*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

Personifying Mr. Dandelion (O.o)
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EDIT: Ah, yes...

As much as I would like to write, this is going to be fairly short. I haven't gotten to do much of anything beyond do 4 hours of mowing. Admittedly, I did make 45 bucks doing it, but if I'm walking 3 mph (which is about what I was walking at), that's 12 miles of walking, with a mower. Running in gym will be a blast, although, I suspect having new (or, were new, until today) shoes will improve running greatly. In case I hadn't complained about it to you before, my heel had worn through the sole and padding, down the the rubber frame on the bottom. The shoe itself was actually detaching completely from the bottom frame. That was one crappy shoe.

I've got my English portfolio due Friday, which I have not yet started. I'm willing to bet I can do everything in one day. As in, get home from school, work until it's done, go to school the next day. I'm up for the challenge, anyways. My dad and I dropped by the DMV today, but there were some pretty long lines, so we chickened out. I'm hoping there'll be time before the end of the week to get that permit, as time's a-wasting. He seemed rather eager to "get 'er done", as it were.

Busy, busy days.
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Part 6 of X
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Having thoroughly owned 5 minor detail "contradictions", I'm now going to skip through to general questions. It's simply not worth anyone's time to have to go through all of them. I suspect this will entail about 45 more questions, so it doesn't end this any time soon. If you find one worth considering, tell me.

You want answers? You got answers.

In reality, I shouldn't dignify this one with a response, but, I know that some want more than logic to disprove these things.

(Humans were created after the other animals.)
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image.... So God created man in his own image.

Chapter 1 of Genesis is the chronological account of God creating the world. This is correct.

(The man was created first, then the animals, then the woman from the man's rib.)

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them.... And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Easy. God created more animals for Adam to see, instead of taking from what was already there. Or, if you don't like that, consider this: just because God created more animals doesn't mean he didn't create them before. Common sense.
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Part 5 of 339
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You want answers? You got answers.

1 Sam.22:20
"And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar."
1 Sam.23:6
"Abiathar the son of Ahimelech."

Yep. These two references refer to one Abiathar.

2 Sam.8:17, 1 Chr.18:16, 1 Chr.24:6
"Ahimelech the son of Abiathar."

2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles overlap as far as the timeline goes - Abiathar had sons, and named one of them after his father, Ahimelech. Simple.

334 to go!
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I Need a Haircut (O.o)
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Today was quite fun. I spent it at Jesse's house pretty much from after church till an hour ago. We shot targets with his .22, built an extension for the chicken coup, helped his mom with her stone walkway, it was nice to get out and do some work. They got some chickens recently (within the past few days), and I must say, chickens are ridiculously hilarious. GOBBLEZ!!

Yesterday, I pretty much spent the entire day staring at my programming books and improving this ever-complexifying program I'm making. I've almost created my own sorting algorithm, which, with my complete inexperience, will just be a copy of an algorithm that was developed 50 years ago, but, I'll still have made it on my own. *nod*

I watched Full Metal Jacket the other night. That, my friends, is a really weird movie. I was expecting a bright, comedic war film, but the humor was very dark, and really thrown off by the people constantly dying. I also watched the "new and improved AGAIN" DVD version of Episode IV. I think they'd have the technology to remove the red and green boxes from around the TIE fighters, and the horrific lightsaber effect (where the actor stands still as the next frame pops in the saber itself). Strangely enough, I've never actually watched any of the 3 movies in one sitting. I've seen all of them in bits and pieces, but I've never seen any of them from front to back. I'm gonna watch V tonight, which is supposedly the best of all of them. Not having any recollection of which scenes go with which movie, I can't say whether I agree.

My hair is everywhere. I need a haircut.
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Part 4 of 339
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You want answers? You got answers.

"By faith Abraham when he was tried, offered up Isaac, ... his only begotten son."

"Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, ... and offer him there for a burnt offering."

These both refer to when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. This, for Abraham, was the ultimate test of faith. Isaac was considered his only true, loved son. While Abraham did have other sons, Isaac was his only begotten son. Ishmael, who was born before Isaac, was not his true son, as he was not born of Abraham's real wife, Sarah. Isaac, who was born of Sarah when she was about 80-90 years old, was God's gift to Abraham.

