May 29, 2004

Anybody else find it ironic that the mayor of the largest city in what's probably the most Calvinist region in the world is not only a minister in the liberal UCC (that's the United Church to you hosers) but also a professor at a Catholic college (Aquinas, on the southeast side)?
(taken from the Wikipedia article on Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Posted by Tim at 02:04 AM | Comments (4)

May 28, 2004

I think we have a zombie poinsettia. Cuz it's almost June, and the thing is still alive. And we got it for my Grandma's birthday in November.

It's not our superb plant-keeping habits that are keeping it alive either, cuz my family has a tendency to let indoor plants die within hours. We're okay with the outdoor gardening thing but not so much with the remembering to water indoor plants.

So if I am gone for extended periods of time, assume that either the ivy outside my window got me (it's a menace to society I tell you!) or that this zombie poinsettia somehow ate my brains. Or that I'm being lazy, but I wouldn't do that to you would I? eh?

Mmm, brains.

Posted by Tim at 12:02 PM | Comments (6)

May 26, 2004

I have discovered the source of all my problems:

Thinkers Anonymous

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then -- to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone -- "to relax," I told myself -- but I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

That gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed,"I've been thinking..." "I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

"I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors... They didn't open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

As I sank to the ground, clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting.

At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.

Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

Posted by Tim at 08:50 PM | Comments (5)

Close associates of mine may have heard me rant on the subject of randomly placed quotation marks. These bother me more than most improper uses of English; I think this is because I can't figure out how they are used. A semicolon where a comma should go (or vice versa) I can understand; but what makes someone put a word or phrase in quotes which is neither being quoted or used sarcastically? Random quotes are to me as the Sun is to Gollum. They burns us, we tell you. Burnsssss usss.

Fortunately the Gallery of ''Misused'' Quotation Marks is able to make me laugh out loud at the reader-submitted examples of "misused" "quotation marks", complete with snarky comments. Joy joy.

Posted by Tim at 06:55 PM | Comments (2)

May 24, 2004

I have many friends who are conservative, I have many friends who are gamers and I have many friends who read this blog. I know some of the gamers are conservative and some of the gamers read this blog. I know some of the conservatives read this blog, too. What I don't know is whether there is any conservative gamer who reads this blog. But if there is any, he will certainly appreciate this.

Posted by Tim at 06:41 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2004

You can't not read anews article with a quote like this: "All of Canada's going up," said Seth Stein, a Northwestern professor of geological sciences who helped organize the study. "The U.S. is going down."

(The story refers to the melting of Canadian glaciers and subsequent shifting of North America's mass.)

Posted by Tim at 03:58 PM | Comments (1)

Yeah so apparently the fact that I have long hair is a sign of my complicity in communist revolutionary activities. Good to know: "Alongside the aforementioned signs is the definite sign of long hair worn by boys and men. Such a sign should not be worn by patriotic and loyal Americans who love our heritage, who embrace Christian principles, and who oppose the Communist revolution..."

Posted by Tim at 03:52 PM | Comments (7)

May 20, 2004

OK, this is the most random short story ever, and I quite enjoyed it...

Posted by Tim at 01:11 AM | Comments (3)

May 18, 2004

Public Service Announcement: it has recently come to our attention that blogger and personal friend Steve Dykstra was not included on our blogroll. This state of affairs has been rectified and the subordinate(s) responsible have been severely punished.

We now return you to your regular websurfing.

Posted by Tim at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2004

I'm a fair weather friend
I'm a colorless view but I'm willin' to make a deal
If you think you can make some faith here inside
I'll drive off and marry you

I'm only alive with you
I can't get by and I won't get through
So put me in the river and let me say I do
I'm only alive with you

You're a sight for sore eyes and a newborn cry
In a year where there are so few
If you throw me a line, I'll show you in time
I'm falling in love with you

Though my heart has been torn by loves I have worn
And I'm tempted by them ever still
I tremble inside when you walk in the room
You hold my affections and will

--Jars of Clay

Posted by Tim at 02:24 AM | Comments (1)

May 13, 2004

Oh, the irony. Bin Ladens on building shortlist:

A company run by Osama bin Laden's family has been shortlisted to construct the world's tallest building, according to officials in Dubai.

The Saudi Binladin Group - one of the largest businesses in the Middle East - is the only Arab company bidding for the contract, the latest in a series of extraordinary projects in the tiny Gulf emirate.

At 2,313ft (705 metres), the Burj Dubai tower will be al most twice the height of the World Trade Centre destroyed by supporters of the family's renegade offspring in 2001.

It will also outstrip the world's current tallest building, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by more than 800ft (250 metres).

Posted by Tim at 04:18 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2004

A personality test. Fun fun.

ENFP - "Journalist". Uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama. 8.1% of total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test
personality tests by

Extroverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving. Five years ago, I would have been exactly the opposite: introverted. sensing, thinking, judging. Hm.

Posted by Tim at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

An interesting interview of writer Madeline L'Engle, at

Many people see faith as anti-intellectual.
Then they’re not very bright. It takes a lot of intellect to have faith, which is why so many people only have religiosity.
What are you against?
Narrow-mindedness. I’m against people taking the Bible absolutely literally, rather than letting some of it be real fantasy, like Jonah. You know, the whole story of David is a novel … Faith is best expressed in story.

If the Bible is not literally true, does that mean we don’t need to take it seriously?
Oh no, you do, because it’s truth, not fact, and you have to take truth seriously even when it expands beyond the facts.


Posted by Tim at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2004

Happy Mother's Day.

