Archive for September, 2003

I’m going to have to start calling Kyrie “Queen of Addictions”, because she has given a new one to me. I am now addicted to Sluggy Freelance. Sluggy is one of the greatest webcomics EVER! Since its start in August of ’97, creator Pete Abrams has been putting together daily a strip that amazingly combines both hilarious gag-a-day humor and complex serial story-lines. The overall story is amazingly tight, with each series of strips building off the previous ones with amazing coherence. Details from older strips are seamlessly integrated into newer strips as if it was planned for them to go together. Because of this deep integration of the back-story, however, it’s hard to just jump into the current plot-line. In fact, I would recommend starting at the beginning and working your way through the archives. Despite being several years old, the humor of even the earliest strips is still remarkably fresh. Enjoy!

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Jed and I are officially locked into a weight-loss challenge. The Goal: Lose at least 15 pounds by his wedding at the end of May. The Reason: Because everyone wants to look good for a wedding. The Stakes: a bottle of booze, and possibly the entire set of Pixar movies.

The one of us who loses the most weight by the night before the wedding will receive a bottle of alcohol from the other. In addition, should either of us fail to lose at least 15 pounds, he who fails must give the other a complete set of Pixar movies on DVD (substitutions acceptable for titles already owned).

Jed’s official, initial weight: 228
My official, initial weight: 215

You are the witnesses. Game on!

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Along the edge of my ceiling, I have a string of Christmas lights hung up year-round—a remnant from my college years. However, these aren’t just any Christmas lights. These flash, pulse, chase, and blink in 16 different, pre-programed lighting patterns. What do I call these lights?

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When dealing with large corporations, logical assumptions do not often apply—either because of incompetence, or tyrannical greed. Case in point…

A couple months ago, my church bought a font (or rather a license to use a font) from Adobe to use in all of our publications in order give everything a simple, uniform, attractive appearance. Part of my internship involves generating new teaching materials, so I need to use that font. Since Adobe fonts come with a 5-user license, and the font was only being used on two computers at the church, I figured that I would become user number three under the license, and that I’d just have to instal the Mac version of the font. Unfortunately, the church didn’t have the Mac version on hand. Nevertheless, since we have a multi-user license, I assumed that I would just have to contact Adobe to find out how to acquire the appropriate files under our existing license. Oh, what a wrong assumption that was! The licenses that Adobe sells apply on a platform-dependent basis, rather than on a cross-platform basis. That is, the license that the Church owns applies only to the Windows version of the font. Thus, in order to get the font installed on my one computer, the church would have to buy another 5-user license—a 5-user license for the Mac version. I don’t know about you, but I find that to be absolutely ridiculous.

I didn’t want to bother the customer service rep that I was talking to with the issue, so I got the customer service supervisor, Nicole, on the phone. However, she just got snooty and told me, “that’s the way it’s always been”, as if tradition somehow justifies a stupid business practice that discriminates against small businesses running cross-platform computing environments. I asked Nicole to talk to her supervisor, but she informed me that I’d have to schedule a call back. I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere even if I worked my way up to President and CEO Bruce Chizen himself, so I gave up. Far be it from a giant corporation with lots of lawyers to offer flexible licensing options to its small customers. In the parlance of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, “Arrr! Those scurvy bilge rats oughtt’walk t’plank!”

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[Background: My evil plan to get a life]

Thus it begins. Last year’s plan to provide myself with prime dating opportunities by purchasing series tickets to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra was mildly successful, so I had decided to give it another shot this year. Over the summer, I finally settled on the Friday B series, and bought the tickets. The first concert was last night. (Or should that be two nights ago, since it is now the wee hours of Sunday?) Anyway, this year started out quite similarly to last year in that I didn’t have a date, despite my acquisition of a spiffy new suit (for preaching and leading worship too). Of course, I guess I didn’t try all that hard. After all, I’m not one to just randomly ask girls out, and to make matters worse, it seems that all my channels for getting acquainted with eligible, young, symphony-appreciating bachelorettes have pretty much run dry. Perhaps it’s a good thing that I only have two of the six concerts in the fall, and the rest in the spring. Perhaps by springtime—when it can be sung…

The joyous face of Spring is revealed to the world.
Winter’s army is vanquished and routed;
In dapple and colored dress is Flora arrayed,
And the woods sweetly resound
With birdsongs in her praise.

Reclining in Flora’s lap, Phoebus once more
Laughs merrily, covered with many-hued flowers.
Zephyr inhales the perfumed fragrance;
So questing for the prize, let us compete in love.

Trilling her song, sweet Philomel is heard
And with flowers smiling, the peaceful meadows lie,
A flock of birds rises from the woods,
A chorus of maidens brings a thousand joys.

(“Veris leta facies” from Carmina Burana)

Perhaps then the dry spell will be over, and I will have better luck. Then I could sing…

Come, come, pray come, do not let me die,
Your face is so lovely, your shimmering eyes,
Your braided hair, how beautiful you are!

Redder than the rose, whiter than the lily,
Fairer than all others, I shall always glory in you!

(“Veni, veni, venias” from Carmina Burana)

And in addition, it might so happen that all of you could then sing…

If a boy and girl linger together,
Happy is their union.
Swelling love leaves and keeps afar tedious good sense,
And ineffable pleasure fills limbs, arms and lips.

(“Si puer cum puellula” from Carmina Burana)

Of course, all this would have been so much easier if I had a date for Friday, since all these songs, and indeed many more were sung at the orchestra concert, which featured a magnificent performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Powell Symphony Hall was packed for this opening night performance conducted by David Amado, and no one should have went home disappointed. The Orchestra, Symphony Chorus Choir, and Children’s Choir (all packed onto the stage themselves) gave an energetic and powerful performance that ranks among the best I’ve ever heard, and that well earned them the standing ovation that they received.

After the concert, Greg (the friend that I took to the concert) and I went to The Pub Above at Dressel’s where we had Martinis (a delicious mocha martini for me), and then we wandered around the Central West End—home to St. Louis’ young urban professionals—until the alcohol had fully worn off.

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