Sunday, May 18, 2008
Sunday, May 04, 2008
This happened a few houses down from mine. I heard the gunshots while reading about COM (which I dislike less now that I understand it better, though I still don't like that centralized component registration is mandatory) and a couple minutes later heard the sirens. I'll give credit where it's due: emergency services responded quickly. It was only a couple minutes between the gunshots and the sirens. I guess quite a few people in the neighborhood knew the victim, so it's shaken things up a bit around here.
As someone who likes being able to walk around at night without worrying about getting shot, I'll be following this story closely. I've not felt as if my life was in danger in the past, and I'm told it's been a long time since anything like this has happened here; so I should be able continue not fearing for my life. Living in fear of your own neighborhood's no way to go through life.
I'm actually more concerned about property values than my safety. I don't know how much a nearby shooting drops the value of a house, but it certainly doesn't make it more desirable. Even if I wanted to sell the place, I'd probably need to wait a couple years before being able to get full market value for it.
Friday, May 02, 2008
I remember back in high school reading Left Behind, the first book in the widely popular Christian apocalyptic series. I didn't like it. I can't tell you why I didn't like it (and I probably couldn't have at the time either), but I certainly remember not wanting to read any more of the series. Of the two works of Christian fiction I'd ever read in my life, I much preferred The Oath, a Stephen King-esque book about a dragon in a small town who eats people.
Of course The Oath wasn't without its dull points. It was a work of Christian fiction, so it had to work in the Christian plan for salvation somehow. This was accomplished through a plot twist which revealed that the dragon was sin (or the devil; I read it 10 years ago so I don't remember which), and the only way you had any chance of killing it involved accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior. Of course you still had to stab the dragon in the heart with a big fucking metal spear welded to a car, but you needed to do the
accepting Jesus step before you could even think of moving to the
stab the dragon in the heart with a car step. I'd always felt the
Christian aspect of the book felt bolted on, but it was still a more enjoyable book than Left Behind by orders of magnitude.
Anyways, the fact that I don't remember why I didn't like Left Behind is in part why I'm so grateful for Left Behind Fridays. For a number of years the author of this particular blog has written a rather thorough criticism of a couple pages of Left Behind each Friday. Suffice to say, he hates the book (and the theology behind it) with a passion, and I enjoy watching him tear it to shreds every week. Interpret this statement as you will, but I can honestly say that part of the reason I look forward to Fridays is to read
Left Behind Friday. The fact that the author works in print media (as does one of the protagonists in Left Behind) gives some extra perspective to flaws in the book I'd otherwise miss if I reread it. The author's a Christian so I sometimes find myself fundamentally disagreeing with his reasoning and conclusions, but most of the time I find his analysis of the problems with Left Behind's theology and worldview spot on. Which is kinda funny to hear me say since it wasn't too long ago that I thought a friend's statement that
the Rapture isn't supported by Scripture was controversial. Funny how time, a change of worldview, and a very primitive knowledge of modern Biblical scholarship changes things.
Now you have been made aware of
Left Behind Friday. Do with this knowledge what you will.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Today's xkcd reminded me of the day in college I remembered that as an adult I could eat whatever I wanted, even things that were really bad for me. It was that day I bought a pint of heavy whipping cream and drank it (I really like whipping cream, in case you hadn't guessed). I'm sure the plaque in my arteries grew three layers that day.
If I could find it on this side of the country, my graph probably would say
bacon. So maybe it's a good thing I can't get it.