Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Don't mess with a Marine


A shotgun and pistol vs. a pocketknife

4 teens against one 36 year-old man

This is the result

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Not everyone heals as fast as you do, Logan." -Scott Summers

If you haven't seen X-Men 3 yet, I'd say it's worth the ticket and a few hours of your time. Just make sure you stay through the credits. I didn't, and missed the final scene of the movie. Stupid me.

Monday, May 29, 2006


It's not the worst when you see it coming the whole way. It's when, just as the pressure seems to be lifting you're caught with your guard down. I expected it eventually, but it seemed still to come, not quite so soon. I marked a day on my calendar at work when I expected it to happen by (July 11, if you care for useless trivia), but was wondering if I made my guess to restrictive. Instead, it looks like I was about a month and a half too generous with the timing.

I know enough to know that two worse days are coming. I expect those within a year. By the end of it all, I'm certain 2006 will have been by far and away not only the worst year of my life, but worse than any I had dared imagine.

All I can do now is throw up my hands and wonder what's next. Everything can always get worse, and I expect just that - the only question is in what dimension.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I remember when I was a snot-nosed kid fresh into college, feeling like a seasoned veteran of life. I remember speaking with a girl in her mid twenties about how much it stinks being single, and I was essentially told that I had no idea what I was talking about. I tried to justify it with my long years of experience, something she more than matched.

Looking back, I can say wholeheartedly that she was right. It takes on a new flavor as people who were just starting kindergarten when you entered middle school are getting married and you're still single.

But it makes me wonder how many things I have yet to learn. I have been called a pretty smart guy, by those who presumably don't know me as well as they think. But all I know is how very little I see. It is hard for me to keep that perspective in dealing with God.

All I see is hurt. I see no redemption from it. Every good I try to construct to say "here is the hand of God" is as a twig house in a malestrom. I want to believe but don't know what to believe in. I am an eyelash from becoming a firm practical atheist, and only the stigma of accepting the title of faithless and the fear of alienation not from the God it seems has left me alone, but from the bulk of my aquaintances (as I count my best friends as unbelievers). I cannot describe how I feel with words, and to try only brings a twinge in my heart and tears to my eyes.

My smallness, my aloneness in a large, cruel, and painful world hurts - to be a vapor with no mark, no rememberance, no trace of me in the world once I am gone. But also as the closest thing I have to comfort, it reminds me that I do not know everything and my prognostications for the future however bleak, are not all there is to it. It may yet be far worse than I can imagine, though without some flesh-rotting disease this is difficult to imagine. But it may yet be better, though i don't believe this with even a fiber of my being. I simply don't know.

This is not hope. Hope implies a salve for the soul that this does not bring me. But it is a sort of apathy that is better than the turmoil that is it's replacement and even then it is a weak substitute. But I'll take what I can get.

Civilization destroyed by disease

The Aztecs were wiped out by diseases, among them smallpox, brought unknowingly by the Spanish to which the natives had no natural immunity, right?

That's what I always heard.

Maybe everything I knew was wrong.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Said in passing

My roommate has begun journaling. He mentioned that he was waiting for me to leave, since he had to write something about me since I had mentioned I saw him writing in it.

I said: "Feel free, but know that all of my angst concerning women is copyrighted intellectual property of my blog."

It was funny. Really. We both laughed and everything.


I guess you just had to be there. But unless you're some sort of freaky stalker-person, you weren't. What were you thinking?


I really don't like being sick, except that I have a generous sick-leave policy at work (this is probably because I could hypothetically use sick leave to care for a sick spouse or child - but not having those, it just means more time for me). It's some sort of head cold. The only time I have been nauseous was when I blew my nose hard enough to screw up my left inner ear, and all sense of balance vanished. I sat and looked at the TV, which was off and as is typically true, was not moving except as a part of the surface of the earth hurtling through the void of the cosmos. But it, and everything else seemed to be spinning, counterclockwise.

And at just that moment, the oven timer went off. I had to get up, navigate to the kitchen, and remove my food from the oven with my own senses trying to convince me that I was walking on the walls, the ceiling, or anything but a sturdy floor. I managed, but felt like passing out from the extreme disorientation in the process.

