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Showing posts from November, 2013


Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember. It meant snow, usually. It meant cousins, but without the stress that Christmas brought. It meant people remembering to thank God for what he'd given them.
peanut buttermy familycable Internetmapsstringed instruments of all kindswise editorsphilodendronstire repair centersrepair instruction videosgracecabbage (even when it's mistaken for lettuce)friends nearbyfar-away friendsSkypeAldicousinscommuter trainsvlogs (like Emma Approved and The Autobiography of Jane Eyre)Doctor Whofountain pensthe times my back doesn't hurt from sitting in office chairsmy jobextra patience when I don't think I have any morestreetlightsstarsmy housemy carpeople who inspire me to change for the betterthe Biblesecond-hand shopsblanketshatsthe books of C. S. Lewismovies about superheroestextingwindowsorganized bike rides If I went on, I'd never stop typing.

Thought on Owl City

Owl City. You know, the guy who made it big singing about fireflies.

I really enjoy the Owl City project (several albums) and musician Adam Young's early acoustic project Sky Sailing. I'm intrigued by the sparing commentary he posts on his blog. His unashamed commitment to orthodox Christianity, and Reformed theology, no less!, inspires me. (He tweeted "Ephesians 2:8-10" tonight, for goodness' sake!)

But sometimes I wonder if I'd actually want to be around him in person. I can't decide.

Compendium of Links #48

Today is "The Day of the Doctor" for Whovians like myself -- that is, fans of the British TV show "Doctor Who." However, I must go to work this afternoon, so I shall miss the worldwide premier of the 50th anniversary special episode. Sad, isn't it? Well, not really. Because in the grand scheme of things, a TV show is just a TV show.

A couple of Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicators charts for some laughs! Prayers for each Myers-Briggs type ("Lord help me be less independent, but let me do it my way."), LOTR by personality type and Star Wars in MBTI!

Maps showing the etymology of different words in Europe. Funny: Most people in Europe think a pineapple's proper name is "ananas."

The album for the movie "Inside Llewellyn Davis," a movie by the same guys who did "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," is out! I managed to listen to it via NPR's First Listen post, but apparently the audio is no longer available there. If you …

Life on my own #46: Troubleshooting, part two

As promised! The box came, the part was ripped from its little plastic baggie packaging -- because, what other way is there to unwrap those things? -- and I had before me a thermostat thing, a fuse thing, a couple screws and a couple bendy-things that get stuck onto wires. Oh, and a teeny little wire with the bendy-things already stuck on.

(Hint: Bendy-things are connectors. I'm pretty sure.)

And yesterday, when I  descended once again into the belly of the house -- that is, the basement -- I was armed with a new tool!

It's practically a requirement of every DIYer that new tool equals glorious elation. It's like giving a new fancy pen or a pretty journal to a writer. (Please don't ask how many journals I have waiting for me....)

My tool, you must understand, was something called a "crimping" tool. Number one, the word "crimp" makes me think of crinolines and primping. Therefore, it must be a tool for repositioning the wires in my hoopskirt.

Maybe not…

Life on my own #45: Troubleshooting, part one

I should've become an engineer, not a writer.

My dryer decided one day it didn't want to dry my clothes. I thought at first I'd just overloaded it... with a sheets load plus the leftovers of another load, it could've happened, right? But no, the second try didn't yield any drier fabric.

Oh, and the air coming from the inside of the dryer wasn't actually hot. The things I overlook the first time...

So I decided to try troubleshooting this myself. It's the Age of the Internet. I can do anything with the help of my friends Google and YouTube.

So off I go, browsing around various appliance-repair websites, checking out potential causes of "dryer not heating" and "whirlpool dryer not heating" and "whirlpool dryer troubleshooting" and all sorts of other search terms which kept sending me to the same three websites, two of which were trying to sell me Whirlpool dryers. No thanks, I've already got one.

I stumbled on a great repair …

Debut as a solo artist

I've been hanging out at a few music jams over the last several months, getting to know some of the local talent and sharing mine with them. (Which is a silly way of saying, taking turns playing guitar and singing with them.)

And this week, one of those fellow musicians asked if I wanted to play a set at a local craft fair. There were several other folks there performing before me, and I knew them all -- knew their style, was comfortable with it -- and figured, hey, a small-town craft fair can't be that busy, especially toward the end of it. So I said, sure, I'll play and sing for a half-hour or so after you all are done.

I walked in and realized, there's vendors. and people eating lunch. and more people. Since when did so many people hang out at small-town craft fairs?

Anyway. For me, it's one thing to play guitar and sing in front of people I know, like at church. It's one thing to play guitar as backup for another singer, musician or group. It's somethin…

Shylock = ?

While playing Catchphrase* last night at a staff party, I had to try to get the others to come up with the name of one of Shakespeare's plays.

I told them as fast as I could, it's the Shakespeare play where somebody wants to cut somebody's heart out, and Shylock is in it. I thought, the courtroom scene is one of the most famous in "The Merchant of Venice." Surely somebody will make the connection, though somewhat poorly expressed on my part.

But they looked at me with blank stares. "We went to public school. We don't know this," one of them said.

Given that they've all earned bachelor's degrees and are in no wise idiots, I thought the whole scene was a rather sad anecdote illustrating the state of literary awareness in modern America.

Or am I just being elitist in expecting college-educated people to remember the title and principal characters of one of the most popular plays (in contemporary times) produced by a playwright whose body of wo…

Compendium of Links #47

Man, it's been a busy weekend. I took my Amiguita (the little girl I'm matched with in Big Brothers Big Sisters) to the YMCA pool today for quite a while -- I kid you not, we spent nearly an hour playing frisbee. Later tonight is a staff party at my editor's house. So right now, I'm chilling before I have to go be all social again. :P

Three coders in California built a better health insurance browsing website than the government. Granted, it didn't have to mess with the security and database issues regarding signups, since it simply directs those looking to actually buy something they see to call some phone number -- but still. It's a whole lot more user-friendly.

A rather funny blog on First Things called Dr. Boli publishes esoteric jokes of general interest, plus some that Christians or Catholics will get, because it's a Catholic site. My favorite posts are the "Ask Dr. Boli" ones... because they sound like this:
Dear Dr. Boli: I play circadian rh…

Dance party in middle school

I hosted a dance party for a few middle schoolers from church last night. Besides providing the wood floors to dance crazily on, my task was to select appropriate, upbeat songs for them to dance to.

This is the result: A YouTube playlist. I'd embed it, but apparently Blogger isn't enabled to do so.

I definitely threw a few throwback songs in there for good measure. The W's "The Devil is Bad," N*Sync's "Bye Bye Bye," and the Numa Numa song (properly named "Dragostea Din Tei")... The girls got a kick out of watching me and the other chaperone dancing and singing to these '90s and '00s songs they'd never heard of. (They also squealed with delight for many of the other songs. I felt rather accomplished and in touch with middle school culture, oddly enough.)