So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Cherry Hills Vil, CO
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The Link To Zanzibar's Past
This is my page in the beloved art community that my sister got me into:
Extra points for people who know what Samarinda is.
The Phases of the Moon Module
The Tree and the Telephone Pole
I Do Not Know Their Names
Today I am Young
A Night Poem
Siren of the Sea
If I Were a Dragon
To the Dreamers Leave the Sky
The Honor of the Oyster
Return From San Diego
A Late Summer's Night
Of Dragons and Men
The Edge of the World
The Snake's Terror
Metaphysics and the Middaymoon
Of Adventures in Foreign Lands
The Rogue Wave: The Unedited Version
Adventures in the PRC
Voyage of Discovery
Drinking the Blood of Goats
Ticket for a Phantom Bus
Os peixes nadam o mar
Three Villages Far Away
The River Weser
Children I Should Have Kidnapped, Part I
Let's Get You Out of Those Clothes
If Underwear Could Speak
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER
Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
M: Science and Exploration
T: Cook a nice dinner
Th: Parties, movies, dinners
F: Picnics, the Louvre
S: Read books, go for walks, PARKOUR
Su: Philosophy, Religion
The Reading List
This list starts Summer 2006
A Crocodile on the Sandbank
Tales of the Alhambra (in progress)
Dark Lord of Derkholm
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The Lost Years of Merlin
Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorciers (in progress)
Atlas Shrugged (in progress)
A Long Way Gone (story of a boy soldier in Sierra Leone- met the author! w00t!)
The Eye of the World: Book One of the Wheel of Time
From Magma to Tephra (in progress)
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Harry Potter 7
The No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency
Introduction to Planetary Volcanism
A Child Called "It"
Is Multi-Culturalism Bad for Women?
Americans in Southeast Asia: Roots of Commitment (in progress)
What's So Great About Christianity?
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
When I was in Cuba, I was a German Shepard
The Golden Compass
Clan of the Cave Bear
The 9/11 Commission Report (2nd time through, graphic novel format this time, ip)
The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
To Sir, With Love
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Hunger Games
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
The Name of the Wind
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Great Contemporaries, by Winston Churchill
City of Bones
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Old Man and the Sea
Flowers for Algernon
Au Bonheur des Ogres
The Road to Serfdom
De La Terre à la Lune (ip)
In the Light of What We Know
Devil in the White City
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye
want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
Wednesday. 7.23.08 5:45 pm
A short meme from brutaly's site
Are you male or female: Female
Describe yourself: debonair
How do some people feel about you: suspiiiiiiiicious...
How do you feel about yourself: Tired
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: Warcraft addict
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: invisible
Describe where you want to be: HAWAII!
Describe what you want to be: A leopard
Describe how you live: meal to meal
Describe how you love: suspiciously
I regret that I have but one life to give for my country
Sunday. 7.20.08 12:27 am
Well I just saw Dark Knight. It was so awesome. But, like most of those kind of really AWESOME movies do, it set me to thinking. First, about how much more I've always liked Batman than the other super heroes. He's only a man, after all. He's got to get by with his ingenuity. And Batman is so driven. Sometimes days go by when all I think about is work and figuring out a problem, and the whole day goes by in an instant because my mind is so completely engaged. Batman is like that all the time. I can't imagine that Batman daydreams very often.
But Batman is also a fictional character. Surely Christian Bale daydreams.
Rambo is another of my heroes. If you haven't seen Rambo 4 yet, you have missed something fundamental. Rambo 4 was possibly the most powerful movie I have ever seen. The feelings it stirred in me were not new feelings, but they were overpowering to the point that I couldn't sleep.
But Rambo is also a fictional character.
