As mentioned in a previous post, I recently went to White Sands Missile Range for training. Well, 47 years ago, or there abouts, my father was at White Sands Missile Range to test fire the Corporal Missile. Here’s the family standing in from of the Corporal missile displayed at the WSMR museum.

I’m not exactly sure but I suspect that I was born while he was stationed at or near White Sands Missile Range. I was born at William Beaumont Hospital in El Paso, Texas which is the hospital that serves Fort Bliss, White Sands Missile Range and several smaller posts in the area. This building I’m standing in front of is not the building I was born in. When I was born, the hospital was a whitewashed wooden structure. There was a picture of it inside.


[posted with ecto]

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I am an INTP.
I served in the military during the Cold War.
I spent 184 days serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom (so far).
I speak fluent Japanese though my wife would argue the fluent part.
I love my wife.
My two biggest heros are my children. I want to be just like them.
I like Country & Western music.
I believe in God, in fact I depend on Him.
I lived in Wyoming, Iowa and would like to live in a rural community again.
I prefer ranches to farms and farms to cities.
I home-school my children.
I have a MySpace page and know more about the web, the internet and computers than my kids.
I’m afraid of the DVD player. My wife has to start the movie.
I love my truck, it is the best ride on the road.
I’d rather have a conversation in iChat than on the phone.
I have been to Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Iraq, Kenya, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Singapore. And, of course, the United States.
I was a regular user of the internet before the web was invented.
I have been to California, Washington, Iowa, Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Nebraska, Michigan, and Hawai`i.
I worked as a teller in a bank. I was working the day they got robbed.
I left Microsoft to go to work for Apple.
I went to school with Gary Trousdale.
I wear glasses.
I cuss like a sailor.
I like Mexican food even though it gives me indigestion and gas.
I don’t like Chinese food.
I love the holiday season and long for White Christmases.
My wife and I have conversations on iChat while both of us are sitting at the kitchen table.
I went on a safari in Kenya.
I always wear a hat.
I was a Civil War Re-enactor and enjoy living history.
I like photography.
I sang in the high school men’s choir and still enjoy singing.
I am a reasonably good barista.
I have a security clearance.
I smoked cigarettes for 15 years but have not smoked at all in eight years.
I have a drinking problem and because of that I no longer drink alcohol of any kind, ever.
I wore a hakama for my wedding which was in a church in Tokyo.
I believe that being a husband and a father are the most important things I will do in my life.
I believe that accepting Christ as lord was the most important decision I’ll ever make.
I was ‘held back’ in the first grade which means I did the first grade twice.
I liked Navy Boot Camp and was sorry to see it end.
Of all the vehicles I’ve owned, the 1984 Jeep CJ-7 was my favorite. I wish I still had it.
I broke my arm at the age of 17 falling off a flag pole.
I suffer from a condition called BPPV.
I am left handed.
I miss Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.
I like singing hymns.
Two of my favorite authors are Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton.
I seriously considered joining the Australian Navy under a special program for foreign service members.

Aloha

[posted with ecto]









Pure Nerd

52 % Nerd, 34% Geek, 21% Dork

For The Record:


A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.



The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the “dork.” No-longer. Being smart isn’t as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.



Congratulations!




Thanks Again! — THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

Aloha

[posted with ecto]

From the beginning I wanted smittie.com as my domain. Someone had registered it and was offering it for sale. Initially, the web page said that the minimum offer that would be considered was $500. Some months later it was $850. Today, it is $1230. However, they accepted a significantly lower offer from me.

So, I am now the proud owner of smittie.com which I think is hella cool. Over the weekend I’ll be moving my personal web pages over there. Smittieandcompany.com will be an info page for the business dealing of Smittie & Company, Inc.

Aloha

[posted with ecto]


My Friend Todd

Originally uploaded by zmittie.

Todd and I have been friend since our days at CSULB. We’ve been friends longer than the World Wide Web has been around. In fact, when we met the internet was not yet readily available to the public. We were both quite active on a dial-up system called GEnie which is now long dead. We were friends working in the student computer lab at CSULB when the WWW was first taking form. Todd told me it was going to be cool. I wasn’t so sure.

