Ouch…

So yeah, the so-called “bachelor party” was last night…and my head hurts tremendously now… We went to Flat Branch, but there was an hour wait (…and we went at 7:30 pm, mind you…on a Thursday night…), so we went to Grindstone Brewery instead… The food was pretty decent there, actually…maybe slightly expensive, but not by much… After that, we went to Harpo’s for the rest of the night…and thus, my headache may never go away… 😛

We’re about to leave for Hannibal, so I won’t get to make updates until June 28th now, since I won’t really have internet until then. The rehearsal and dinner are tonight, so the busy-ness continues…

Here we go!

Of Star Trek and Christianity…

“If his words hold wisdom and his philosophy is honorable, what does it matter if he returns? What is important is that we follow his teachings. Perhaps the words are more important than the man.”
— Kahless, ST: TNG

In the episode “Rightful Heir” of Star Trek: TNG, religious leaders clone their Jesus-type character, called Kahless (they’re Klingons…w00t…), in order to speed up his prophesized return. He finds out he’s a clone later and says the above quote…I thought it was very appropriate to Christians in today’s day and age…especially the more conservative ones…

Ironically, I drove by Woodcrest earlier today, where on their sign I see: “Where one visit can change the way you view church.” I have long disliked this church and many “mega churches” like it because what they call “church” becomes more of a production and presentation, rather than an opportunity for learning, communing and fellowship. Granted, I’m all about contemporary worship, but there’s a fine line where the congregation begins to expect entertainment rather than the true purpose of worship.

The Gap is stoopid

So yeah, I’m going to rant about the stupidity of the teeny-bopper generation… I was at the Columbia Mall three times today, for various reasons, but I only shopped for clothes the first time. I bought a pair of khaki pants at JC Penney for $15 (on sale…w00t…)…which was a great deal, of course…but they all had this rip along the left ankle cuff of the pant leg. Now…I looked at another of the same type of pants…had a rip in the same place… I tried another…same place… I even looked at American Eagle at similar pants…they all had a small rip right below the left-hand pocket. All of them.

Now, this brings up a few points… First of all, aren’t these pants supposed to be “cool” because they look more worn? Well…wouldn’t they look more authentic if the rips and tears were at more randomized locations? Is it really that difficult to accomplish? How is it a “style” thing if they’re all the same? Is anyone “cool” if everyone wears the same style? I thought the whole point of being “cool” was to be different, yet if you wear the same clothes as everyone else, then you are the same as everyone else, therefore, not allowing for the capacity to be “cool.” It all seems counter-productive.

The more important point, however, is how absolutely stupid the American consumer is. We, the consumers, listen to what we are told looks good. If someone told us 20 years ago that, “hey, wearing pants with holes all over them looks cool,” we’d say, “damn, you’re stupid.” Now, though, Tommy Hilfiger tells us it’s cool…so everyone should wear clothes that have holes. We, the American consumer, have been told by Cosmo and Seventeen and GQ what looks good…and we believed it…and now we buy our clothes, etc. based on their “recommendations”…when these “recommendations” are surely “suggested” by every name-brand retailer and clothing designer in the world. And how are we propagating this? By shopping at Abercrombie and Gap Kids. Let’s have our kids wear their clothes from Day One…then, when they’re old enough to complain about clothes from Target saying that they’re not “cool” enough…since “cool” can only be found at Gap and Abercrombie…

Our culture is entirely programmable by commercials, TV, and celebrity (and this all explains why the hell over 50% of our country voted for quite possibly the dumbest person ever to walk the earth in the last election). We have no minds of our own, no individuality, and cannot think for ourselves. We have to look to our neighbor to see what is acceptable in the eyes of everyone else. Those who get tattoos and piercings try to evade our consumer culture by going against the grain of everyone else, and yet they have even formed their own groups who shop at certain stores and buy certain things like everyone else they know… No one is safe.

Indeed, humans are social creatures who like to fit into the crowd…but that doesn’t mean we have to be lemmings…

P.S. Happy Birthday to me… 😛

Moved(?)

