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Let's ReMEMEber Some Things

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:11 AM

Unconscious Mutterings has us doing free association. Let's see what happens if I try it with the ten words they gave me:

  1. Replenish::Pickles
  2. People::Alex
  3. Trend::Text Messaging
  4. Girlfriends::Depart
  5. Spirit::Holy
  6. Banshee::Video Card
  7. Oasis::Palm Trees
  8. Thrills::Roller Coaster
  9. Fountain::Pink
  10. Boxes::Day

And, let's try Word Beads as well.

“It may seem as insignificant as a gnat, but being an apologist for using memes to fill space requires much devotion to the art of composition, for we must serve up such apologies on a silver platter.”

That was easy. :P

Now In Technicolor

By Tim Butler | Posted at 7:21 PM

Here's a fun little “Color test” that checks… well, it checks something. The first time I tried it, I got 88% of the answers right, and it told me I was “the master.” The second time, I got 100% of the answers right and am still the master. Give it a shot.

64 Questions

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:05 AM

These come from Kendall. I think there were a few too many, but some of them were fun. I started answering this on Sunday, so it the breakfast question refers to Sunday morning, but I finished it tonight, so the “last thing I ate” question refers to dinner a week later. :)

_1. What time did you get up this morning? _
7:11 a.m. (to arrive at church by 8:15 — I was running the projector today.

2. Diamonds or pearls?
Diamonds, I guess. In reality, that's not something I ponder a whole lot.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The Incredibles, last December.

4. What's your favorite TV show?
I don't watch anything current, other than CNN (on occasion). Right now, perhaps the Dick van Dyke show is what I am enjoying most, but I Love Lucy is my perennial favorite.

5. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
I actually had breakfast! That's odd. :) A Sausage, Egg and Cheese biscuit and hashbrown from McDonald's.

6. What's your favorite cuisine?
Tough. I'm a big fan of traditional American foods, such as fried chicken (but not the KFC stuff called that). I really like Mexican, but mostly Americanized Mexican (authentic is tasty, but I typically prefer Taco Bell). I also like Italian and some German stuff as well (bring on the 'kraut!).

7. What foods do you dislike?
Canned tuna (no idea on the fresh stuff), dishes that have lots of ground beef that is not pressed into some kind of patty or loaf (i.e. spaghetti with ground beef in the sauce is questionable, but meat loaf is delicious), etc. There is a bit of a theme here: I don't generally like meats that are heavily shredded, ground, etc.

8. What is favorite chip flavor?
Typically, I prefer “original” (i.e. just salted). If I'm in the mood for a flavor, I usually pick BBQ. I also like dill, pepper jack, and pretty much anything else.

9. What's your favorite CD at the moment?
Well, the two getting the most play at the moment are Fallen by Evanescence and Healing Rain by Michael W. Smith (darkness contrasting against light?). Of course, there are other songs getting significant “play time,” but with the advent of the iTunes Music Store, I don't have the whole albums to go with those.

10. What kind of car do you drive?
1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

11. Favorite sandwich?
Probably a smoked turkey sandwich on a hoagie bun, with the works: cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, green peppers, pickles, olives, mayo, chipotle sauce, etc. At Subway, I vary between a Southwest Turkey and Bacon and a Cold Cut Trio, mostly.

12. What characteristics do you despise?
Hypocrisy, backstabbing…

13. What is your favorite type of clothing?
Business casual — golf shirt and micro-fiber slacks (or in the summer, similar styled shorts).

14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Typically not too far: the Ozarks. If I wanted something more exotic… I'm not sure: perhaps a tour of interesting places throughout Europe, ending in Greece.

15. What color is your bathroom?
Forest green (wallpaper).

16. Favorite brand of clothing?
I'm not picky. I seem to get along well with Kohl's private label (Croft & Barrow).

17. Where would you retire to?
Ideally near family and friends (all things presently point to staying put :)).

18. Favorite time of the day?
The evening.

19.Your most memorable birthday?
The most recent one — it was only two months ago. :P

20. Where were you born?
St. Charles, MO.

21.Your favorite sport to watch?
Baseball! (I don't watch sports, as a rule, but…)

22. Who do you least expect to send this back to you?
Anyone who lurks on my blog.

23.Person you expect to send it back first?
Someone with too much times on his or her hands?

