Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I want to be a Tech-Whore, but I can't afford it.

I am a wanna-be Tech Whore. Oh, the things I wish I had, but I am unwilling to actually spend the money in order to acquire these things. I used to have a subscription to Wired Magazine, but I've since given it up - realizing that it only fueled my techno-lust. Of course, I still borrow the issues from a friend of mine, but somehow, I feel less guilty.

Here are a few of the items for which my lust knows no limits, other than those limits imposed by my empty wallet:

  • The iPhone - I could be convinced to pay the few hundred dollars for the device itself, but the monthly bill that would ensue afterwards is an insurmountable obstacle.

  • An iPod, or an equivalent Mp3 player - Admittedly, I don't actually own an mp3 player. I used to own one, but the 128 mb player stopped working at least a year ago. There are a few reasons that I have not acquired an mp3 player. Ideally, I'd like a multitasking device like the iPhone, but as stated above, that is not going to happen. Otherwise, I just can't seem to make the decision between a solid state flash driven mp3 player or a hard drive style mp3 player.

  • A 73" projection LCD television. I saw a Samsung at Brandsmart for $2200, which means that I could easily talk them down under two grand for this monster screen.

  • A new Desktop computer - Our desktop is about 7 years old, a dinosaur by computing standards. I've just about filled up the 120 Gigs of Hard Drive space. I could probably score a decent one for less than $500.

  • A new laptop computer - Again, a dinosaur by computing standards. Ours is about 5 years old. It has speed, but it has no peripherals and it weighs a ton. Also, the battery is original and it goes dead after about 20 minutes.

  • The Rock Band Ion drum set - a $300 custom drum set for Rock Band and Rock Band 2. Gratuitous, yes. But it really makes me salivate, and I'm pretty sure that I could argue that it is a necessity somehow.

  • A new Ford vehicle equipped with Microsoft Sync. Purchase a $25,000 vehicle just to get my hands on Ford/Microsoft's groundbreaking in-vehicle technology - I WISH! I've tested it out and it is the future of the driving/tech-whore experience.

  • XM Satellite Radio - No way I'm paying $13 a month for a radio. But that $5/month offer I received in the mail is tempting.

Recently, I actually gave in to one of my techish lusts. Last month, I gave in and got a DVR from Comcast. I'm paying a discounted rate for the next 6 months, but after that, I'll still balk at paying a full monthly charge for such a service.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pornography Vs. Social Networking

For the first time, pornography has been overtaken as the most popular destination for Internet users.

Ten years ago, pornography accounted for 20% of Internet searches. That has recently dropped to 10%, with social networking sites, like Facebook, taking up much of the slack.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rock Band: II and GH: World Tour

As if our lives hadn't already become consumed by the phenomenon of Rock Band. Since last February, many of our weekends have been spent trying to blow out the windows courtesy of our Playstation 3, Rock Band, our stereo, and a few very large speakers.

With the release of Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero: World Tour and their cross-compatible instruments, our windows, our neighbors, our eardrums, and our poor pets are in for a world of hurt.

Unfortunately, with my wife's delicate condition of late, we've lost our lead (and easily most talented) drummer. At least she can still play the fake guitar.

With Rock Band releasing full albums like Blood Sugar Sex Magic (Red Hot Chili Peppers), an entire Stevie Ray Vaughn album, and an entire greatest hits live album by AC/DC - I'm not sure if there is enough time, talent, or money available to satiate our lust for this game. I'm pretty sure there isn't enough.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Porn Again Christian: Table of Contents

Just so you can get an idea of the way that Driscoll tackles the subjects of Pornography and Masturbation, here is the Table of Contents for this small booklet. (FYI, "toilet water"is Driscoll's analogy for pornography - i.e., men drinking from the toilet of sexual lust.)

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 - A Tall Glass of Toilet Water
Chapter 2 - The Fear of the Lord
Chapter 3 - A Theology of Pornographic Lust
Chapter 4 - A Practical Theology of Pornographic Lust
Chapter 5 - Masturbation
Practical and Theological Reasons to Not Masturbate
Practical and Theological Reasons to Masturbate
Chapter 6 - Manly Men
Chapter 7 - coming October 17th Answers to Common Questions
Chapter 8 - coming October 20th Pornography and the Slippery Slope of Ted Bundy
Chapter 9 - coming October 22nd Final Word to Military Men and Men Who Like Prostitutes
Chapter 10 - coming October 24th Sex Slavery
How Are Women Procured?
“Breaking” the Women
Chapter 11 - coming October 27th Organized Crime and Corruption
Chapter 12 - coming October 29th U.S. Military and Prostitution
Chapter 13 - coming October 30th Most Prostitution is Slavery
Chapter 14 - coming November 11th Conclusion

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Porn Again Christian: by Mark Driscoll

You'd have to be living in a hole to not know that Mark Driscoll is my favorite author and preacher. His first two books have had a major impact on my life. If I had a role model, he'd be a top contender.

