Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The End of All Things

The new year begins very soon here in Louisville. It's already 2009 for billions o' people, but billions more still live in '08. This year has been pretty good, and I'm glad to have lived through it. Perhaps 2009'll be e'en better. Can't wait to see what all's in store. Short sentences are easy to read. Long sentences, like this one, are sometimes complex and complicated, as often a penguin finds itself between dimensions, and hence more difficult to read and understand the point of.

Changes are coming. They'll be unveiled real soon like. Next year, anyway.

Bye bye blackbirds.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Time's A Here

Well, folks, it's here. The most wonderful time of the year. Family gatherings and loads of food, in addition to gifts and presents. There are some people that think Christmas is only for giving/receiving, and there are others who only celebrate it for the birth of our Lord and Savior. A comfortable medium exits.

Simply, remember that some day around 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born, meek and lowly. His humble birth and brutal death and majestic resurrection are the only reasons I have hope for the future. I love Him more than anything else can offer.

Furthermore, I love the Christmas season because it offers a perfect way to practice giving. Some people take gifts awkardly if it's not for a special occasion, and Christmas offers the most special of occasions. So, Keisha and I make a point to get gifts for everyone and to donate generously to our favorite charity (World Vision).

About giving. Money is not the only method of this action. Make food for someone. Go through your old clothes, toys, etc. and take them to the Salvation Army/Homeless Shelter/Church. Get an angel from the angel tree and make someone personally blessed and happy. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Give your time and energy to your stressed relatives. Write a check to a charity, or give cold hard cash to a homeless person. Finally, pray for people, and ask people what you can pray about for them.

The gift of giving is truly a great experience. Making someone happy and blessing them is a wonderful feeling, and methinks good for the soul. Sacrafice makes you realize what's important and what's not.

Enjoy your Christmas' everybody. There's a big announcement coming soon, too, so stick around. There'll e'en be pictures...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Logan Stewart and the Early Morning Blog Show +

Well, it's not really early. As I write it's 9:39 on the ante meridiem and I've been up for almost two hours. It's just that, being finals week and all, my body feels like it's been on fumes for a while. For example, I was so groggy yesterday morning that I e'en broke down and went to Starbucks, which never happens. See, I don't like Starbucks, but not because of their controversial stance on US soldiers in Iraq. Nor is it because they are a corporation in the world and leaking people of money left and right. And it's not because they sell all that weird stuff in their stores, either. Nope. None of those reasons are why I don't like Starbucks.

And so I'm sitting at my laptop doing my daily routine--Gmail, Pat Rothfuss' blog, Facebook (I know. It's sad, but I have to.), and weather. And I think that I should make a new post. Or I could eat a brownie or two that are in the pan about 18" behind my laptop. So you see the problem. I haven't had a proper breakfast this morning. I did have one bite of my wife's peanut-butter-and-raisin-on-toast this morning, which was actually pretty good, but that's it. To be honest, though, I didn't really start eating breakfast until recently. And still I don't eat it daily. Typically, if I eat too soon after getting up, my stomach decides to thrash about all day, whining and complaining and only making me miserable.

However, today is the last day of finals. I have an Economics exam at 2:30 in the post meridiem, which I will probably bomb. It's odd. I'm an engineer, and I've had all these hard classes like "Matrix Structural Analysis" or "Concrete Design" and I've done okay in them. Better than okay, actually. But then I take Macro-economics as my last undergrad class in my career, a 200 level class and mostly freshmen or sophomores (I'm a grad), and I'm struggling. It's all theory and blah blah and Keynesian economics and monetary fiscal expansion and blah and Idon'tknowwhatanyofthatcrapmeans and the like. Well, to be honest, I'm actually doing better than 80% of the class, but still, I much more prefer doing better than 90%. Now that I think about it, that's really not a good comparison, since technically 10 out of 10 folks could all get an A in a class and then no one would be doing better than no one, really, but I don't like backspace or going back, so it stays.

