stories from mosul

You may or may not have heard of Michael Yon, who's a reporter embedded with the "Deuce Four," a military unit in Iraq. He's blogging from there, posting every now and then with pictures and stories of what's going on. What he's writing gives a particularly human element to the war. Yesterday he posted a great (long) story about some fighting that went down with some terrorists and the guys he's with. It's a pretty compelling read. Also, from my perspective, a welcome change from the usual stuff you hear about the war. Check out this post and you can learn why this guy (that's CSM Prosser, not the reporter) is all bloody, and who the man on the ground next to him is. The stresses and whatnot that these soldiers go through are pretty incredible.


an online test said i am cool

Modern, Cool Nerd
69 % Nerd, 56% Geek, 17% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used
to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a
pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world
that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and
geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very
least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent,
knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing
computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one
you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one
up there, winning the million bucks)!


My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 79% on nerdiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 81% on geekosity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 13% on dork points
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid


google talk

Google just released Google Talk, a chat client/voice chat etc. As of now it is nothing revolutionary, but I am hoping it will take off and have some more, nifty features, soon. If you're interested in getting it and don't have a gmail account, go ahead and ask me for an invite, I have plenty.



they're taking the hobbits to isengard

If you at all enjoy Lord of the Rings, you should click on the following link:

They're taking the hobbits to Isengard!

If you don't laugh...well...then you're less of a geek than I am.


San Fran in the distance

San Fran in the distance
Originally uploaded by actionjax.

This past Friday, I attended the new student orientation at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, which I will be attending from now until I get my Masters of Divinity (MDiv), which is a degree that prepares you for pastoral ministry. It's going to be a big deal and take up a lot of time and energy in my life, but I'm excited about it.

The campus is in Mill Valley, which is in the north bay across the San Rafael Bridge, off 101. There's a stellar view of San Francisco from the campus, and you can see the Bay Bridge to the left of the city quite nicely; Friday was a clear day and I made sure to snap a few pictures before leaving. It's really a beautiful sight. I'm looking forward to this Fall semester, when I will get to see that view at nighttime. I love the way big cities look at night. If you click on the above picture you can see some more pictures I took at the seminary, and also some pictures I took from a camping trip this weekend. I visited some cool rocky NorCal beaches, and a place called Death Rock. Check them out.


intelligent falling

I found this article from the Onion to be quite amusing. Parodies the Intelligent Design crowd. Wherever you stand on that issue, you should find this funny:

"Closed-minded gravitists cannot find a way to make Einstein's general relativity match up with the subatomic quantum world," said Dr. Ellen Carson, a leading Intelligent Falling expert known for her work with the Kansan Youth Ministry. "They've been trying to do it for the better part of a century now, and despite all their empirical observation and carefully compiled data, they still don't know how."

"Traditional scientists admit that they cannot explain how gravitation is supposed to work," Carson said. "What the gravity-agenda scientists need to realize is that 'gravity waves' and 'gravitons' are just secular words for 'God can do whatever He wants.'"

Some evangelical physicists propose that Intelligent Falling provides an elegant solution to the central problem of modern physics.

"Anti-falling physicists have been theorizing for decades about the 'electromagnetic force,' the 'weak nuclear force,' the 'strong nuclear force,' and so-called 'force of gravity,'" Burdett said. "And they tilt their findings toward trying to unite them into one force. But readers of the Bible have already known for millennia what this one, unified force is: His name is Jesus."



man beaten with own leg

Call me a jerk, say I have a terrible sense of humor...but I personally found this article to be pretty funny.



my rental car

While my Saturn is in the shop, I'm driving a 2005 Chevy Malibu LS. It's sweet, man. When you press on the gas, it just keeps accelerating. It's all comfortable and stuff too. The ride is smooth, the steering equally so, and it has a nifty display that says how many miles you can go before you run out of gas. These are all standard for current cars I know, but I find them awesome. I am quite blessed, of course, in the car department, since I don't have a car payment, and we have two reliable cars, one of which I didn't even have to pay for. I'm just saying, I'm looking forward to some time in the future when I can get a newer car...they really do ride better. Of course, I'd rather have $350+ a month that I'd be spending on a car payment in my pocket, or in the bank, or paying for something more important. But I understand the appeal of a nice, newish car. I don't think I'll ever buy a car brand new, but a year or two old, definitely.