"And Hagar bare Abraham a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael."


"For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son is his old age .... And Abraham called him Isaac."


"Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.

Again, yep.

"Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond-woman, and the other by a free woman."

This is hardly relevant. This isn't saying he had only two sons - if you look at the context, it was comparing the origins of Isaac and Ishmael.

335 to go!
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Part 3 of 339
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You want answers? You got answers.

"For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory."

This is correct. Christians are saved not by works, but by their faith in Jesus - so that no man can boast. (Ephesians 2:9) Meaning? I won't be able to say "I am better, because I managed to save myself from death by being better than you.".

"Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?"

Having read James two or three times, I can tell you off-hand exactly what's going on here. Let's get some context first.

"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

As shown, this verse is about how faith is worthless without backing it up - you can talk the talk, but will you walk the walk? This is a great example of why context is necessary.

336 to go!
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That's a Negatory (O.o)
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EDIT: Is it LEGAL to be that stupid?

I thoroughly enjoyed today, despite being tired from watching Top Gun last night. I don't really know why I watched it, but it is quite possibly the most classic American movie of all time. It has it all - 80's rock-pop soundtrack, a corny romance, unrealistic action sequences, and techno-babble.

My man-points are depleted, due to my foolishness in programming. We're doing wrapper classes, so one of the methods we're supposed to write adds an integer in the correct place in a pre-sorted sequence of Integers (not ints, mind you). I came up with a way to do it without an if/else, making the code like half as long as everybody elses, but I didn't bother testing it, and in my confidence I failed in my presentation to the class, forgetting to cast the int to an Integer. The shame. The algorithm had problems anyways, which I'm working on fixing right now.

You may have noticed my "Part x of 339" series - From now, until about this time next year, I'll be posting a complete and thorough rebuttal to each "contradiction" claimed by SAB. One a day. Read them, or don't read them, just know that I did it.

I ran 2.5 miles in PE today (i actually only ran like 1.75 of it, but, whatev), and then walked home with Zach after that, making for about 5 miles total today. These jerks in PE keep throwing whatever they can at me while I run. At first it was a tennis ball (I picked it up and threw it over the fence), then it was a sandal (I threw it in the bleachers), and then it was a cell phone. It broke after hitting the ground. That was most hilarious. Anyways, I went to Zach's house, and he showed me his PSP, which I must admit was quite cool. The screen is friggin huge, the games he showed me had surprisingly good graphics for something so small, and it was generally very nifty. I'm a little biased against the DS, being Nintendo, but the DS is definitely inferior. I'm not much into mobile gaming, but they're cool nonetheless.
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Part 2 of 339
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You want answers? You got answers.

2 Sam.23:8
"The ... chief among the captains ... he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time."

Let's get some context in here.

"These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time."

Now that we have the identity clear, let's look at the next verse.

1 Chr.11:11
"the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time."

Hmm, it seems they left out an ellipses at the beginning to denote an incompelte quotation. Let's have some context.

"And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time."

Need I say more? In case you're wondering, Samuel and Chronicles are not tales of the same thing - they go in chronological order. The Tachmonite was David's captain at the time of 2 Samuel, and Jashobeam his captain at the time of 1 Chronicles.

337 to go!
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Part 1 of 339
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You want answers? You got answers.


"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.... But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came."

This is correctly identified as having 10 disciples having seen Jesus. Since Judas was dead, and Thomas was not present, there were only 10.


"Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him."

Thomas was present when the angel instructed them to go to Galilee - he went with the disciples to Gililee, but wasn't with them when Jesus came. It's not as if there weren't other places to be in Galilee.

"Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen."

If you look at the surrounding verses, you can see this is a summary of what happened. Jesus did in fact appear to all eleven when they were together - he appeared to ten of them before that, but just because it does not mention that, does not mean it did not happen. The Gospels are different accounts - the authors focus on different parts of Jesus' life and their walk with Jesus.

Lk.24:33, 36
"And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together...And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you."

This is a classic case of SAB's habit of taking things out of context. If you read it with context, you get something more like this.

"Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken?"

Here we see a clear account of people (not disciples) investigating Jesus' grave.

"And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

These people went and saw Jesus, who was with the disciples already. Taken out of context, the meaning is wrong.


