Sunday, March 28, 2010

When you were a kid, did you think that at your current age, you would be living the life you are currently living?

In broad strokes, yes, I think so. Meaning that I am lucky to have a family: a wife, children. Having been blessedly lucky with my own childhood family, I have always felt a strong pull for having one of my own.

But I wasn't single-minded about it like HIMYM's Ted Moseby, who is obsessively searching for The One who will marry him and make his search for a wife a success and (presumably) validate his life in some way that he has not been able to do alone.

Frankly, and many of my childhood and high school friends would corroborate this, I've never had lots of skills in the wooing & dating department. I could count the number of girlfriends I've had on half of one hand.

So, I'm very lucky to had met a wonderful woman like Lynda and I'm super lucky to have three good kids. But I can't tell you "how" I got them, except to say that if you make family a priority, maybe the effort you put into it will generate satisfactory results.


As for the specifics of my daily life? Well, I never sat up at night imagining the life of a textbook editor living in the Midwest. But that is the life I have. And I am happy to have it. As a kid, I toyed with lots of imaginary jobs--the typical things boys think of, such as policeman, fireman, astronaut. But I was never motivated toward learning skills that resulted in such things. I loved to read and I read lots of fantasy and science fiction books. So I have always lived something similar to the "life of the mind" rather than an active life of sports.

When I was in college, I started out wanting to be an anthropologist, mostly because my best HS teacher had excited me with understanding the skeletal system and anatomy. But as I studied, I grew more interested in the cultural side of anthropology and the systems that humans have created to define the world they were trying to understand. And then I had a few really good history teachers during my undergraduate studies that made the study of history seem like a good way to shape my career. And that led to a Master's Degree and (after a year of not getting into the first set of PhD programs that I pursued) a reason to move to Ohio and try to complete the studies that would lead to a professorship.

But, along that path Lynda found a good job with the aforementioned textbook company. And I began to realize that 1.) if I finished my degree I would have to pick up my young family and search for a career elsewhere--taking Lynda away from a good job, and b.) maybe I could use the skills and education that I had acquired in college toward the same type of job she had, and c.) to be a successful professor demanded a lifestyle and a personality that I was increasingly sure was not suited to who I wanted to be.

So, I shifted my focus in this direction and this is where I am. I could never have plotted this path ahead of time, but made adjustments to things as I went.

So, no. If I had achieved the life I imagined as child, I would be flying an X-wing fighter through space pursuing Darth Vader, with my lightsaber hanging off of my hip.

Instead, I more often than not have a kid hanging off of my hip and cruise in a minivan.

And I'm okay with that.

So, there is your answer.

Thanks for asking.

Ask me anything

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Hellmouth theory vindicated

On Tuesday's I watch LOST and usually tweet some of my reactions to the episode.

This past week, for the Richard Alpert "Ab Aeterno" episode, I ended this ritual with a reaction to the metaphor that the island is a corked bottle of wine, keeping the evil at bay with a firm stopper.

And, as a good fan of TV, I reacted thusly:

Hey Buffy fans! I got it! The Island = The Hellmouth!!! #4815162342 #fb
I say this because I want to claim (in as slight a way as I can) a bit of a share of the credit for this "Doc" Jensen column that says what I said, but in a much more complete fashion.

And I also wanted to provide this very nice YouTube clip that visually says what I said, but in a much more fun way:

(Yeah, I know that the video is also at the end of Jensen's column, but you need to enjoy it.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

What's your take on the seemingly-endless infidelity stories in the media anymore? Do you think social media contributes to the prevalence of cheaters coming clean?

I am pretty sick of hearing about people cheating on their spouses every single day of the week. (And to be fair, the majority of the stories are men cheating on their wives; just to make that clear.)

There are many things about this that annoy me.

1.) This sort of thing happens everywhere all the time. That is bad enough. But to make it news is more than I want to know and stresses the sexuality of our culture and the constant prying into people's personal lives. (And this is coming from someone who puts more than half of what he does in public places for others to read.) But I hated how so much of the Clinton impeachment mess centered around the (undeniably) poor personal actions he took rather than the policy issues that others disliked him for.

