Wednesday, July 30, 2008

To Know Your Glory

To Know Your Glory

Soft underbellies of cotton
Illuminated by angels' light.
A single open canopy
Draping all corners of a sphere.
Imperfections of society
Questioning the very nature of God.
Deathly quiet-
Save for the chatter of hungry insects.
Unmoving. Unfettered.
Wind gently caressing the rhythms of a perturbed mind.
Rays shine forth in glory, now fading.
Color fading from expanse,
Retreating to a single point,
Struggling to live.
Fall away, vanquished by night.
Start of a new day.

Inspired by a gorgeous Indiana sunset we had just a few minutes ago.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Indecisive Pigeons

I've been thinking lately. ("Uh oh!" you say, preparing for the worst. "He's thinking again!") I'm sure everyone, to some degree, has troubles with making decisions and settling down on one particular solution. I'll also venture to guess that there are others who have no trouble deciding on a course of action, but then never change their minds and get locked into a single line of thinking.

Editor's note: None of this has anything to do with pigeons. Sorry for getting your hopes up. Continue on...

People in category A. Perhaps the most dangerous part of sticking by something you believe and never changing your mind is that you risk becoming stubborn and obtuse, rejecting alternative ideas out of hand because you think your ways are inherently "better" and "right". Any and all opposition is instantly dismissed as inferior without being given a fair chance for honest scrutiny. I think this line of reasoning often comes with power, but it certainly isn't exclusive to that. Surely there are plenty of people who rationalize their own bigoted thoughts in unreasonable ways, just to make them feel better about themselves. It is in this category that I would put hate groups, governments, technology-haters, and many Christians. And yes, I just called Christians bigots and put them in a group alongside racists. Does this mean I'm going to hell? (Also realize that I am way over-generalizing with no intent to cause extreme consternation among my brothers, but I believe it is unfortunately true. Also realize that everything I write is purely opinion.)

And then there is category B. This side holds people who can't make up their minds and tend to switch their opinion every ten minutes! I sometimes worry that such people will never be able to settle down on any one particular thing in an attempt to find the "perfect" solution. I'm all for trying more than one thing and choosing the best out of all the available options, but it seems that some people can't ever make up their minds as to what they want! (NOT speaking of anyone in particular.) I agree that testing out all theories and all combinations can be challenging and fun, but I prefer instead to find something that I like, even if it's not perfect, and explore that thing to the fullest extent possible. And if something comes along later that fits my needs better, then I'll consider switching. But I like to be content with what I have now so that I'm not in periods of transition, which disturbs me greatly.

<rant>Take the level-E swear word, for instance: evolution. When I was a sheltered, home-schooled little boy in early grade school, I was tutored through PCC material. For those who don't know (and I didn't at the time), Pensacola Christian College is just about as nasty with their legalism as Bob Jones. For example, you cannot attend public libraries or movie theaters (sorry WALL-E fans, it's just too violent), you can't open your window, have pictures of unmarried people of the opposite sex touching, go barefoot, or sing too loud in worship. Nor can a brother and sister interact in unchaperoned areas, to avoid the "appearance of evil." No joke. I shiver thinking about it. *shiver* *shiver shiver* .....anyways, it's needless to say what their views on Creation and evolution are going to be. In 7th grade, I wrote a fantastic paper on evolution and why it was the stupidest thing you could possibly think and how it was so very wrong. Taking all my data and arguments from the textbook, it was filled with the worst kind of fallacies and terrible logic. I got an A. But, it was what I believed because I was so ingrained with the idea that evolution was evil, and mutually exclusive and at odds with God and the Bible. I didn't think for myself. It wasn't my thoughts but the thoughts of a strict, legalistic Christian college that gives no regard for alternate hypotheses or creative ideas (category A). (As a sidenote, I love Taylor. Despite its flaws, I think it's Christianity done right. Not that PCC or Bob Jones does it wrong, per se, but I just don't agree with the Judaistic-style rules and regulations they impose. As believers we are supposed to be free from that!)</rant>

Eventually I learned to think critically about my faith and determined what I believe and why I believe it. I have married my faith with what science tells me, and it makes perfect logical sense to me. (I'm a young-earth Creationist, if you wanted to know, but not because my parents or teachers or textbooks or peers say I should be.) I have no problem with evolution (I'm an advocate) and am comfortable with everything the Bible says too.