Faith of our mothers, living still
In cradle song and bedtime prayer;
In nursery lore and fireside love,
Thy presence still pervades the air:
Faith of our mothers, living faith!
We will be true to thee to death.

Faith of our mothers, loving faith,
Fount of our childhood's trust and grace,
Oh, may thy consercration prove
Source of a finer, nobler race:
Faith of our mothers, living faith,
We will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our mothers, guiding faith,
For youthful longing, youthful doubt,
How blurred our vision, blind our way,
Thy providential care without:
Faith of our mothers, guiding faith,
We will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our mothers, Christian faith,
Is truth beyond our stumbling creeds,
Still serve the home and save the Church,
And breathe thy spirit through our deeds:
Faith of our mothers, Christian faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Posted by Tim at 12:26 AM | Comments (2)

May 09, 2004

From World Net Daily via Professor Koyzis, some Southern Baptists are calling
for the denomination to take a stand against government schools; their proposed resolution reads in part:

"Government schools are by their own confession humanistic and secular in their instruction, [and] the education offered by the government schools is officially Godless," the measure states.

Noting that "the millions of children in government schools spend seven hours a day, 180 days a year being taught that God is irrelevant to every area of life," the resolution says, "Many Christian children in government schools are converted to an anti-Christian worldview rather than evangelizing their schoolmates."

I agree. Well actually I think I would support complete withdrawal of the State from education. But then, I'm a recovering libertarian. (I take it one day at a time, and remember the mantra "the State is, occasionally, your friend.)

I suspect that, from conversations I've had with him, a certain person who reads my blog, but has not ever (I think) commented, will disagree with my position on Christian children in government schools. Maybe he will comment now....

Posted by Tim at 12:22 AM | Comments (8)

May 08, 2004

Hey, two days in a row. I can do this.

So, today I ran around town handing in my application and giving out references to people for that camp job. That was fun, I enjoy driving. I also got to visit my old high school, since I was getting my principal to be one of my references.

I saw Kill Bill vol. I with some friends this evening. It was pretty good, though I think it's one of those movies that I want to watch again to catch little details on.

And oh, yes, I learnt that the public library is closed on Fridays, all branches (except downtown, which is only open till 5:30, which didn't help). Grr.

I don't have much to say today, and I'm kinda tired. So I'll leave it at that.

Posted by Tim at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2004

So... I haven't done much of anything since I got back from Redeemer, but to make up for it I've done a good deal of nothing. (Yeah, groan at that if you want.) I think I'm still catching up on sleep, because I can sleep for 9 hours and then take a long nap a couple hours after I get up. Maybe I'm just talented.

Job: he, he, he. Oh, employment, I want you almost as much as I will no doubt hate you once I have you. Actually I'm applying to work at a camp for physically disabled kids, and I think I can get in because I not only have lots of experience with kids and disabled kids but also found out today that my neighbo(u)r across the street knows the camp director 'cuz she used to be the camp nurse there. So she gets to be one of my references, and hopefully this works out. Otherwise I'll probably be stuck flipping burgers or something. Not that I wouldn't enjoy watching pudgy little children chugging down their super-extra-biggie-McBurger down and the constant odo(u)r of deep-fried food. There would be good stories to tell y'all anyway, and I wouldn't be working 24 hours a day. Que será, será and all that.

It's good to be home. Different; but I think the main difference is in how much I have to get done. My family lives like college people anyway. (My mom and I boiled up some hot dogs just now, and it's 1:30. So... yeah.) I missed my city a lot though. Grand Rapids has actual character, though I guess that's not the biggest compliment ever, considering that I'm comparing it to Hamilton, and a suburb of it at that. Speaking of suburbia, remind me to tell you about the time I visited Brampton, a... monotone little suburb of Toronto (also, where Tal, Alaina and Anthony live...) and had nightmares about it the next night... well, that's pretty much the whole story, actually....

So anyway, speaking of stories and also Grand Rapids, what better place to get stories or books in general in Grand Rapids than the library, and this sentence is the worst segue ever, I'm sorry you're having to go through it. So anyway, I go to the library a lot ('cuz, well, I'm a geek) and before I went to Redeemer, I was there enough (every couple days or so) that the parking lot attendant recognized me as a regular. Yeah, so he remembered me after eight months away. Kinda cool, eh? Especially because I look nothing like, say, the passport picture of me that was taken nine months ago. Short reddish hair then, long black hair now. No facial piercing then, facial piercing now. Contacts then, glasses (sometimes) now. (Oh yeah, did I tell you I got glasses? Well, I did.)

Actually now that I think about it, he probably just recognized me ‘cuz I’m brown. Because really, in my 18-or-so years in GR (or, as certain of my Ontarian friends call it, “the” GR), I’ve seen four brown guys, and one of them was me in the mirror, and another one was my brother. And the other two are adopted too. Oh wait, there was the imam guy (yeah, I’m Racially Sensitive) at the mosque we visited in (Grade) 10(th Grade) religion class – hmm, the whole “Canadian AND American” writing style I use doesn’t work too well there eh? – anyway, he was brown too. So that’s probably why the guy recognized me. Maybe, though, my sparkling wit and… yeah I’ll stop this joke here because you know where it’s going and really it hasn’t been too funny for, oh, the last couple centuries.

So on that not-quite-self-deprecating note, I’ll bid you adios (it would be adieu, but Simon laughs his head off every time I try to speak French, so I don’t do it anymore). Hopefully I start writing more often. I really do enjoy blogging, you know.

Posted by Tim at 02:10 AM | Comments (7)

May 06, 2004

Bad theology meets Internet. Ouch.

Posted by Tim at 12:30 AM | Comments (4)