Todd always includes a photo when he blogs about friends coming to visit him. I visited twice now. This time, when he took a picture of me I whipped out my camera and returned the favor. So, here is a picture of my friend Todd in a local Starbucks in the Torrance/Gardena area.

I always enjoy catching up with Todd. I wish we didn’t live so far apart. I need to convince Todd to move.

Aloha

[posted with ecto]

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My political compass

  • Economic Left/Right: 1.25
  • Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.62

I want less government because I don’t believe that the government is the best way to get most things done. There are few things that absolutely need to be the responsibility of the government.

Although I am a registered Republican I feel that all politicians are not to be trusted. My observation is that politicians work first and foremost to get themselves re-elected. What is best for their constituents, their community, their State and their country is secondary.

I believe in a free market but also acknowledge that some times regulation is necessary. When regulation is needed, I think economic incentives work better than governmental regulations. I would like to see consumers putting more thought into how and where they spend their money, thereby exploiting free market principles rather than expecting the government to protect us from ourselves. To wit, make an effort to spend your money at businesses that support that which you believe in and avoid those that do not.

I’m more interested in economics than politics but I can’t honestly say that I’m strongly interested in either. American Politics strikes me as a run away train. At the end of the day, I have little real influence over the political process. I fall in the center of the political spectrum, which is not to say that I am, necessarily, a Centrist. At least not in the sense that the term is used by many of the Conservative Right. I live in an area that is renowned for its liberal political views while my father is a fan of Conservative Talk Radio. Generally speaking, I usually manage to keep my friends and my father angry at me with my political outlook.

Political Compass is another of the online tests that I love. Political Compass first expands the paradigm used to discuss political position. The Right vs Left paradigm links economic and social view. Yet, these view are not necessarily linked. I don’t think Political Compass is by any means perfect or in any way authoritative. It does provide a standard, or measure by which to compare.

Aloha

[posted with ecto]

——————–
Today’s run stats:

  • 4 miles in 42:46
  • Pulse one minute after finish: 144
  • Pulse five minutes after finish: 112

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I like online tests that tell us something about ourselves. In many cases, I learn something new about myself through these tests. Today’s case in point, the Myers-Briggs personality model (Google Search, Wikipedia) and the tests based on this model. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is based on the psychological research of Carl Jung. At one point, I spent a weekend trying the various online tests.

The test that seemed the best to me was TypeFocus. This test is free, takes about 5 minutes to complete and provides the most detailed results. I took the test several times. First, I focused on learning what the ‘questions’ were asking. Then I focused on determining the true answers for me. That is, separating what I wanted the answer to be from what the answer was. Separating who I wish I was from who I am. This was an interesting exercise. I asked my wife to answer some of the questions for me. I learned a lot about myself just in this phase alone. Finally, I repeated the test several times answering questions that I was largely ambivalent about with different answers to see how that affected the outcome of the test.

The result of all of this was the determination that I am an INTP. Discovering this bit of information was the beginning of a new road of self-discovery. I began searching the net for information on INTP. Wow! I found quite a lot of information but the most significant was this site, intp.org.

intp.org has an article that describes and explains the INTP. The first time I read The INTP Profile I stopped about a third of the way through the article. It was just too frightening. I was used to hearing and reading descriptions of me as viewed by others. This was my first time to read an article that describe what it was like inside my head. What I was reading was so accurate it scared me. I’ve gone back since then. I read the article every now and then because it is really useful to be reminded of why I do some of the things I do. Understanding the INTP mindset helps me relate to others better because I better understand other people’s reaction to me.

aloha

[posted with ecto]

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Today’s run stats:

  • 4 miles in 43:46
  • Pulse one minute after finish: 132
  • Pulse five minutes after finish: 124

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I have been involved recently with a number of people who are, in one form or another, involved in ministry. Numerous discussions about the church, Christians, Christ, non-Christians, evangelism and sundry related issues. Recurrent in these conversations is the concept of evangelism. In most case, evangelism means “telling others about Christ,” at least in the minds of the Christians talking about it. However, in the course of listening to Christians talk about evangelism I have gained a fuller understanding of why many non-Christians are adamant in their desire to avoid the discussion of spirituality, religion, Christ, or anything even remotely related to the church. Although I am a Christian I am arriving at the notion that I would probably prefer to not be counted among the crowd that calls themselves evangelical Christians.

