Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Call it a prayer request

Netherlands Hospital Euthanizes Babies. Unbelievable the inhumanities humanists will commit.


Return of the King Trailer

After my little rant about Slashdot, I found a link from the geek blog to a 6 minute long trailer for the extended edition version of LOTR: Return of the King. It's pretty good, and they include some of the 50 minutes of extra movie that we didn't see in the theatre.

And since I'm posting about Slashdot, you have to read what they call the "coolest story Slashdot's ever had."

It's a new day...

And I von't be poosht around!

I tried an experiment last night--I was really tired and didn't really feel like doing much of anything (except to poke around on the Facebook or within the blogosphere), so I went to bed at 8:00. It worked pretty well (I'm up now at 3:00, and I'm feeling great), but there were some odd things about last night.

First, someone called my room at 8:50. This was really confusing in my stupor, and so I thought that it was time to get up. When I saw that it wasn't even 9:00, I had to check all my clocks to make sure they were correct. Then I realized that I could go back to bed. By the way, the jerk who called (no offense if said jerk happens to be reading this post!) didn't even leave a message.

At about 1:00, I was extremely ready to get up. Part of it was because my room was roasting (I had to get up, turn down the thermostat, and get a drink of water), but I don't think that my body was quite sure what to make of this attempt. I could still hear people up and about. I have to make absolutely sure that I don't get up/go to bed any earlier than this.

By the way, my neighbor (Chris) heard me get up yesterday morning because he was staying up almost all night to write a paper, so he came over at about 4:00, and we had a good time until he wanted to go to bed.

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Monday, November 29, 2004

We've Already Been Left Behind

Tyndale House is publishing a fictional series that is essentially a preterist version of Left Behind. The new series will be written by author Sigmund Brouwer (with whom I actually attended a writer's workshop, back in my younger years.) Read more here.

In related news, don't you hate those stupid sites that require a login and password? Worry no more. Bug Me Not is a project that provides people with user names and passwords for getting into common news sites, etc. All you do is type in the site address and it gives you a valid name and password for the site. Case in point: the above article can be accessed with the user name "noone99999@nowhere.com" and the password "123456." Pretty cool, huh?

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Today, the Huskers officially broke all their streaks held over several years: I forgot to wear a Husker shirt to show my Husker pride despite our loss on Friday. I felt terrible when I realize my mistake, but there was nothing I could do; I hate to create unnecessary laundry. The only excuse I can offer is that I got up at 3:30 this morning--this was so early that it seemed like it was still yesterday.
This was my first night rooming with Buzz. I set him to get my coffee ready at 3:20 (ten minutes before I got up) so that I could wake up singing, "The best part of waking up is Folger's in your cup!" The only problem is that Buzz is one noisy kid! He was all clicking and whooshing and doing just about everything else to signal that it was almost time to get up. I don't think I will program him early anymore. On a positive note, that boy makes some good coffee! I think that we'll get along fine--I mean, even Andrew made funny noises at odd hours of the night when we roomed together.
I got new shoes over the weekend, and today was the first day I tried them out. In wearing them today, I made a big mistake.

As Andrew can verify, I become somewhat obsessive-compulsive when it comes to the gravel/sand grit that they shovel across UNL's sidewalks at the first snow. When that stuff gets into your shoes, it ends up on your dorm room floor. When that happens, you can just forget about walking barefoot across your own floor. Poor new shoes. Poor bare feet.

I joined The Face Book. I don't really know why I did, because, as far as I can tell, it is nothing more than a colossal waste of time. By the way, there's a picture of me holding a gavel on my profile. It was one of my senior pictures, and it was always my favorite.


Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Facebook

Here's something for all you people who have (or are willing to create) a "unl.edu" email account.

The Facebook is an online college database of sorts that connects people with their friends from their own school as well as people from other schools. Once you locate someone, you request their permission to list them as a friend, and if they agree, you're both listed as friends on one another's profile page. (Cheesy sounding, I realize.) Anyway, it allows you to see your friends' friends and their friends' friends and so forth. Friends anyone?

While it smacks of (there's a shout out to Jakob) middle school cliqueishness a bit, it can be useful in locating old friends you haven't seen for ages, etc. And it serves as a great way to waste infinite amounts of time that should be spent studying.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Que je vomisse!

The Missouri Tigers just defeated the Iowa State Cyclones 17-14 in overtime. Normally, I wouldn't care too much about this game; this time, the loss of the Cyclones (combined with the loss of the Huskers yesterday) gives the Colorado Buffaloes the Big 12 North Title and sends them to the Big 12 Championship. I was definitely more thankful on Thursday.


Free Sandra McCracken (with Derek Webb) song

Because Andrew has been slacking over break (he's let the blog suffer so he can work on homework--can you believe it?), I feel the need to report to you something I found on the Derek Webb Webboard: there is a free mp3 of a song called "No More Tears," which you can get here.