How did I get so far off track? *pauses to ponder how he got so far off track.* ...All the above is to say that I detest when people from category A are so close-minded and refuse to acknowledge the obvious validity of alternate theories. They have made up their minds and will not change them. So is there a happy medium between being too decisive and not decisive enough? I suppose that one should always be open to new ideas and new theories. Not even just open, but able to seriously consider all the alternatives, even if they don't seem that great at first. But one should not jump at every new thing that comes along and dive headfirst into it. While careful consideration of the occult is fine, it doesn't take much research to determine that it's a load of BS. Likewise, consider all the career paths open to you, but if you keep changing your major, you're never going to finish college. Even if it's not perfect (as there will always be boring classes in every major), you need to stick with something and finish it. Realize that nothing in life can be ideal. *pauses to think if the previous sentence is actually true. probably not.*

I guess that's all I have to say. Decisiveness is a good thing because one needs consistency in life, but being so close-minded to something is not. As a great person once said, "Moderation in all things." *pauses to think if the previous sentence is actually true. realizes instead that it is, in fact, a fragment and not a sentence. oh well.*

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Professor or Evil Overlord?

I was perusing the web the other day and found this little gem of a list. I'll admit that this wouldn't be my first career choice, but I'm not tossing it out either. To big to repost here, but here is the original site:

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I feel dirty and rotten inside. Let me tell you why. Lately I have caught myself making certain "exceptions" to things that I swore I would never do.

As a perfect example, the other day I was writing a Perl script for work. Something must have come over me, and I decided that the best solution to a problem I was having was to use a "goto" statement in my code! <pause>Editor's note: Despite its appearance, this is not a nerdy post. Continue on.</pause>

Now for those of you who don't realize the implications of using a goto statement, you must understand that it is considered bad practice to use such a programming construct, as it tends to make your code complicated and unreadable. To demonstrate the seriousness of goto's, this is what can happen to you when you use one in your code:

I swore to myself that I would never use a goto all the days of my life, half from conscience and half from fear of a raptor attack. Yet there I was, typing the forbidden word into my script, ignoring the little voice inside telling me it was wrong.

I sat there, looking at my screen, glancing around to see if anyone was watching. There was no one, nothing--only the hum of the computers around me. I squeamed and twisted in my chair, wondering if I was really about to do it. It seemed like a good solution at the time, but as I tried to make it work, I discovered that I needed to add a new variable, and to make that work, I'd have to add another goto statement to balance it all out. It was turning very ugly, very fast.

It was quiet in the computer lab, and in my mind I could imagine the raptors coming down the hall, ready to devour me. Slowly, the guilt started to weigh down. It grew and grew until I couldn't stand it anymore. I just couldn't go through with it! It was wrong, and I knew it. It was wrong. There must have been another way-there must have been something else to do! I finally listened to my conscience and deleted the goto.

I ended up doing the right thing, but did I do it in time? In that same moment I looked up from my seat and saw what looked like the tip of a raptor's nose in the doorway. I instantly became dead silent. No typing, no moving, no breathing, hopeful it wouldn't notice me. The next few seconds were crucial-life or death. It sniffed...I thought it caught my scent. Ten seconds passed. Ten turned into twenty. Twenty long, long seconds.... Then it left. Clawing at the's gone. I was safe.

I caught my breath, reflecting on my tenuous position. I had been on the edge of oblivion. Close to my own death, all because I made such a small concession in my morals and used a hated "goto" statement in my code. What would prompt me to do such a thing? What was I thinking?!? Looking back on the experience, I realize two important things: first, I didn't have the comic up on my screen to convict me of my sinfulness. I thought about looking at it, but was afraid that it would convince me to do the right thing, as it has done in the past. I didn't want that. Second, I was all alone. I thought no one would see me--it was so easy to get away with! So easy, so simple, so deadly.

The memory of it all will haunt me forever. Don't make the some mistake I did. Don't be alone when faced with temptation. Seek out help if you need it. Don't make tiny cracks in your morals, because even the smallest of cracks will widen to the point of swallowing you entirely. They will consume you, and if you are alone, you will have no one to save you.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Due to increasing demands for a blog (okay, one demand so far...), and because I'd rather have a blog than write Facebook notes constantly, and so that all my non-Facebook compadres can read my notes...wait, who on this great ball doesn't have Facebook by now!?

<!> Before I go any further, allow me to direct those who do not know to this wonderful site called Facebook. It basically lets people stalk you to no end and find out everything about you, all on a single, easy-to-scrape page. But of course, who cares about privacy anymore, right? </sarcasm>

Oops. I realize I left my first paragraph as an incomplete thought. Sorry! So essentially when I feel like writing something amazing (or not so amazing) and want the whole world (or my grand total of 3 readers) to know, I'll click the little link that says "New Post". And write a post. And then you read it. And then we go on with our lives, and I am thoroughly satisfied with wasting 5 minutes of yours. How cool is that?

Oh yes, also allow me to direct you over to the right-hand side of your screen, under the text that says "Subscribe To". Today's special: RSS feeds for your convenience (yes YOUR convenience, because I care so much about it!). Note the lack of an end sarcasm tag here. Because I really do care so much about it. Anyways, add it to your Google homepage or what-have-you. Leave comments and stuff to make me feel special. Or leave money, that's even better. Or leave top-end computer parts, that's still better.