I have read that one of the earliest signs of civilization is a healed femur. If this bone is broken, the wounded person cannot hunt, cannot gather, and can in no way provide for himself. In the animal kingdom, this will kill you, but if you find a broken femur that has been healed, it means that someone cared for the wounded person until he recovered.

I wonder how much of that we have lost today. With our knowledge of infectious disease, it is more uncommon for people, having heard you are ill to place themselves in your presence. Within families, it is (in my experience) typical - when I had the stomach flu, I could call my sister and ask her to bring some supplies because I couldn't make it to the store. My roommate was also around, but he had little choice as well and was already in for a penny, as it were.

It is seen as an affectionate gesture by people with a significant other, as well. The girl who brings food to her diseased boyfriend, the guy who brings over movies to stay with his girl until she feels better. That... would be nice.

But beyond that, I wish that we (and by this, I really mean "I") had that in a community. That it did not have to be relegated to the realm of philos or eros to care for others in such a way. To visit, stay with, and care for the sick is to put your own self at risk for the sake of another. It is, in a small way, self sacrificing.

Then again, I also really wish I did have a girl that cared enough to care for me when I'm down. Feeling isolated already and having to cancel my few social interactions in a week to recuperate stinks. John Donne, beliving he had the plague and thus in quarantine lay in bed, cut off from the world, wrestling with God, hearing the tolling of the church bell announcing another death from the plague, composed the famous "Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." I imagine I could have it worse. But I am trying to look to the hurts I have and in the vain belief that others go through the same feelings I do, put it out there to see how a church could address those needs.

Not that I believe a designated "sick-person-visitor" would make me feel better. I'd see them as doing it mostly as a chore, a role, or a job. I want the personal "I heard you were sick and wanted to help you through." Then again, I also wish I could put down "Number of persons: _2_" on the RSVP card for the wedding I'm attending in June. If wishes were fishes, I could fill all the seas. As it is, all I have is an empty glass bowl.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Stayin' Alive

I just want to say that listening to Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees makes me happy. I like to put it in my CD player, roll down my window, and crank up the volume. Even if I'm having a lousy day, for some reason, it makes me smile.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Disclaimer: I have deep reservations about anthing with a subtitle as provocative as that on this page. But it gives me pause to watch the tallies, especially those at the bottom of the page accrue.

Hum the Jeopardy theme song to yourself.

Two people just died of malaria.

Hum it again.

Now it's three people.

Five people a minute. One person every 12 seconds.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Falling Light

I just looked out my office window to see a quick burst of heavy rain (well, heavy enough that the raindrops were individually visible). But the clouds are light enough that the sun is shining clearly. It reflected off the rain, and made it look like light was falling from the sky. It was pretty.


The inspiration: here.

The Point to Notice: "'Drilling for natural gas means drilling for oil,' argued Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., citing industry pronouncements that where there is gas, often oil is found and probably would be developed. 'Drilling three miles off our coast will not lower gas prices today or anytime in the near future.'" (emphasis mine)

I heard this point made another way: since any operations wowuld not begin to produce for 7 years, movement on this now would not affect the price right now. This is utterly true. But this ban has been in place for 25 years. If someone had the foresight to remove the ban 8 years ago, we would see enough oil on the market to significantly reduce the jitters about having almost no spare production capacity on a global scale right now - which send oil flying up with even the slightest hint of geopolitical tension, something we have right now like a skunk has stink.

Bit where were oil prices 8 years ago? Dirt-cheap. I filled up for as little as 89 cents per gallon in Carson City, 94 cents per gallon in Reno. The American public evidently has an almost infinite capacity for short-sighted thinking, or such statements would be laughed out of the public arena.

Da Vinci

I'll probably end up seeing The Da Vinci Code today, because my roommate and our group will probably want to see it. I think it looks like a rather uninteresting movie (and I think Over the Hedge looks wonderful), but am willing to go along with them because that's the kind of wonderful chap I am... not to mention that anything that could bring up the topic of just who Jesus was is probably worth participating in.

And I wanted to say that I was happy to see C.S. Lewis quoted on a generally very secular libertarian commentary site, here.

