Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

Happy New Year

January 2, 2009

No resolutions. Especially about blogging frequency.
Hope you and yours all have a happy and prosperous 2009.

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Checking In

April 14, 2008

Well, yesterday I turned 40.
I suppose my advanced age could excuse the lamentable lack of my posting?
Eh, didn’t think so.
More later. Maybe.

Now and Zen

January 29, 2008

Here’s an interesting blog on productivity and life simplification: Zen Habits. Favorite recent article: Seven Powerful Steps to Overcoming Resistance and Actually Getting Stuff Done.
The author also has a new writing blog, Write to Done. He’s recently gotten a book contract, so maybe he knows a thing or two about the craft and trade.
Check him out.

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all

November 22, 2007

Here’s hoping all of my American friends have had a happy Thanksgiving today. We celebrated with my family in Dallas, enjoying the traditional meal, some football in the back yard, and a great (if boring) Dallas Cowboys football game on the TV.
Long-time friend-of-the-blog Robbo reflects on what he is thankful for this year, in a nicely written piece. His co-Llama Steve also posts the Thanksgiving proclamations of Washington and Lincoln, reminding us of the heritage and original meaning of the holiday.
Another old friend of the blog, Timothy Sandefur, has a neat post and picture about how we have fulfilled many of the ideals of our forebears.
I’ve gone in a somewhat different direction than Robbo with my faith over the last couple of years, and my ordeals this year have done nothing to change that. But I still find my personal response to life and this awesome universe to be one of humble gratitude for my many blessings.
Just a few I celebrate today (and every day!):
1. My wonderful wife, a true life-partner who not only loves and supports me, but also completes me and makes me a better person than I would be without her presence.
2. My three healthy, brilliant, active, and ever-growing children, who make me burst with pride.
3. The gift of music, which enriches my life in the good times and sustains me in the bad.
4. A stable job that provides for my material needs while allowing me some degree of freedom and capacity for growth.
5. All those who serve our country and local communities. Our military, which puts their lives at risk keeping us safe from external enemies and our local fire, rescue, and police workers who help keep us safe in our homes and communities.
6. Last but not least, our country, which despite its occasional shortcomings, still shines as a beacon of liberty and hope for much of the world.

My Inner European

November 7, 2007

Via the oh-so-fashionably Italian Virginia Postrel:


Your Inner European is Dutch!


Open minded and tolerant.
You’re up for just about anything.
Who’s Your Inner European?

John’s Reading Report – June 2007

July 3, 2007

Here’s what I’ve read since my last report:
The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God, David J. Linden
The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God, Carl Sagan (edited by Ann Druyan)
In progress:
Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution, Paul Watzlawick et al.
Teach Yourself Spanish Complete Course Package, Juan Kattan-Ibarra
Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, Daniel C. Dennett
The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer, Neal Stephenson
On Deck:
1776, David McCullough (Still…)

Where’s Johnny?

June 19, 2007

I spent last week camping in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with my eldest son and his Boy Scout troop. I am now clearing the backlog of work that always piles up on vacations. I’m hoping to post something appropriate for the Heinlein centennial in the next couple of weeks, so check back soon.

February-March 2007 Reading List

March 23, 2007

Here’s what I’ve read since the last report:
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, Sam Harris
Letter To a Christian Nation, Sam Harris
Job: A Comedy of Justice, Robert A. Heinlein
In progress:
The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins
Old Man’s War, John Scalzi
The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
On deck:
1776, David McCullough
The Years of Rice and Salt, Kim Stanley Robinson
I don’t usually rattle the tin cup, but if any of these books (or the CDs or DVDs in the sidebar) catch your fancy, follow the link directly to Amazon to purchase them and I get a small commission. There’s also the Paypal and Amazon tipjars.
I’ll be sticking to my at-least-three-posts-a-month resolution and hope to have more new material sometime in the not-too-distant future.
Thanks for your continued patronage.

Therapeutic Rush

February 26, 2007

Greetings faithful readers. Sorry for the thin gruel served up around here recently.
When you don’t have original material, what do you do? Borrow!
Here’s a Rush lyric that has some significance to me these days:

Open Secrets
It went right by me
At the time it went over my head
I was looking out the window
I should have looked
At your face instead.
It went right by me
Just another wall
There should have been a moment
When we let our barriers fall
I never meant what you’re thinking
That is not what I meant at all.
Well I guess we all have these feelings
We can’t leave unreconciled
Some of them burned on our ceilings
Some of them learned as a child
The things that we’re concealing
Will never let us grow
Time will do its healing, You’ve got to let it go.
Closed for my protection
Opened to your scorn
Between these two directions
My heart is sometimes torn.
I lie awake with my secrets
Spinning around my head
Something that somehow escaped me
Something you shouldn’t have said
I was looking out the window
I should have looked at your face instead.
Well I guess we all have these feelings
We can’t leave unreconciled
Some of them burned on our ceilings
Some of them learned as a child
The things that we’re concealing
Will never let us grow
Time will do its healing, You’ve got to let it go.
I find no absolution
In my rational point of view
Maybe some things are instinctive
But theres one thing you could do
You could try to understand me
I could try to understand you.

From 1987’s Hold Your Fire, an album that I was too immature to appreciate fully when it came out. Now that I’m about the same age Neil Peart was when he penned those lyrics, I completely understand where he’s coming from. Nice nod to The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock in there, too.

Reading Report for January 2007

January 30, 2007

So, in addition to posting at least three times this month, I have also managed to exercise quite a bit more, alternating a 45-minute weight workout every other day with at least a 30 minute aerobic outing (jog-brisk walk).
I’ve also done more reading this month than I typically did last year.
Here’s what I’ve read:

On deck: I’m planning to tackle some Nietzsche (in German and English), re-read some Heinlein, delve into some more historical fiction, and maybe peruse Dawkins’ The God Delusion, but I’m open to suggestions. As you can tell, my tastes are quite flexible.
Update: I forgot to mention that I also finished re-reading Fallen Angels in January, too. Interesting with the climate “science” meeting going on right now. Maybe Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn’s weather prediction won’t come true, but it’s clear that they have some deep insight into human nature, especially the politics of state-funded science.