I would review this or something, but that's not really my domain--I'll let Andrew do something appropriate whenever he gets his homework done. (By the way, how's Dante's Paradiso coming, Andrew?)


Friday, November 26, 2004

You have good taste in radio

A while ago, Andrew posted about a web site called You Have Bad Taste In Music. I must confess that I didn't even check out this site until Andrew forced me to do so today. So, I poked around through some of them and found them interesting.

But, after a second look under the tutelage of my keen ears (and eyes), I think I found something quite interesting. On the site's video documentation of a trip to a Justin Timberlake/Christina Aguilera concert, at the very end of the clip, there is a lady who says, "Turn on Rush Limbaugh." Obviously, this in itself isn't very interesting at all, but I strongly believe that the lady is Ann Coulter, an extremely prominant conservative pundit. If so, this is a breakthrough in the world of politickery--this means that Ann Coulter in fact has bad taste in music! I wonder if the guy who runs this site knows who she is.

You can see a list of images of Ann Coulter here. Anyone think I'm correct on this?



Believe it or not, I was not thrilled to get up this morning at 3:40. Still, my family and I wanted to leave Hastings at 4:30 to make it to Lincoln as early as possible. But it wasn't the getting up early that was the worst part of the day, although what we did for the morning in Lincoln took a close second for that position.

We shopped. We shopped today--the day after Thanksgiving, the day that inaugurates the Christmas shopping season. I usually love Wal-Mart, but seeing its entire parking lot full at 6:00 a.m. made me nautious.

I should note, though, that there is someone whom I would like to welcome into my family: Buzz, my new coffee maker. You see, I accidentally knocked my old coffee maker (who didn't have a name, by the way) onto the floor, creating a lot of smashed glass and broken plastic. I was worried that I wouldn't have a way to supply myself with coffee, but Buzz will fill that position admirably. Also, I can program Buzz to get my coffee ready a half hour before I wake up. It's great!

But the biggest blow of the day came when Nebraska mathematically eliminated themselves from going to a bowl game, breaking a bowl streak of 35 years and a winning season streak of 43 years. It wasn't the streak that bothered me so much, though, but rather the fact that we had to lose to that school of slime, the University of Colorado. I hate the Colorado Buffaloes.

Furthermore, I couldn't yell during the game because I was saving my voice to preach in church on Sunday. Usually, I'm like the 12th man for the team, but today, all I could do was clap as loud and long as my hands would let me. I was hamstrung from donating my voice to the cause of winning.

So, I'm employing the same tactics I had to use when we lost to Texas Tech by the biggest margin in school history: I have to say, "Yes, Jacob, we did lose to the Colorado Buffaloes, giving ourselves a losing season and preventing ourselves from going to a bowl game. But still, life will go on."

I guess I was just more thankful yesterday. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go launder a Husker shirt for Monday.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004



AP - After stumbling across comments on an Internet weblog, the rock band Nickelback has decided to change their name to "Knickelback," the band's manager, Allen Kent, revealed in a press conference early Tuesday.

"It was an epiphany, really," Kent said in the conference. "[Chad] Kroeger was surfing the Web this past weekend and saw fans calling the band Knickelback." Kent added that Kroeger, the lead singer for the band, phoned him immediately. "It wasn't much of a decision really. The added 'K' just seemed natural. It adds sort of a Middle English feel, which is what we're going for on the new album." Kent clarified that the change is substantive because the 'K' is not silent, resulting a new pronounciation of the band's name.

Kent could not specifically name the site Kroeger found the spelling on, but sources identified it as "Of Bald Men and Bears."

The site administrator responsible for the spelling, Andrew Hansen, remained unreachable Tuesday for comment. Fellow administrator Jacob Gerber had little to add. "Um...yeah...Andrew does stupid stuff like this all the time." When informed of Kent's comments from the conference, Gerber hastened to add, "We're not Nickelback fans."

Name changes are nothing new to the music industry. In the last decade, the performing arist Prince changed his name to 'The Artist,' then to a unique glyph, and finally back to Prince. More recently, pop singer Madonna experimented with the name Esther.

When asked whether the name change would be permanent, Kent responded, "Oh I think so. The band does everything with consideration and excellence, and this is no different."

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You Have Bad Taste in Music

As a sort of follow-up to my post on Knickelback, I thought I'd let you all know about a group of people trying hard to make this world a better place: You Have Bad Taste In Music

I also wanted, as a birthday present for Ben, to feature a site about all his favorite bands :)

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Monday, November 22, 2004

My Achilles Heel

I confess; I am utterly weak. If you haven't noticed, I updated the list of books I'm reading on the bottom of our navigational bar on the right side. If you look at it, you can see that I'm already reading quite a few books. Still, I had a sudden urge about ten minutes ago and rushed to Love Library to pick up yet another book. I have absolutely not one iota of self control.