Of late, he has published a couple more books, but I've dragged my feet in getting to them, because they look to be rehashes of his recent sermon series, which I've already seen. Also, they just don't seem to have that punch that his first two books had - something akin to a sophomore slump? I don't know, and admittedly, I haven't even read them yet.

But he has a new endeavor that has my curiosity piqued: Porn Again Christian. This is a small booklet that Driscoll wrote a long time ago and has been a staple at his church in Seattle. Because of its incendiary nature, the booklet never made it off of the church campus and into a publisher's hands. Driscoll has finally decided to publish the booklet for free as an E-Book on the Resurgence website. He is going to release one chapter each week throughout October and November.

I've read the first couple chapters and I can already see that I like it. Driscoll warns that the book is not intended for women, and it is most definitely not intended for uptight, religious types.
Alas, I don't even think that I am comfortable re-posting some of it here, for fear of the flack I will take from the "uptight religious types."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's the end of the world as we know it.....

Are the scientists going to kill us all with the Large Hadron Collider?

They are going to start collisions on Oct. 21.

The Large Hadron Collider is expected to tackle some of the deepest questions in science:

Is the foundation of modern physicsright or wrong?

What existed during the very first momentof the universe's existence?

Why do some particles have mass while others don't?

What is the nature of dark matter?

Are there extra dimensions of space out there that we haven't yet detected?

Some folks outside the scientific mainstream have asked darker questions as well:

Could the collider create mini-black holes that last long enough and get big enough to turn into a matter-sucking maelstrom?

Could exotic particles known as magnetic monopoles throw atomic nuclei out of whack?

Could quarks recombine into strangeletsthat would turn the whole Earth into one big lump of exotic matter?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Pope says that we bit off more than we could chew.

Within 12 to 18 months, about 40 percent of U.S. borrowers, or 20 million households, will owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. The problem will be most severe in California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona, where housing prices soared and reckless lending practices were rampant during the housing boom.

That's almost the same number of American households that are spending 30 percent or more of their income on housing, according to recent U.S. census data. With little cash cushion or home equity, the slightest financial problem can put a family behind on its mortgage and into the realm of foreclosure.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Church - Something is Missing.....

I miss the rag tag bunch of believers that was our last church.

Not all the time.

But sometimes.

The church that we belong to could easily be described as a modern day mega church. Each weekend, more than 4,000 people flock to the campus for a quick, one-hour worship service. Our preacher is now on TV - as well he should be because it suits him and his style of preaching. Our worship team is loud and energetic and as professional as they could be. Our building is outfitted with all the amenities a modern church could need.

But something is missing. Not from our church. But from me.

I notice it when the service is over and the music is fading. It takes less than 4 minutes for 900 people to exit the building and another 5 minutes to exit the premises. If I dally at all with talking to people and socializing, I find myself standing almost alone in the huge auditorium, unless it is between services, in which, it quickly fills back up. There is a coffee bar outside in the courtyard, but I find that it is largely used by the regulars and the people who practically live at the church serving in its various ministries. Everyone else aims for the parking lot.

I miss the rag tag bunch of believers that we had at our last church. That rag tag bunch would have to be kicked out before they'd leave.

Don't get me wrong. We love our church. Pastor David's preaching is creative and easy to follow. He consistently preaches the Gospel for the lost. When my wife was in surgery last month, David was on phone with me while I waited for her to come out of surgery. By the time she got out of surgery, Pastor Scott was standing there with me and my good friend to greet her.

The worship team leads with an energy that is usually unmatched by the crowd of worshippers - something that is quite often lost on me.

But something is missing.

We know plenty of people. We have plenty of friends there. My wife even works there.

But there is a sense of connection on a certain level that we are missing. And I don't have a solution, because, if I did, then it wouldn't be missing.

I just know that, sometimes, I miss our rag tag bunch of believers.

Joe Six Pack Drinking Game: Maverick.

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