2.) Like I said, this stuff happens all the time to ordinary people. But we only hear about the celebrity scandal. As if we didn't given them enough credit as it is. But we love to build people up so that we have the pleasure of tearing them down later.

3.) I'd like the media to spend more time trying to educate people on the really significant problems we face and highlighting ways to honestly solve those problems. But that doesn't get you ratings.

Now . . . for the bit of the question about social media contributing to cheaters coming clean . . . maybe? I'm not really sure to be honest. It is certainly more likely that cheaters can get caught due to slip ups and mistakes made on social media sites. But I don't think it encourages people to come clean. There is very little in the world that makes people admit their mistakes before they are caught. And even then many will continue to deny until they are backed so far into a corner that there is absolutely no choice but to reluctantly admit the truth . . . as they see it.

People aren't going to change their behavior because they are worried about Facebook or Twitter. They'll just twist their lying schemes every tighter and more complex to accommodate those things. And by doing, they'll eventually get caught. But just because living a lie is so much harder and demanding than living the truth.

So, there is my answer.

Thanks for asking!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How would you characterize a situation in which home schooling is preferable to traditional schooling?

Well, I'm not sure that I am at all equipped to answer this question with anything other than rambling opinions, since a.) I've never been homeschooled and 2.) I know very little about the actual data behind the homeschooling efforts.

But . . .

I prefer traditional schooling. That means I am in favor of schooling that takes place by accredited teachers in a public setting away from the home. Call me a traditionalist, but I think there are advantages to keeping school separate from home. In the home, there are family roles that must be taught and family roles that must be learned. Parental authority and family connections.

In public schools entirely new (and just as valuable) roles and lessons are taught. And please know that I am acknowledging the fact that you can get a good education from the homeschool environment. But the experience is entirely different, in that it--I think--blurs the difference between home and school a bit and it blurs the parental authority role a bit.

I like that my kids have to acknowledge the authority of people outside of the parent in a public setting. (And while I know that this can also be reinforced in churches or other social areas, many people don't go to church.) I also like that my kids get an opportunity to find themselves outside of the parental eye. They have opportunities to define their social personality on their own, among their peers. If they were at home, with us all the time, I think some of the social diversity would be lost.

And probably most important, I don't trust myself to be an adequate teacher of the educational skills that my kids need. And I want to have my *own* space of professional adultness outside of my kids during the school day where I may be the adult while they are leaning how to be who they are and receiving the education that I think others are more equipped to give them.

So, there is my rambling, incoherent answer. I hope it got you something of what you wanted.

And, as always, thanks for asking!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Which would you rather have: x-ray vision or the power of chlorophyll?

Well, I've waited and waited to answer this question. And I thought that it must be a quotation from some movie or graphic novel or something. But one half-hearted Google search for the phrase yielded no results. So . . . it must be an honest, if odd, question.

So, which would I rather have--x-ray vision or the power of chlorophyll?

X-ray vision is pretty cool. And it is connected to Superman, so that gives it bonus points for being an original superpower. But it isn't one of Superman's most significant powers, is it? I mean, it certainly isn't *flying,* right? And its not *bulletproof.*

But, it might be nice to have x-ray vision. I could medically diagnose all my family and friends for free. (I've got a college-level anatomy book at home.) Or maybe I could be a better rodent catcher? Or I could be the county's most requested building inspector! Even if I wasn't trying to break into bank vaults or surreptitiously see who's laying in wait for me around the corner, it might be a useful power. Hmmmm.

Now . . . chlorophyll? Seems a bit odd, dontcha think? I guess it would allow me to never be hungry again, but could I use it for more than purely self-centered means? I don't think I could use it to provide food for others. So I don't think that right now I'd be very persuaded to go the chlorophyll route.

So, I guess I'll choose x-ray vision. It makes me more than a mortal man AND as I have discovered, it makes me a more marketable hire in a down economy.

So there is your answer.

Thanks for asking!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Disaster . . . averted

If you know Sarah, you know that she loves to act, can be very funny, and actually has a good singing voice. The only problem is that she has always been very shy about showing that to other people--at least in a formal, public setting.