This time, my bound bane is Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. I really don't know when I'll read it, but just having it somehow comforts me. Hopefully I'll get it read over Thanksgiving break, but I can't make promises.

Come to think of it, I'm not really sure why I even wanted to get it. I've been kind of wanting to read it since I read The Great Divorce earlier this year, but there never really is any rationality behind my book drive. I suppose this is something of what pregnant women feel: bizarre cravings late into the night (yes, 9:00 is getting late for me). Now if I could only find where I keep my ice cream and pickles...

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Are you kidding me???

Apparently, some Scottish computer gaming company called Traffic Games is coming out with an assassin simulation called "JFK Reloaded." In it, gamers reenact JFK's assassination, trying to shoot in the exact same way Oswald did it 41 years ago (today, actually). They get points based on how accurate their shots were to the historical bullets fired, and they lose points for mistakes like hitting 1st Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

This is one of the few times I've agreed with Sen. Ted Kennedy: "It is despicable." Although I was a big fan of Goldeneye 007 when that came out (that actually might be an understatement--I played it enough to beat all the levels and get all the cheat codes, and I've never met another person to have done that, although I am indebted to all those on the internet who have, and who have posted tips on doing so), this just seems too morbid. I don't think that I would have felt comfortable shooting people who were actually shot in real life. At what point are violent video games not that bad? At what point do they step over the line? Where does this one fall?


A very early post

Woohoo! I just wanted to share this new personal best with everyone of you, my blogging friends. Yesterday I threw caution to the wind, choosing naps and Die Hard (finally saw it--I loved it!) instead of really doing any homework at all. Still, today I have a rough draft of a final paper due, so I had to get up pretty early in order to make sure that I have as much time as possible to get it done. So, here I am. It's just past 3:30, and I can already tell that it's going to be a beautiful day!

Also, I'm probably going to skip my computer science class today--it's supposed to be something called a "Special Lecture," which the professor described as involving computer science games. No thanks. It's my first class for the day, and I'd prefer to get more work done on that paper.

By the way, I actually got a call a few weeks ago from a friend who happened to be up at 5:30 and knew that I would be up. It was the only contact I've received before 7:00 in the past three years. So, if any of you are up in the next five hours or so, I have my cell phone on. There won't be a special prize or anything, but I'm always in a particularly good mood in the morning, so I guess that's a prize in itself.

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Sunday, November 21, 2004

Touching the Void

An excellent mountaineering documentary, Touching the Void, will be premiering on PBS tonight at 9:00 with a repeat showing at 10:30.


Movies Worth Watching

I watched two movies last night that I'd highly recommend to everyone.

-Finding Neverland - Johnny Depp plays the author of 'Peter Pan' in England around the turn of the century.
-I Am Sam - Sean Penn plays a mentally retarded man fighting for custody of his daughter.

Both movies are/were "Best Actor" material, and I think it's ridiculous that Penn didn't receive the Oscar. (Yes, I know it's been done before, but Penn put Hanks' Forrest Gump to shame.)

Saturday, November 20, 2004


In case you hadn't noticed my newly added link to RandomShirts, I'm now a Random Shirts affiliate, meaning I receive a 20% commission on all shirts purchased through my site (which is quite an improvement over the previous 5% commission of iTunes). The real motivation behind this decision was, once again, my desire to purchase stuff at a discount (which I did, buying four of them a couple weeks ago).

Anyway, in order to make this worthwhile to you, if you buy a shirt through my site, I'll hook you up with something cool, like a free book or something. However, as with Jacob's previous contest rules, I have to be able to give it to you in person or get it to you without paying shipping, unless you really want to send me money to ship some crappy....er, I mean cool...book.

My personal RandomShirts collection now includes:
-Born to Dreidel
-I *Heart* Monkey Business
-Vote 2004
-Karaoke Superstar
Let me know if you'd like to see any of these and I'll model them the next time I see you.

Knickelback's Formulaic Popularity

For those of you who have always hated Knickelback but have been unable to properly articulate WHY, this should help: So Sad

It proves, once again, that there really is such a thing as a formula for success in the Top 40.

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To whom it may concern...

I just found out that tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. (Central Time), ABC Family Channel will be airing a six hour marathon of 7th Heaven! Even better than just any old marathon of 7th Heaven--this is a marathon dedicated to the best six episodes featuring Ashlee Simpson!!!

Now, I know that most of you out there will say something self-righteous like "Hrumph--I don't watch 7th Heaven. I'm above 7th Heaven!" That's fine--you don't have convince me or anyone else about what you do or don't watch.