1 Cor. 15:15
"And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve."

This doesn't even make sense, it's not even saying that the twelve saw him. It's just saying that he was one of the twelve disciples.

338 to go!
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Go read, if you dare.

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I'm Not Convinced (O.o)
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I am recovering from running 11 laps (including the various running outside of PE, I ran 3 miles today). It hurts. It's interesting how critical people are of me for actually doing what we're supposed to be doing in PE. When I try to explain why I run, nobody gets it. They get this blank look on their face, and quickly switch back to their sarcastic mockery of an activity they probably aren't fit enough to do. And now, a rant.

[geek rant]

As I opened up my Google homepage, I noticed a /. article that piqued my interest. So, I checked it out. What I found was an article that was a poorly disguised troll to stir up the standard mockery of M$ and the owner thereof. In general, the Slashdot kind of geek is smart, wise in the ways of science and/or programming, and is a faithful user of a linux variant. This also usually entails a deep, close-minded hatred of M$ and Bill Gates. This ticks me off, a lot.

Whenever anyone mentions M$ (I use the acronym simply because I mock them, and partially because Microsoft DOES make a lot of money), Linux geeks appear from nowhere and make the most horrific generalizations and accusations that are mostly wrong. They complain about the GUI (which you can change), BSODs (which disappeared since NT), poor UPnP, horrific networking capabilities, the list goes on; anything that was bad about Windows 95, they will mention. Honestly? Comparing Windows 95 to the current versions of Linux is retarded. Linux doesn't have security issues - why? Because there are practically no programs for it. At least Microsoft TRIED to provide programs to use (Internet explorer, windows media player) instead of just saying "it's not OUR fault nobody is using our superior OS!". So what if IE and WMP suck? At least they get the job done.

Here comes a typical response: Microsoft forces people to pay for their disfuctional products. They didn't get where they are now by making completely disfuctional products. Consider this: half the reason using computers and software is so much more streamlined is only because computers are infinitely more efficient, faster, and easier to make and utilize. Most crashes, in my memory, were caused by just overloading the system - that's a hardware issue. Don't try to tell me Linux wouldn't have crashed - that's a hypothetical nobody can prove. Just because it's your favorite thing since sliced bread doesn't make it perfect.

Point is: I'm tired of hearing Linux geeks talk about what Windows used to be. Right now, XP is a stable (it has almost never crashed on me), secure (I've never had any kind of virus of adware), and most of all: easy. You have to do next to nothing to get Windows to do what you want. Every now and then I find myself frustrated by having everything in a GUI - there are virtues to doing everything manually, but most of the time I look to my computer as home, not work.

[/geek rant]

So, Zach got his PSP, which I have yet to see. Eventually, one day, I will walk home with him and Ben and see this marvel of technology. For now, I shall stick to my cookies, sour cream & onion chips, turkey, and chicken that I picked up yesterday when I went to the store with my mom. I tell you, my mom does not get the right quantity of food unless I provide specific directions. :P
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Don't You Wish... (O.o)
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In reality, I have little to nothing to write today, but I feel the need to update regularly after a week of not writing. So, Sunday was church. Cron preached, which was cool, although I didn't get to talk to him, which was not cool. After church I went with Benjamin and Jesse to see Episode III again. Definately not as good the second time, as the first hour/hour and a half are snoretastic. Benjamin and I concluded that Lucas did nothing different this time - it was everyone else that did exceptional jobs. All the special effects, the music, and the acting (while still terrible) were overall better.

Today was a standard Monday. It doesn't get much worse than that. We had a sub today in German, so after finishing our little doodad in the book we were playing cards. An amusing anecdote: the German word to surf the internet is gesurfen, and to chat is geschattet. Ahem. There was a rather uneventful fire in the locker rooms just as school ended, which stopped the buses. I got home, went to the SS office (my SS card will arrive in a week), took a nap, ate some bacon, and here I am. Good day.
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Left, Right, Cut, Back, Down! (O.o)
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I have opened begun a post almost every day this week, and just, got distracted. What have I been doing, you ask? Well, I'll tell you!

Tuesday I went to Crosswalk with Daniel, and afterwards went over to his house for a couple hours. Went to Bible Study, spilled strawberries RIGHT in my lap, embarrassing innuendo followed.


