i forgot one of the russian books i bought with the others, plus i bought another book:
- beginner's russian script - daphne west (teach yourself)
- rapture ready! - daniel radosh (scribner)
rapture ready is the adventures of a non-xian guy who decided to look into the xian pop culture scene. i've read a couple of other books in the same vein, but i've read some excepts and reviews and this one seems like it might be pretty decent as far as the guy having a fairly open mind and being even-handed about everything. (more like body piercing saved my life and less like righteous.)
i finally finished lovesick blues by paul hempill. it's the story of hank williams. i'd started reading it probably a year or more ago, taking it to crescent city or coffee houses with me. but i hadn't been going out like that for some time, so it'd just been sitting there. it was good. i also read why i am not a calvinist by walls and dongell. it seemed to walk a pretty good line to me between being very simple and complex. some ideas relating to predestination, election, evil, and the attributes of G-d just can't be made simple. who'd 'a thunk theology ain't easy-peasy? anyway, i really enjoyed the book, and i thought they did a good job of opening up some holes in the reformed/calvinist positions that i hadn't thought of before. they were also able to articulate much better several things that i've thought/felt but never been able to flesh out very well. the reformed camp tends to have lots of verses to point at, but it always felt like to me the overarching theme of the bible is choice and free will. it just doesn't seem like the G-d of the calvinist/reformed position is the G-d throughout the bible. i could go on for some time on this subject, but i i'll save you the pain.
i also bought some cds over the last couple of weeks:
- borko - celebrating life (morr)
- daft punk - homework (virgin)
- daft punk - discovery (virgin)
- it's a musical - the music makes me sick (morr)
- peaches - fatherfscker (xl / kitty yo)
- playradioplay! - Texas (island / def jam)
i've watched a few movies via streaming netflix over the last couple of weeks. first up is revolution os, a documentary about the history of gnu, linux, and the free software / copyleft movement. it was pretty good. next up is second skin, a documentary about people who game online. it includes some of the history of computer gaming, but mostly focuses on the culture and lives of various people. it was pretty enjoyable, and went into a lot of different aspects (both good and bad) of gaming culture, focusing mostly on wow. then i watched the dark ages, a history channel piece on the dark ages. it was pretty interesting. although i know lots of fragments of historical information, sometimes it's nice to watch something that kind of puts timelines into order and shows where/how things fit chronologically. after that i watched visioneers, a fairly black comedy about a dystopian future where no one is supposed to dream because people are exploding. it stars zach galifianakis, playing it straight...although it's a quirky near-future world. he works in a life-draining sparse office doing menial tasks with a few people, barely interacting with other workers that he rarely sees. he's unhappily married. imagine perhaps brazil mixed with idiocracy and a bit of donnie darko or something. i liked it, but i flipped between times where i felt like i was totally getting the point they were trying to get across, and other times having no idea what of several points they were trying to get across...especially since it seemed to contradict the ones i thought i was pretty sure of earlier. i'm not sure if that makes it a complex good film, or just a confused jumble of seeing what sticks. last up, i watched welcome to macintosh, which is a documentary about the history of apple and the culture around it. they interviewed quite a few key players, which was nice, and it was cool to get some aspects of the history of the company i was unaware of.
the friday before last i had a lunch meeting at work and they only provided tea. so i had a glass of tea. but i put no sugar in it. other than that, i've still had no soda, tea, or coffee. or chips or fries. i've finally started hitting the point where i sometimes think about having some coffee or a soda, but so far i've continued to completely abstain. i've been drinking water or 100% fruit juices, but mostly water. i can't say as i can really tell any difference in anything (energy, etc) but i'm still doing it anyway. it can't really hurt much to cut out sodas or "fruit"/flavored drinks with insane amounts of sugar / high fructose corn syrup.
last week or the week before at some point i replaced the hard drive in my desktop. i'd switched from an 80gb to a 160gb a few months ago i think, but i'd almost filled the 160 so i put in a 500gb. i have plenty of room to spare now, and should for awhile probably. it's very nice being able to put in a new drive, boot off the os cd, install the os on the new drive, then tell it to copy all of the old accounts, files, configs, etc. off the old drive. (i did that on the 80-160 upgrade too.) the only problem i noticed either time was the license keys for the macromedia products don't get set up right so i have to re-enter them.
friday i worked in the evening, so i used the daytime to get my motorcycle inspected and then go renew my driver's license. i had renewed online last time, so i had to physically show up this time. the license renewal office is the typical soul-sucking, depressing, slow-moving, cheerless government setup. at first i showed up around 12:30pm and there were a bunch of people just sitting waiting...bleh. plus i didn't have cash and they didn't take credit cards. so i left and ate lunch, got some cash, and came back. i think the line was shorter. somehow, they'd never retaken my picture since 1996 when i first got my motorcycle license. that's 14 years. but they retook it this time, and i must confess it looks pretty fine. you see, my goal in license pics is to make it look as much like a mugshot as possible. my pic from the last 14 years was pretty good. but i think this one might top it. i'll have to wait and see the full-color, full-size version though. i also was happy i was able to pass the eye exam, so i still am not required to wear corrective lenses while driving (which sucks on a motorcycle if you wear goggles).
saturday morning i got up and decided to drive to brady. i hadn't been since xmas, plus it was the leifeste family reunion on sunday. i took my belair. since i have no a/c and i was driving between 12pm-7pm, it was pretty hot. but it was okay. i arrived and my parents and brother and miles had just left for underwood's in brownwood. i called them and they decided to come back and get me. while i was waiting, a lady came over and asked me if i could help her. a lady next door had fallen and she couldn't get her into a wheelchair. i got over there and the lady was sitting on the ground near the open driver's side door of a pickup, although she didn't appear to be able to use her legs. even though i'm a bulky guy, i do computer work all day in an office so i'm not exactly strong. but i managed to get her into the wheelchair. a little while later, she went by driving the pickup and smiled at me real big and waved. odd. my parents got me and we all went to underwood's and ate, then came back to brady. that was a lot of time in a car for saturday.
sunday we ate breakfast with my grandmother, then everyone left and i stayed and hung out with my grandmother. a couple of hours later my parents came by and picked me up and we went to the reunion. it was about the same as usual i suppose. i hadn't done anything on the genealogy stuff in the last year or two though, so i felt kind of bad. we drover back to brady, then after a nap i got up and drove back to houston. i didn't leave until around 6pm, so the temperature wasn't quite as bad on the trip back.
my brother gave me an early birthday present:
- lightnin' hopkins - from the vaults of everest records (collectibles)
it's a 4-cd set of recordings lightnin' did on everest records. of course, he recorded on tons of different labels, of all different recording quality and such. he also would record multiple versions of the same songs on different labels, as well as making up songs on the spot. the story is if you came to him with a bottle of jack and some cash he'd let you record an album of him.
when i got back sunday night, my desktop wasn't working and the fans were spinning at full tilt. i don't know how long it'd been like that. it's happened a few times, and usually is due to some process running out of control, spiking the cpu, and locking the system. but when i went to power cycle it, it crashed before it ever really started booting. it did this a few times. after that i waited a few minutes with it off, then powered it up. it got further, but locked up again. i thought maybe my machine had finally bit it. i wondered if maybe it was just too hot to operate though, so i went to bed. the next morning i got up and started it up and it booted up fine. and has been running okay since.