Still, for those of you out there who are closet 7th Heaven fans, just think of this as a discreet public service announcement. And by the way, you can get 7th Heaven computer desktop wallpaper and screen savers here.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Don't drink coffee after 7:30

Yeah...so I can't sleep. I had a little coffee tonight, and I'm just wired. So, instead of just lying in bed with my mind racing, I thought that I would do tomorrow's Bible reading tonight. I was reading from Amos 8, and, once again, I found Dr. Carson's (in his For the Love of God, Vol. 2) thoughts especially insightful:
It is easy to see how this judgment works out in history. For complex historical reasons, France turned on the Huguenots and persecuted them almost out of existence, so the Bible and the Reformation never took hold in France as it did in England. Sometimes the antipathy toward the Bible has arisen from drift, rather than from persecution. In many Wester countries, the public sense of morality was until a few decades ago largely tied to the Ten Commandments. Nowadays very few even know what the Ten Commandments are. The result is not freedom and integrity, but a lilting scorn that flaunts its superiority over something no longer even understood, much less respected--and what shall the end of these things be? So many Bibles, so many Bibles--and so little thoughtful reading of them. The next stage is the Bible as source of prooftexts; the stage after that is the Bible as quaint relic; the next, the Bible as antiquarian magic; the next, implacable ignorance--and all the while, a growing hunger for something wise, something stable, something intelligent, something prophetic, something true. And the hunger is not satisfied.

The only answer is the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer in John 17:17.

I don't want to beat the dead horse of the state of American morality (indeed, there are enough dead-horse-beaters of that variety around today), but I found especially insightful the idea of "a growing hunger for something wise, something stable, something intelligent, something prophetic, something true" that comes with a loss of the truth, beauty, mystery, challenge, and wonder of the Scriptures.

When I take my Bible for granted, I am showing contempt to the revealed truth of the God of the universe--it's no wonder life makes less sense. When I go a few days without taking time to (at the very least) read the Bible, my mind does not get a similar reprieve from all the messages this world tries to tell me--it's no wonder the world seems small, pessimistic, and ugly. It is not that I cannot imagine life without God; it is that I all too often live so that I do not have to imagine. More than the number of teenage pregnancies, more than the sort of commercials aired during Monday night football, and more than whether some chiseled rock sits in a courthouse, the thought that those who do not know Christ live every day in that sort of confusion is what should truly concern me.

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A very special post

The first person to get the following question right (by writing the answer into a comment for this post) will receive a very special prize from me. This isn't a pop quiz or anything, so you are obviously free to use any and all resources at your disposal.

Parliamentary Procedure

Which subsidiary motion comes right above the main motion and right below the motion to amend on the order of precedence of motions for Robert's Rules of Order?

The answer does not in any way, shape, or form involve "life transitions, such as birth, death,...the proverbial 'coming of age'....drugs, AIDS, [or] all sorts of serious issues."

Rules for the contest:

  • Ben, you can't play, because I've talked about parliamentary procedure with you for more hours than any living human being. Give someone else a chance.
  • In order to win this contest, you must actually be somewhere where I can physically give you the prize (I'm not going to pay for shipping), or where I can give it to one of your friends who can then physically get it to you. I refuse to give this very special prize to someone who lives in Tokyo and found this blog clicking "Next blog" through the toolbar up at the top of each Blogger web site.
  • That's pretty much all I can think of right now, but I reserve the right to make up more (reasonable) rules at any time during this contest.

Good morning, and good luck!


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Oh, the anticipation!

Be sure to check our blog tomorrow morning for a very special post. Time is important, so check it as early as you get up (and maybe even get up a little earlier than usual). I'm so excited about this! This is like Christmas--I hope that you all can get to sleep.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Kierkegaard on Newspapers

In lieu of posting something substantive, here's a Kierkegaard quote:

"There is a far greater need for total-abstaining societies which would not read newspapers than for ones which do not drink alcohol."

A Rush to Judgment?

I'm not really sure what to think of this. I don't really know whether to laugh at the unbelievable insanity of these people (both those who are giving and seeking help for trauma after Kerry lost the election), or whether I should tell Rush to tone it down a little bit. You can read the transcript of what Rush actually said on his program here.

I suppose, though, that this is the sort of thing that really ticks me off about the state of politics in America. There are actually people who are "absolutely terrified of what Bush will do" (a quote from the article). I am utterly shocked by this reaction. Bush is not Hitler. Clinton was not Stalin. No American president has acted in a way anywhere nearly similar to fascists, communists, or any other similar type of tyrant.

At the same time, Rush does have a tendency to be a bit caustic. He has appealed to me over the years because I have understood his sense of humor, but I can understand it if people do not like him. Since I am in a post-political-fast period of my life, I try not to listen to him too much--I can become quite cynical quite quickly if I spend too much time with Mr. Limbaugh. I about died laughing, though, when I listened to this fake public service announcement Rush aired on his program.

