Saturday, April 30, 2005

The End of Analog Television

I found this article interesting and quite fitting to Jason's recent acquisition. If the FCC and Congress stick to their date of making all TVs HD or HD capable, midnight of New Year's Eve 2006 all analog TVs will go blank for television airwaves. Everyone not owning an HDTV will have to either go buy one, or buy a box to connect between cable and TV or HD converter/antennas. While the picture for these will be without "snow", if there is a weak signal, instead of a fuzzy picture, you'll get nothing. I know I'm not about to spend $50-100 on a box to watch TV that I don't really watch anyway. Lower income families won't be able to afford them, so they'll have to resort to other things, like reading or playing outside or even *gasp* talking!

I'm guessing they'll end up just pushing the date back until more people buy these devices or newer TVs. If not, I could care less. In fact, the article states that new analog TVs will probably need disclaimers (and some already do) saying that they will essentially be useless in a year. I bought my 36" TV about three years ago, and it basically looks and works like brand new. I'm not about to trade up or spend more money on an already expensive product that has nothing wrong with it. I'll just watch more DVDs and play more Xbox.

My prediction is if this date comes and the FCC and Congress are true to their word, it could break the television and cable industries as we know them. Fewer people will watch TV. The audience will grow after the deadline, but it will take a long time for these industries to recover. If you ask me, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

It's funny that I got a comment about monkeys flinging poo on my blog (thanks Eric). It's like divinde providence that it should come to pass. I did this years ago. Have I mentioned that I worked as a graphic designer for a yellow page company for two years? One day at work, I got really bored (knowing that the company was being shut down). Just give it a click and view it in all its poo flinging glory.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Waldenbooks and Borders Sale

Because I think everyone should have the opportunity to get discounted books, Borders and Waldenbooks are having a 30% off sale from April 28th - May 1st with a coupon. It's only good for one book per visit as far as I can tell, but that doesn't mean you can't go in more than once with another coupon. Don't spend too much on books though. That's what the library is for.


Monday, April 25, 2005

The Membership Conversation

In conversations about membership there has been talk about finding new words without baggage or assigning new meaning to these existing words. Membership just sounds like something at the video store or health club. I can go to Safeway if I want to be a member of something, and get low prices at the same time. C.S. Lewis has some things to say about membership that I thought I'd throw into the mix.

Welcome to the Family

The very word membership is of Christian origin, but it has been taken over by the world and emptied of all meaning. In any book on logic you may see the expression "members of a class." It must be most emphatically stated that the items or particulars included in a homogeneous class are almost the reverse of what St. Paul meant by members. By members....he meant what we should call organs, things essentially different from, and complimentary to, one another, things differing not only in structure and function but also in dignity....How true membership in a body differs from inclusion in a collective may be seen in the structure of a family. The grandfather, the parents, the grown-up son, the child, the dog, and the cat are true members (in the organic sense), precisely because they are not members or units of a homogeneous class. They are not interchangeable. Each person is almost a species in himself. The mother is not simply a different person from the daughter, she is a different kind of person. The grown-up brother is not simply one unit in the class children; he is a seperate estate of the realm. The father and grandfather are almost as different as the cat and the dog. If you subtract any one member, you have not simply reduced the family in number; you have inflicted an injury on its structure. Its unity is a unity of unlikes, almost of incommensureables.

A dim perception of the richness inherent in this kind of unity is one reason why we enjoy a book like The Wind in the Willows; a trio such as Rat, Mole, and Badger symbolizes the extreme differentiation of persons in harmonious union, which we know intuitively to be our true refuge both from solitude and from the collective.

- C.S. Lewis from "Membership" (The Weight of Glory)

If this is true, as organs or members, we have opportunity to perform our functions and display our levels of dignity (dare I say faults) without outside judgement or judgement of other body parts working collectively for life. I also might venture to say that sometimes gangrene sets in and parts must be amputated for the sake of the life of the body.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

House Votes For Oil Drilling in Alaska

No offense to any environmentalists who may read my blog:

It's about time.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The End of Entropy

I've started a new book (finally finished the one I was working on) called A is for Abductive The Language of the Emerging Church by Leonard Sweet, Brian McClaren, and Jerry Haselmayer. What kind of a title is that? It is an attempt to get modern thinking people introduced to this "postmodern" thing everyone is talking about. Even its form, a glossary of terms, is a modern idea. They tell you not to read it in order from A-Z, but instead any other way. One they suggest is to read from most used letters in the alphabet (E, T, A) to the least used (J, Q, Z). The first letter is E, and one of the words they use is Eschaton. What could the end of the world or the climax of history have to do with postmodernism?

The word used right before Eschaton is Entropy. It sounds like and basically means the same thing as atrophy, only with Entropy, we're talking about the deterioration of society or a system. The Escaton if Entropy ends or reverses this decline. In the authors' own words:

"The Universe is partially created, an unfinished symphony, a masterpiece in progress. In this eschatology we are invited to be part of God's creative team working to see God's dream for the universe come true"

Even the postmodern view of our relationship with God is connective and collaborative. Where the Deist idea of God is Him creating and setting the world in motion and then taking a sabbatical, only checking in on us now and then, we are called now to join in the creation process and rejuvination of life. What a supreme responsibility and privilege to partake in shaping and molding how his creation becomes a masterpiece. I can see a little bit more how and why we are given the Holy Spirit. We are given the Artist's knowledge of how to paint and sculpt. We may end up doing it slightly different, a little more abstract, or not as well as the Master, but the outcome is something beautiful and totally different from one person's rendition.

Monday, April 04, 2005

New Album From Terry Lewis

I should be working right now.

I can't.

I just got two CDs from Terry Lewis. That's right, we're related. He's my uncle (which is why the picture on the back of one of the CDs looks like me). I've been raving to some people about how good he is, even though he's only been playing mandolin for about 2 1/2 years. He does all his own recording at home, but I he has lots of support from a couple of websites in Mandolin Cafe and Mandozine.

If you like bluegrass, jazz, country, or folk music, or just like to hear really good playing, support him by buying his CDs. You can tell him you know me and he may give you a deal. Just click on the picture here and it will take you to a page that has his email to contact him to buy CDs, or just click here. He doesn't have online ordering right now.

I'm telling you, it's really good, original music.