24. What fabric detergent do you use?
It varies.

25. Are you named after anyone?
Not as far as I know. Unless you count Paul's protege Timothy.

26. Do you wish on stars?
Not really, although sometimes when I see the “first star” it will remind me to pray for something.

27.When did you last cry?
Last night, actually.

28. Do you like your handwriting?
It is kind of sloppy. The only thing that makes me feel better about it is looking at what my handwriting looked like back in middle school or earlier.

29. Are you a daredevil?
Generally, no. I don't mind taking a chance every once-in-a-while, but I'm not a thrill seeker.

30. Are you a virgin?
Yes; and with God's help shall remain one until He sees fit to bless me with a wife. (Is it just me or did this question just come out of the blue?)

31. Do looks matter?
They shouldn't, although they do somewhat. Not as much as other things, though.

32. How do you release anger?
Writing tirades, poetry and other things.

33. Where is your second home?
Table Rock Lake.

34. What were your favorite toys as a child?
Legos, and art-related things.

35. What class in High School was totally useless?
As I was homeschooled, we avoided things that didn't do me any good.

36. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Would I do such a thing — no, not me.

37. Favorite movies?
Tough. Two from last year: the Passion and the Incredibles; Home Alone… others aren't coming to me just now.

38. What are your nicknames?
I don't really have one. Unless you count my old user ids “uninet,” “dpbx52b” (Prodigy), etc. With my one professor I have adopted the handle “K.S.T.” (Kindly Student Tim). Don't worry if that doesn't make sense… it is an inside joke.

39. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Yes, of course (usually).

40. Do you think that you are strong?
Not usually. At times, I get full of myself, until I have to lift something heavy.

41. What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla (with hot fudge) or some kind of fresh berry icecream.

42. What are your favorite colors?
Green and blue.

43. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
My overanalyzing and worrying.

44. Who do you miss the most?
Right now, I guess my grandpa. I really wish he could be around for another Christmas.

45. Do you want everyone you sent this to send it back?
Well, certainly these things are more interesting if others answer them, or at least comment on one's own answers, but this thing is so long, I really don't have an expectations here.

46. What color pants are you wearing?
Plaid (blue and white, to be specific) shorts. I was wearing black slacks.

47. What are you listening to right now?
Not much.

48. Last thing you ate?
Barbecue boneless “ribs.”

49. If you were a CRAYON what color would you be?
Forest green.

50. Last person you talked to on the phone?
A lady from church who called to make an appointment for me to come do a DSL installation.

51. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
I'll answer the same as Kendall did: a smile (or lack thereof), quickly followed by overall demeanor.

52. Favorite Drink?
Water.

53. Do you wear contacts?
No. Although I've been staring at a paper I'm working on so long today, I probably could use something. I was seeing cross eyed as I tried to look through Totem and Taboo for a reference.

54. Favorite Day of the Year?
That's tough. I think, hmm, maybe Christmas Eve.

55. Scary Movies or Happy Endings?
Probably of those two, happy endings, but I consider tragedy the height of drama. This is an odd question since “scary movies” is not the antithesis of “happy endings.” You could have a scary movie with a happy ending…

57. Hugs OR Kisses?
Hugs, as a whole, I guess.

58. What Is Your Favorite Dessert?
Lemon Meringue Pie.

59. What Book(s)Are You Reading?
I just finished The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics by Stanley Hauerwas. I'm reading the Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey, the Great Passion: An Introduction to Karl Barth's Theology by Eberhard Busch and a few others I've forgotten (I've been so busy I've not had time to get back to several books in recent times). I was just given a copy of Letters to a Young Catholic by George Weigel, which I hope to read soon.

60. What's On Your Mouse Pad?
A silver Dell logo.

61. What Did You Watch Last night on TV?
I watched an episode of All in the Family. Tonight I watched an episode of Leave it to Beaver.