I believe that I am the only Rush Limbaugh fan (and only a tepid fan at most right now), so I would like to know what those of you who naturally lean to a more moderate position feel about this situation.


Monday, November 15, 2004

The Colorado Buffaloes

Before I get to what this post is all about, I should probably tell you a bit of my personal history. When I was but a wee lad (before third grade), I lived in a little town called Chappell, NE, which was very close to the border of Colorado. In fact, my family used to go to church across the border in Julesburg, CO.

During those formative years of my life (about 1989-1991), Colorado consistently beat or tied us (see the series record here). When we went to church after a loss, and, as the only Husker fans, we would occasionally have to muster a bit more grace than usual. The first time we beat them, though (52-7 in 1992), my parents would not let me say a word at church. I guess I'm still a little bitter.

That's why I'm only slightly embarassed have this picture on my desktop until Nebraska (hopefully) destroys the Buffaloes on November 26th. (To download an image appropriate for your screen's resolution, click here.)

I need your input: is this a bad grudge to hold? I mean, I love my brothers and sisters in Christ over in Colorado, but I cannot stand the sight of the nauseating black and gold of their football team. Must I let this go?


The Jacob Gerber Report

The Jacob Gerber Report

An Independently Owned and Operated Newspaper

Vol. 1, Issue 1

Main News

Local Boy Makes Fool of Himself Talking to Ice Cream

Today after lunch, local boy Jacob Gerber stopped as he often does to get a soft-serve ice cream cone from University Dining Services. Furthermore, Gerber also said "Oh, hello!" in a come-hither way to his freshly made cone just as he often does. Today, though, the results were different from the usual.

Instead of simply the inaudible acknowledgement of his ice cream cone, Gerber also got an acknowledgement from an innocent bystander who thought Gerber was talking to her.

Gerber tells the story this way: "It was just really awkward. I didn't mean to hurt anyone. I was just trying to be friendly to my ice cream cone."

Asked for comment, eyewitness Ben Keele said, "I don't see why Jacob talks to inanimate objects. They can't talk back, at least as far as I can tell. And if, for example, Mr. Sippy does talk to Jacob, why won't he talk to me? I like Mr. Sippy, too." (Mr. Sippy is Gerber's beloved coffee mug.)

3:30 Just Too Early

By bedtime Sunday evening, junior English major Jacob Gerber was unable to complete the large amount of homework he needed to do for the weekend. In an effort to make sure that he had enough time the next morning to complete the rest of the homework, Gerber set his alarm clock for 3:30 a.m., a time earlier than he had arisen so far this semester. When that early hour came around, though, Gerber got up only long enough to reset his alarm clock back to 4:00 a.m.

Gerber said, "I really wanted to get up that early, but I just couldn't do it. I feel bad about the whole thing, but I still completed everything I needed to get done, so I guess I shouldn't feel too bad."

Asked about how much coffee Gerber consumed in his morning bout of homework, he sheepishly replied: "8 cups," an amount greater than he has consumed in a single morning to this date.

Lone Humanities Major Schools Computer Science Majors in Their Own Program

Jacob Gerber is the only humanities major in his entire Computer Science 155 Java programming class. Earlier this week, Jacob found out that he is also one of only four students in his class to have received an 'A' on the most recent exam with a 96%, the second highest grade in the class.

In a press release, Gerber wrote, "I just want to say, 'Wassup now, ya geeks???'"

Asked if he had finished his computer programming assignment due this morning, Jacob got defensive and retorted, "No, I haven't, but give me a break! Do you know how tough it is to ace computer science exams, critically examine Hamlet, and edit a newspaper? I mean, it's tough!"


Huskers Boomed by Sooners; Packers Pack Away Vikings

By Sports Columnist Jacob Gerber

Well, as we all know, the Huskers were trounced 30-3 by the #2 team in the nation, the Oklahoma Sooners. Of course, I wore my Husker shirt today, carrying on my tradition of wearing a Husker shirt on the Monday after a loss. Still, though, I wasn't too disappointed with our boys in red.

In fact, I was pleased that our blackshirts--although they gave up hundreds of yards and gave Oklahoma a new record for consecutive passes completed--held the Sooners to so few points. Furthermore, we have to remember that we are facing a team feeling jaded because of their disappointing season's end last year, armed with last year's Heisman trophy quarterback. All in all, I think we did well.

In other news, my arbitrarily-picked Green Bay Packers edged a close one out against the Minnesota Vikings with a game-winning field goal in the final seconds of play. I didn't see it, but I read it was a good game, and we won, so I was pleased with our boys in green.