Anyway, the point of all this is really pretty simple. I don't like Starbucks because their coffee sucks. I'm a more mild coffee guy, or medium. Starbucks only has bold, bolder, and black-as-Hitler's soul.
Strong coffee + Logan = No Go For Launch

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The American Hamburger

Whopper Virgins

I thought this brief clip was very interesting, albeit strange. I suppose as Americans we are immune to the fact that there are people who have never heard of a hamburger before. I do hope that they had cheese with their burger, though.

But, cynically, I thought that it is a good thing that there are not burger joints all over the place. Can you imagine if America's legacy to the world was the fat-full and calorie-loaded hamburger? Instead of world hunger we'd have global obesity.

But, amused and happily, I watched the "whopper virgins" try their hamburgers for the first time. Their faces were full of suspicion and curiosity, but most seemed to enjoy it, I think. I sure do like cheeseburgers, though.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Greatness of Cornbread

I've been married for over a year and a half now. It has been the greatest year and a half of my life. I knew before I married her, my Keisha could cook. There wasn't much that she couldn't do in the kitchen, and I can tell you that if you've never had her jambalaya or orange juice cake or shepherds pie or potato soup, then you really are missing out. I'm not kidding you. My wife is a really, really good cook.

However, since we've been married, she's been unable to make satisfactory cornbread, until just recently. See, cornbread has long been one of my favorite foods, especially my mamaw's. Mamaw cooks hers in the old iron skillet, and is loaded with love and years of experience. And so, last Christmas, mamaw gave Keisha a set of iron skillets as a gift. After a few failed attempts at cornbread, she gave up. One day, thankfully, she had an epiphany and tried it again. The result was a wonderfully tasteful cornbread that I love so very much.

And since then she's been happy to make me cornbread whenever I ask, which it seems is quite a bit. She is a great cook, and I'm thankful to have her around. In addition to her cooking, my mom and mamaw, and my mother-in-law and grandmom-in-law are all wonderful cooks, and for the holidays I'm always way overstuffed.

Oh well. I just thought I'd take a moment to blog about how great cornbread is. But if you read behind and through the lines, I'm really writing about how wonderful my wife is.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Story and the Moral

The story: There were once three brothers: Abe, Ben, and Chad. Two of them smiled all the time, and one was a sour-puss. Two of them were over six feet tall and one of them wasn't. Two of them had beautiful wives and one of them wasn't interested in love. Two of them personally had their own refrigerators and the other had to share one with his best friend. At least two of them were born before 1981, and one definitely was. Two of them could literally swim the English Channel faster than they could boat across, and the other was scared of water. One had dull eyes, one had blue eyes, and one wore colored contacts and so no one knew what color his eyes were.

Anyway, one day, these brothers decided to go on a hiking trip. They all met at the crossroads, embraced as brothers do, and set off. One of them complained the whole time, but the other two had a great time. One of them forgot to wear sunscreen and he burnt, but the other two didn't. One of them had recently had surgery and so he had a little trouble maneuvering the trails, but the other two got along just fine.

Once they made it to the top of their mountain there was a waterfall. At its base there was a big beautiful clear reservoir from the falls. One of the brothers took a picture of it, but the other two forgot their cameras. One of them called his wife and told her about it, one of them still didn't have a wife, and the other one didn't get any reception.

The Moral: Three brothers hiked up a mountain and all three peed in the water. It's that simple.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Curse You, Mega Man!

My friend recently bought the newly released 8-bit retro style Mega Man 9. I grew up playing Mega Man games, and I always liked them, especially the X series. So with the release of MM9, I felt like playing the old ones again, and so I went out and bought the anniversary edition, which means I now own Mega Man 1-8, as well as Mega Man X-X6. And I sat down to play yesterday, and I started with the original Mega Man.

Cutman was easy, and so was Bombman. Then I tried Iceman's world, and I died. Over and over and over. And I kept dying. So I quit. Then today I beat every other level and had only Iceman's stage left. I kept dying. In fact, the only time I even made it to Iceman was when I had 1 life left, and he quickly depleted my little energy bar.