The entire purpose of this week, the sole purpose, the only reason this week exists, was E3. I honestly did next to NOTHING this week but watch over 5 hours of press conferences, game demos, and trailers from E3. I stated that I was firm in my faith with the Xbox 360. I am here to tell you that it is not such any longer. The PS3, has by far outclassed the Xbox 360 in hardware, and if some of the rumors are true, games. The sheer power of the PS3 is astounding - they ran a full demo using the Unreal 3 engine flawlessly. The 360 definately can't do that. However, the 360 carries multiple franchises I am attached to, and several upcoming games I am interested in. The deciding factor here? FFVII. Sony demonstrated a tech demo of astounding quality, of the first scene in FFVII. Rumor has it that the cutscene was a part of the remake. No announcements have been made thus far. Speaking of FFVII, Advent Children is scheduled for September 13th. w00tl4r.

Personally, I need to make myself an empirical comparison of the PS3 vs. the Xbox 360. More for me than you.

    ++ Automatically a/b/g wi-fi enabled
    ++ Approximately 2x pure processing power w/Cell
    ++ Broadcasts up to 1080p
    ++ Comes in black, looks nice
    + Heavenly Sword
    ++ Final Fantasy
    + Killzone 2
    + Metal Gear Solid 4
    ++ Significantly more powerful GPU
    + Utilizes Blu-ray
    ++ Utilizes Unreal 3 Engine

    -- Akward controller!
    -- Fewer good franchises/hopeful games
Xbox 360:
    ++ Automatically online enabled w/Live (which is probably better than other online services)
    ++ Better controller
    + Blue Dragon
    + Comes w/remote?
    ++ Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    + Fable 2
    ++ Halo 3
    + Ninety-Nine Nights
    + Perfect Dark Zero

    -- Half as powerful on the proc side alone
    -- Less powerful GPU than the RSX
    -- Semi-ugly appearance
At the moment, PS3 looks to be ahead. We've got a few months until November. We'll see. As a side note: Gothic III comes out this year, as well. I've posted a couple random movies I enjoyed on the server. And by the way, that Killzone 2 demo is not reflective of what the game is actually like. In most senses of the word, it's not real-time.



Other than that, I've watched another whole blob of movies. I finally got around to watching the two Harry Potter movies (the second and third). The third wasn't too shabby, though the second kinda sucked. I also rewatched portions of Revolutions, for old time's sake. I saw Episode III last night, which was refreshingly good. I liked it better than I, II, and IV, it was quite worth seeing.

Today, I cleaned the attic. I didn't rearrange much (a few signs, some of the chairs), but I vacuumed it up, washed the windows, ping pong table, foosball table, and the snapple machine, and fixed some of the lights, and lastly replaced some of the tacks with nails. And fixed the fan's positions. And spot-cleaned the carpet. Ahem.

And now I must make sure I wake up tomorrow, for church, as my parents will not be here.
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A Different Kind of Extreme (O.o)
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Short post today. Benjamin, Jesse and I rigged up the attic with awesome yesterday, and I made some final touches today. It looks pretty good, I say. Pictures!

Directory, because I am lazy.


Random note: I watched Ocean's Eleven Saturday night. Good movie.
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Das War....ein Gutes Spiel! (O.o)
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I just spent my entire day at Mike (Langenbacher)'s house. What was I doing, you ask? Not feeding ducks, to be sure. Our German class is doing this group (ours was Mike, Matt, Julia, Ryan, and myself) project for a book we read - paraphrase the movie in the form of a play, and you can do it in a movie. So, we did the movie thing. We shot the entire thing in about 5 hours (5:00 - 10:00), with about 9-10 minutes of actual footage. None of us actually memorized the lines - we'd shoot short sections (like 30 seconds) and just memorize right before. It was spiffy. I died about 5-6 times throughout the movie, which was thoroughly enjoyable. I hope Mike does a good job splicing it together, since I think it will turn out well if he does.
Various events worth noting:
  • I watched the Matrix Reloaded again Wednesday night. I've forgotten how cool some of the action scenes are - despite being a poor movie as far as the plot goes, I thoroughly enjoy the fight scenes and car chases.
  • I watched Black Hawk Down again Thursday night. I saw it a couple years ago, when I was in 6th grade. Another good action movie, a nice, realistic portayal of Rangers in action. I was unaware until watching some of the credits that Ridley Scott directed it. Man-points for him.
  • I may be getting my braces off Thursday. It depends on how much they like me. That same day, I will be taking the permit test.
  • I was cleaning out the car that will eventually be mine, (the green Ford Explorer in my driveway), and found much phat l00t throughout it. Jonothan never cleaned it out, so there's all kinds of stuff about.
  • Benjamin and Nolan are spending the night tomorrow, as well as staying over pretty much all day. Their parents are out of town. Hopefully, Benjamin and I will be able to get this other box running on SuSE and have it serving all this stuff more reliably than it is on here.
Among the important events, Christopher will be coming to live with us (as in, in our house). He'll be out of the military in a couple weeks, and pretty much has nowhere else to go, but home. His plans for the future are ambiguous, but he's thinking about taking some courses to finish up his degree (he has at least 2-3 years worth in credit-hours from all kinds of random places). This is cool news.


