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Comment 3d Culture FTW (Score 1) 5

I think there's a lot to be said for being an American TCK. A TCK's world has more depth and more width than that of your average civilian, who only knows civilian life, American ways, and American weather. I wouldn't trade my upbringing as a milbrat, or my specific childhood experience of Europe, for anything. I hope your and your kids have a blast and that they grow in their understanding of the world. Godspeed and be safe.

Comment Living overseas as a child (Score 1) 4

I lived for a few years in Germany, courtesy of the Department of the Army, and found it deeply enriching. I hope your family gets to live abroad for a while as well. Your children will be much the better for it, I think, just as I think I am much the better for having lived overseas. Magyar culture is rich and old. The Magyars, along with the Poles, caused the Soviets a lot of problems in the middle of the last century.

Comment Funny name, fun gun (Score 1) 2

I've never fired a Sig516 (or any other Sig), but I imagine it's a hoot to run. I'm not sure I would be able to forgive my parents for naming me for a weapons manufacturer, particularly since a lot of companies' names are the surnames of their founders. It could be really good or really bad, I supposed. "This is my son, Walther" would work a lot better than "This is my daughter, Fabrique National. We call her Fabby or Ricki most of the time."

Media

Journal Journal: WikiLeaks and "Collateral Murder": When a Leak is a Lie

It seems that WikiLeaks has something to say. Their 'Collateral Murder' gun camera video was heavily edited and enhanced, as anyone who had the chance to watch the complete footage - originally posted here [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is9sxRfU-ik] and now blocked due to graphic content. In fairness to YouTube, the propaganda is also now age-blocked [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0]. I have watched both and have come to the conclusion that the WikiLeaks folks have an agenda. This

Comment Re:My Wife and I love the Lego [Franchise] games (Score 1) 10

My wife and I really enjoy gaming on our PS2, but we've also enjoyed PC gaming before. I would have to look at the specs for the PC version to see if our rapidly-aging machines could even play the game. The other reason we're thinking about the XBox360 is so we can play Sacred 2. We liked Sacred, but Sacred2 is just too massive for our desktops. I had to upgrade my old machine just to play Neverwinter Nights and KoToR2. The "new" machine is really my Dad's old machine, and is scarcely more powerful than the old one.

Needed vs desired? That's an interesting consideration. I've started thinking about collecting Walther semi-automatic pistols and even non-competition rifles. I guess getting a Walther in something heavier than .22LR would be 'need' while getting one of every kind of Walther pistol ever made would be 'want.' Likewise, a Ruger Mini-14 would be need, while the latest AR15 Ubertactical gizmo-rack would be want. It's kind of crazy how much stuff you can hang off a rifle these days.

I'd love to expand my arsenal as rapidly as money, safety, and my beloved's comfort level would allow, but barring things like Davidson's Great Gun Giveaway and a random raffle win at a gun show or NRA event, I just don't have the chance to contemplate more than one new gun a year. I would jump the moon if I got an email to the tune of "Guess what? You won! Your new [gun of the month] should arrive at a local FFL dealer soon". The Buckeye Firearms Association (the state-level NRA affiliate in Ohio) is giving away a 12 ga Ithaca Model 37, but there have to be a few hundred thousand other names in the hat besides mine.

Bottom line, I'm letting my wife's preferences guide the next two non-gift gun acquisitions. She has expressed interest in a Charter Arms Pink Lady and a home defense pump shotgun.

Comment Re:My Wife and I love the Lego [Franchise] games (Score 1) 10

I think the answer is 'No'. The Last new game I heard about for PS2 was SW:Force Unleashed. And it is old. But, we couldn't afford the PS2, and didn't really want it anyway.

If I am going to spend most of a grand on a durable good, it won't be a game system. It will be an appliance, a computer, or a firearm.

Comment My Wife and I love the Lego [Franchise] games (Score 1) 10

My wife and I have been catching trailers for this one on several recent Summit Films movies. We both love Lego SWII, Lego Batman, and Lego Indy, though we don't own Lego SWI or Lego Indy 2. We're looking forward to it. Is it going to come out for PS2, or only PS3?

We've been wanting an XBOX360. This might be our reason for finally buying one.

Comment Re:Well.... (Score 1) 24

I like your core approach:
"I guess I've been looking for people who either were or are Christians who accept evolution and have found a way to fit it into their world view."

