The mystery of the daytime idle

I just read an article about something I’ve often wondered about. On the days when I need to take off from work to go see the doctor or have a plumber visit, I see so many people out and about. Who are these people who are idle during normal work hours? It’s a pretty interesting article.

By rights our parks and movie theaters and stores should be minor ghost towns between 9 and 5 — chanced upon by the occasional tourist or late-night bartender but otherwise peaceful. Instead, they’re inexplicably packed. I didn’t doubt that the packers had sound explanations. I just wanted to hear them.

Tourists, disabled folks, freelance writers, self-employed, etc. That’s what the answer is. And apparently, there’s a heck of a lot more of those people than I would have guessed.

Mohler, Piper, and Singleness

My friend, Rene, blogged about an article on Boundless Line referencing some quotes from Dr. Albert Mohler and Dr. John Piper on singleness. I’ve known Rene almost since I moved to southern California, and for a scientist, he’s a great guy!

Occasionally, we exchange emails about thoughts on marriage or dating, or more often, the Dodgers, Trojans, and Bruins. His final point is a pretty good one:

I love high ideals. I need them because they provide something to aim for. But I live in reality where I fall short of those ideals. The people in the 6 categories above need help and I’m sure they feel the intramural food fight over whether marriage is the normative ideal is too removed from their reality.

Along the same lines, Boundless has another post on
surrendering the desire to be wed
. There’s some really good stuff there. Things that I’ve spent time talking with my parents about. Things I’ve had to confess to the Lord.

Unmet desires remind us that God is our source of help and provision. Hannah is another example; she prayed to God in agony over her unmet desire — to have a child. God responds by granting her request, not chastening her. Squelching a godly desire has the potential to make us less dependent on God, not more. Instead, respect the desires God has given you and continue to ask Him for good gifts.

That’s a good warning.

One of the comments on the article says, I think a lot of singles are fearful of admitting a desire to get married. It makes a person vulnerable, to talk about that. I can relate to that. The couple of times that it’s come up in my small group Bible study in the past several years, the discussion doesn’t really go anywhere. I do have to remind myself that it is not a bargain to be made with God – that once I become ok with being single, I’ll instantly be ready to be married. That’s a fallacy.

When Your Spouse is Hotter than You

This makes me laugh:

It’s a discrimination that’s widespread but largely unspoken, causing pain and stress to the affected couples, who often find it hard to talk about, even to each other. I’m talking, of course, about marrying outside your looks. Marrying a few degrees up or down the hotness scale. Refusing to stay within your cute-gory.

Time magazine

It’s true, I’ll admit to noticing couples and thinking, “Gee, he’s really working outside his class…” Oh, the subtle tones of interfacial discrimination.

If you suspect that you might be in an interfacial marriage, don’t be ashamed. Acceptance is the first step to recovery.

America is ready for a multilingual president

This is just silly.

Democratic presidential hopeful
Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday she sees her sometimes Southern accent as a virtue.

“I think America is ready for a multilingual president,” Clinton said during a campaign stop at a charter school in Greenville, S.C.

Clinton says her Southern twang a virtue

Never mind that her voice grates on my ears like a car door on a curb. Any actual intelligent or original contributions she might make to the political discourse are completely overshadowed by the pandering.

Easter Friends

throwing eggsThe Lord is risen! He is risen indeed!

I had a grand Easter, one spent with friends and in the Lord’s house. Saturday, I drove down to have dinner with my friend Roland. We went to a Persian restaurant, Darya, at the South Coast Plaza in Irvine, for a delicious dinner. The filet mignon was superb, and the lamb kebab was just about perfect. Roland selected a very nice Franciscan cabernet to go along with the meal. My friends make me feel very sophisticated eating at ethnic restaurants, since I’m a country boy who grew up on potatoes and beans. Roland and I had a great time catching up and I got a chance to see Darren, too.

Sunday, we celebrated the Resurrection at church and then I joined a bunch of friends for a potluck dinner. I tried my hand at a Mexican corn stew in the crock pot, but it didn’t turn out so well. I don’t know what I was thinking to be cooking a stew without meat, that’s never good. The Easter egg hunt did turn into a war of aggression, though.