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Friday, November 12, 2004

New Music

Some Songs I've Been Enjoying as of Late:

The Soldiering Life - The Decemberists
Amitriptyline - John Vanderslice (Best Lyric Ever: "I was a quiet lunchbox lonely little boy / Reading sci-fi, broken treehouse by the shore")
Up and Above the Clouds - John Vanderslice
Me and My 424 - John Vanderslice
Ballad in Plain Red - Derek Webb
Hard to Get - Rich Mullins
Saint Simon - The Shins


Thursday, November 11, 2004

Buddy Lee

buddyHere's a product of boredom if ever there was one. A year or so ago I received a free Buddy Lee bobble head doll with a pair of jeans. He's sat on my shelf innocently enough since then. Last night I was bored and decided to have a photo shoot with Buddy (akin to the infamous gavel shoot of last year.) Basically I tried to create the scariest picture of buddy possible, and this one came out rather freaky. It's actually two reflections in my window, and (if you couldn't tell) the green eyes are edited in.

Sweet dreams.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I want you not to go...

If you do not know what a parliamentarian is (I am one), you should read this before reading the rest of my post.
It seems that I'm having a difficult time with my many and much-loved inanimate objects. This time, though, I'm not sure how I'll recover.

What day is this besides the day Robert left me? Robert has been a close friend of mine for several years now; he has all my notes and underlinings from studying for my last three major parliamentary exams; he has travelled with me around the country to various parliamentarian events; and he has been everything I could ask for in a friend.

The only way I can describe the loss I'm feeling would be to have you imagine losing your favorite pet--sure, you might be able to get another animal, but it won't be the same one. I have other Roberts at home, but this one was special to me because of all the time we spent together, doing things together like drinking coffee and making plans to change the world.

I did about three hours of parliamentary procedure training this past Saturday, and I just realized that I haven't seen him since. I must have left him there, but I don't know if I can get him back. I just hope whoever comes across him will treat him well. Maybe one day we'll get to meet up again, but I have my doubts.

But still, I have to remember the good times. Robert, I remember that we used to preside, and everyone wanted to be you and me. In fact, I still want to be you and me. I wanted you not to go, but you did. Did I do all I could?

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The Man With the Oversized Hats

Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I witness a unique occurance. At roughly 10:00 AM (I can get the precise time in the future if anyone wishes) while my bus is waiting for the light at 14th and O, I see an elderly gentlemen wearing some sort of strange, oversized hat cross the street, from west to east. He always crosses at exactly the same time, and goes into "Highnooner's" deli.

He has a collection of hats. I recall a large sombrero, a striped Uncle Sam hat, and an oversized (and I mean much oversized) cowboy hat. Word on the street (or at least on the bus) is that he carries around hundreds of uncashed social security checks, and never pays more than a dollar for anything.

I wonder what could be so important to The Man With the Oversized Hats at Highnooner's at 10:00. I mean, if it were high noon I could understand the compulsion of getting to Highnooner's. But 10:00? I've theorized a Mafia-funded operation involving his social security checks and several thousand household cats, but this seems unlikely.

He's probably just an old man with a odd routine. Still, The Man With the Oversized Hats never fails to give me cause for speculation.

I need to check out Highnooner's dollar menu sometime too.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004


ISTUDDerek Webb's new ablum, I See Things Upside Down, releases today. Wal-Mart (that stronghold of corporate greed) carries it. So go buy it. Just leave a copy there for me to get later tonight.

OR, if you are diametrically opposed to shopping at Wal-Mart and other such chain stores, you can order it online at derekwebb.com and a ton of other online stores.



I sorrowfully inform you that I just had to let my latest pen go. It was difficult to tell him good-bye, but I told him that I appreciated the times we had together and assured him that I wouldn't soon forget him. Then I tossed him down the garbage chute from the 10th floor of Pound Hall.

Don't tell the pen I just let go, but the pen before him (i.e., three pens ago) was much better. I must say, though, that things between me and my new pen are quite promising. I guess we'll see how everything pens out.

"...Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

--From Macbeth (Act 5.5, l. 19)

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By the Grace of God

The Proper Attitude of Man Under Grace:

  • To believe, and to consent to be loved while unworthy, is the great secret.
  • To refuse to make "resolutions" and "vows"; for that is to trust in the flesh.
  • To expect to be blessed, though realizing more and more lack of worth....
  • To rely on God's chastening [child training] hand as a mark of His kindness....