I believe "opportunity" is the key word here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Pay Gap

Women earn 75 cents on the dollar compared to men, right? This pay gap is concrete proof of gender discrimination, right?

This article does not in and of itself disprove the above statements, but it doesn't reinforce them, either. What it shows is that statistics can be manipulated, and the real world is much more complicated than any headline could ever admit.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Bart: Where's all the lobsters, mangos, and chewy, chewy coco beans?
Lisa: All we found were these oozing berries, and they look pretty poisonous.
Ralph: I ated the purple berries! Ooooohhhh.... I don't feel good.... [collapses]
Bart: How do they taste, Ralph? Good?
Ralph: They taste like... burning. Ooooohhhh....


I love the Sipmsons.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hot Days

I am not a fan of hot days. When one of the girls in the leasing office at my apartments asked what I thought of the weather we've been having, I honestly told her that I'm happy at about 65-70 and the next few months are not my favorites. It was 65 at sunrise when I left for work this morning.

But there is one big plus to the warmth - thunderstorms. I can see a couple of good avil clouds building to the northwest, and there was a noticeable cell to the southeast when I returned from lunch. I love thunderstorms. The clouds are nifty, the rain is refreshing, and the lightning is awe-inspiring.

I hope it rains before I leave the office. It was unpleasantly warm at lunch, and I know from experience that the car will only get warmer.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Weird Dream

I dreamt I was in a large, encloed area shaped like a big U, in some ways like the side and back yards at my parent's house but on a much larger scale. There were many people all around. I was at one end, when I spotted a zombie - he was bald, white, and very slow moving. He bit a lady on her right forearm who was wearing something reminiscent of a 19th century nightgown, with wavy blond/brown hair that fell to the small of her back, and she turned into a zombie too. From that point on, I ran around the U warning people to get ready, that a zombie was coming and we should leave. If I could get everyone far enough away, then day would come (it was night, and lit by torches) and the zombies would turn to stone.

I spent the rest of my time trying to alternately herd people to one end of the U to be as far away as possible, and trying to break down scrap wood (like large wooden crates) into a weapon. Strangely, I roamed back and forth throughout the U and never saw the zombies again.

I knew the zombies were getting close, the air was starting to get light in the pre-dawn, and then I woke up. I wasn't scared, it was just intense.

Weird, isn't it?

Saturday, May 13, 2006


I just watched half of a documentary called "Scream! The History of Anesthetics." I knew in an abstract way that surgery before anesthesia sucked. I didn't know how bad it was. Evidently, where observed surgery is (I take it) a sterile procedure today, in the late 1800's in England, it was a form of entertainment. People would go to watch as the surgeon raced the clock to cut away the flesh, saw through the bone, and stich together the flaps of skin in an amputation. Not in a disinterested, intellectual endeavor, but to watch the blood fly, the screams of pain, the skill of the surgeon.

I don't know how they did it. Just hearing the screams in dramatic fashion on the show turned my stomach. Surgery was a very last resort. They discussed records of a woman with an ovarian cyst that weighed more than she did, and a man with a tumor... down there... that he had to carry about in a wheelbarrow. One man, in to have a bladder stone removed was so terrified that he broke free from those restraining him, ran to the bathroom and locked himself in. The surgeon, genteel man that he was came down the hall, broke the door down with his shoulder, dragged the man back to the table, and performed the procedure.

I thought first how good it is to live in the modern era. When the first surgery under anesthesia was done and the patient awoke after having a leg removed and asked when it would all begin, the world changed. "Man Conquers Pain!" If only it were true.

It may be because of reading Philip Yancey and Dr. Paul Brand that I link physical and emotional or spiritual pain. We can go through absolutely miserable times in our lives. I wept as I watched an innocuous movie today, simply because of memories that kept coming to mind. But we have to some degree in the modern world distanced pain from healing. Maybe when I hear the screams of utter agony on the operating table, I can sympathize a bit more.

Perhaps it is because I regard sin too lightly that the remedies must be so harsh. This is not mere theater, acted out for the amusement of the crowds, but life-or-death correction of very serious issues.