I've really never been a gamer who gets mad at playing my games and stuff, y'know, those people who throw their controllers or call the computer a cheater. No, that's not me. But today, my friends, I really really wanted to crush my GC control. And so through it all, I've come away with 3 conclusions:

1. Don't play Mega Man for a very long period of time without frequent breaks, as your temper will quickly get to you.

2. Wipe out those little things that are low to the ground and speed up when you're on the same level as them. If you don't, you'll get ticked at them and yourself.

3. Don't play Iceman's stage unless you're in a great mood and ready to be heavily frustrated.

Good luck.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Happy December everyone. It's cold, bleak, and grey! Good luck to you all, with hopes that you make it through the hard month. And think, next month is basically a continuation of this one, just in a different year. I do like the winter, not as much as the fall, but pretty good, nonetheless. It makes me wanna put on old, tattered grey robes, grow a long white and whispy goatee and become a monk or something. A wizened man, all robed and thin. Or maybe it makes me wanna stay indoors where it's warm (sometimes extremely warm) and dry, away from the harshness of December...

This is my December.

Goodbye, friends, and farewell to arms. Have a safe and pleasant season. It promises to be a fun one. And our tree looks better than yours. And our stockings. And our nativity scene. And our wreathes. And I'm really tired, having studied macroeconomics for a while, and open channel hydraulics, and I haven't been sleeping much lately, and sometimes, y'know, you just feel like writing something that is more stream-of-conscience, while at the same time continuing on with a very, very long (possibly a run-on (I LOVE PARENTHESIS!!!)) sentence.
Rest in peace, Reginald. Your children are prospering, and Horatio has given birth itself, so now there are many, many of you. There'll possibly be more on this later. For now, I think I'll bite the bullet (trite) and hit the books (cliche).


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Song of the Week: "Round Here"

"Step out the front door like a ghost into the fog, where no one notices the contrast between white on white..."

From the captivating, poetic first line to the determined pleas at the end, Round Here is one of the greatest Counting Crows songs in their catalog. And, today, it has the honor of being crowned "Song of the Week". The fact of the matter is Adam Duritz can speak what he is feeling, something most of us cannot do very well. He is lonely, confused, afraid, misunderstood. Emotions tend to flow from him in the form of words and magically are put into a song normal folks can relate to.

Folks like me. I think part of the reason people have blogs is to offer what they are thinking or how they are feeling to the masses, e'en though the masses could generally care less (unless you're Brad Pitt or something). Who wants to read what Carol down the road has to say about the election? Or maybe what Thom got for his birthday? Isn't the blog-world like the lottery a bit? The readers never know what they're going to get from the blogs they read, truly. There is always the chance that there will be some randomness to the posts.

Maybe you read "Dan's Daily Dental Dilemmas" religiously. Day after day after day faithful Dan posts about the importance of flossing regularly, or the poor soul who lost his teeth in an automobile accident and how luckily Dan managed to create a perfect set of replica false teeth. You love to read what Dan deals with daily, and one day you click on your RSS and your jaw hits the floor (if your teeth break, that's okay, Dan's a dentist). Dan has posted something about the election, or maybe some wisdom on how to clean a cast-iron skillet. The point is, with blogs, you have no certainties in what you're going to get. And that's the same with this one. As with Adam, I feel like I "walk through myself and back again" to some unknown place. Things flood through my brain at a constant, unrelenting pace, and I find myself o'erwhelmed and confused quite often. Or misunderstood. Or afraid.

And that is why Round Here is this weeks song. Things are happening, folks. And you have to stand or jump. And who knows if there'll be a Holden Caulfield there to catch you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coldplay (on words)

Oh Death will never conquer, no it'll ju' get you lost!
No Death shall ne'er conquer, only lost?

Now don't panic, my friends, it'll pass as soon as the sparks are o'er,
The yellow bursts behind the parachutes and nothing more.
The spies shiver on Violet Hill as the warning signs and sirens blare.