In my case, that means my sister. She got her degrees in Biology from a state school, so she's had to confront this directly. One of her professors floated the idea of NOMA - Non-Overlapping Magisteria - which, on closer inspection just means that you leave your faith at the lab-room door and your science at the church-house door without trying to apply the rules governing to the other. This, however, reduces faith, science, or both to the level of an intellectual accessory. Needless to say, my sister rejected that approach.

I haven't sat down for hours on end to pick my sister's brain, but I know she accepts evolutionary biology as a reality, so I do too. She's really smart, and while our theologies probably diverge on minor points, I have no doubt she believes the same basic things I do. Therefore, I trust her assessment of the situation.

I haven't deeply, deeply studied this, though examining the issue really messed with my head when I was younger. One of the things I learned as I was trying to decide, based on things like Genesis 1&2, if the Bible was reliable (and if my faith was therefore placed in anything real), was that Hebrew is a compact and therefore highly poetic language. It is not suited to the kinds of scientific precision that we Westerners, the intellectual descendants of the Greeks, and particularly Westerners of Germanic extraction, who place an even greater emphasis on having things clearly stated, are likely to prefer. Not all of it is intended to be taken literally.

Mirroring statements in the New Testament, which was composed in Koine Greek and (as I understand it) vernacular Aramaic, can be taken a good deal more literally, because Greek prose in particular isn't really designed for allegory or parables. So, when Paul says in Greek that we live and breathe because God wills it, I believe that is literally true, both physically and spiritually. This is not to say that I equate God with the Strong Force, the Weak Force, or any other Force. In terms of Quantum Mechanics, I understand God as the observer who makes all those innumerable probability waves collapse into our observable universe. He is not, as you've said elsewhere, the God of the Gaps, but the God outside everything but visible through it all.

The core principles for me are that "All Truth is God's Truth"; that the Bible is divinely inspired and has been transmitted to us faithfully in spite of all of Man's faults and is therefore authoritative, even in translation. What it reveals to us is essentially (though not always literally) true and can, with the proper understanding based on context, be reconciled to the world as we discover it through the scientific process. It does not contain everything we would like to know, just everything we need to know to begin to know and trust God. Our understanding of the Bible is likely imperfect, because we in the Body of Christ are imperfect, but the Spirit lives within us to help us understand more completely. Likewise, our scientific knowledge is imperfect, but we can use the scientific process to continue refining (and sometimes dramatically rearranging) what we know about our universe. We're not supposed to give up on either process until we die.

Comment Embarrassing (Score 1) 10

Statements like this from folks like this are an embarrassment to all Christians. It's the exact opposite of what a Christian should do in response to massive suffering. It's like Jerry Falwell's statements about 9/11. I don't understand it, but some people think every bad thing is a judgement. Sometimes evil people do evil things. It's free will. Sometimes the Earth's plates shift and poorly constructed buildings fall down. Ours is not to reason why, but to go in and patch up the survivors. I hope that other Christians, particularly those who go in and help people, will be able to leave behind a better witness than he has left by shooting his mouth off like this, but for some hearers the damage is already done.

Comment Avatar Derangement Syndrome (Score 1) 5

There is some weird crap flying around the net about this movie:

First, the idea that Avatar is popular because it touches us spiritually in the midst of lives made empty by technology that does dispense timeless wisdom and by jobs that don't involve any adventure:
http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=58603
He's got a point. All you have to do to see it is ignore all the people who do strike out to embark upon lives of adventure (like cops, firefighters, soldiers, and missionaries) and then all the people who stay home but find wisdom, comfort, and guidance in their faith.

Then:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/11/avatar.movie.blues/index.html
And I kid you not, I thought for a moment I was reading the Onion, not CNN, when I read this story.

Finally, a rebuttal, of sorts, from a US Marine, of the depiction of the evil, rapacious Space Mari^H^H^H^HMercenaries
http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/bighollywood/2010/01/10/marine-official-slams-avatar-disservice-to-our-corps/

Books

Journal Journal: Goals and Milestones for 2010

I wrote out some goals for myself at the end of this last year. I've also come up with some new ones since then as well as a short list of anticipated milestones. I'm recording some of them here, in no particular order. Some of them are probably going to be prohibitively expensive and so are very unlikely to happen.

Finish all three of my major writing projects:

Portables

Journal Journal: Our new netbook 1

My folks got us an MSi Wind netbook. My wife loves it. It's tiny (and so is she) so she's excited about it on that level (as well as on many others). We haven't done much with it yet except check email and play Soltaire.

The only problem, visible for now while answering emails, is that the cursor sometimes relocates at random. It's like what sometimes happens in ytalk (at least to me). I haven't found a solution yet.

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