So in this blog I would like to talk about my friend Justin. Justin is not a fictional character. Justin and I have been friends since 7th grade. He asked for my email address one day in the hallway and then dropped all of his books all over the floor. We were in the same history class that year and I remember one day when our teacher asked the class who would die for their country. Three of us raised our hands: me, Justin, and totally unexpectedly, a popular blonde named Whitney. The teacher asked us if we would still die for our country if we felt that the country was fighting a war that most people didn't support, or we thought we were going to lose. I said that if that were the case then my country would need all the help that it could get.
Justin is an incredibly complicated human being, and even more complicated is the fact that he's always striving to change himself, to better himself. He's always trying to identify his weaknesses, and to fix them. He seems tireless.
But what I most admire about Justin is that he is in the Army, training to be a helicopter pilot. What he desires is to finish his training and go to Iraq. He is delivering on the statement he made in 7th grade, that he would support his country all the way. He is putting his money where his mouth is, since he's always believed in the mission. For a while he worked for a think-tank in Washington studying tactics and troop movements in Iraq. I remember when he became so passionate about what he was discovering that he wrote an email to the President recommending the surge shortly before it was announced. Perhaps the President took his advice.
Justin says he likes to think of his friends as soldiers of fortune, having adventures all over the globe. He once said I fit his image and so remain his friend. I do a fair amount of adventuring. But while the world has given me everything, my return contribution to the world has been scant. The image of Justin over there in a war zone, going on sorties, patrolling cities, giving out supplies, ferrying out wounded soldiers- that seems like a life well lived. I haven't really told him, but I am fiercely proud of him, and I admire him very greatly. Soldiers like him daily defend the weak and bring stability and security to places long chained by fear and oppression. Like the fictional characters I like to watch, they must face difficult decisions. Sometimes the violence gets worse before it gets better.
Many struggle with the people they need to become and the things they need to do in order to do what must be done. They are true heroes.
I need to do something: to build something, to fix something. There is a contingent of American and British geologists who are stationed in Afghanistan where they map the seismic hazards of the rather seismically active country and train Afghanis to read the language of the rocks and thus mitigate the toll of earthquake disasters like the one that happened several years ago. These people change lives, even if their efforts go largely unnoticed. I've been reading a book about the political and diplomatic history of the US and southeast asia from 1899 to 1973: these diplomats also change peoples' lives, and their actions spread outwards like ripples in a pond.
One always worries about one's safety. Sure, I could go somewhere and be piling sandbags or giving malaria injections- but then again I have been obtaining certain skills: would I serve better here, researching new forms of energy, searching for new oil fields, sending much needed money to the people who are piling sandbags by a river?
How best to use one's life?
There are a great many causes for which I feel I would give my life. But how to choose which is best?
I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.
Adventures with Lightning
Saturday. 7.19.08 9:01 am
It was well after 9 pm, but it was still over 90 degrees and almost 100% humidity. As we drove through the city, green lightning flashed above us about every thirty seconds.
"Heat lightning," my friend said.
I'd never heard of it. She said she couldn't explain the science behind why it happened, just that it did when it was really hot. We were supposed to watch Star Wars at Zebo's house, but when we arrived we decided to stay outside and watch the lightning instead.
We moseyed across the street to the little park there and lay on the hillside. There were enough large trees around that we figured we were fairly safe. Besides, the lightning had so far been cloud to cloud. The green lightning flashed on, without rain or thunder. Then the bolts started growing in width and turning bluish. Thunder cracked not far away. The wind whipped through the tops of the trees.
If ever an alien were to crash land on the Earth and then offer to give us super powers, this would be the moment.
Instead we saw a huge thick blob of lightning growing in the sky above us. Instead of being bolt-like, this was like looking at lightning straight on. And perhaps we were, because the light grew to unbearable brightness and then went out. Immediately following, just over our right shoulders, a clap of thunder cracked louder than I've ever heard.
All of us jumped up as one mind and ran into the house, hearts unnaturally pounding and a nervous chilly feeling throughout our bodies.
Yeah, we're pretty much huge idiots. But when lightning comes so infrequently, you have to take it for all it's worth!
