Thanksgiving 2004

Thanksgiving was quite wonderful.

My brother Greg visited (and we played through Halo 2 on co-op–he had the same reaction I did to the abrupt ending), we had a ton of students over for Turkey Day itself, my friend Anthony got XBox live and we gamed together, and I bought a 200 gig hard drive for under $50. Gotta love those Fry’s “day after Thanksgiving” specials…

Anyway, given my new abundance of disk space I decided to install Linux. I did it once in college and enjoyed playing with it. I expected much the same experience (namely a few days of fighting with arcane and needlessly obscure configuration files), and I have to say I’m blown away by how far it’s come. I downloaded the Fedora Core 3 distribution and setup was a snap. Fedora auto‐detected everything (including my sound card and network configuration) and installed a very nice graphical interface called Gnome.

And to top it off, it kept all my existing information intact so that my computer will now boot either Windows XP or Linux at my whim.

How cool is that?


I was out of town all day yesterday and got back late enough that I didn’t bother to check any sports scores. I had had some intimation of the rude information that awaited me in the San Jose Mercury News sports section (owing to an ill‐timed consolation call from the Chi Alpha leader at Berkeley).

So we lost Big Game. Again. And we lost Big Game big. Almost as badly as it has ever been lost (although outranked by our 1930 41–0 romp over Cal).

I think the proper attitude is conveyed in Mark Purdy’s column:

Oh, it could have gone worse for Stanford on a windy, blustery afternoon. But only if a tree had fallen on The Tree.

Cal’s 41–6 victory Saturday was so awful, Stanford fans spent the second half leaving in droves — in luxury cars, actually, but in drove‐like formation.

Heh. It’s a game we lost, but it’s only a game.

Of course, had we won I’d be singing an altogether different tune about the relative importance of squashing one’s rivals like bugs. But we didn’t win, and so I adopt the more rational attitude. 🙂

That Awful Sinking Feeling

This morning around 9:50 I glanced at my calendar and realized that I had a rather important meeting at 10:00. In Sacramento. 125 miles away.

As my stomach sank into my socks I began making those pathetic, desperate sounds I am prone to make in such situtations, “Urgh. Ack. Jeez. No. Must be a mistake. Shoot. AARGH!”

That may seem mild, but I assure you that if I was possessed of a more flexible vocabulary I would have employed every unwholesome utterance at the stereotypical sailor’s disposal. As it is I probably pushed the boundaries for someone in my line of work–at least internally.

Anyway, I was out the door in a flash and arrived just in time for lunch.

As it turned out I only missed the informational part of the meeting and was able to be present for the decision‐making discussions.

Which is fortunate, because the world needs more uninformed people making important decisions… 🙂

My Halo 2 Stats

This is too wild: you can check out my Halo 2 stats (updated as I play), down to the details of an individual game.

You will note, by the way, that I am not particularly good compared to the leaders (but I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad since over 300,000 contenders have thrown their hat into the ring).

Incidentally, the campaign storyline is absolutely maddening. It’s cool as can be up until about 3/4 of the way through, and then it takes a detour into crazytown. And the ending makes you want to rip your eyeballs from your sockets and hurl them at the screen in protest.

Multiplayer rocks, though.

Ukiah, Here We Come!

We’re going to be at Redwood Valley Assembly of God this weekend, so I decided to do some quick research about them.

What I discovered floored me: they meet in the old building which Jim Jones (yes, that Jim Jones) used for cult meetings.

Both cool and creepy at the same time.

This snippet from the church website says it best:

What once was a place used for selfish ambition is now a place of redemption.

I know the pastor, but I never thought to google his name before now. I bet he’s got the most fascinating stories. I really look forward to learning more this weekend.

Curt Harlow Blogging

A good friend of mine Curt Harlow has begun to blog. Check out He also has a Xanga site which doesn’t seem to have the same content, so you can also check it out (or just subscribe to his Xanga RSS feed).

Curt, incidentally, is relocating from the Chi Alpha central office in Springfield, MO to serve as our West Coast overseer/coach/supervisor type. His formal title is “West Coast Field Representative.”

We can’t wait to have him out here!

Halo 2

At 12:01 am I became a proud Halo 2 owner.

At least, in theory I did. I didn’t actually get a copy in my grubby little paws until around 1:00 am.

I had prepaid for the game and it was waiting for me in the store with my name on it, I just had to wait in line behind approximately 200 other people who also theoretically owned copies.

Really–there were at least 200 folks there, and I think the real total was closer to 250. Fortunately most of them were groups of two to four folks who all intended to go home and get their game on right afterwards. There were probably 80–90 actual game acquisitors (is that a word?) ahead of me.

Overall it took me an hour to make my way to the front of my line.

Nick Hasulak (a student from our ministry) had bummed a ride off of me to pick up a copy. He hadn’t prepaid or preorder or preconsidered. He just decided to hop in my car and purchase the game for himself.

Here’s the kicker: he got his copy before I did in the “VIP” line for fully‐paid preorders. I guess the store figured that since we had already given them our money they didn’t need to worry too much about customer service.

I’ll remember that next time I’m tempted to prepay.

I’ve now ratified my geekdom–I stood in line at midnight for a videogame.

Of course, Halo transcends social strata and so at least half the people standing alongside me looked like they had just stepped out of an Abercrombie and Fitch commercial… maybe this isn’t the act I’ve been looking for to firmly establish myself in geek circles.

Anyway, I’ve started playing and the game is incredible. It fully lives up to my expectations, at least so far.