The Xbox 360 was unveiled about three days ago. If it holds up the Xbox tradition, this will be the hardware I'm getting. I don't like Sony much at all - the PS3 is not appealing to me, even though I haven't even seen the specifications or capabilities yet. The wiki on it is more extensive than anything the mainstream sites will give you. To sum it up, though, the Xbox 360 does everything and anything you want it to - it can handle media across the Live community and from external sources, like mp3 players, cameras, digital and video. It's completely wireless enabled, so LAN parties no longer require hubs or cables, and the controllers are wireless. It has customizable plates, detachable 20 GB hd, it just, man, it looks sweet. The games are not worth speculating on - when they're here, and they're good, I'll say something. But the list is nice - Fable 2, Halo 2, Perfect Dark Zero, Blue Dragon, Elder Scrolls IV, and Ghost Recon 3. It's some crazy stuff. The graphics look incredible for all the games currently along in development. I don't want to be a raving fanboy, but I hope I can save up enough for this thing. It's sweet.

And Nintendo? The DS and Gamecube prevent me from trusting them until the deliver. I'm still hurt from the dissapointment of Project Dolphin. I remember the screenshots of the Zelda that was to be on the Dolphin. My heart ached for a long time.


Time to pick a movie to watch and clean up the room.
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Honorable War (O.o)
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The main event for today: A Soldier's Story. In light of reading All Quiet on the Western Front, and our recent studying of WWI and WWII, the school invites veterans from just about every war of the previous century to come and talk, as a yearly event. The veterans can give a wide range of responses and stories - generally, the ones from Ithaca are Vietnam veterans, as they only went due to the draft. The rest are pretty much up in the air.

Veteran Number One, Sergeant Major Looplund:
This guy was probably 80-something years old, and an E-9 in the Marines and Active-duty reserves. He'd been in WWII, Korea, and I think Vietnam, I'm not sure on that one. He was drafted in the beginning, but chose to stay with the Marines to this day. As with all Marines, he was deployed to the Pacific in WWII, and in specific, Iwo Jima. In his fully reinforced company of 255 men (there were others, obviously, just not with him), only 35 survived the assault on the island. Nobody asked if he'd ever killed anyone - there were 21,000 Japanese on the island, and only 1000 survived. You do the math.

His company was intended to join the other divisions for a direct assault on Japan - but his company had suffered too many casualties, and was pulled back to Hawaii, re-equip, and the join the other divisions, but before the assault was approved, the atomic bombs were dropped. Something that really struck me about that, is this: "If the atomic bomb had not been dropped, I would not be here today. The Japanese were fanatics; when we landed, every man, woman, and child would be waiting to resist us.". After WWII, he stayed as an Active Duty reserve, and was activated during both Korea and Vietnam, but I'm not sure if he fought or not.

This guy basically represents, to me, the wisdom you gain with age. He knew what he was talking about. He never swore, not even once. He was detailed, succinct, polite, and basically, just a strong soldier. He had perspective. Someone asked if he wanted to join the war, and he didn't rant and rave about how war is pointless, how America is stuck on hating the world. I, for one, appreciate that. But he didn't lie, he gave an honest answer. He sounded proud of his achievements and his past, but acknowledged the reality of what happened. He had also moved on from whatever might have happened - he wasn't plagued by memories and nightmares. That, right there, is a man I can respect. Part of the reason I respect him highly is I didn't realize exactly how bitter one can be until the second veteran.