62. Favorite Smells?
Evergreen, ionized air, potatoes cooking…

63. Rolling Stones or Beatles?
Beatles.

64. What's the furthest you've been from home?
The Olympic National Forest in Washington.

All I Can Say Is...

By Tim Butler | Posted at 8:22 PM

GO CARDS!!!. Right now, we're behind 3-0. We need to beat the Astros… let's hope it happens soon.

She'll Not Be Comin', but Moses Is

By Tim Butler | Posted at 6:27 PM

Ok, call me strange. I've got a quiz in Old Testament class today and one of the questions was why Moses broke the tablets containing the Ten Commandments. That's easy enough, right? Well, I answer it, noting that the scene involves Moses coming down the mountain. That was my fatal mistake. Soon, I had a new variation of “She'll Be Comin' Down the Mountain” in my head. I present it for your perusal. Yes, there is no doubt, I am strange.

VERSE 1
He'll be comin' down the mountain, when he comes,
He'll be comin' down the mountain, when he comes,
He'll be comin' down the mountain,
He'll be comin' down the mountain,
He'll be comin' down the mountain, when he comes.

VERSE 2
He'll be breakin' two white tablets, when he comes,
He'll be breakin' two white tablets, when he comes,
He'll be breakin' two white tablets,
He'll be breakin' two white tablets,
He'll be breakin' two white tablets, when he comes.

VERSE 3
O, we'll all be in trouble, when he comes,
O, we'll all be in trouble, when he comes,
O, we'll all be in trouble,
O, we'll all be in trouble,
O, we'll all be in trouble, when he comes.

VERSE 4
O, he'll destroy the gold calf, when he comes,
O, he'll destroy the gold calf, when he comes,
O, he'll destroy the gold calf,
O, he'll destroy the gold calf,
O, he'll destroy the gold calf, when he comes.

VERSE 5
And, we'll all drink gold an' water, when he comes,
And, we'll all drink gold an' water, when he comes,
And, we'll all drink gold an' water,
And, we'll all drink gold an' water,
And, we'll all drink gold an' water, when he comes.

Sunday Lunch: Soda

By Tim Butler | Posted at 8:32 PM

Michael has again provided a Sunday Lunch meme to respond to.

1. What is your favorite soda?
Coca-Cola. I also like Dr. Pepper on occasion and have lately been drinking Full Throttle (and energy drink/soda) every-so-often.

2. How many or how much soda do you drink a day?
Rarely any. I might drink a couple of sodas a week. I use to drink about six liters per week at home, and usually would get soda when eating out, but over the past year or so I've pretty much eliminated soda from my diet.

As a side note, combining this with slightly improved eating habits (I order a salad on occasion and also try not to overstuff myself to the extent that I use to) and ten minutes or so of exercise daily has really paid off (with the help of prayers for increased will power to do those things). I've lost about 50 pounds (22 kg) going from about 270-275 lbs. (122-124 kg) to 220 lbs. (99 kg), as of this week, in a bit less than a year. That's taken me from a body mass of 35ish (considered obese) to 28ish (overweight), which might not be perfect, but puts me in a lot better proportions than I've been in since grade school. Soda's OK, but I'm glad I've reduced my intake.

3. Do you drink it with a meal?
No. At the moment, it is most likely that I will drink a Full Throttle in the afternoon when I have a bit of a headache and need an energy boost.

4. What is the weirdest soda you have drank?
I do not drink weird sodas. Although if you mean just plain bad, I'd pick something like Vanilla Coke, which really didn't agree with me for some reason.

5. Do you think it should be sold in schools at lunch time or ant other time?
I think that's fine, although it'd be good to offer reasonable alternatives too.

And, I'll add this question: 6. What do you refer to soda/pop/coke/sodie as?
Soda, plan and simple. :)

I Did It eBay!

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:49 PM

I'm borrowing Michael's Friday Three questions from yesterday.