Well . . . tonight was the annual elementary school talent show. And Sarah surprised us months ago by saying that she wanted to be involved. She had chosen to sing along to the tune of Taylor Swifts's "You Belong to Me." We filled out the form; I burned a copy of the song to hand in to the show coordinator; Sarah began practicing and singing around the house. (The fake microphone and stand that Grace got for this past Christmas has come in handy for sure, so thanks Alpharetta Martins!)

Well, I remained hopeful that Sarah wouldn't chicken out at the last minute. I worried that when she saw the crowd and thought about the stage, she'd freeze up. But she remained loose at home and when I asked her about the practices, she was confident . . . ready to go.

Tonight we met up after work. Lynda brought the kids from home (with one of Sarah's classmates, who was also in the show and was hanging out after school) to a pizza joint. I met them there. We ate and then headed over the one of the high school auditoriums for the show.

When we got there we saw a problem straight away; Sarah's name wasn't listed among the thirty or so acts in the program. Lynda quickly found the show coordinator and asked.if there was a mistake. Mrs. C. acted like she didn't know that Sarah was in the program and had not gotten notice that it was Sarah's intention to perform. AND . . . she didn't have the music CD that I had made months ago and was the basis for Sarah's act.


Now . . . if you know Sarah, you also know that she has struggled this year with keeping up with things, remembering homework, listening to instructions, and remembering where she put things. It has been a bit of an eye-opener for all of us this year. So, I was fully prepared in my mind to realize that Sarah had completely misremembered the entire submission of entry and CD and everything. Much to my horror and frustration, I imagined Sarah in tears, as all her work, her confidence went down the tubes due to another mistake.

But Mrs. C. rolled with the punches and the minutes until the beginning of the show approached. She spoke to Lynda and I got orders to rush back to the house and reburn another version of the song. She wouldn't be in the program, but notes would be sent to the MCs to adjust their banter so that Sarah would be introduced when the time came.

So I rushed back while the show started off. And luckily I had not changed the setting on the song from iTunes; and lucky that I had another blank CD around the house, so all I had to do was make a quick copy and jump back in the car and go. I got back without missing too much of the first few acts and Lynda got a copy of the music up to the sound room in the auditorium.

And then we waited. Because of the mixup, Sarah had to go on last (LAST!!!). But go on she did and she did such a great job. She sang out strongly along with the music and there weren't any problems. The crowd was good and all of her fellow performers and classmates sang along and clapped and cheered (just as they had done throughout the entire evening for every act). It was a long night, and Lynda and I alternated waiting outside with Hannah, but in the end it was worth it. Given Sarah's bouts with stage fright in the past, I was so proud of her. And for all of us to overcome the mistakes and still handle it, I'm proud of us all.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Before I Go to Bed . . .

. . . I'll say a few things.

1. I hope you are enjoying the FAQ posts. I know that I've been leaning on them for WWYG material lately, but it helps give me ideas and avenues for writing that I might not think of on my own. So, please keep sending in questions and let me know what you think of it all.

2. Grace goes to bed every night with her light on. And I usually am the one to turn it off as I head to my own bed. Tonight I wondered if her habit of falling asleep with the light on will later be detrimental, but then I realized she is also sleeping with a plastic Barbie horse head. So, the light is the least of her future worries.

3. Opinions or comments on the new WWYG design? I really like the new variety of looks and styles. And that means I'll probably inflict you with new stuff now and then. (But I'll try to tie it to some kind of arbitrary anniversary date of remembrance. If you have a favorite date to suggest, put it in the comments.)

-- Posted From My iPhone (so, I apologize in advance for any typos I missed)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Who's the funniest person you know?

I am surprised sometime with how funny my kids can be . . . but that is something of an easy answer.

So, I've thought about this for a bit and what I'm going to say is that my two brothers are some of the funniest people that I know. Now, if you walk up to them individually, they probably won't have you rolling in the aisles with a constant stream of jokes. But, when you put them together they have a chemistry that is undeniably funny.

There are many reasons for this--and I am not qualified to provide all of those reasons to you. In an ideal world, they would guest blog and provide the true answers for this. But they aren't sitting in my living room right now. So I'll tell you what I think I know.

