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Monthly Archives: October 2007

A Halloween Beach Bonfire

Last night was apparently an exciting night for people in the Bay Area. Just after 8 p.m., a 5.6 earthquake jolted San Jose, and was felt as far away as Oregon. I happened to be at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology at the time for my Tuesday night class. We happened to be on a short break from the long class when it struck, and while I didn’t feel the quake myself, it was felt strongly enough by some folks in a different seminar to cause two people to jump up out of their seats in a near panic. My professor also felt it. Stories coming from near the San Jose epicenter report pandemonium in some place such as a mall and a convenience store. While I didn’t feel the quake, my condo seems to have gotten a taste of it. When I arrived home last night just after 10 p.m., I discovered several things that had fallen onto the floor. Thankfully nothing fragile.
As if that wasn’t enough, right around midnight, apparently it was time to celebrate the Ocean Beach Halloween Bonfire. Now, this is not, as far as I know an annual tradition. At least I hope not, since someone decided that the best place to have the bonfire was in my building. I was just sitting in my room minding my own business trying to run a virus scan on my PC – which hasn’t been hooked up for the past almost 5 months because it had gotten to a level of infection that rendered it virtually inoperable – when the fire alarms in the building started to go off. One of the alarms is on the wall that is shared with my kitchen. It’s a bell alarm, not an electronic buzzer, and let me tell you, the noise and shaking the mechanical bell was causing in my kitchen was formidable. I walked down the corridor of my floor to see what the commotion was and saw nothing. Nobody seemed to be emerging from their units, so I just went back to my condo.
I did get my phone and call the 24 Hour line for my condo association to see if there were any reports of what was going on, but there weren’t. I glanced out my window and saw several people that had evacuated the building. For safety, I decided that I would leave the building. I walked across the street to the Safeway where I purchased a cookie. While I was in Safeway the fire department arrived on the scene. Several firefighters came in to the Safeway and headed to the back of the store. I can only presume that they were doing that to find some sort of roof access, perhaps to survey my building from a different vantage point.
After I bought my cookie, I headed over and just stood waiting outside my building. I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on. Firefighters were everywhere, people were standing outside in pajamas, some holding little dogs, and I just watched. Then I overheard a firefighter ask a woman, “can you take me in and show me where it is?” Show him where what is, I wondered? A few minutes later, a overheard another woman say to someone she was standing with, “don’t worry, its apparently on this side of the building.” Saying this, she indicated the side of the building where my unit is located. “I’m sure if it were serious we would see the flames or smell smoke.” she continued, apparently content that her unit was safe, presumably because it was on the other side of the building.
Now that’s just great! Here I am just getting over trauma from an earthquake (not really traumatic, to be honest) and now I have to worry that my building is burning down!
Finally we were told that we could go back inside. “The alarm might go off again as we reset it,” one firefighter said, “but unless it stays on you can ignore it.” I guess whatever fire there had been was under control. When I got back upstairs I walked up and down my corridor just to make sure I couldn’t smell and smoke, and I couldn’t. To be safe, though, I stayed up another 30 minutes or so, just in case…
Happy Halloween – your building is on fire! Yay.

Categories: A Day in the Life | 3 Comments

Careful, or you’ll step on that laptop

How many times have people set their laptops on the floor and then later told themselves something like, “I should pick it up before I forget and step on it?” I’m sure at least one person in the world has thought that at some point. But how many people have said, “Oh, I know, I’ll put the laptop on the floor and then press my heel down on the bottom left hand corner so as to force the logic board welding to hold in place?” Probably only one. Me.
That’s right, my laptop died on me about a month ago, and after a little internet research, I determined that the problem was the logic board. Apparently I’m lucky that my computer lasted as long as it did. A full year longer than many other people with the same machine. And I used my computer a LOT during that time, too, so it isn’t like I was going easy on it. I carried it to and from work every day for almost a year while I was working on RENT and it got heavy use. It also traveled with me to India, New York, South Bend and Australia. Apparently, the case of my iBook G4 is defective, allowing the logic board to flex, which permits the soldering on the GPU to separate, permitting the GPU to separate from the logic board. The result? A non-functioning computer. But, if you put the laptop on the floor and stand on just the right spot, guess what? The computer works! Believe me, it isn’t easy to computer like that, but when it comes down to it, there are just some things that it is worth standing on your laptop for.
Looks like it’s time to start thinking about a new laptop… MacWorld Expo, you had better not let me down!

Categories: A Day in the Life | Comments Off

A New Pet Leopard

I’ve always thought that it would be amazing to have a pet leopard. I mean, don’t they just look so cute, yet mysterious? I think there would also be something particularly thrilling about having a pet that could eat you in the middle of the night. Each night you would go to bed wondering, “is tonight the night that my leopard will kill me?” I can imagine few things that would add that level of excitement and anxious joy to my bedtime routine. So I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a pet leopard for at least the past 17 years, maybe even a little longer. Every time I think I’ve managed to find that elusive feline, though, I encounter some problem. The first time, I almost got carted off to federal prison when the customs officer found me trying to smuggle one in after my visit to Sub-Saharan Africa. I tried to convince the officer that it was actually just a typical house cat on massive steroids, but that didn’t seem to go over very well. My most recent attempt to secure a pet leopard was thrown for a loop when Trackspawn, my “broker in all things exotic,” told me that he had encountered an issue and my leopard was going to cost me $250,000. I gave it my “Run, Lola, Run” best, but nothing I tried could get me the money without ending badly.