Viva la vida! Vive le Roi!
Now all things are fine, right here in my place,
with you by my side and the smile God put upon your face.
So what if the king lives in the cemeteries of London?
Everything's already lost.

I am here, and I will fix you, or we'll be swallowed in the sea together.
Yes, we will pass on to Kingdom Come, hands held and trouble in the sky,
smiling as we join the ranks of Death and all His friends.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Several people have recommended to me the ABC show Heroes. Finally, I decided to try it out. I rented the first 3 discs of Season One, spanning episodes 1-10, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the show thus far. I've always loved comics and such, and this show's character's are completely likable. Anyway, I just thought that I'd throw a quick "thanks" to everybody that recommended the show (Bill, Brian, etc.) and let you know that I am very glad to be watching it finally. Have a cold night, folks.

Post Script: By the way, if you look at the word for very long, it's one of those words that start to look funny and made-up. You know, like, roads. The more you look, the more you're convinced that it's misspelled.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Looking back through my past posts I see that I have a post on Tea & Probability. However, I cannot limit myself to just one post on a subject as grand as tea.

Tea is one of the most consumed beverages across the world. It's so important in England that people take a special time of the day to have a quaint glass. And in the South (that is, southern parts of the US) it is a staple during the summer time. I recently read something saying that the average American consumes 6 gallons of tea per year. That appalled me, to be quite honest. A year ago, my roommate and myself were drinking a gallon a day. Now, though, I've lessened a bit, and I'm down to about a gallon or two a week.

And this is sweet, iced tea, just in case you're wondering. I'll fill a pot o' water and put 4-5 tea bags in, wait til the pot boils, steep the tea for a while, then mix and make my gallon. Voila. And it's pretty tasty, too.

But I also enjoy a cup of hot tea quite often. I really enjoy Earl Grey, just because I think it smells and tastes great, but I like a few other types, too. Not much on the green teas, though. But on a cold night, or a late night, there's few things that compare to a cup of hot tea. And if you've never had a cup of hot tea, then you're missing out. Get yourself a kettle and some tea (I'd recommend the Earl Grey to start out) and make yourself a cup. Enjoy the complex taste. Let it tickle your tongue a bit. I know I do.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Patrick Rothfuss

I read all the time. And I mean all the time. Typically I'm reading two or three books at a time. What kind of books do I read, you wonder? Typically fantasy and science fiction, but also quite a bit of graphic novels, classics, mystery, westerns, suspense, horror, short stories, poetry, and a very little amount of non-fiction (unless you count wikipedia).

Nevertheless, most of my life has been fantasy novels. Sadly I did not realize how similar many of these books were until I read The Name of the Wind, by Pat Rothfuss. Pat revolutionized the fantasy genre for me with this book. There's few, if any, typical fantasy cliches in his book, and I cannot remember the last book I was this pleased with a read.

Pat stole my heart and and took it along for a ride with his protagonist, Kvothe. The man's tale is full of mystery, magic, joy and grief, and love (o'course). I forced my mom to read this book (she's a non-fiction, true story reader, or horror...) and she enjoyed it. I'm reading it aloud to my wife. I've recommended it to several folks and they've all loved it. And now I recommend it to you.

Go buy "The Name of the Wind" tomorrow. Or tonight. It doesn't matter when, just the longer you wait the more you'll wish you would've got it sooner. Savor every page. And when you're done, or before you start, visit Pat's blog and check out the awesomeness that he is.

You're welcome.

EDIT: I'm not really sure why there was such a gap from when I read this book until I mentioned it on my blog.  I read Name of the Wind during the summer of 2007.  I guess I wasn't blogging frequently between then.

Joe Purdy

As an avid listener of music (is that such a unique thing?), I think my taste is rather eclectic. I mostly listen to folky-bluegrassy-acoustic stuff, but sometimes I'll feel the need for techno, pop, blues, country, rock, classical, catchy hip hop, foreign music, and almost anything that's playing. However, I have to point out and give recognition to one of my favorite artists: Joe Purdy.

