Showing posts from December, 2013

Year in Review 2013

I had a lot ebb and flow through my mind this past year. But most of it didn't matter to anyone else. Here are the top five that did.  photo credit: Susan Crow 1. Top 5 Most Influential Metal Bands When it comes right down to it, people listen to the music that they do simply because they like it. I try to make lots of philosophical cases for why rap is terrible; but ultimately, it just bores me. And as much as heavy metal’s opponents can conjure up an army of strawmen against it, they just don’t like the way it sounds either... Read More 2. Atlas Stumbled I grew up in the church. And as a homeschooled high school drop out, my entire social life existed at church as well. So you would think that it would feel like home to me. That I would share the same partiality and affection toward it as I do with the state of New Jersey. But it don’t. And the worst part is the assumption that I’m going through that rebellious, younger person phase, or perhaps “a crisis of faith.

Set the Bar High

There are loads of personality tests out there. Probably because my generation is so patently narcissistic or some such nonsense. If you're into Myers-Briggs , I'm an INTP which--depending on the meme--makes me an owl or Yoda . But another simple test is to measure your expectations. According to this understanding, there are four types of people in the world. People who have: High expectations of themselves, high expectations of others High expectations of themselves, low expectations of others Low expectations of themselves, low expectations of others Low expectations of themselves, high expectations of others If it wasn't obvious, I'm the first one (although I occasionally drift into the last). Either way, my personality isn't very cool right now because it's not popular to have high expectations at all. No one likes being set up for failure, so let's lower the bar and take a win, right? Or we could just accept that  high expectations provide

Gay Coffee, Straight Chicken, and Ducks

If you're aware of the recent controversy regarding Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty , then you probably have an opinion about his comments on homosexuality . Which, I think, puts me and my wife in a minority: we don't care about Phil Robertson. Or his views. I remember feeling the same way when Starbucks' CEO, Howard Schultz, announced his support of gay marriage (good for you, get me my coffee). Not long after that, Chick-Fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, announced his support of traditional marriage (again, good for you, get me my chicken). I don't care where those organizations stand on marriage because I don't patronize them for their anthropological views. Lots of people feel the need to publicize their opinions (yours truly not excluded). Which is fine. In America, we have freedom of speech. But as my wife astutely pointed out, we don't have freedom from consequence. There's a consequence for everything we do. If you rob a bank, you'll get arr

Giving is not an Investment

My wife often laughs at me when I use the word "investment." Not because she thinks finances and budgets are silly matters; she laughs because I use it as a synonym for "buy." I rarely say, "we need to buy speakers for our tv." Instead I'll say, "we need to invest in speakers for our tv." Buying things sounds so materialistic and frivolous and I, for one, don't like wasting money. So I prefer to invest my money in things that I intend to see a return of some kind. Like a better television viewing experience. We have to be careful this time of year. Those threats of consumerism and materialism are everywhere, and if we're not careful, we could deplete our resources on things that don't matter. That's why we're cautious about where we give. There are literally thousands of charities and humanitarian organizations all with great missions and motives. But not all of them use their resources as wisely as we do. So we hav