For the past year, then, I’ve been rather despondent, virtually convinced that my dream of having a deadly pet would never come to fruition. That is, until last night. Let me preface this by saying that, of course, this is strictly between us. The folks over at Animal Control might not like it very much if they found out that I have now successfully procured for myself a pet leopard! I’m not sure how our crack team of federal agents let this one slip through, but last night I was able to saunter on down to my local mall, and simply ask to buy a Leopard. I expected to be ushered into a dimly lit back room with rusty nails strewn artistically across the floor and with a single, ominous metal chair sitting directly under the only light in the room. Far from it, my friendly sales associate called out across the sales floor, “does anyone have a Leopard on them?” His call was promptly answered when another sales associate rushed over and handed over my precious treasure. Now, I have to admit that I was a little concerned that the price I would have to pay for service of this kind would be astronomical; however, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that not only was the retail price affordable, but I also got a discount on my Leopard because I work for UC Berkeley. I think they must have been confused and thought that I worked for the Northwest Animal Research Facility at UC Berkeley, but I really wanted my Leopard, so I didn’t bother to correct them. $125 later, I was out the door with my Leopard at my side. I was worried that parents and children would scream and jump in all directions as I walked through the mall and to the food court, but nobody even seemed to notice my new pet when I ordered my Orange Chicken at Panda Express. I guess going unnoticed wasn’t so bad. At least it means I didn’t have to tell small children that they couldn’t play with my Leopard for fear that it might eat them.

Well, it seems that I survived my first night with my new pet. Here it is the next morning, and I’m still around. I think I managed to get my Leopard safely trained, though, so I probably don’t have to worry much. Leopard is now safely contained on my computer.

Categories: A Day in the Life | 1 Comment

NFP vs. Contraception

In light of my previous blog posting which presents a video that ridicules the gift of life, I decided to post these humorous, yet true, videos. These videos take the concept of the Mac vs. PC ads that Apple produces and turn it into Natural Family Planning (NFP) vs. Contraception messages. NB: The claim that couples who practice NFP are far happier than couples who contracept is true – it is not just made for the sake of these videos. More details on this will be posted in God’s Promise soon.

See more of these on YouTube.

Categories: Commentary | Comments Off

Do we love our children enough?

I ran across this little video on YouTube today. The whole while I was watching it I kept thinking about how great it would be to have a child. I wonder if you’ll be as shocked as I was at the end, then:

Categories: Commentary | 1 Comment

Another Strike Against France

For those of you not already aware, I’m not the biggest fan of France. I wouldn’t say that I detest France, but I certainly don’t love it. I’ve been to France five times, I think, and I’ve had a negative experience each time, even when with people who were doing their level best to speak French with the local people. Well, I just heard about a new service that has sprung up in France that aims to help people cheat on their spouse without getting caught. I actually heard about this on a Catholic podcast (the catholic underground) that I listen to. I decided to look for more details and found an article in none other than the San Francisco Chronicle. Here’s an excerpt from that article:

Looking to get away for a weekend fling without getting caught? A new French company provides would-be adulterers with custom-made excuses that help take the danger of discovery out of cheating.
Founded six months ago by former private eye Regine Mourizard, Web-based Ibila can cook up invites to phony weekend seminars, fake emergency phone calls from work, invitations to nonexistent weddings — anything to justify cheating spouses’ absence.
Mourizard said her service is aimed at protecting couples and families by allowing adulterers to live their flings undetected.
“If the alibi is well done and the spouse doesn’t suspect anything, this can sometimes save marriages,” Mourizard told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
She and her co-worker, a computer specialist, draw up fake restaurant and hotel bills, receipts and other documents to help shore up what Mourizard calls her “little white lies.”
If the adulterer was supposed to have been away for a seminar, the company can even provide the kinds of freebies — pens, hats and tee-shirts — sometimes given at such events.

Did you catch that third paragraph? The “service is aimed at protecting couples and families.” This service PROTECTS families? Are you kidding me? This has to be one of the most morally corrupt ideas I’ve heard. Mourizard insists that her business is “above board.” Maybe it is above board in a purely legal sense, but in a moral sense, I can imagine nothing more morally bankrupt. A service of this type suggests that cheating is OK as long as you don’t get caught. THIS IS A LIE.
Let’s ignore the concept of sin for a moment. Cheating on your spouse is generally condemned by even the most staunch atheists. This is a complete betrayal of the trust of another person. Now let’s add sin back into the picture. Hear these words of Jesus Christ from the Gospel of Matthew:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

In this we see that Jesus condemns not only the act of adultery, but even the thoughts of adultery. Now add to that the wildly outrageous prefabricated stories and the level of deceit has just been taken to a new level. This is despicable. I wish I could say “only in France,” but unfortunately, I know that’s not the case.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments