Monday, October 30, 2006

Old, Mad, and Tech-Savvy

I try not to pay too much attention to Malaysian politics (and if there's one thing I can't wait to pass away with the rest of the world, it's politics), but this message that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir sent out to the whole damn country is just too interesting to not mention:

Tun Dr Mahathir's Rant

I'm just impressed he resorted to email and the blogosphere. Way to go, Tun!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Running With Caesars!

Ok, first things first. I got into a wreck and the car was totalled. Poor Jo. I barely got to know her. Lydia will miss her old car too. I got a police report and a very unlikely story to go with it, but I'll hold off posting the report and telling the story because I want to hear more about it in court this Friday, and see if I can't get all the "facts" straight(er). I've been subpoenaed to appear at the court hearing for the guy driving the other car. Yeah.

Second unlikely story: My aunt saw a strange flying object in New Zealand while she was driving and decided it was a spiritual calling. She's converting to Catholicism. Yeah.

Ok, as promised, here are screenshots from Caesar IV, and the city I built in Lugdunum!

View of the middle(Equite)-and-lower(Plebian)-class housing area.

View of the upper(Patrician)-class housing area.

The riverside, with a trader's boat coming to give me mo' cheese.

Some waterfall they put on the map. Does not affect gameplay. Makes a nice screenshot though!

Wide view of the city from the front gate. Yes, aqueducts go through the city walls. Rhawk.

A calvary fort situated a ways from the general population. Those aren't ponies.

One of the industrial areas.

The city square. I'd place a shopping mall there if I could! Or a video arcade.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Quote Paul Slay Gave Us Which I Need To Think About

Prayer requires that we stand in "God's presence with openhands, naked and vulnerable, proclaiming to ourselves and to others that without God we can do nothing. This is difficult in a climate where the predominate counsel is, "Do your best and God will do the rest." When life is divided into "our best" and "God's rest," we have turned prayer into a last resort to be used only when all our own resources are depleted. Then, even the Lord has become the victim of our impatience. Discipleship does not mean to use God when we can no longer function ourselves. On the contrary, it means to recognize that we can do nothing at all, but that God can do everything through us. As disciples, we can not find some but all of our strength, hope, courage, and confidence in God. Therefore, prayer must be our first concern.

Henry Noumen

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ave, Campers

Phew, it's been a busy month. It seemed like there was something going on every night for the past three weeks. Kevin and I have been getting together to play music and record stuff, and I'm pretty excited about the few things we've managed to put on hard disk (we don't use tape... I wonder if anyone still does? Craaaazy). I haven't gotten round to cutting things up and editing yet, unfortunately... because I bought Caesar IV two weeks ago and it's destroying my life.

For those not in the know, Caesar IV is a city building game from Tilted Mill, and is the latest in the series of Caesar games that used to be put out by Impressions way back when I was still in school. I only played Caesar III, but I also played Pharoah and Zeus which were both based on the same city-building engine. That was like 6 years ago, but when I heard a sequel to Caesar was coming out I knew I'd want to play it. I've been going at the single-player campaign for a week now, and I'm probably about halfway done, and there's still an online component to explore after that.

Apart from that, I've also been putting in time to work on stuff for Celeris after hours. It's pretty cool stuff so it's not too much like work, though it DOES get in between me and my Caesar IV. There've also been a bunch of random things going on to make sure I don't stay planted in front of the pc. In addition to the bible study on Tuesdays at Paul's office and the guy's group on Thursdays (which latey has been kinda maybe-we-will-meet-maybe-not), I've started attending one at Xin-Yan's house on Mondays. Folks from Temple Baptist have been coming to her house to answer questions about scripture (apparently she has a lot) and she invited me to attend as well. So far I've only been once, but it was a good time. I also don't get to hear a lot of King James at Cedar Springs, so that part is refreshing.

I went car-camping last weekend, too, which was outdoorsey. I remembered to bring my camera this time (I'd gone camping a couple weeks before that and forgotten my camera), and I got quite a few good photos at the camp and the 12-mile hike we did. We had smores by the campfire and told stories. I got to tell my lame halloween story from two years ago (they liked it well enough). Wisam's story was better because it really happened and it involved him driving a car through a blockade of gunmen in Iraq. *Sigh*, I need to get out more.

We had a GREAT breakfast in the morning, courtesy of Brent and Marci, who brought lots of quiche, coffee, and fruit. That was a surprise for Rachel's birthday, which was on that day or thereabouts. We hiked 6 miles to Abrams Falls, hiked back to the cars, drove to the LemonGrass in Maryville, pigged out, and went home happy.

On to the pictures... first, here are three panoramas I took that are probably better viewed in a separate window: The river which we camped by, Abrams Falls, and our tents (mine is the red one on the left).

Here's everyone that went on the hike. Clockwise from the top left: Me, Brent, Xin-Yan, Wisam, Mike, Becca, Rachel Turner, Marci (holding Jack), and Kathy.

Here's a better picture of everyone that went on the hike.

Here's a part of the trail that had collapsed when a tree fell over.

A view of the fallen tree from the trail. And Wisam!

During the campfire, Kevin was breaking branches for firewood using a tree as a wedge. Based on his numerous feats of sheer strength, Xin-Yan christened him a "Five-son man". I wonder what Lydia thinks of that.

That's me by the campfire, just chillin'.

Next... Caesar IV screenshots, and why I'm never picking up the phone again on Sunday nights!