My brothers lived together in the same room for (pretty much) the majority of their adolescence. So they had plenty of time to get intimate with each other and learn quite a bit about the other. And living in such close proximity with each other, they developed a shorthand, a language, a special kinship that set them apart from the rest of the family. Using these inside jokes and language, they could converse with each other on any number of things. And I'm sure they used this advantage to say and comment on things that mom and dad would not have approved of at the time--which made it all the more fun and interesting.

Now, when i was younger, I didn't realize this and even to this day I don't have all of the history of how their jokes came about and even what they all mean. But I realized a few things over the years.

I may not have convinced you that they are super funny, but you must trust me when I tell you that every time I go back home and am lucky enough to be there when they are around, I hope to witness one of their "performances" (though that might make them self conscious and it isn't a really good description of what happens). Because I am always made to laugh and sometimes am even brought to tears of laughter, struggling for breath.

It is funny and it is nostalgic and it is history and it is family and it is who I was, who I am, and who I will continue to be.

So, that is tonight's answer. And thanks for asking!

Ask me anything

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Is there an age at which things get easier?

The answer to this question is going to be extremely subjective. Because, as years of watching "Alias" have taught me, every person has a different tolerance for pain and difficulty. So, the age at which things get easier for me will likely be a different age than when it gets easier for you.

But that doesn't mean that we can't try to think about the things that cause conflict and make life more difficult.

I find that I respond well when there are predictable things in my life, things that I can rely upon. A daily routine helps me keep the ever-changing world in a format that I can manage. And it helps me succeed. Now, there are always going to be days and circumstances that cause things to spin out of routine. But if you are grounded in things that make sense, you are better able to handle those (inescapable) moments when things aren't as you expect.

So, if you examine my particular life, you can see that I have a pretty stable routine of getting the kids up and ready for school, getting myself to work, performing my daily work expectations, coming home, getting everyone fed, getting the youngs ones to bed, and then relaxing for myself at the end of the day. That is a very simple description of how most of my days go. And this helps me accomplish the many obligations that I have. On the weekend I also do things like laundry, lawn care (when the grass is growing), and church on Sunday.

But there is a lot more to it than that. Right now I'm also going to a Lenten book study at church once a week. And I've been helping with Sunday school for the last month. (So that means I've got extra time to build in for preparing for the lessons.) And I must always be ready to drop it all to help if the kids are sick or simply if they want to play.

Now, I can do all of this because I am extremely lucky. I have a secure income and can pay for child care, which frees me up to work in an office. I have reliable help from my wife and my kids are very good (most of the time) and do what I ask them to do. So many people would absolutely LOVE to have my life, even though you might call it boring and predictable, stale and unimaginative. But because I have all of the advantages that I do, I have the leisure time to sit down right now and write this answer. I can blog when I want and engage my imagination in that way. I've found my own way to define who I am and and guide myself through my life. And for now, it works.

But I am also aware that what is now easy will change when I'm not ready for it. As my kids get older they become more challenging and things will certainly grow increasingly difficult. But I will take a breath and accept the change. Because I've committed myself to this life and it make me who I am.

So, I think things get easier when you discover who you are, who you are meant to be. And then you construct your life to help you be the best version of that person that you can be. I am a family man, a father, and a husband. I go to church and try to be helpful there as best I can. I try to do a good job at work and act as a friend to people. That is who I think I am, in very broad terms. And my life allows me to do that in the best way that I can.

So, figure out who YOU are and then perhaps you will see how to make your life easier.

I hope that helps and thanks for asking.

(If you want to ask me a question, please click on the FAQ tab at the top of this blog and use the form to submit your question. Or you can use the link below.)

Ask me anything

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Whence the communion between fans of fantasy and science fiction?

On the face of it, these two groups don't get along. Fantasy is about swords, dresses, magical scenarios & creatures. Science fiction is about quarks, inertial dampers, theories about battling global overpopulation.

But . . . they don't have to ignore each other. I count myself as members of both camps and enjoy both genres quite a bit. Science fiction fans can take solace in the fact that much more of their stuff gets made into movies. And I'd even venture to say (uneducatedly) that most science fiction film is better in quality than fantasy film.