Things Which Gracious Souls Discover:
  • To "hope to be better" [hence acceptable] is to fail to see yourself in Christ only.
  • To be disappointed with yourself, is to have believed in yourself.
  • To be discouraged is unbelief,--as to God's purpose and plan of blessing for you.
  • To be proud, is to be blind! For we have no standing before God, in ourselves.
  • The lack of Divine blessing, therefore, comes from unbelief, and not from failure of devotion....
  • To preach devotion first, and blessing second, is to reverse God's order, and preach law, not grace. The Law made man's blessing depend on devotion; Grace confers undeserved, unconditional blessing: our devotion may follow, but does not always do so,--in proper measure.
(From Wm. R. Newell's Romans, Verse by Verse; adapted in Miles J. Stanford's Principles of Spiritual Growth)

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Monday, November 08, 2004


For those of you who don't keep up with current events, it's Monday. In fact, it was a particularly good Monday. Let's start from the beginning...

I got up a little early this morning, climbing out of bed at 4:00 a.m. I usually sleep in until 5:00 a.m., but this morning I needed to get up to study for a test scheduled for 8:30 (we'll get to that; don't worry). I always enjoy my quiet mornings to myself. Mr. Sippy, my coffee mug, and I had a great time this morning with my coffee and the iTunes classical music radio station. We worked a little, played a little, worked a little more, goofed off a little more, etc..., until it was time for breakfast. We always enjoy each other's company, but today was especially delightful.

Then, my friend Ben came to my room to go to breakfast. He was quite early this morning: only three minutes late. He was even more than semi-conscious! (Sometimes, Ben can be really grumpy in the morning.)

I then went off to take my computer science test. The test itself wasn't bad, but taking it was bittersweet. You see, I realized that this would probably be my last big assignment that I would do with the pen I've been using for the last two months. I don't name my pens because the emotional heartache when I have to give them back to God would be too great. Still, we grow very close. My pen goes with me everywhere, travelling in his special spot in my right pants pocket (on the far right side, with my mini-Bible, cell phone, and chapstick all to his left). I kept checking the ink level, knowing that I was soon going to have to break my ties with him. We made it through another day together, but I suppose that during the intense note-taking session for my Art History class tomorrow, I will lose him. Sigh...

After my classes, I went to the Mill, had a Bible study, and came home. Dinner was acceptable, and I spent the evening puzzling over a computer programming assignment and wracking my brains for something to write for this blog. It was a lazy evening, and as I write this, it is getting very late. I will soon get my coffee machine ready to go for the next morning (looking forward to another great time with Mr. Sippy), but I will also spend some extra time with my pen, knowing that his time runs short.

Such is the course of human affairs with inanimate objects; between the two grow bonds of wondrous depth and beauty, yet those bonds sometimes fade like the winter sun.

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sheepOn the way over to the library this morning I was thinking, why not some sheep? I mean really, why can't we have a few sheep scattered here and there on the UNL lawns? Think about, on your way to Hamilton you pass a small flock of four or five white, puffy sheep wandering across the commons area. Wouldn't that just make your day?

Some might liken this to the time I proposed having Angora rabbits and kittens in the commons area between the Union and Kauffman. Or the time I suggested getting ducks in the fountain. But really, what's so wrong with gaining a few more exotic forms of animal life around here? We spend so much time pushing for diversification of students and faculty, and yet are content with a fairly homogenous representation of fauna.

I'm not suggesting anything outlandish, like having elephants or pigmy shrews all over the place. I just desire to broaden my understanding by incorporating underpriveleged forms of animal life into my educational environment.

T-Shirts anyone?
"People for the Animalization of UNL"


Sunday, November 07, 2004

New Words

Some new words I learned (read: skipped over) while reading Chaucer:


Try working some of these into your speech tomorrow.

"I do fear that the ketchup has bismotered my shirt."

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Saturday, November 06, 2004

What I Am Currently Listening To (AKA iTunes PartyMix):

1. I Am A Rock - Simon and Garfunkel
2. Lady Slippers - Phil Keaggy
3. Too Much - Dave Matthews Band
4. Sonata No. 7 in C Minor - Beethoven
5. Sinister Minister - Bela Fleck & The Flecktones
6. Stranger in this Land - Waterdeep
7. What People Are Made Of - Modest Mouse
8. One I Love - Coldplay
9. Take Five - The String Cheese Incident
10. Ocean Breathes Salty - Modest Mouse
11. Be Thou My Vision - Pedro the Lion
12. Roum N Zouc - The String Cheese Incident
13. Hell is Chrome - Wilco
14. Focus on Sight - Thievery Corporation
15. Hard to Get - Rich Mullins



1. very liberal in giving or bestowing
2. characterized by great liberality or generosity

(for those unaware, this was a disputed word this evening.)


Friday, November 05, 2004

More Piper

A John Piper sermon that I listened to at work today started with a great point:

"There is a sad irony to the seeming successes of many Christian churches and schools. And the irony is this: the more you adjust or obscure biblical doctrine in order to make Christian reality acceptable to unbelievers, the less Christian reality there is when they arrive...If you alter or obscure the biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you do not get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. That is not evangelism; that is deception."

