Thursday, October 27, 2005

Packrat's Movie Picks of the Week

Last week, we went to see Sky High, per Number 1 Son's request. I figured that the large bag of popcorn with unlimited refills would have to help me through another disaster like Shark Boy and Lava Girl, but I was wrong.

Sky High is a very good movie. Yes, every comic book hero cliche comes up, but rather than being stupid, the writers made it seem realistic. Instead of taking opportunities to be cynical or negative, Sky High is a positive story about a family and a group of "uncool" kids in high school.

We also bought Batman Begins in Wal-Mart. Milady and Number 1 Son had seen it in the full-price theatre earlier in the year, but I hadn't seen it. I thought the first Batman movie was pretty good, but the rest of the 4 were mediocre at best. Batman Begins is good. It's not exceptionally violent or dark, but it is Batman so that's not saying a lot.

Next trip to the theatre: Little Miss' pick, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'm putting back $6 for the next bottomless bag of popcorn...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Christian Carnival LXVIII

Sven has done the incredibly challenging but enjoyable job of gathering the Christian Carnival together this week. Go take a look.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Being made humble

This weekend humbled me twice over.

We went on a Boy Scout campout for Number One Son this weekend. Fortunately, we've got camping down to a fine art now, so we were completely set up within 2 hours of being there. Since we wimpy-camp, the kids were on cloth cots, Milady was on a fold-out cot, and I was on a portable MASH-style hospital bed. Very nice! (Milady's hospital bed had a blowout - ripped canvas - so she had to "fall back" to the fold-out cot.)

Saturday, we went on a three mile hike up and back down a big hill. In our pack, one of the scouts was born without either leg just above the knee, and weakness in both hands. Even so, he led the way. The rope bridge didn't bother him a bit, we only had to help him place his feet since he couldn't feel the rope. He then proceeded to wear the rest of us out, needing only a few minor rest breaks.

Then, today, I baptised Little Miss. Milady homeschools the little darlings, and part of our A Beka curriculum teaches about the Bible. Little Miss at 6 knows more facts about the Biblical characters than me (her brother can debate theological theory already, and he's 9). She's been talking about being baptised for a while, but today was the first opportunity for us to get everyone in the family into town to see her. Just like her brother, she wore the Noah's Ark t-shirt Milady was baptised in, and again like her brother I baptised her after the minister took her confession of faith.

Sometimes the Lord uses the most amazing ways to humble us.

Monday, October 10, 2005

This is why we had kids when we did

When Milady and I first got married, I was 22. Some might call me young, but I simply knew what we wanted: kids while we were young enough to enjoy them. Number 1 Son was conceived just before I turned 23, before I even had a full-time job (but that's another story). Little Miss was a bit earlier than expected, born a few months before I turned 27.

We were somewhat limited in that Milady is 8.5 years older than I am, and we didn't want to risk her health by her waiting any longer. However, we could have waited and adopted instead, and gotten a few years together instead.

A reader of Vox Populi puts it a LOT better than I ever could here. TW is 29 year old lady who just had child number 2:

As an engineer, I found it amazing that my male coworkers were in general supportive when I had my daughter 3 years ago. My female coworkers, however, tended to say I was too young; shouldn’t I get more established in my career first? I retorted that they were 5-15 years older and didn’t have children. I would be working for another 50 years given our Social Security mess. I wanted children. I had 1-2 decades for childbearing and 5-6 decades left for career goals.

I'm now 31. My son is 9, my daughter is 6. Lord willing, my wife and I can look forward to at least 30, and possibly 50 or more, healthy years with our family. I will have to work at least 20 years after my kids enter college no matter what, why would I pass up the time I have now for years without them?

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Buyer's Remorse

I said I was going to stay out of politics. Sorry. I'll be happy to refund what you've paid me to read this blog... ;)

I voted for George W. Bush in 2004 because I thought he wouldn't be as big government as John Kerry, and that he would nominate Constitutionalist judges. Instead, Mr. Bush has been a statist who is appointing people based solely on personal connections.

John Roberts certainly has the qualifications to be a Supreme Court Justice, even if we don't know if he's another Scalia, Souter, or Renquist. He's clerked for the Supreme Court, and he's argued in front of it multiple times. I'm not happy with a stealth judge, but at least he's not unworkable. I could stand him as an appointee from a Democratic president.

Ms. Miers is a different story. She's a trial lawyer. She's had a diverse client list, and she's been the president of a bar association. She is also appearantly a born-again Christian. And that's it. No academic experience. No clerking for any judge, much less for any high courts.

I am disappointed that Mr. Bush has even nominated her, and I wish she'd just drop out right now.

Thursday, October 6, 2005


The great graduate school attempt has had to be ended. Last weekend, I had a large project due that I thought I could get done. Then I got called for work Friday morning at 2AM. Then again Saturday morning. Then Sunday Morning. By Sunday afternoon, I was so tired that I told Milady that I just couldn't think about the project, so we packed up and went to see my niece cheerlead for the local Little League Football team. Monday, I finally dropped all of my classes, bringing me out of school.

I haven't given up on either learning Hebrew or getting my MS in CS, I'm simply delaying both for a while. I've still got my Hebrew book, and I intend to study it regularly.

That said, I miss blogging. So, I'm starting again. I have a big article already in the oven, but it's a complicated logic argument that I want to make sure I make correctly.

For everyone still reading me, thanks for your patience.

Sunday, October 2, 2005

So, am I wrong?

One of my little addictions is cards. I love strategy card games. I absolutely adore bridge, even if my wife refuses to be my partner because I get too serious about it. Spades is fun, and even hearts when played with good players. I've played Rook with my parents, and it was kinda fun, even if it felt a mix of Bridge, Hearts, and Spades for people afraid of those nasty, evil "regular" card decks. I even adore Uno, and would play it with the kids if they just were better losers.

There is one like line I won't cross: playing for money. I'll play poker for chips or pennies, but the thought of losing real money at poker, or any other card game, terrifies me. I'll pay to play in a Bridge tournament, but playing for money per points is just out. Number 1 Son likes to play poker with me (because he beats me more than I beat him), but he hasn't figured out why he doesn't want to involve real money in the transaction. Of course, I am the sucker, so why not? :)

So the Online Blogger Tournament at is throwing me for a loop. I enjoy playing fake games, and it's free. That said, playing a tournament for a gambling house is a bit different than playing at the ACBL nationals when they came through Cincinnatti.

I have registered for it, as the rest of this post will show. The question is this: is it wrong for me as a confessing Christian to play in this tournament? There's no money at stake, and I don't consider it gambling because, even if Number 1 Son helps me, there's no way I will win enough points to get to a price. I will just play so that Number 1 Son and I can sit beside the computer on tournament day and laugh over losing quickly to some other bloggers.

So why do I feel conflicted?

Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 1354560