And both groups can unite in their rejection of the pedestrian Hollywood romantic comedy, rife as it is with embarrassing misunderstandings, a lack of communication, and awkward dating. In science fiction and fantasy, there is hardly any dating at all! And if interactions DO occur between males and females it is either chaste and chivalrous (most fantasy) or cold and emotionless (some science fiction). But there is always the possibility of interspecies action (either human + elvish or human + green Orion woman).

I hesitantly posit that Star Wars (original trilogy) does the best job of straddling the gap between fantasy and science fiction. Though it is set in space it doesn't bother itself with wonky technical talk about hyperspace drives or dilithium crystals. Instead it is chock full of fantastical talk of spiritual Forces. (And all the ladies wear flowing robes when they aren't wearing skin-tight white jump suits holstered with laser blasters.)

So, if you want a meeting of the fantastical and the science fiction, look no further than the original Trio of Luke, Leia, and Han.

I hope that gets to what you wanted.

Thanks for asking!

Ask me anything

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Irresistible force or immovable object?

I'll admit that the first thing that came to mind was the Knight Rider episode where KITT had to face KARR, an evil doppelganger of a sentient robot car. And at the end of the episode, Michael (The HOff) Knight described the inevitable faceoff between the two super cars with this description.

And it did turn into something like that, both cars playing a high speed game of chicken in a desert. But KARR--full of selfish, self-preservation--swerved and KITT was proven the better car . . . or something.

But then, after that bit of pop culture nonsense flitted through my brain, I got down to actually thinking about the question.

And here is what I came up with:

The irresistible force is something that is unstoppable. Its momentum gives it such power. Think sort of like inertia, where an object will continue in a straight line unless it is acted up to alter that path. But if there is no force sufficient to change tha inertia, it goes on and on and on. In terms of how that describes a personality, I think of someone who has such charisma that powers on, dragging others in their wake. A cult of irresistable personality, perhaps?

The immovable object is something so rooted, so strong in its foundation that nothing can shift it. Think of someone whose morality is not to be swayed. No matter the counterargument, no matter the evidence, no matter the rhetoric, the person with an immovable morality is not going to change their mind.

So . . . where does that leave ME?

I don't know that I embody either one of these characteristics, but if I did, I think I'd suggest that I am closer to an irresistable force than an immovable object. My liberal arts education and my general bent of spirit make it hard for me to settle on a fixed position that can't be adjusted. I am affected by good arguments, logic, evidence, and rhetoric. So that even more suggests that I should pick the irresistable force, since I can be swayed by an irresistable personality.

So, Irresistable Force.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chocolate or Vanilla?

I'm a chocolate fan, to be sure. There are times when I might choose vanilla, but more often than not, I'd just ruin the "vanillaness" by dumping some chocolate sauce on it and doctoring it up further with nuts and cherries and whatnot.

Still, the pleasures of a vanilla shake cannot be denied . . . but not on a regular basis.

Which side of the war are you on, Dr. Linus?

Okay, so explain this to me.

We know from previous episodes that Ben has interacted with someone he "thought" was Jacob or whom he presented to (the real) John Locke as Jacob--the rocking chair spectre in the cabin.

We also know that Ben and Widmore have always presented themselves to each other (and the unseen audience) as on opposite sides of this War that they spoke about a few seasons ago.

And we are now being shown that Jacob and the Man in Black have been in opposition to each other for a long time. We presume that their spiritual opposition has something to do with the war that Ben and Widmore spoke of.

But . . .

If, as Jacob told Hurley during the "Lighthouse" episode that "someone bad is coming," and that bad person in Widmore on the submarine.
And, if Ben and Widmore are on opposite sides of this war.
And, if that means that Widmore and the Man in Black are on the same side of this war (?).
And, if that means that Ben has now chosen to join with Iliana on Jacob's side . . .

Wait . . . wasn't Ben already on Jacob's side if he was in opposition to Widmore anyway? And didn't Ben always tell everyone that he was taking orders from Jacob--via Richard. Even though we know that they didn't ever interact with Jacob very much.