In a long series of comments on Dan Kimball’s blog in response to Dan’s posting about a t-shirt that Dan saw a young man wearing in an airport, many talk about tactics for maneuvering the conversation around to a discussion of God, Christ and Christianity. Some to the point of argumentative. The evangelical church seems to convey the idea that it is the responsibly of all evangelical Christians to always be looking for or manufacturing ways and opportunities to manipulate the topic of conversation around to a discussion of God, Christ, the Bible and, most importantly, salvation.

Listening to a recent podcast by Greg Laurie, pastor at Harvest in Riverside California, Pastor Laurie talked about the fact the many non-religious people opt to pray before holiday meals. When the moments come up, the non-religious in the crowd often look to those they know to be church goers to say the requisite prayer. Pastor Laurie explained that this is an opportunity to share the gospel with the crowd gathered there. He went on to give an example of a prayer one might use. Pastor Laurie instructed listeners in how to encapulate the story of Christ coming to earth, living a sinless life, being crucified and resurrected in the course of giving thanks for the meal. I am not at all sure that these methods and tactics are at all effective and I suspect that they may even be counter productive to the cause that those who use them are pursuing. And, in the case of the prayer that Pastor Laurie suggests, I would like to point out that prayer is suppose to be a discussion with God. What Pastor Laurie suggests is a monologue with those present in the guise of a conversation with God. This seems to me an attempt to delude both those present and God. Deceiving others is rude. Attempting to deceive God is the height of foolishness.

We have all met that individual who is constantly working a Bible verse into every conversation they participate in. Everything is “Praise the lord” to the point where you begin to wonder, are they really that excited about the Lord or is there some ulterior motive. While this is a rather extreme or exaggerated example I think the underlying notions permeate all such tactics. In the end, I think that the people we are most trying to influence are, at the very least, made to feel uncomfortable and, more often, offended by attempts to inject God into conversations. Dan Kimball and others have noted that people not involved with the church often say that they like Jesus but do not want any thing to do with the church. I am pretty sure that this is, at least in part, because of the almost militant evangelical nature that is so prominent in the Protestant denominations today.

1 Peter 3:15 provides the best template for Christian living in my opinion. To live one’s own life in accordance with the teachings of Christ so that, when asked one can provide an answer for the hope that is in them. My faith in Christ is my decision to believe in and pursue the precepts of the Bible. If we believe the Bible then God has given each individual the freedom to choose whether or not they will believe in Him. I do not believe that anyone can be dragged through the pearly gates, kicking and screaming. The decision to seek God, to investigate the spiritual side of life has to begin inside oneself. God respects the individual’s choice in seeking Him. I think many Christians would do well to also respect the choices of others.

When asked, I am glad to share my reasons for my beliefs. If you don’t agree, I will respect your opinion. I think it is disrespectful to denigrate another’s beliefs. I am entitled to my opinions about other religions. Tolerance means that I respect the fact that other people believe things that I do not necessarily agree with. Respect requires tolerance. I think the world could do with a lot more respect and tolerance.

Aloha



Song: Take Five

Artist: The Dave Brubeck Quartet

[posted with ecto]

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I love the holiday season. I love to daydream about a long ago time when Bing Crosby would be heard on every radio station and every department store would be playing Christmas carols. The holiday season was different back in the early forties. The period that gave us songs like “I’ll Be Home From Christmas” and Mel Tormes’ “The Christmas Song”.

It is interesting what the crucible of national hardship can do. We got a glimpse of it on September 11, 2001. For a few days there, it was OK to pray. For a few days there, America wondered if maybe there was a god. Now, four years later September 11, 2001 might as well be December 7, 1941.

The commentary of the movie “Pleasantville” is that the color of life is in being real. The color of life is in the conflict, in stepping out of bounds and breaking the rules. While that maybe true, I still think there is something to be said for a Normal Rockwell Christmas or the ideal of a Father Knows Best family. And maybe it’s not even the idea but rather to fantasy of the notion.

I love the holiday season, from Thanksgiving through to New Years day. Even if what I love about it is more a memory of yesterday than a reality of today. Because in the end, it is the pomp and circumstance, it is the celebrations that delineate our lives. Every day is special is another way of saying there are no special days.

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.