47 seconds. That's how fast the surgeon could remove a limb (leg or arm, I don't recall - just blood and pulp). If that were allowed to remain, it would surely kill the patient. But even the knowledge of the ultimate good of the pain or a trust in the abilities of the surgeon could not blunt the horror of those moments. To feel as the knife slices skin, muscle, tendon, nerves. To feel the vibration as the saw chews through your bone. To feel the needle and thread stitching up those wounds. I imagine those seconds felt as though a lifetime were passing. But it passed, and the man was saved.

"If your right eye causees you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away, for it is better to enter the kingdom of God half blind than for your whole body to be thrown into Hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away, for it is better to enter the kingdom of God maimed than for your whole body to be thrown into Hell."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Have I mentioned...

Have I mentioned recently that I love kids?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Static Earth? I don't think so.

It was once believes that God had created the whole world, as is, with no changes since the flood. We now know this to be false. Way false. Personally, I think that a dynamic Earth is just that much more impressive a place to live. It is a reminder to me that it is important not to dismiss or disbelieve things I don't understand fully. Simply saying "the world must have always been this way" might have been comforting, but the truth has a way of making it past whatever dams we create to containit.

The linked page has another link to a time-lapse movie over 5 days that lets you see a rock growing out of the ground. I'm a geek, so I found this quite cool, even if it is short.


I just passed 10,000 views of my pictures at Morguefile. That's pretty cool. It's an average of roughly 200 views per picture, though some are much higher, others are much lower. My highest for a sigle picture is 800. Is it a sunset? Lightning? Flowers? No. It's the Ice Stalagmites that formed on my apartment walkway the winter of 04/05.

Monday, May 08, 2006

What a way to start the day

When the first thing you to upon waking Monday morning is to roll over, scream into your pillow, and sob a few times... it does not start the week off well.

When you try praying, not sure for what, but for "help,"as you are so lonely and hurt that you don't know what to do with youself and your snooze alarm goes off to an ad for a Diamond/Jewelry store admonishing you to "[shop there], pop the big question and hear her say (cue breathless woman) 'Yes!'," it has a way of not making a tough start to the morning any better.

But for what it's worth, Sunday night wasn't really that bad. The Bible Study was good, to be discussed more in depth later. And I had a great time after that at Starbucks, and was sorry when it was over. So thanks, Rob, for inviting me. I don't think I've felt that good since around the middle of last December.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

...And Guest

I appreciate the thought, really. Putting "Mr. David Schmidt and Guest" on the invitation lets me be assured that I can bring my significant other to their wedding. It is a courtesy, for those who would otherwise wonder if they should invite the Guest. But for me, it's just another reminder of something I really do try not to think about.

There's a dessert social for the "Couples Connection" at my church a week from Saturday. They're trying to make it more inclusive, extending it beyond married folk to those who are dating, engaged, or have been married for a long time. Even "former couples, who aren't in a couple at the moment," according to Jose. When someone tries to broadly define a group to involve as many people as possible, yet you're still excluded from the definition, it heightens the awareness of not-belonging.

And to top it off the Bible Study I've been attending with an eye towards joining on a more permanent basis when it becomes a church (while maintaining the most wiggle room possible) has moved to a park. Two blocks from her house. Funny? Ironic? Observe how very hard I'm not laughing.

Some days, it seems as though God is deliberately jabbing the same pointed stick into my face over and over and over. It really, really isn't funny. I'm trying to deal with the fact that my life won't go in the direction I hoped it would six months ago. I'm trying to accept that, change the things I can, and move on. I'm trying to let the hurt, frustration, and sense of betrayal I feel from God sink into the background. This is hard- I've never been one to let go of things easily. Trying to do so while being constantly reminded of what I'm trying to very hard to forget (at least on a day-to-day basis) is much harder, and may very well be impossible. Maybe it builds character. If character is defined as the size of the hole I'd like to punch in my wall, then I suppose it does.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

When the Rain Comes

"When the Rain Comes" is a song I really like by third day. It's simple, soft, and spoke to me the sentiment I hoped to share with my wife someday. To that end, I thought it might be sweet if I were able to play it for her as a promise on our wedding day. But I'm not a naturally talented musician, especially when it comes to plucking out a song on the guitar instead of just strumming some simple chords.