But wait. When Ben did interact with "Jacob" in the cabin, we now know (don't we?) that this wasn't Jacob--who lived in the shadow of the statue--but was actually the Man in Black--jailed by the ash circle. And we know that the people living in the Temple (people also known to Ben) were aware that the ash was supposed to keep the dangerous Man in Black at bay.

So . . . when Ben took Locke to "see" "Jacob" at the cabin so many seasons ago, he must have known that that wasn't Jacob at all, but was the dangerous, not-to-be-trusted Man in Black that represented the opposite side of the war that he (Ben) was already engaged in.


Did Ben do it just to easily manipulate John, knowing he was putting on a dumbshow of no consequence? Did Ben not want to trek all the way to the other part of the Island where the statue foot (and the real Jacob) waited?

My head hurts.

Monday, March 08, 2010

LOST Links (preemptive strike edition)

As you may remember, last week I went into a LOST episode flying nearly blind--meaning that I had not read articles about it ahead of time. I didn't know who the episode focused on (helped by--for once--intelligent promos from ABC that didn't go into excruciating detail), I didn't read internet articles ahead of time, and I generally relaxed and let it wash over me.

And while it didn't make the episode a transcendent experience, I did enjoy the ability to enjoy everything as a brand new experience.

Time and schedule may mean that I do a similar thing this week. As of this sitting at the keyboard (7:17 pm on Monday night) I can't tell you anything about tomorrow night's episode. But what I can do is provide you some interesting reflections on last week's episode and on LOST in general.

I first read this author's posts for the "Lighthouse" episode a few weeks ago and I was struck with how nicely the arguments were put together. I recommend (unread!) this one for last week's "Sundown" as well.

As I've told you before, blogger "fishbiscuit"'s super detailed LOST recaps are an acquired taste. But if you've got twenty minutes to spare, you are guaranteed to read something you probably won't find anywhere else and may encounter thoughts like nothing you've seen . . . regarding LOST as least. Here is one for "Lighthouse," since I can't remember if I provided it last time round. And here is one for last week's "Sundown" episode.

Here's an odd new link that I don't usually provide--a audio podcast (and from a normally sport-related source, no less). Last week ESPN's Bill Simmon's held one of his semi-regular chats with one of my favorite writers, Chuck Klosterman. In the nearly two hour podcast--split into two parts--they discussed everything from racism in the NBA to Twitter to I don't even remember it all. I recommend the entire two parts just because Klosterman is always interesting and thoughtful. But if you are only interested in the last twenty minutes or so where they discuss LOST in general, follow this link for part two and fast forward the audio to the 18 minute mark.

And then let's jump quickly from audio to video. Many of the LOST actors met up with Exec. Producers Cuse and Lindelof last week in Los Angeles for Paleyfest. There fans and others quizzed them about LOST and generally celebrated the show and the creativity behind it all. I havent' spent time reviewing the videos linked here, but I'm betting there are some interesting questions and thoughtful responses from a good group of actors. And there are probably some good laughs spread out in there as well. Follow this link for a series of YouTube videos capturing most (if not all) of the session. And beware of possible spoilers, though they might be out of date depending upon when you watch the material on the link?

And beyond those links, I always check in with "Doc" Jensen's coverage on Entertainment Weekly. And many, many other Web sites are also doing good stuff with LOST, such as Alan Sepinwall and the A.V. Club. (Thanks, Chris!)

Well, you get the idea.

Happy linkage! And please let me know your opinions.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Is it safe?

Well, if I'm Frodo and you're Gandalf and you're asking me if The Ring is secretly & safely hidden . . . then . . . the answer is no. Because I have yet to take the responsibility of being a Ringbearer seriously. (And I really don't yet know what a Ringbearer is.)

chicken or egg? nature or nurture? word or flesh?

I'll choose chicken over egg, because creating an egg is not as exciting as creating a fully functional, complete chicken.

Both nature and nurture play an important role, but I think nurture wins out. Culture trumps biology--that's what makes humans different than the rest of the Kingdom & Phylum and makes the Sapiens "sapiens."

