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Location: Arlington, Texas, United States
Interests: If interests are defined as "topics I most frequently get into conversations about", then I would have to include politics, random observations, sports, movies, history, music, strange people I run across at work, reformed theology, and Christianity, though not in that order.
Expertise: Overanalyzing things. Remembering random and (mostly) insignificant facts, figures, names and events. Making great Facebook photo albums. Winning trivia games. Engaging in political discussion. Being a big brother. Giving people unsolicited music recommendations, and being spot-on more often than not. Going on tangents during conversations.
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I came up with this one all on my own the night before last while I was making sandwiches for the next day's lunch.
An entrepreneur wanted to open a gourmet cheese shop near the campus of Brigham Young University, and though he put up a lot of his own savings into the venture, he needed a loan from the bank to help fund it. What kind of loan did he need and what type of cheese was his specialty?
Answer: he needed a Provo loan
The following exchange took place Thursday morning after I and a woman got into an elevator at one of the county buildings. I pushed the button for the 5th floor and she pushed the one for the 3rd floor.
Woman: Are you Mark Jackson's uncle?
Woman: Oh, okay. I was just wondering, since you were going to 5.
Me: Oh, no I don't work on 5, I'm just doing some filing there.
(Woman gets off elevator)
Woman: Have a good one.
Me: (mind) What was that about? Who the heck is Mark Jackson and why would anyone randomly assume I was his uncle? Does she ask that of every male she sees taking the elevator to the 5th floor?
I got a haircut yesterday afternoon at Sport Clips. My wife had been pestering me about my hair getting too long so I finally got it cut for, at most, the third time since we've been married. This being a Sport Clips there were several flatscreen TVs all over the place, with a large one in the waiting area, tuned, of course, to the notable sporting events of the day (in this case, some NCAA Women's basketball tournament games). As I was walking out of the place after getting my haircut, I overheard the following:
Boy (probably around 4 or 5 years old): How do the girls play basketball?
Dad: They just do.
Boy: Hmm. That's weird.
As of tomorrow, my wife and I will have been married a full eight months! And an eventful eight months it's been. It's getting harder and harder to remember a time when we weren't married. When we experience small, temporary setbacks of one kind or another, we try to be optimistic and think of them as "adventures". This weekend has felt more like a quest, beset with toils and dangers. Last week we learned that some of the water lines in our apartment had been damaged and we started to see water seeping through the tiles in the bathroom. The bathwater started to get cold much faster than normal, while the faucet in the kitchen sink started to pour very hot water as soon as it turned on and it would run hot for several seconds before finally turning cool. I called the apartment office and they put out a work order for the maintenance guys, who came over Friday afternoon. They found the problem but said they couldn't fix it until Monday, because apparently the maintenance workers don't have to fix things on the weekends. At that point we had no hot water and were advised not to use the water at all, so they gave us access to our complex's model apartments for the weekend. So this is where we've been since Friday evening. Hopefully our place will have its water lines fixed by Monday.
The father of a family from church had a stroke this past week. He's been in a hospital since Thursday and one of his daughters reported earlier today that he'd been moved to a private room, but the family has been saying for a few days that he'd had little or no movement on his left side, and I haven't heard anything different reported, so he's probably still got a ways to go on his recovery. But anyway, if anyone still reads this, please pray for this family that their father will recover from this and regain his strength.
Yesterday was Veterans Day (not "Veteran's Day", as it was spelled out on a sign indicating why the 5th District State Court of Appeals was closed). I had one grandfather and two step-grandfathers who served in the military. One of them served in World War II and was assigned to the hemorrhoidectomy unit within the medical corps because the work history he submitted to the military said he had previously been employed by Dr. Pepper, and he was apparently unable to convince them that it was the Dublin Dr. Pepper bottling plant and not a physician for whom he had worked. (This story is told on page 72 of the book The Road to Dr Pepper, Texas: The Story of Dublin Dr Pepper.)
I looked through my entire Facebook friends list and counted 21 people who had served in the military in some form or fashion. I may have missed a few, and just as important of course are those who have had parents, children, siblings and spouses who have served and to whom they have given their undying love and support. Our country owes each of you a huge debt.
I've been 28 years old for less than two months and I think my mind is slipping already. Yesterday I forgot that it was Veterans Day on three different occasions when I went to check mail. One of my duties at work is to check our mail, and yesterday after lunch I went downstairs to check the civil law library's mail box. I got halfway there before I realized that it was a mail holiday and that there would be none waiting for me in the box (although I probably wouldn't have remembered had I not seen the Veterans Day parade going down Main Street in downtown Dallas at that time). Later that same afternoon, I went to check the mail box at the criminal courts building, only remembering what day it was when I found our box empty and the mail room's lights turned off.
Having not learned my lesson after a mere two trips to the mail, I went with my wife to check our mail box while we walked our dog after I got home from work last night, once again not remembering what day it was until she turned the key and found our box totally empty. The classic definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Does going to check the mail three different times on a mail holiday count as insanity or merely the very very early onset of dementia?
Don't you love when you push a particular button on a vending machine expecting the pictured item and you get something else entirely? I've had that happen the last two times I've tried to get a drink from a machine at the county courts buildings. This morning I went to the drink machines downstairs to get a bottle of water, but after I pushed one of the two buttons for water I instead got a bottle of Country Time Lemonade, which has its button two or three spaces above the buttons for the water bottles. Perhaps somebody stocked the lemonade in the wrong compartment.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the drink machines upstairs to get some caffeine and pushed the button for Dr. Pepper Cherry, but what I got instead was Sunkist Cherry Limeade, a drink that did not have a button anywhere on that machine, or any other vending machine in the building that I'm aware of.
