drop and a pitch would have still put him in the playoff.  While he descends into pure selfish madness, threatening even his qualification for the following years tournament, the announcer says, “Someone tackle that guy!”


There are a couple of slides in the FPU videos that bring this home, one is how much you’d accrue in wealth if you socked anything away at 18% interest.  I took the bait and admitted that saving anything at 18% interest is pretty much impossible to sustain, unless you invest in some pretty risky ventures and end up guessing right, and impossible to sustain for the long term.  Except that, as Dave Ramsey explained, that is pretty much the investment that banks make all the time, though they aren’t investing in a company, but in their own marketing of credit card debt to the public.  Think of how much interest you pay on your lowest interest card.  Then look at your savings, and consider if you had done the whole ‘save first, pay cash’ thing, how much larger that savings line could be.

So while we have made our zero based budget, and allotted for a $1000 emergency fund, and giving again (something we haven’t done during our descent into madness) to our church.  The line I’d like to keep track of, is what our monthly outlay to the interest line is, and watch that value decrease to zero over the next 2-3 years.  That should help us keep on track, I think, I hope.

Time she keeps on marching…

March 20th, 2007 4 comments

As my children grow older, we are starting to see some of the fruits of whatever parenting wisdom we’ve somehow induced into our children.  This past weekend had a few moments where I felt awful proud of my kids and how they have grown and molded.  The four year old still has some rough patches that need to be ground out, but hey, he’s four.

This Friday/Saturday was Momma-goes-retreating weekend so I had the first half to myself.  I took the opportunity to abandon them.  Well not abandon them per se, but allow them to co-habitate for a while with another large group of kids while me and fellow bachelor for the night went and saw 300.  The payoff was that all 9 children/teens still had all their limbs attached when we got back a scant 2 hours later.  No bruises, or cuts.  There was a sliver that had to be excised, but some ice, a needle and a pair of tweezers made quick work of that.

Post movie madness, I took my brood of four to Wally World to shop for a present for the forty-fourth Pirate themed party of the year that Danny would attend in the morning.  While it was kinda dicey taking the somewhat tired four year old shopping at 9:30 PM, I was proud of my older boy taking said brother under his wing and helping him along.  In and out in 30 minutes wasn’t too hair pullingly bad.

Then morning drive to the pirate bay (20 minutes away) to attend the party, and having even the 12 year old join in the festivity with gusto (she brought her own pirate garb, and they all have their assigned pirate names, gratis multiple talk-like-a-pirate linkages).  I stole away with the non-invitees during the lunch/present/cake phase, to feed them from the TriplePlay KFC-Pizza Hut-Taco Bell mashup, and then got myself some life preserving Starbucks for the second half of the day.  They all played well, and again no puncture wounds or bruised pride.

Sunday after church was the biggest challenge, and the biggest pay off.  Four families from church decided to go to lunch together.  A table for 19 is a bit dicey at 12 PM in these parts, but we accepted a table for 6 and a table for 13 in the outer rim of the On The Boarded establishment.  On this occasion the table of six was actually the ‘kids table’ for the non-toddler set, and all four of my kids sat, actually. sat. at that table and set a good example for their younger compatriots.  Truth be told, they probably acted more polite than us brutes at the big boys table.  But somehow through the 2 hour ordeal they survived without any bruised eyes or egos.

So Huzzah, this whole parenting thing is reaching the payoff stage.  Now I need to find my rifle to clean and sword to polish for when the young men start stopping by to woo my gels.  They won’t be chased away, but they might swallow a bit hard.

UPDATE: Extra bonus footage of eldest gel performing at the 6th grade choir performance over at Sweet Bippy.

Categories: Learning, Life Tags: ,

Lordship – the horse flogging begins…

November 16th, 2006 Comments off

I blogged tangentially on Phil Johnson’s Lordship series in my post ‘Morphin’ Time…‘. Last night I wrapped up my class that surveyed John Ortberg’s The Life You’ve Always Wanted. Today Phil has posted the last of the Lordship series and an open post for any doubters/debators to keep on whaling on the horse that has died. I’m linking to the comments thread, because the meat of the discussion takes place there, regardless of where you stand on the ‘Lordship debate’, I think it is a good read, and to hear the Lordship debate story from Phil’s insider perspective is edifying.

This series I’ve continued to read as I continued to prepare for my class and other limited teaching duties, and it provided a good anchor point to many of the themes in the lighter topics of TLYAW. The class I taught had a few ‘new’ Christians, and the perspective of Lordship, I believe, is an important tact to cover with newer converts, and always a good anchor to hit with more mature believers as well. I don’t consider it a coincidence in the timing of how things were written.
Anyhoo, this is a two-purpose post, one to get a Blogspotting link from Team Pyro, and the other fulfills my NaBloPoMo responsibilities for today. 😀

Frontiers of Flight Museum – Anousheh Ansari

November 2nd, 2006 Comments off

A while back I posted about Lauren being able to talk live to space astronaut/tourist Anousheh Ansari. Tonight she is in town at the Dallas Frontiers of Flight Museum and has a special hour put aside simply for the kids that were invited to the previous event. It is really cool that they are putting the kids first, and making sure that they can all be seated, while the old fogies get stuck waiting outside. At least they have free internet so I can make this report.

If I’m lucky enough to be able to get a seat inside, I may try to live blog some of the event… if not… well this will be it.

I’m in!

UPDATE:  Here are some pictures of Anousheh Asari signing Lauren’s book and of her and Lauren. (click to embiggen)

Click the Read More button for the rest of my post. Read more…

Categories: Learning, Life Tags: , , ,

Fascinating… a hole in the wall.

October 3rd, 2006 4 comments

One of Protein Wisdom’s guest bloggers, Dan Collins points to an interesting article on “minimally invasive education.” The introduction to the article explains the premise (a fascinating skinner box experiment).

An Indian physicist puts a PC with a high speed internet connection in a wall in the slums and watches what happens. Based on the results, he talks about issues of digital divide, computer education and kids, the dynamics of the third world getting online.

more below the fold.

Read more…

Categories: Learning, Life Tags: ,