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Monday, January 16, 2006

What hard work gets you...

I spent this last weekend working with my father in our backyard. You see, about three weeks ago there were a bunch of fires in Mustang, Oklahoma. My parent's backyard caught fire, but thankfully the firemen were able to save the house and our cabana. Unfortunately, our shed was not saved from the destruction.

Thankfully my parents did have the shed and contents insured and will be able to build a new one relatively soon. Actually, because my father knows so many contractors of various sorts, he is going to end up with a much nicer building that he can finally restore old cars in. I knew that he was going to do much of the removal work himself, and he isn't 25 years old any more, so I volunteered to help out (because, well, I am in fact 25 and have no excuse to not work my butt off for family). We spent almost all day Friday disassembling the shed. It was pretty fun actually. Hard work, but fun. After we were through tearing it down (got it down by lunch, thank you very much), we carefully stacked all the wood pieces in our just delivered dumpster. We knew we had a lot and needed to be conscientious about how things go in to make sure it all fit. It seems that was more work than the actually tearing it down part. As the night wore on, I found myself really enjoying this time with my dad. It's times like these that I am thankful Tina Marie and I moved to Oklahoma.

I was so tired Friday night that Tina Marie and I decided to spend the night. We got up somewhat early on Saturday morning and started helping our neighbor tear down his shed. What was interesting about his shed is that from the outside you couldn't even tell it was burned. Somehow the fire made it's way inside the shed and was burning it inside out. This was a bit more fun than tearing down our shed because it involved chain saws and a Bobcat (the tractor, not the animal). We filled our second dumpster by 2:00pm and then it was finally time for me to go home. I had earlier received my first assignment of the semester and needed to go buy The Complete Works of Plato before I could begin.

As I was sitting on my couch Saturday night my mother called and asked me a strange question. She said, "Would you rather have an 8-cup or 12-cup coffee maker?" I of course responded that the 12 would be better, still not knowing why she asked. She said thanks and then hung up the phone. You see, my wife and mother went shopping while we were working in the backyard and my parents decided to reward me with a brand new Barista Aroma Grande coffee maker from Starbucks.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited about this. You see, we received a really nice coffee maker as a wedding gift that kept causing us lots of problems. First the electronic buttons wouldn't work correctly, then it started leaking, not stuff that you want to deal with, especially if it costs as much as it did. Tina Marie had taken it back earlier in the day and got a store credit to buy other items that we needed, but we had no coffee maker! Things were going to be really bad the next couple of days. Then, out of nowhere, my parents come through and buy us a coffee maker that is nicer than the one we just returned.

So, for those of you that might shy away from lending a helping hand, just remember (but don't tell Kant!) there is always the possibility that self-satisfaction with a hard days work might not be your only reward.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Judge Alito's Confirmation Hearing

After approximately two hours of watching Judge Alito’s confirmation hearing before the U.S. Congress, I have come to realize a couple of things. One, some people are just smarter than others. When watching several Senators question Judge Alito about cases ranging from the famous Rowe v. Wade to the more obscure cases like the transportation of machine guns across state lines it is quite apparent that he is almost always a step ahead of whatever question is being asked. It is amazing that any person can have so much knowledge about one subject and recall that knowledge in such a demanding way.

Another thing that I noticed is that some people are just dumber than others. Presently, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) is ‘questioning’ Judge Alito about abortion. It seems quite clear that he feels his job is to ‘serve up’ questions that Judge Alito will be able to answer without causing a stir with those that oppose his appointment. He began his ‘questioning’ with about a five minute speech about how great he thinks Judge Alito has been answering the questions and how “unfair” some of the questioners have been up to that point. After that he continued his ‘questioning’ with pauses to ask about a federal judge’s salary, a Supreme Court judge’s salary, and the ability of the President to lower a judge’s salary. How these are relevant, I do not know because he just moved on to the next question. What was really entertaining was seeing Judge Alito try to make some relevant comments after Senator Sessions’s pointless questions.

Now, I hope that Judge Alito is appointed to the Supreme Court. I have done a decent amount of research and it seems apparent that Judge Alito will try to continue the idea that a Supreme Court judge should not legislate from the bench. His/her job is to remain faithful to what the Constitution proscribes and interpret Constitution in today’s context. What I wish would happen is that some of the Republicans that share my sentiments and question Judge Alito during these proceedings would not try to bait him in their favor. It is obvious that they are trying to make Judge Alito come off in the light they want him too. These absurd ‘questions’ will most likely come back to haunt those in favor of the appointment by those not in favor. Actually, it is almost embarrassing to listen to these questions.

The have just announced a 15 minute break and will resume with Senator Feingold (D- Wisconsin). If he is opposed to the appointment (which I expect he will be) I half expect his opening statements to be nothing more than making fun of Senator Sessions. If it is indeed humorous, I will probably update this post to reflect that.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

It's a One-Pete!!!

OH I FRICKEN LOVE IT!!!!! The only thing that could make this better is if I were in SoCal right now listening to all the USC fans bitchin' and moanin' on ESPN Radio AM 710.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Denomination Selector

I recently ran across a really interesting website (Denomination Selector) that would tell you what denomination (or for the A/G, 'fellowship') you should join given your beliefs about certain doctrines. Now, I have no idea who put this together, or how it is put together, but the results are pretty interesting (and funny!). I did notice that there are 24 questions and 24 denominations, so it could be the case that each question represents at least one denomination. I don't really feel like going through several different trial runs to test the results. I actually think it is more complicated than that, given the possible answers of agree, disagree, or no preference and the ability to rank each question's level of importance as high, medium, or low. Here are my results for your viewing pleasue:

  1. Methodist/Wesleyan Church
  2. Assemblies of God
  3. Mennonite Brethren
  4. Free Will Baptist
  5. Evangelical Lutheran Church
  6. Presbyterian Church USA
  7. Seventh-Day Adventist
  8. Southern Baptist
  9. Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
  10. Orthodox Quakerism
  11. Presbyterian Church America
  12. Reformed Baptist
  13. Reformed Churches
  14. Church of Christ
  15. Episcopal/Anglican Church
  16. International Church of Christ
  17. United Pentecostal Church
  18. Eastern Orthodox Church
  19. Roman Catholic Church
  20. Jehovah's Witness
  21. Mormonism
  22. Liberal Quakerism
  23. Unitarian Universalism
  24. Unity Church
I thought I'd add that I think some denominations have to show up; so please don't send me any 'concerned brother/sister' stuff about some of the results (especially towards the bottom). Click the link to take the test for yourself Denomination Selector.