I became aware of Joe during the first season of Lost, from his song "Wash Away", which appeared on one of the episodes. Joe's also had several songs featured in Grey's Anatomy, and a movie or two, too, I believe. However, he's not in the mainstream music industry largely due to the fact that he's completely independent, that is to say that he produces and makes his own stuff without the hassles of a Big Name record company.

Joe has an extensive catalog, all of which is free to listen on his website. Every album is a wonderful pleasure for your ears, and thought stimulating for your brain. I would classify Joe Purdy as an acoustic-folk artist, similar to Jack Johnson and John Mayer, but without the pop themes. Instruments include acoustic guitar, mandolin, piano, percussion, the occasional harmonica, and a wonderful voice.

I can easily recommend Joe to anyone with any taste in music, and I can almost guarantee that you'll love him. Enjoy.

New Layout

I'm not really sure why I have a blog, but there is the chance that someone (even one) might read it and actually get something from it, then that's fine by me. I'm not sure what anyone could glean from the harvest of my blog, but, who knows.

I've renovated the layout. I think it's time for something new. Something green.

To give an account of how things have been, simply: Grad student now, in Civil & Environmental Engineering. Mandolin skills increasing steadily. Writing still defunct and strange. Books upon books continue to pass my eyes and hands. Life is wonderful, and I'm greatly blessed.

It's nearing winter, and the first flurries of snow are to be expected tonight or tomorrow. It's gonna be a cold one, I'm thinking.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

i (b)

mmmm. cake and icecream. it was worth it. the easiest way to make friends is if it is forced upon you. in that, I mean that if making friends was optional, then i'm sure i would have many less friends than i do. for instance, when school starts, we find ourselves among complete strangers. we are forced to be students together, and since we share that, and we realize that we'll be spending quite a bit of time together, then we can only become friends to make the day go by. not that we have to become friends, but it just happens. it's mutual. we're kids, thrust into a maelstrom of other kids. but what i'm saying is that if we weren't thrown into the school system, then we would be left to our own selves--an equally bleak alternative. but the point is not school. school passes, and we become adults. granted there is higher learning, where we often live away from home and with more complete strangers, and again, friendship happens, but only out of force. but e'en college passes, and then there is only adulthood. this is the place where force often is eradicated and from its destruction comes choice. (the college years are a blend of this phenomenon.) we get a job, we go to work, we're the young dude at the place. people aren't as "friendly" as they used to be. the choice comes with self-determination to make friends. and that choice is hard. it's not that i don't want friends, because i do want friends. it's that i don't want to make friends. i want to have friends without the work. but, i suppose, that is impossible. it's like the alchemist wanting gold from oxygen. cheat the system, paint a rock or get some pyrite, but skip the work and get to the gold.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

i (a)

most of the time i like being out of the light. not, like, in shadow, but just out of the light. on the sidelines. for instance, when there's a crowd gathering for an open house... it's not that i don't want to be social, it's that i want to be myself. i'm not scared of the crowd. i'm open to the crowd's opinion. and e'en though i'm invited, it's almost as if i don't belong, yet i know that i do. it's the strange, awkwardness of being. it's the thought of meeting and feigning interest. it's the thought of actually staying focused. it's trying to get through the crap and the fake smiles that decorate everyone's faces and instead being you. but i think that i'll go anyway...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Resurrection Fern

In our days we will live like our ghost will live.
Pitching glass at the cornfield crows and folding clothes.

The summer semester draws almost to an end and my innards have gone liquid. I've also had ABBA in my head for about 2 weeks, rendering sleep nearly impossible. And all day today I listened to Classical music and typed on my Applied Hydrology report.

I did find this scrap o' note today. It is dated 6/9/2034.

"It's after us. We've been running for 3 days straight with very little food and practically no sleep. I'm pretty sure that tomorrow we're gonna have to do something or I think I might die. I still haven't even seen it, though, but it makes a horrible feeling in my head, like it can actually read my mind or something... Our short rest is over and we're heading out again."

Kinda depressing. I'll keep you posted when I do.