And no, I'm not a Disciple of Piper. I just happen to think he's one of the most insightful writers/preachers on the scene today.


Policktical Views

The Daily Nebraskan published a very thoughtful editorial today. I found it very interesting (even amidst my still-jaundiced view of politics in general), and I was interested in what you all thought. Would these ideas cause anyone to change parties, or is this still too far away from our generally conservative Christian readership? (Read the article by Nick Willis here.)


Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Brick Testament

Here's a funny little site that my Hebrew Bible professor showed us awhile back. Take a look around, but exercise discretion by heeding the ratings system.


On Studying

How do you all study? Perhaps the better question is, "Do any of you think about how you study?" Maybe I'm just odd, but I have a fascination with meta-studying; that is, I constantly scheme about better ways to study, better places to study, and stratagies on the perfect work-to-break ratio. For all of these, I take in, of course, factors such as location, sleep from the night before, presence of caffeinated beverages, meals, time of day, interest in material, preoccupation with other aspects of life, amount of studying already done that day, etc...

My personal favorite combination is as follows:
  • Mr. Gerber, in the library, with the candlestick...Well, at least Mr. Gerber in the library. Being surrounded by books sometimes overwhelms me with two thoughts: (1) I had better get cracking or I'll never have even a chance to read them all; and (2) All these people that wrote these books had to study, so I should too. I personally prefer Love South (in the stacks) on level 3A; and yes, I do have a favorite study cubicle--the one just west of the very middle area.
  • I often walk up and down the rows of books if: (1) I am alone in the room or at least able to walk in a way that other people won't notice what I am doing; (2) I am reading a book light enough to carry for extended periods of time or am studying from bound notebook of notes; and (3) I am getting sleepy sitting down and am not too tired (leg-wise, not sleep-wise) to continue walking--sometimes I walk for hours in the stacks. I do have to keep a constant watch for the elevator since I don't want people to catch me walking through the library reading, but 3A is the most out of the way part of the library, so I generally feel safe.
  • While I am not walking, I sit in the cubicle, and, if I am reading, I like to put my feet up on the desk. This often induces sleep, but the position is not so comfortable that I am able to sleep for long periods of time. Thus, after having quickly fallen asleep, I wake up just as quickly, and those ten minute naps refresh me so that I can continue working. Sometimes sleep embodies my most productive breaks.
  • I prefer to take with me a mug of coffee and my Nalgene bottle of water. I drink the coffee first (generally while sitting), but then drink the Nalgene bottle either while I am still sitting or while pacing, all for which I have several reasons: (1) drinking the coffee first allows the caffeine to supply energy to me right from the beginning, and if I don't drink it right away, it will get cold; (2) the water is good for hydration after drinking dehydrating coffee; (3) drinking all the liquids force me to take more breaks than I would normally, because my impulse is to go full-throttle until I can do no more.
  • Because of class schedule and sleep habits, the afternoon is generally the best part of the day to study, but it is the time I am most prone to sleepiness. On Tuesday-Thursdays, though I do not have a class until 12:30. On these days, I make it a priority to take advantage of my hyper-productive morning hours by doing as much (generally reading that I do in the library) as I can before lunch.
  • When I do have to study in my room--for example, if I am writing a paper or working on computer programming--music is a must. If I am writing, classical is the best pick, but for computer programming, I have been pleased with the results of using Dave Matthew's Band music. I'm still working out all the bugs here, though.
That is a fairly good summary of how, when, and where I study. I would be interested in your suggestions, especially since I just realized how much time I just spent writing about studying efficiency that I could have applied to actually studying. Oh, well.

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Principles of Christian Hedonism

I've just begun rereading John Piper's Desiring God, the "Christian Hedonist" manifesto. This idea (that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him) has been the most influential idea in my life in the past few years. In his own conversion to Christian hedonism, Piper was influenced by the following principle set forth by our good British (oh wait, French?) friend Blaise Pascal in his Pensees:

"All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves."

Piper also cites the following passage from C.S. Lewis' The Weight of Glory to clarify the relationship between this psychological principle and Christianity:

"If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

"The Four Spiritual Laws" for Large Cats

Methinks this guy read the story of Daniel in the lion's den a bit too often. I'm fairly certain that taking the gospel to all nations doesn't include the animal kingdom, but I could be wrong.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Actually, I suppose this really isn't a Genesis--Andrew and I have already had our own blogs. Technically, this would be an Exodus, because we are moving from our old blogs to this new blog, Of Bald Men and Bears. Levickticus, anyone?

Although we will no longer post to our old blogs, we will keep them up for posterity's sake. You can see Andrew's and mine (Jacob's) by clicking the respective links.

Thank you for your support, and God bless America. And go vote. If you haven't.