And I'll take word over flesh, since flesh is corruptable and prone to decay. Word can live on into the future.

Do you believe in life after death?


What was your favorite year?

How about 1995--the year that I got married?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A few new tweaks

I've made a few more adjustments on WWYG the last few days. And since I don't want to go to bed yet, lets spend a few minutes together thinking about them.

1. I simplified my URL, by registering Why Won't You Grow and ditching "blogspot." I'm unreasonably excited by this actions and for some reason now conclude that I've dropped the blogging training wheels or something. Even though I know there is no reality in that belief, I'm happier about it now. I like the way it looks; I like the way it sounds; it sound right, like it was something I should have done a long time ago. Do you have any sort of opinion?

And don't worry. The original URL should redirect you here. If it doesn't, PLEASE let me know with an email.

2. I've added another page to the list of pages below the title header--one for I heard about this service from some other bloggers and media people that I follow on Twitter and other various networks. As you can see if you click on it, it is a pretty simple interface. You ask questions and I provide answers. It's another attempt by me to inject a bit more interactivity into my dabblings.

I promise to take your questions seriously . . . unless I think you are asking a joking question--and joking questions are welcome also. (I love a good joke, as I hope you know.)

It may take me a bit of time to adjust to any questions that come in. I'll need to adjust to having this in my digital routine, so I can't guarantee that I'll jump on questions right away. And I don't (honestly) expect that I'll be inundated with questions . . . if past efforts are any indication. But hope springs eternal. It seems like a bit of harmless interactive fun, so let's see where it takes us.

Better late than never?

I ran across this via a tweet the other day (originally posted when the Olympics were actually happening) and didn't follow up on it right away.

So, yes, it's technically dated in that the Olympics ended a few days ago. But since it is actually functioning as a retrospective on past actions, its dated in a good way.

And besides, who doesn't love spending a few minutes on the success or failure of graphic design?

You can check out the video here.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Spoiler policy

Do you have an opinion about spoilers?

This is something that is a particular problem of the digial era, in decadent nations with free time, high literacy, and widespread entertainment. What exactly DO you do about knowing the plot of your favorite TV show, movie, book before you get around to experiencing it? Are you vigalent about avoiding that sporting event that is sitting on you DVR at home? Do you not listen to voicemails? Do you stop yourself from surfing over to your browser homepage because you're sure the results of the gold medal match are going to be sitting there for the wandering eye?

Somehow I doubt the Viscount Reynolds avoided talking to the Dutchess of Chesterton and the Earl of Nudington because he knew they had seen Shakespeare's Othello at the Globe the night before but he was going to go next week. I just dont' think people worried about it so much. But today, we take entertainment very seriously and we want to experience it devoid of anyone else's opinion or without prior knowledge.

At least, that's what many people do.

Myself? I tend to be pretty tolerant of prior knowledge. I certainly don't go out of my way to avoid the news and I often read reviews of movies before i head to the theater. If I know something is going to be a big mystery, I'll avoid it (such as with The Crying Game or The Sixth Sense) but it's not ironclad either. Sometimes I'll want to know AND I won't tell Lynda so that I can have the added layter of waiting to experience her reaction to something.

Maybe this stemmed from my childhood decision to read the novelization of Return of the Jedi prior to seeing the movie. (I can't even remember the sequence of events that made this seem like the thing to do, but hey . . . I was thirteen?) Anyway, it was because of this that I got confirmation of Vader's paternal relationship with Luke long before little puppet Yoda said "Your father he is." And that didn't destroy the movie experience for me. So, I'm mostly tolerant.

Now . . .

I bring this up to say that due to lots of different circumstances--work, church, Olympics, reading, "Doc" Jensen's posting delay--I am heading into tonight's episode of LOST blind. For the first time since the series first episode, I don't really have any idea what the plot will be, what the episode title is, what might happen, what we might learn, or anything at all. And I think I'm gonna keep it that way until 9:00 rolls around.

It'll be fun to see if this alters my experience a bit. I could end the suspense right now by zipping over to about a dozen different Web sites and getting informed.

But I won't.

(And don't come over here and ruin it for me, Sir Nudington!)