I’m thankful for my friends, they are special. In a lot of ways.

Country in LA

Los Angeles has a country station, again. Woo-hoo! I couldn’t understand why KZLA changed formats, but the drought was short-lived. KMZT 105.1 just switched from classical music to country, billing itself as
Go Country 105.

Now I don’t have to try to pickup KFRG from San Bernadino anymore. My drive home in the evenings is just that much better!

Not Receiving My Emails to a List

Quoting from

Mail you send or forward to a mailing list you subscribe to, or to an account that forwards messages to your Gmail account, will only appear in ‘Sent Mail.’ This is intended to help prevent clutter in your inbox. If a message isn’t successfully delivered, you’ll receive an error message in your inbox.

That’s a bit disappointing. I’d rather have an option in the settings for that. I use the Gmail SMTP server, and never receive any of my own emails when I download with POP. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. I first suspected the Novell Forge email list setup since it swallows emails at random as well.

I Hate Intuit

I hate Intuit with a passion. They make a reasonably good personal finance application, Quicken, then act like the mobsters that they are by sunsetting, or discontinuing, online functionality. That’s right, not just discontinuing support, like any reasonable software company, but completely crippling the software. Taking away the simple ability to download stock quotes and banking transactions just because of some arbitrary date is plain stupid and mean. QIF and OFX have been standards long enough for this not to be just an issue of needing to upgrade something in the software, it’s just Intuit wanting to stick it to their customers and force more money out of them.

Quicken 2004 is set to “expire” on April 30, 2007. I use it with Codeweavers Crossover Linux product. I’m willing to take the slow-as-molasses graphing on Linux, but heck, now they’re forcing an upgrade? I won’t give them any of my money, to be sure. I’ll just find a Quicken 2005 or Quicken 2006 version on ebay.

Mudsuckers. Greedy idiots. Worst names are going through my mind, too.

Back from Roma

Well, I’m back from my European trip. I spent 3 days in Vienna, 2 days in Cortona, Italy, 4 days in Sorrento, and 4 days in Rome. Very enjoyable. I got to see the sights with my sister, along with some friends of hers from school. I also got to visit a good friend in Austria, and see the beginning of the Christmasmarkt at the Rathausplatz in Vienna.

I’m more convinced than ever that the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris is the worst-designed airport in the history of mankind. I don’t know what they’re smoking over there, but Air France must have as many buses running people around as they do 747s and 777s. It’s really silly. Some gates are out at satellite buildings in the boondocks, consecutive numbers are nowhere near each other, the buses don’t run on anything approaching a logical schedule or route, and you get scowled at if you attempt something as dumb as trying to remain with your sister in the same terminal when she has a four hour layover and you have a six-hour wait. Anyways, if you’re traveling to Europe, do everythign in your power and then some to avoid CDG in Paris. If you must transit through there, triple all your estimates for connection times.

The sad news is that my grandmother died today, so I will traveling to Atlanta this weekend. More time in the airport, except both LAX and ATL have semi-functional layouts.

Project Valour – Army Strong!

My brother graduated from Army Basic training last week. Well, it was Basic and Advanced something or ‘nother (ASIT). I thought NASA used a lot of acronyms, the military is a whole new world. Anyways, so the family was down at Fort Benning. Very impressive stuff. We didn’t get to see any tanks drive around, but two Bradley APCs did show up at graduation.

I’m very proud of my brother. He got his infantry cord, and is reporting to Airborne training soon. He got a college degree before signing up, one of 11 in his company of 230+ to do that, so he’s certainly not one of the uneducated targets of Senator Kerry. It was quite a sight to see some of the infantry’s training ground. It’s amazing what they can do to a recruit in 14 weeks. My brother is an awesome soldier, and looks great in his beret and class A uniform. I couldn’t stop grinning!

I also just donated to Project Valour, on the part of the Army Blackfive team, of course. That’s why that donation badge is showing up on the main page.