High School Students
Thursday. 7.17.08 8:34 pm
There are high school kids everywhere. No offense, high school kids, but could you stand to have a little less fun? Just having fun, all the time, aren't we? Playing frisbee, grab-assing, having inane conversations, going out for ice cream. You know some people have to work. Yeah, like all night tonight pretty much. These people are named ME.
So come on. A little less smiling, a little less prancing around like it's "summer".
Serious faces. It would be appreciated.
How I almost escaped the Matrix
Tuesday. 7.15.08 11:51 pm
It was 11:45pm. I was at work, as usual.
I was setting up a bunch of my codes to run overnight. Tappity-tappity-tappity at the computer. Suddenly, a bunch of text appeared on the screen. Before I could read it, another, single word appeared at the prompt.
The red pill? Or the blue pill? The hard truth? Or living on, knowing that everything in your life is a lie?
A chill swept through me, and it occured to me that there was no one else in the room, no one else in the building... (except possibly Patrick Swayze as a ghost, an even more terrifying thought). The building was completely... empty.
I read the text above my name.
"Hey guys, a couple of us were heading down to the mall to watch 'Hancock' at 9pm tonight. Want to come?"
Why... that was the email that I'd sent out several hours earlier. Incidentally, it was the last thing I had ctrl-C'd. Incidentally, in Unix the right mouse button is the same as "paste". Incidentally in the email there was a return between the body of the message and the signature, putting the signature on a different line.
You are not The One, Zanzibar
An attempt to be less "odd"
Monday. 7.14.08 8:44 pm
So, lik, 2day i8 icecream omg. it was sooooooooooooooooooo goood! yay ! !1 And then my friend txtd me & ws like, we should go 2 teh movies! & i was lik okshur lah.
omfg so lik my boss wasnt even their 2 day, i was like, y shuld i b heer/?
Public Service Announcement
Sunday. 7.13.08 11:45 pm
And so beginneth Zanzibar's journey into stoicism...
Henceforth Zanzibar shall cease to have emotions that are excited by happenings in the outside world, that is, things governed by the laws of the Universe such as Matter. After all, it is the nature of Matter to be still and sluggish, and resist all movement, and to act only according to the laws governing it.
Zanzibar shall henceforth be moved only by the happening of Fate. For the stoics, as Wikipedia teacheth, Fate is the agent of Movement in the Universe, and the soul, complete with its emotions, is subject to the laws of the agent of Movement, not the laws of ordinary Matter and events which take place concerning it.
Thus in the terminology of Newtonian mechanics, the body is Matter, and the soul is a force that acts upon it. The body has inertia to the will of the soul, but ultimately the soul (and therefore will) has power over it and can apply enough force to cause the body to act as it wishes (for the furtherment of Virtue). Thus the stoic may be said to approach all calamities with equanimity- even Death.
Therefore all of the emotions of Zanzibar shall be within complete control of her iron Will and not subject to any outside control, except in the occasional case of interference by God, who embodies Movement, or another soul, which, passing in close proximity to hers, may affect it for a short time not exceeding the length of time for which this soul is physically present and pleasing to Zanzibar.
Thus Zanzibar will appear as a placid exterior, a painted Zanzibar, whose emotions are carefully calculated by logos. All of her emotions will be thus be in line with logical thought, and never shall there arise a passion which is contrary to her virtue and/or common sense.
In fact, everything that Zanzibar does will be for the further refinement of the logos and the advancement of Virtue.
End Public Service Announcement and Randomly Capitalized Nouns.
Saturday. 7.12.08 11:31 pm
Ma code, ma code, ma code as besoin d'aide!
Qu'est-ce que c'est la probleme, petite code du raid?
Pourquoi est-ce tu ne marches pas?
Tu es la meilleure code que jamais seras!
MARCHE! MARCHE! Ne tombe pas en panne!
Ou je mourirai, ca c'est certaine.
IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS!!! HOORAY!!!
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