Things I Hate.... (part 2)

Verizon Wireless' ordering system. Apparently no one at Verizon has ever had the thought that they should allow customers to order a phone that is currently out of stock. Could this be because they've never had a phone popular enough to be out of stock?

I just wanted to order a new Voyager and make a change to my plan. Seemed simple enough. But after an hour an half, two managers and one employee, they finally gave up (I had already given up long before this). I ordered the phone today. After the phone arrives at my house, I will have to go back to make changes to my plan.



Things I Hate....

Christmas lights. Actually I don't hate Christmas lights. I kind of like the soft glow that all the icicle lights give around the house. I don't even mind putting up and taking down the lights. I know where the lights go on our house and pretty much have the system down. It's usually pretty simple.

Usually being the operative word. Our lights were getting pretty old last year. Bulbs were burning out at an alarming rate and being out in the elements for several years was taking a toll. So I thought I would just buy some new strings of lights. Simple enough. The problem is, simple usually isn't.

First of all, new icicle lights are a pain in the neck. They are packed with all the icicles bunched up. So you can't just put the lights up, you must staighten out all the wires of each icicle. Even after you straighten the wires, they want to go back to their previous form. Here's an idea for the makers of icicle lights. Package the lights with the icicles pulled nice and straight. Sure the package will be bigger. But I'd pay more for lights packaged that way. I'm sure others would too.

Secondly, after straightening all the little individual icicles, we started hanging the lights and discovered that the new strings of lights were shorter than the old strings. The new strings are 22 feet long, according to the box. The old strings must have been about 25 feet long. Now my carefully planned lighting arrangement no longer works. Ugh.

A few more extension cords and some rearranging and it all worked out. But what should have been a relatively easy task of hanging the lights, turned into a pain in the neck.

Why is it the simple things in life always seem to so hard? Is it because of our expectations? When we expect something to be difficult, do we come at it with a different mental attitude than when we expect it to be simple? Is that why we often don't believe the simple things in life? We say, "That can't be right, it's too easy." We usually expect it to be difficult. I wonder if that's part of the reason why people don't believe in Jesus - it's just too simple. Certainly the creation of the world must have been more difficult than God simply speaking. Certainly salvation must be harder than just believing in Jesus. I wonder how I can tell my friends that it really is that easy...


Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. It’s probably my favorite holiday. It’s certainly the least commercialized holiday. You don’t have to buy presents for somebody, chocolates, cards, or just about anything else. It’s just a great day to hang out with your family and friends, maybe watch a little football, and enjoy each other’s company. I suppose that it may be a great day for turkey farmers and retailers, but overall it’s really not a very commercialized holiday. I like that about Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a time for us to do nothing other than be thankful. But on holidays like this, I always wonder what might my atheists and agnostic friends are thankful for. Or more correctly, who they are thankful to? It seems like in the never ending battle to move God out of the public’s view, that nothing is sacred; we will remove God from everything. We even are trying to remove God from Christmas! And if we’re gonna remove God from everything, then we have to remove Him from thanksgiving to. And if we do that, then who are we thankful to? Are we just thankful to fate, the odds, or some other nebulous entity?

In all fairness, my atheist and agnostic friends have no problem with this. They believe they feel perfectly thankful and they are grateful for the things they have. They have no issue with today. But for me, it just seems odd. How can you be thankful to no one? I know that I am thankful to God for all blessings over the past year. I can’t begin to list them all.

I am also thankful that long ago, an Indian named Squanto chose to befriend some Europeans who weren’t going to make it through the winter. Squanto could help them, because previously he had been captured and had been a slave. He knew English and he knew how to help. And even though he had plenty of good reason not to help those Europeans, he did it anyway. That amazes me every time I think about it. I’m thankful he did it.

I wonder if I could do the same. Could I offer help to someone at great personal sacrifice to myself? Can I do the right thing, regardless of what has happened to me in my past?

That is worth pondering about…


The Only Way to Play Soccer

I'm not much of a soccer player. But if you're going to play, this looks a lot more fun!


Gibson Robot Guitar

So you like to play guitar, but you hate to tune it. Or you'd love to play some alternative tunings, but it's just too much effort to tune and retune your axe. Well Gibson has a guitar just for you.

Watch the video here

Kind of cool, but there's no price listed anywhere that I can find. I guess I'll be tuning my guitar the old fashioned way.


Fun with Words

Play this word game and supposedly you donate rice to the United Nations. I don't know if that is true, but it was fun to trying a figure out these words.


Man, I need to improve my vocabulary. Some of these words are difficult.

What's the highest Vocab Level you got?


"The Last Supper" Up Close and Personal

An online tool lets you focus in on da Vinci’s painting The Last Supper to an unbelievable level of detail. Use the zoom bar in the bottom center to zoom in and out of the painting. It only took 1677 pictures to get this amount of detail. Wow!

There’s some good info about the painting at Wikipedia if you want to learn more about the painting and the ongoing challenge of preserving it.

[HT Think Christian]


Leaning tower of Pisa loses title

According to Ananova, a German church steeple has knocked the leaning tower of Pisa from the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most lopsided building.

The tower in the village of Suurhusen applied in June for the title and has now officially beaten the famous landmark in Pisa. Guinness Book of Records confirmed the award after officials measured it leaning at a 5.19 degree angle compared to only 3.97 degree angle at which the tower of Pisa leans.

The church was built in middle of the 13th century but a 90ft tower was added in 1450. The tower was built on wooden foundations and the combination of the oak wood foundations and wet soil has caused the tower to slowly lean to one side over the years. Several attempts to stop the tower from leaning any further have been made since 1982, and it was eventually stabilized in 1996.

The church is still in use and also offers guided tours but church officials are appealing for donations to help maintain the building.

I guess if your building is falling down, you might as well make the most of it. But who really wants this record? I'm guessing the tower of Pisa will still be wildly more popular with the tourists. Maybe this church will see a slight rise in visitors, I don't know. But what will that really do? Will they make enough money to fix or replace the tower? It seems doubtful. Are they just using the money raised from tourists maintain the building, since they don't seem to have enough money from the congregation to do so? It just seems there's no real plan here.

I wonder how many things I start out with in my own life with no real plan. No real plan of what happens next. Something seems like a good idea so I set out on a course of action, without fully contemplating what the end-game is. Generally not a good idea... I think sometimes I need to more carefully ponder the entire plan, before I get started.


Wow, that was horrible!

I watched CSI Miami for the first time tonight. All I can say is ouch! That show is horrible! I'm not an expert reviewer or anything close to that, but what stiff acting. Horrible...