1. Have you ever bought anything on Ebay?
Yes, a number of things. Most memorably, my first modern Macintosh, an iMac G3/400 (Ruby), which got me started on my journey to becoming a Mac addict, a port replicator for my old Dell Inspiron 5000e and the hard to find Sixpence None the Richer Kiss Me single (with “Sad But True”) that completed my Sixpence collection.

2. Would you buy anything on Ebay?
Apparently, yes. :)

3. Have you ever sold anything on Ebay?
Well, personally, I haven't, but my account is selling stuff right now. My mother wanted to try to sell some purses without signing up for an account, so I listed 'em the other day. So far, we're still looking for bidders.

To Find a Gift Card

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:25 AM

I was cleaning today when I stumbled across a Borders giftcard I had received at Christmas and never used. This presents me with a difficult situation: just what should I buy with it? :) I could go over to a local Borders Books, Music and Cafe and perhaps pick up a book. Or, on Borders.com (which is run by Amazon.com), I could probably pick up a few. Either way, I could pick up a book I saw yesterday, entitled Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A Western Perspective, which looks very interesting. Or I could buy another book from Karl Barth, I was looking at his books when I ran into the other one. Or, I could perhaps buy part of C.S. Lewis' space trilogy, or the Rising (the first prequel in the Left Behind series)… oh the possibilities!

On the other hand, I could also buy a CD — I'm intrigued by Nichole Nordeman's new CD Brave (I purchased Woven & Spun after she opened Steven Curtis Chapman's show here a few years back). Or I could perhaps buy something else…

Yes, when I'm given a gift card for a book store, I'm like a kid in a candy store. Well, actually, I'm like that a lot of times when I'm in a book store. I was just at Borders this week and walked out with a stack of books from their bargain book section (including one of Emile Durkheim's books for five bucks!).

A New Site Idea

By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:52 PM

I need to start another site like I need a whole in my head, but I think I have a good idea. I've compiled a list, based on “audience reaction of a typical group of fireworks watchers” (my extended family), of the best affordable fireworks. Maybe I'll start posting my picks somewhere… Hmm.

Happy Fourth, everyone!

Last Minute Shopping...

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:07 AM

Nothing says fun quite like lighting large amounts of paiper-mache and explosives on fire. If you are looking for an impressive firework for your display, and you've waited this long, here are a few of my recommendations, based on the ones I shot off tonight at a family get-together. All but the “Bug Zapper” are returning favorites, so I can vouch for their consistency.

The Big Guys
  • J.A.S.F.: Just Another Stinkin' Fountain — This is one that I've purchased for the last few years. And it is just as good as I remembered it. For around $7-$10, it is one of the best, longest lasting fountains you will ever encounter. It may very well be the best fountain, actually.
  • Pop Goes the Fountain (Black Cat) — Another very long lasting fountain with very nice, white and gold sparks. This one only costs around $7, which makes it an excellent value.
  • Bug Zapper — The only 500 gram fountain I've seen. Given that 500 grams is the maximum legal amount of explosives, it is unusual for it to be put into a fountain. While it did not last much longer than Just Another Stinkin' Fountain, it did put on a very large and brilliant fire show. It costs around $16.
  • Nuclear Meltdown (Black Cat) — This is another colorful, very long lasting fountain that has been around for a few years. At $11, it was the best value until I found J.A.S.F. a few years back. It is still worth adding to your display.
Smaller Fountains
  • Golden Silver Flowers/Flowering Peach — Both of these classic, smaller fountains last a nice amount of time and cost around $1.50.
  • Green Bamboo/Big Snow — These small aerial balls put on a vivid, if short show for about $4.00.
  • Happy — For a small aerial firework, you still cannot beat the old standby, which comes in a variety of prices and sizes.

Smoke: The best smoke bomb you can get is Don't Smoke in a Can. At $3.00, it is pricey, but there is simply none I've found better. It lasts a very, very long time and emits three different colors of smoke.

Combine these with others such as Cuckoo, 2 Cool, Wow!, strobes, artillery shells and so on for a great show everyone is sure to love.

Have a happy Fourth!

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