what a week

It's hard to believe that it's only been a week since last Sunday. This past week had a whole lot packed into it. It was a good week - I feel like I really lived the heck out of it. It makes me think about weeks that just seem to sort of slide by without me noticing it. There are some days of my life that I do not live. That is not a good thing. I want to live every day, I want to look back at the end of every day, every week, and know that I lived through it, I didn't just exist through it. I find that this usually means I spend more time with other people, talking to them, trying to build them up, hanging out with them, etc. It's exhausting, but it sure does feel right at the end of the day.

Everything is working out fine with the car stuff. The lady didn't contest my story, and she admitted the accident was her fault. As a result, her insurance company is paying for everything I need, so good show there.


car accident

Got in a car accident tonight, on the way home from seeing Four Brothers. I was traveling down Fremont Boulevard in the Centerville district. Apparently something was going on at the Afghan Theater and there were a bunch of people leaving it. Some lady in a Mercedes had pulled into the right lane from the curb, and I was in the left lane, traveling along, merrily chatting with my beautiful wife. All of a sudden, the lady in her Mercedes decides to make a u-turn, and she freakin u-turns right in front of us. I hit the brakes and the horn, and end up hitting her car right near the trunk on the driver's side.

We pulled over to the side of the road (facing the other direction, she got her u-turn), and there were a bunch of pedestrians around. The accident happened right in front of a Fire Station and apparently one of the firemen called the police; he told me a cruiser would be there shortly to take the report.

When we pulled to the side of the road, we saw a man get out of the car holding a small child. He disappeared rather quickly after Janelle said "I hope he was in a carseat." He wasn't in a carseat. The people in the car asked if we were alright, we said "I think so." They said they were alright as well. The lady then said "are you going to report this to your insurance? Because I want to pay for it out of my pocket, I don't want my premiums to go up." I told her I wasn't sure, but I wanted to take her info down.

About that time a cop showed up and we told him what happened. The lady's version is a little different than mine, apparently. She didn't mention that she was doing an illegal u-turn to the policeman. Go figure. But for some lame reason the police can't write that sort of thing down, so hopefully she won't contest it when I report it to her insurance company. The policeman marked it down as a "rear end collision" on the report, which I think is bad for me. That is stupid, because it was clearly the lady's fault. I hope she stays honest and doesn't challenge my story of the events.

Just thinking about her contesting it makes me annoyed. She seemed nice enough, so hopefully that won't be an issue. There was very little damage to her car, maybe a bit of a scratch. Mercedes' are tough, man. Amazing what cars made out of metal can take. Our Saturn lost the front license plate, and the bumper is coming off. Hopefully that is the extent of the damage. And hopefully we're dealing with an honest girl here.

Anyway, just thought I'd share before I go to bed.


ecclesiastes 10:3

I was reading this morning, and found this verse quite funny. Just thought I'd share:

"Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool." - Ecclesiastes 10:3 (NASB)


City of Jurassic Park

City of Jurassic Park
Originally uploaded by actionjax.

Some more hawaii pics are up. I think that's the last of them that I'll be posting. Hope you enjoy em.


working out

With my sprained ankle pretty much healed, I no longer have any excuses to not be working out hard with Ricky. This morning was the first run through, with a lot of upper body work. We also did some strange ritualistic ab torture, which I'm sure will somehow benefit me in the end. Either way it's good to be on the train and working out with somebody who knows a little something about it.

Also, I just noticed - my friend Jenn G's book is available on Amazon.com - I didn't know that. Check it out! It's a poetry book, and she's a talented poet. So yeah, nifty.