30 June 2012

Good bits.

She ran into me after the sermon. “Wasn’t that great?” she said.

“Yeah,” I said, trying to keep things positive. “He had some good bits.”

She made a face. I’ve seen this face before on different people. It appears when they expect me to be jazzed beyond belief, and I’m not. It’s the “What’s the matter with you?” expression. “Good bits?” she said. “I was like—” and then she mimed eating a sandwich—and then she went away, probably to find someone who was as excited about the sermon as she was.

The disclaimer now: “She” is someone who goes to my church, but this was not at my church. We were visiting another one because of a special guest speaker.

29 June 2012

Obamacare and socialism and the needy.

Longtime readers already know my backstory: I’m a conservative, pro-life Democrat.

I grew up Republican, because my parents are Republican. I became a knee-jerk, uber-conservative Republican in my high school years, ’cause I got involved in the political Christian Right and my local Republican party. It began to alienate me in my mid-20s, as I started to get serious about what Jesus actually teaches, as I started to interact with more left-of-center Christians, and as I began to deal with the vast gap between the Kingdom of God and libertarian economics. After discovering I really had more in common with Democrats than Republicans—and after about five years of denial—I switched parties in 2005.

26 June 2012

The melting computer.

If you’re ever thinking of buying a laptop, check something out first: See how warm it gets. If the store won’t put it on display, and leave it on for 12-hour stretches, it’s probably ’cause the machine can’t take the heat.

I have this HP laptop that my church lends me. I make multimedia presentations with the thing. It was bought, no doubt, because it was an inexpensive machine. Well, you get what you pay for. I don’t know how the current HP designs are, but this one is a lemon. It heats up remarkably fast. The intake for the fan is on the underside of the laptop, which means if it’s set on a table, the intake is blocked. So, after one or two hours, it’s on the verge of melting—and, in protest, the screen goes blank.

25 June 2012

The smallest current coin.

That’d be advice, according to Ambrose Bierce. Nowadays, that’s saying something. The American penny is considered so worthless, people don’t bother to pick it up when they see a stray penny on the street. People will actually sweep it up and throw it out with the trash. It’s junk money. Optimist that I am, I’ll pick it up anyway; they add up. If Bierce’s definition still holds, advice is worth less than pennies.

And yeah, collectively that’s been my experience. Certain individual bits of advice have been quite valuable. But the bulk of the advice I’ve heard in my lifetime has been pretty useless. That’s ’cause it’s been given as a knee-jerk response.

23 June 2012

A little rebooting…

I need to blog more often.

Which’ll probably take you by surprise if you’re used to reading my More Christ blog, in which I post something six times a week, and where I’m often accused of writing book-length essays. (Book length? Where are my accusers finding these tiny books?) But, y’see, that blog is not about me. It’s about Christianity. There’s a fair amount of me in it, to be sure. Still, it’s not about what I’m up to, what I’m doing, and all that.

Facebook and Twitter tend to get witticisms and brief comments out of me. This blog, in the past, tended to get political rants, religious rants, pop culture rants, or memoirs… which were more about Former Me than me. It’s easy to discuss Former Me, ’cause I’m not exactly Former Me anymore. We share a lot in common, like experiences and memories. But I keep critiquing what an jerk he was. I never get to critiquing what a jerk I am, or can be when I’m not careful. Same thing with the rants, in which I focus on things external to myself instead of myself.

I don’t expect to stop ranting, but I do intend to share more of myself. Of course, that’s easier said than done. A couple months ago I expressed my desire to do just that, and then didn’t do it. I wasn’t disciplined about it. So now I gotta get cracking. Now it’s gonna have to be a post a day. Or at least every other day.

Did I have to take all the previous stuff offline? Yes. Yes I did. People were reading the previous stuff—which dated back to 2005 for the blog, to 1998 when you include the Countryside Post columns, and to 1990 when you include the Mr. Squish comic strips—and asking me when that guy was gonna come back in all his snarky, sarcastic glory. I got too many requests for Former Me, and I’m trying to grow past him. So it was just easier to stick him in a box for now. Maybe post some of that stuff again eventually. For now, I’m gonna stick to the subject: Me.

Me me me me me me me.

No, I’m not turning the comments back on. If you want to give me feedback, my Facebook friends can post something to me there. Everybody else: God bless you, but I don’t know you well enough to take your responses all that seriously.

Okay, that’s enough for today.