And that, I kid you not, is not because he is (or claimed to be) a Christian.

Veteran Number 2:
This was some girl's dad (Juliet's - the one who screamed at me for being a Republican early in the year), I can't remember his last name. He never gave many details on his rank and position. He was about 50 years old, and fought in the Vietnam War. He was born in Ithaca, and thus obviously only went because he was drafted. He was a semi-pacifist at the time. He was rarely in direct combat while in the army. To be honest, I don't know what he did. He was really definitely affected by Agent Orange, as he couldn't keep on a single track for too long, often went on tangents, stopped to cry 3 times (this was his 3rd time speaking today alone). He said that of the 25 places sprayed most with Agent Orange, he stayed at 18 of them.

After spending some time in Vietnam, he was recruited for a series of special bombing runs against North Vietnamese encampments. His job was to go with 4 other soldiers, sneak to other bases, record the coordinates, and take them back to the artillery. I don't trust the accuracy of his guesses, but he said the missions saved thousands of Americans and killed thousands more Vietnamese, and still regretted doing them. After that he went into a long thing on how Bush was a liar, coke addict, alcoholic tyrant who wants to be a hero. I almost forgot to mention - he swore a LOT.

I had to come back to English later in the day to make up an essay, and he was talking about the same thing to another class. I asked him why he thought that, and man, do I regret asking that. I got about 5 or 10 minutes of curse-filled earfuls on how Bush is the worst thing since poop on a stick. Honestly, I only said three things to him. The first statement, then "I dunno...I just disagree." and finally "It's not that I think you're crazy, I just disagree, that's all.". Lesson learned. Needless to say, I don't have much respect for this guy. Yeah, 'Nam was bad, so was WWI, so were the Crusades, say what you will, there's nothing new under the sun.

This is a very long musing on war. Shoot me down if you so please. A lot of my musings are probably not befitting of a kid, but hey, I feel like writing, so I am.


This kind of brings me to my whole view on war. The curriculum at our school is really geared towards getting to go see how horrific war is, on realizing it's a bad thing, all that jazz. I don't really buy it. That's a gross oversimplification of my views, but that's basically the sum of it.

  • All wars are not fought the same way.

  • All Quiet on the Western Front is a graphic and sometimes nasty portrayal of what happened during WWI - the most pointless, and yet possibly the nastiest war of the previous century. WWI is an exception, like Vietnam, to what war is like. WWI happened in the middle of a technological revolution, and left armies with tools fit only for trench warfare, and by the end, were crushed by sheer numbers and starvation. WWI was before the first Geneva Convention - weapons outlawed long ago in today's age were weapons of fear and mass destruction. Flamethrowers, gas, shotguns, anything went. Because these were new and better weapons, they were used without warrant. It was war - nobody stopped to ask questions. Vietnam is, in some ways, same thing. Agent Orange, Napalm, it was superior tactics on page, but when implemented were really terrible things, and nobody realized until later. WWII, Korea, Iraq, these do not suffer from the same things.

  • All wars do not have the same purpose.

  • The best example here is WWI versus WWII. WWI was a war that started almost entirely out of pride in your respective country - it was just an excuse to exert your country's ability. It was not out of hatred for other countries, but from love of your own. WWII, was far different. WWII was one gigantic resistance to stop three countries from taking over the world. Contrary to popular opinion, it was not to stop the genocide of Jews (which is similar to the myth that the Civil War started because of disagreements on slavery), although that did encourage Allied involvement. Treating war as a whole is a gigantic oversimplification of what it really is.

  • All wars are not won the same way.