So yeah, we spent all day yesterday moving to St. Louis…the hard part’s done, I guess… Brooke and I didn’t stay up too terribly late last night unpacking, but got up relatively early this morning and moved most of the boxes out of what is to become “the office” (complete with 6′ table for the computers and a twin-size bed (i.e. “couch”). We walked around the complex and found the laundromat, exercise equipment and swimming pool, and there are quite a few trees around there, making it a very pretty place to be. The next hurdle involves learning all the roads in St. Louis, etc… I went by Missy/Sharon/Shannon’s place today and it took me a good 30 min…pretty sure I could have driven to their old places last year in Kirksville in under 3 min…but whatever… 😛

Anyway, I added a few pictures from the move to the Photos section of the site, listed under “New Apt”…check ’em out… After we get settled in St. Louis (after June 27th), we’ll take more pictures and post what the place is supposed to look like…

I’ll be in Columbia until Friday, and then I’ll be heading to Hannibal for the rehearsal and dinner…and getting married in T-minus 6 days… Married life, here I come… 😉 Regardless, gimme a call if you’re around Columbia and wanna hang out…

Review: Batman Begins

Needless to say, I’ve been looking forward to this movie ever since I heard they were making it. As you know, I’m a fan of comic movies, but those last two Batman atrocities were too much to bear…and thankfully, this one was about as far from those as is possible…

Batman Begins, quite simply, is probably the best movie I’ve seen in recent memory (eat your heart out Episode III…). This movie marks the return of the Dark Knight to where he belongs: as a brooding, vengeful hero who’s willing to bust some heads for what he thinks is right. Christian Bale even takes it to the point where we believe Batman, as a character, actually has a reason to do what he does…something besides just avenging his parents…something more than that…something beyond himself, which is what the previous Batman movies really centered upon. Previous portrayals of Batman, even including the Michael Keaton version (widely considered the best…), simply pitted Batman against some evil villain, someone who threatened the people of Gotham City. This movie, on the other hand, goes much deeper into Bruce Wayne’s reasons for doing what he does: not only revenge, but also in an effort to live up to what his parents believed and the lives they led, and also realizing that setting an example for the people of Gotham is more important than just beating up the bad guys and bringing justice to the masses.

So yeah, I’m not going to spoil the movie or anything…just gonna say the following: Batman Begins restores any and all lost faith in the Batman franchise, delving so much deeper into the character of Bruce Wayne and his background, as well as offering a few twists and turns throughout the movie to entertain just about everyone. The one complaint I have is, much like Episode III, many of the action sequences are a little too close up and don’t show you a full view of what’s going on…but that is minor compared to how well this movie blows you away…

Go see it. It’s awesome. You’ll love it. And if you don’t, I probably hate you anyway. 😉

…what’s worse than packing?

Yeah, I’ve been packing up everything I own…and this is no small task… Bear in mind that I’ve lived here for 3 years now…and I’ve been collecting an insane amount of stuff throughout that time, most of which I’m throwing away (or giving to Nathan and Jerry for their new place…). I had to figure out how to take apart my desk again today, had to unplug all of the electronics in my room (a small fire hazard…), remove the stuff from my closet (I officially have too many clothes…), and am finding live dust bunnies under my bed (never seen one? they’re like jackalopes, but without horns and their made from dust…no…seriously…).

So yeah, the other part of this is that I’m going to have to disconnect the web server on Thursday morning and transport it to Columbia, where it will remain until after the wedding…whenever I can come pick it up… We won’t have DSL set up in St. Louis until after the wedding’s done, so we need an internet connection for the server to operate… Therefore, the server will be down for most of Thursday while I take it down there, set it up, etc….I’m sure you’re all worried…but you’ll live…

Oh…and Batman Begins starts tomorrow…and I’m ever so excited… 😉

…what's worse than packing?

Yeah, I’ve been packing up everything I own…and this is no small task… Bear in mind that I’ve lived here for 3 years now…and I’ve been collecting an insane amount of stuff throughout that time, most of which I’m throwing away (or giving to Nathan and Jerry for their new place…). I had to figure out how to take apart my desk again today, had to unplug all of the electronics in my room (a small fire hazard…), remove the stuff from my closet (I officially have too many clothes…), and am finding live dust bunnies under my bed (never seen one? they’re like jackalopes, but without horns and their made from dust…no…seriously…).