Seeking water and getting lemonade instead made me think of the voters in Palm Beach County, Florida who accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan instead of Al Gore in 2000, courtesy of the infamous butterfly ballot. Seeking Dr. Pepper Cherry and getting a drink that was not even listed on the machine made me think of all the conservative and independent voters who cast their ballot for Barack Obama in 2008 thinking that they were getting a pragmatic moderate instead of a purely idealogical hardline liberal.
The 2002 movie The Transporter (and its sequels) seem to show up on cable TV at least once a week. All three of them have their charms, along with their glaring continuity errors and blatant disregard for the laws of physics and common sense. I saw a bit of the first movie on Saturday and had a laugh during the scene when the Chinese girl has a gun and aims it (at different times) at Jason Statham (playing the title character), then her kidnapper, then her evil father, and I think she cocks the hammer on the gun at least five different times during the scene. But that's what gun-wielding movie characters always do to show they mean business. Is there a screenwriter in Hollywood who has actually held a gun before?
In Transporter 2, there is a (very ugly) villainess who totes automatic pistols which in one scene cannot shoot through the door in a doctor's office (probably because Jason Statham is hiding behind it), but in a later scene she blows up a police helicopter with just a few shots. Perhaps the police need to build their choppers out of wood.
I've been reading parts of the 2005 book The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy by Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills. It's a very interesting read overall and Huber in particular I think is a brilliant writer on technological and health issues. (See: his 2009 City Journal article "Bound to Burn", in which he discussed the futility of policies that assume alternative energy will decrease global carbon emissions in any meaningful way.) In a chapter entitled "Power, Productivity, Jobs, and GDP" they reference the Luddites, an Industrial Revolution-era group of craftsmen and artisans who fought against technological advances that they saw as endangering their line of work and way of life, sometimes by attacking factories and destroying machines. Luddites, the authors write, are not unique to their time period, as similarly inclined groups have decried a variety of technological breakthroughs since then.
In one paragraph they write of how in 1947, at roughly the same time George Orwell was writing about the horrors to come in 1984...
American women were buying toasters and washing machines. In short order, electronically power appliances had taken over much of what had traditionally been "women's work" in the home. As these changes unfolded, quite serious people wondered what might be left for women to do, after we automated cooking, laundry, dishwashing, and the rest. Vacuum cleaners, washing machines, dishwashers, and large freezers arrived on cue and women were indeed laid off by the millions, from their essential but thankless drudgery in the home. They didn't stop working, however, they just started getting paid for it.
So basically, technology has done more for women than the National Organization of Women ever has.
Only one more week until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I comes out!
|In the Dallas County criminal courts building all of the courts have their own offices in a hallway next door to their respective courtrooms. There's a desk where you can ask questions of the court clerks, then a door that leads down a hallway to the offices of the judge and coordinator of that particular court.|
At one particular court that I visit once a week, I saw a paper warning sign that had been typed up on Word and taped to the door that leads to the judge's chambers. It looked like this:
PLEASE BE CAREFUL
WE ARE UNDER
Then below this paper was taped a second paper that added:
I'm pretty sure most people got the message after the first "RENOVATING!!!!" The use of "renovating" instead of "renovation" was particularly bad, and not just because it was used four times. Why anyone felt the need to type out the word an additional two times on a second page is more than head-scratching. During the times I've been to that court in the past two weeks I've seen no signs of renovation being done, nor any "RENOVATING!!!" for that matter.
If they were going to vastly overhype this supposed remodeling and then use the wrong tense of the word "renovate" (with a flagrantly excessive use exclamation points), I wish they could have just written "RENOVATE!!!" a bunch of times, because then I could have at least made a facetious observation that the sign was typed by a domesticated Dalek from Dr. Who. (Daleks are an evil robot-like species who seek to destroy humanity and the title character, and who frequently utter in a mirthless robotic voice their catchphrase: "Exterminate!")
|I should be asleep right now. I need to be awake in some 5 and a half hours to get ready for work. I also feel I have been very negligent in updating this blog, which I have maintained mostly faithfully for four years.|
Two items which may be of some interest to those who know me:
1. I'm engaged! In fact the wedding is rapidly approaching and will be here in just over 5 weeks! Mary Ellen and I got engaged in late May and have spent the past few weeks figuring out the location, date, and other particulars for the wedding itself. She's a teacher, so having a wedding in the middle of a school year would mean no honeymoon beyond a weekend, and my apartment lease is up at the end of October. So getting married in July before she has to start teaching again just made the most sense for us. Still quite a good many things to take care of on that front, even though we're trying to keep the ceremony a small affair, inviting mainly family with a few family friends and church friends included. I'd be surprised if we had 70 people, and would actually like the number to be in the 50-60 range, but we'll see.
2. I just found out earlier tonight that I'm going to be an uncle! My "little" sister and her husband of nearly three and a half years just found out that they're expecting their first child. She's due in late February. So that's easily the biggest news I've gotten in the past month. This also means my parents will be grandparents! Somehow it took a while for that part to hit me, though I immediately was excited about Mary Ellen and I becoming an aunt and uncle by next spring. If anyone who reads this should happen to be friends with me on Facebook (this is true of 4 or 5 of you), please don't say anything about item #2 on there, as my sister still has to tell a few people before she and her husband announce it to their Facebook friends. But I don't think anyone reading this in the next few days will be anyone who knows them, so this shouldn't be a problem.
Hope everyone else has a great week!