  • Wars are not won if you are fighting for the correct reason. Wars are not lost if you are fighting for the wrong reason. Wars are not won by superior numbers. Wars are entirely dependent on how involved the country is in that war. Sergeant Major Looplund said something very striking: Soldiers hear about the reactions back at home from the newspapers and radio - if they're only hearing protests and complaints, and no support, what's gonna happen? This is true, regardless of time. Motivation, morale, that's what the soldier needs. If a country wants to win a war, they'll put a complete effort behind it - towards technological advances, gathering of resources, production of materials, behind supporting the soldiers. A divided country is a weak country. That, my friends, is why we spent app. 18 years in Vietnam, and why we are still in Iraq. Both of those have been spearheaded by ineffective military strategies, but, that is beside the current point. Do not think I am comparing Iraq to Vietnam, though. Iraq isn't even close.
War is often portrayed as the worst of things that can happen between humans. To me, it's definitely bad, I do not doubt that, but war is just another implementation of sin, human nature. War is not innately more horrific than what happens elsewhere in our lives. We're just more accustomed to the other things.


In other news, I have another color template I'd like you guys to comment on. Tell me if you like it. It's not gonna get implemented any time soon, but, it will eventually get around here.

Check it, yo.
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No Subscription Fee? (O.o)
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I think I am officially done with the appearance changes. Now to get working on that profile...

Yesterday ended up being pretty rough. There were a number of things going on at once, none of which were helping the other. It's been remedied now, but I lost a lot of sleep in the process.

One random thing: I got a "raise" from one of my mowing customers. Two extra dollars if I sweep the grass off the lawn. Considering this is a lawn which formerly payed 8 dollars for 40 minutes of work, and now pays 10 dollars for 45 minutes of work, this is good.

Scouts last night was kind of mediocre, mostly due to the new rules on our games of ultimate. The game becomes a lot less fun when you're constantly told to hold back because of younger scouts not being able to keep up. I enjoy playing sports a lot, but it almost seems like the entire purpose is taken away when you can't play to the best of your ability. I can understand holding back when facing a younger scout, but if I'm guarding some guy who's bigger than me, how is aggressive guarding going to affect the other scouts? Gah.

Beyond that and the drama, there's Guild Wars. I got the beta for it a while back, it was pretty mediocre then. It's done now, and looks pretty darn good, but mostly because it has no subscription fee. The madness of an MMO with no fee is....maddeningly mad. As soon as I get payed by the customers, it's mine. I haven't played a good recent RPG in so long. I have high hopes.
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Deceleration, and the Lack Thereof (-.-)
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I stayed home sick today, and this will be my last sick day for the year. Only 25 days left to go. I worked on the title image, finally got the text AA'd. I realized that GIFs don't support color-to-transparency, so it's a PNG again, and IE users get to suffer. Beyond that, I mowed a lawn (I didn't stay home to do that), went to Scouts, and just got more rest. It was nice.

You know, I was gonna write more. But, something just came up, and has taken away every desire to make a post at this moment.
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"Slowerly" (O.o)
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I have been having an excessively good weekend. Karel and Nathan (whom I pretty much just met Friday, it's been a while since I've made a new friend) came over and we did random things. Karel is amazingly good at ping-pong. I haven't played against anyone that's any good in a very long time.

A few random things. My dad bought me an RF Modulatar (not an adaptor) meaning I can now utilize this DVD player that's been sitting here. Grades ended Friday, which are not optimal, because in a few classes I have ONE missing assignment, dropping it down like 2 full letters. My mom bought like 50 different kinds of cereals when I asked for something besides Fruity Pebbles. The list of cereals in my house include:
  • 2 Fruity Pebbles
  • 1 Frosted Flakes
  • 1 Frosted Checks
  • 2 Cinnamon Crispex
  • 2 Fruit Loops
  • 1 Cheerios
  • 1 Lucky Charms
  • 3 Cocoa Puffs
  • 3 Rice Krispies
  • 1 Trix
  • 1 Pops
  • 1 Kix
  • 3 Generic Health Brands
I kid you not. I also woke up to find a box of Krispie Kreme donuts in the kitchen. I ate seven. And let me tell you, those were so delectable donuts. The last time I had Krispie Kreme was on my birthday. They are filled with happiness.