I practiced the song regularly for years, to get the rhythm down, to try and be able to make it natualr enough that I could sing at the same time as I played. I suppose the habit was a way of expressing some belief that I would get married, even when it looked impossible. I don't know that I ever told anyone that I had wanted to do this, because while I needed to premeditate it to pull it off, I wanted it to be special.

This week I played it for a final time on my guitar, and then put the guitar away promising never to play the song again. (That is, of course, unless the world hurtles from its orbit and I have someone to play it for.) No longer believing in the forum I had expected to share it in, I put it here, just because. Lyrics are taken (with minor changes) from this site.

When the rain comes
it seems that everyone has gone away
When the night falls
you wonder if you shouldn't find someplace
To run and hide
Escape the pain
But hiding's such a lonely thing to do

I can't stop the rain
From falling down on you again
I can't stop the rain
But I will hold you 'til it goes away

When the rain comes
you blame it on the things that you have done
When the storm fades
you know that rain must fall on everyone
So rest awhile
It'll be alright
No one loves you like I do

I can't stop the rain
From falling down on you again
I can't stop the rain
But I will hold you 'til it goes away

When the rain comes
I will hold you

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I was going to go to the 18-30something "Home Group" put on by a friend's church this evening. But I didn't. I wanted to go to meet new people, to experience something different, and to not spend the night alone in silence again. I do that most every evening, and it gets old.

It's a friendly group, I imagine, from those I have met before. I have friends that would be happy to see me there. So why did I stay away?

The worship. As is common to many groups, they'll have a person or people whip out the acoustic musical instruments and sing worship songs. I would probably know all the songs, too. But I doubt I could sing them honestly. I could sing the words, but I'd have to close my heart to do so. When I open my heart to God, only one things comes out - or perhaps many things, depending on how you look at it. A uniform blend of lonliness, disappointment, rejection, confusion, lonliness, frustration, and lonliness. I prayed, long, hard, and earnestly about what to do about it, acted on what I thought best even though the sheer terror of it nearly overwhelmed me, and far from making everything better, it seems to have screwed up at least three dimensions of me feeling connected to other people. No. Make that four.

When I open up to God, this amalgamation of feelings leaves me close to tears. In worship, in prayer, in anything. I think about God, I'm incapacitated.

I'd like to rebuild a social life, and not be left alone with my thoughts. But if the barrier to entry is a Bible Study in the greet-sing-study mold, I don't know if I can do it. There were times in the past that I could put on a happy face, and I'd like to say that I am taking the high road and renouncing pretending. The truth is I just can't. I don't have the reservoir of not-angst to pull from to sustain such an effort.

And please, please, don't anybody ask me to pray aloud. If I were to do so, I fear I might say what I feel not all the time, but fairly often (edited for innocent eyes):

Dear God,
F*** You

I don't feel like I belong in church, in that I don't feel like I belong in a land full of those who are satisfied, happy, and singing of the wonderful goodness of God. If church can be a place for those who can't pray the proper prayers, don't really know if they can ever trust God again, and are strongly tempted to go out the doors and never return, that's probably the place for me.

Dogs can be trained to detect cancer

Don't believe it? Neither did I, until I read this. The results for breast cancer were even more accurate than mammograms. Crazy.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

One of those days

Bad days come and go. Today feels like one of the former. Wrong side of the bed or something, I guess. I have had a spate of discouraging dreams lately. That probably contributes to it as well. So... tell me a joke or something. I could use the laughs.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Pictures, and Narrative

I started a new blog. There's a link on the left, or you can just click here. I am aiming for a more... tangible response. I'm also trying to strike a balance between learning from disappointments I have faced, dealing with them at face value, as they have affected my life, but not simply wallowing in them.

I aim for each post there to be a single thought, story, or other chain of events that are connected in my mind. Also (for the time being), all pictures there are my own. Be impressed. Tell me how impressed you are. It'll make my day.

Even better, go to, download some of my pictures, print them, and frame them in your house. That will really make my day.