So yeah, the other part of this is that I’m going to have to disconnect the web server on Thursday morning and transport it to Columbia, where it will remain until after the wedding…whenever I can come pick it up… We won’t have DSL set up in St. Louis until after the wedding’s done, so we need an internet connection for the server to operate… Therefore, the server will be down for most of Thursday while I take it down there, set it up, etc….I’m sure you’re all worried…but you’ll live…

Oh…and Batman Begins starts tomorrow…and I’m ever so excited… 😉

All Good Things…

That was the title of the final episode of Star Trek: TNG, widely regarded as the best of the Star Trek franchise television shows…and it is representative of where I sit today… As of 3:30 pm this afternoon, June 10, 2005, I will no longer be employed in the Truman ITS department… I think this is of significance for a few reasons. First of all, this is the longest amount of time I’ve ever worked at a job (4 years, almost entirely without stopping…there was one summer I didn’t work up here…). Secondly, this is the highest I’ve ever advanced in a job (…promoted to “lab manager” after my first year…worked in that role ever since…).

The third reason, however, is the clincher… This marks the cutting of my final umbilical connection to Truman State. After today, I will not attend class here, will not work here, will not need to be at Truman State for any reason (besides visiting folks, of course…). Today marks the first day in 5 years that I will never have to be here…ever…again… Today marks the end of an era of my life, the final chapter in perhaps the most exciting volume thus far… Subsequently, the next volume promises to encompass a much wider scope, including marriage, graduate school, and insurance in my own name…and it’s going to be weird…

…but in the end…it’ll still be a good read…

The **AA can suck it…

So yesterday, I worked on a laptop here at the HelpDesk (everything was in Japanese…so it was a little interesting navigating Japanese Windoze XP…) and noticed that the girl had WinMX installed, which is a P2P program… Now, I heard about WinMX, like, Freshman year…back in the days before Napster was shut down (old-skool Napster, not this new “legal” crap), so I didn’t expect anyone to still use it… Then, the same day, I see this article.

The gist of the article is that the NPD Group recently released statistics saying that Apple’s iTunes music service is used as much as popular P2P services. It is actually ranked second (surveying the number of users on the service) in programs used to download music …behind WinMX… Kazaa, Limewire, etc. are all apparently used less than iTunes to download music…and eDonkey is not even on the list (even though you can log into it right now and find 4 million users…as opposed to the 2 million users on WinMX…). The real kicker here is that the RIAA and the MPAA both use the NPD Group for their statistics…

So yeah, essentially, the **AA pisses me off tremendously… I actually did a speech on this subject for (you guessed it…) speech class a few years back, so that research pissed me off even more… As the article points out, the NPD Group uses old school statistics to survey data and extrapolate for the general population…but you’d think they could, oh, I don’t know, actually log into the services and see how many people are using each service at a given time? It seems these fools do everything they can to distort the facts (namely that they aren’t losing money at all due to file-sharing and that they are, in fact, perhaps even gaining revenues…) just to keep ahold of a system that has been in place far longer than it should have been… I’m thinking that the era of CDs in stores should be over and everything should be electronic as soon as possible, ’cause these lawsuits, etc. against people like Gertrude Walton is silly…

…w00t…OS X on my PC…

Yeah, so Steve Jobs officially announced that Apple will now start using Intel chips in their systems beginning in mid-2006 for their lower-end systems and 2007 for their high-end systems…

I guess there are two likely possibilities for this move:

  • Apple will increase their user-base by getting their millions of iPod customers and Photoshop aficionados to use Mac OS X on their PC.
  • Apple will lose their user-base because the hardware is now sub-standard (like many PCs today…and all Dells…) and their target market (people my age…) will be able to download OS X for free to install on their PCs, thereby relieving any need to ever buy a Mac

So yeah, I dunno about this. I mean, it’s cool that I’ll be able to have a sweet OS on my PCs (besides Linux…although, OS X is essentially Linux anyway…which is even sweeter…), but at the same time, it’s more than likely that Apple will fold over this…and also possible that they’ll exist in the future only as a software company and iPod company, no longer making computers…since I’ll now be able to build my own Macs… I dunno, it’ll be interesting to see how this paradigm shift plays out…