My Saturday has been wonderful. I woke up at 1:30, layed in bed for 30 minutes, meandered about for a while, read another 30 pages in my C++ book, took a shower, played some mediocre games of Halo 2. I went and saw Kingdom of Heaven with Daniel and Ben, which was also mediocre. It was supposed to be about the Crusades, but the plot, in general, was nonsensical. It broadcasted a sense of "historical accuracy", but the main character (Orlando Bloom D: ) starts out as thin blacksmith with long hair that can read. This uneducated and somehow literate blacksmith goes on to command the defense of Jerusalem against Saladin, magically knowing all the ins and outs of swordplay, castle defense, disease (which the vast majority of kings and generals in that day wouldn't even know), and physics. Plot failures aside, it was still mediocre. The fight scenes were short, uncreative, and generally uninspired. Anyways.

As for the blog, I'm working on yet more changes, which have been approved by various others before implemented. I've learned enough javascript to do what I want with the blog - I have to say, Javascript is a disgrace. It feels more like I'm drawing on a page, than writing neatly formed and executed code. I think you'll like what I'm about to set up.
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24 is Not Enough (O.o)
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I swear, whoever decided on making days only 24-hours needs to remedy this situation immediately. I've spent this entire week staring at this screen and at books, my head hurts, I'm learning way too much. I finally got the motivation to start up with PHP and Javascript, in lieu of my blog changes. In addition to this, I got a different C++ book from my Java teacher, which I'm not sure I like better than the one I have. I've probably spent a total of 40 hours doing work on the blog and blog-related locale so far, with more work to do still. I desperately need time, I keep finding myself looking up to find the clock at 11:30, with my homework still not done. It doesn't help that spring is now here, and mowing customers are calling. Speaking of which, I have to mow a lawn in a few minutes, so this will be fairly short.

Let me know what you think of the changes - I need suggestions. I'm really liking the improvements thus far. It feels a lot more professional and organized to me.

The Halo 2 playlist update and ranking reset was today, but I haven't been able to touch Halo 2 for three days. Gotta get to that tonight.
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THIS is the Rock For You (O.o)
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Version 2, of Halo 2, I present to you.

O Halo Two, how I love you,
you give me so many things to do!

With just a single DVD,
you unleash a world of glee!

Never straining the Front Side Bus,
for you were coded in C++!

Such an arsenal to explore,
with which to make war!

So many maps to inhabit,
awesome is what you emit!

Powered by a large Xbox,
you clearly rock my socks!

Halo Two, I kindly request of thee,
thy hand in marriage to me!


I might seem a little complaintitive this post...we'll see.

I went rafting with boy scouts over the weekend, which was marginally fun. The actual rafting wasn't that great - the water was low, I was pretty cold a lot of the time, and this 250 lb. weight in the form of an adult going on the trip was in our boat. He wouldn't stop talking, he wouldn't paddle, it was like, he had ADD or something. The fun part of rafting was the water fights (the water was probably 50-ish, but with wetsuits and a lot of layers on, it wasn't too bad), but by the time we got our hands on a water gun, everybody was done with the fights. A shame, truly.

The trip as a whole decided to throw every annoying person at me it could. I had to ride down to the camp site (two hours or more to drive down) with the aforementioned hippie vegetarian (i don't have a problem with vegetarianism unless it's for stupid reasons...which his were). After sitting in the tent with Jesse and Benjamin for a couple hours, I walk out and find Michael trying to make a fire, by literally clumping together a bunch of twigs, throwing them in between two giant logs, and then throwing two sticks on top of that. I kid you not. I'm like "Dude, you gotta spread it out, there's no air in there. You also need some kind of ignitor, those twigs aren't just gonna light!" After sticking a piece of cardboard under it, and 9 or 10 matches failing, I tell him to move his stuff and let me get it started. After 30 minutes or so of collecting bark, Nolan and I got it roaring, and that was that. Further confrontations over how to cook the chicken, boil water, and clean up ensued. We ate fajitas, which I must say, were pretty good, despite the lack of sour cream and taco sauce. Benjamin's sausages were good too.

The most fun of it all was once we got to bed, when Benjamin, Jesse, and I are just laying there. We always have really interesting conversations. Not as in, intellectually stimulating, but generally hilarious. Quotes like...

"She's hot.

She's nice.

...she talks to me."

result from Jesse's confessions on his love life. But you don't need to hear that.

In other news: I missed last night's episode of Family Guy, which spears my heart like poisoned arrows. I am rectifying this situation as we speak, however. Also, I've added a lot more content and such to the server, I'm not done yet, but there's more to look at if you so desire. That's about all for today.
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