Monday, December 31, 2007

"A little resolve is what I need now."

A couple weeks ago I reconnected with one of my uncles. He retired from the Army special forces a few years back and works at a Lowe's managing the tools and hardware department. After catching up with what each of us has been up to the last four or five years, he asked me what my goals were.

This took me by surprise a little bit, as it's been a long time since I thought about goals, much less set them. Part of the reason for this is that I've been a "path of least resistance" liver for a while now. Another part of the reason I haven't set any goals is that I'm content. Now, I know that my contentment can easily be identified as complacency, but I'm going to be nice to myself.

While I haven't set goals previously, I am going to, because goals are good. Plus, I think that goals are better than resolutions. Re-solution implies that there is a problem, while a goal says nothing about where you are, but everything about where you want to be.




At January 01, 2008 12:51 PM, Blogger Cerise said...

That's one thing about school: it definitely helps with goal-setting.

Goal: Pass my qualifying exams.
Goal: Write my dissertation.
Goal: Move out of Minnesota.


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Pirates of Penance

I was listening to Led Zeppelin Four (Runes) today at work, and the part in "Stairway to Heaven" about buying the stairway to Heaven made me think of their dig at the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic church. I don't remember the name of the guy that sold indulgences who got under Martin Luther's skin, but it was enough for him to make a big stink about it.

This got me thinking of how you can buy carbon offsets now. What makes them any different than indulgences? And who will be this generation's environmental Martin Luther, propounding a heavenly environmental grace?

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Two More Recommendations and a Request

Haagen-Daas held a competition for a new flavor sponsored by Gourmet magazine. Apparently there were 5000 entries. The winner is Carmelized Pear and Toasted Pecan. I really like it, and if you see it in your grocer's freezer section, have a pint (or two).

My second recommendation is also fruit based. This summer I read a book about how the New World and Old World meeting affected what we eat. In one of the later sections of the book, the author profiled different foods that are from around the world and are now being grown in the US. He had no end to his praise for cherimoya. "As you can tell, I think they're the nuts." That is a close paraphrase. He did say he thinks they're the nuts.

I don't think they are the nuts, but I likey, enough to consider it worth it to pay 6 bucks each to ship from CA. But you might be able to find them in your local Asian market, though they are from Chile.

And the request. My sister was reading one of those Sunday paper insert rags, maybe USA Today, and saw an article that mentioned Blik wall decals. One of the customizations they have available is to submit text to them and then be able to put it on your wall. So what text do you think we should put on our wall? I'm guessing anything more than a paragraph would be too much.

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At December 19, 2007 2:25 PM, Blogger Scott said...

"I'm tired of being just words on a wall."

At December 20, 2007 11:06 PM, Blogger Cerise said...


At December 22, 2007 11:14 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Scott, Marcy approves of yours.

Ceri, I really like your idea. Blank nouns are very evocative. I was thinking it would be neat to have word descriptions of classic paintings. "Woman with mysterious smile." "Man with apple in front of his face."

Don McLean beat me to it with his song Vincent.

At December 31, 2007 11:36 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I'm making the rounds of my blog world to pass this around:

Happy new year, Daniel!


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Monday, December 17, 2007

"Asking what you think about Helvetica . . .

is like asking how you feel about off-white."

I watched an excellent documentary with Netflix' Watch Instantly feature. Helvetica is about the oh-so-pervasive font, but it is also about how we communicate, and it is also about the people who decide what we need to communicate. I definitely recommend it. Below are some of the people that were interviewed in the film. My favorite is Erik Spiekermann. Matthew Carter was also excellent. There are plenty of clips on YouTube if you want to check them out there too.

Erik Spiekermann, David Carson, Wim Crouwel, Matthew Carter, Hermann Zapf, Michael Beirut, Tobias Frere-Jones, Jonathan Hoefler, Neville Brody, Stefan Sagmeister, Experimental Jetset, Michael C. Place



At December 17, 2007 11:32 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I've heard nothing about this but I saw the poster on Netflix and it got me curious.

Something about the write-up didn't sound right. Not as relevant as your review.

At December 17, 2007 11:33 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I know what you mean about the write-ups. Sometimes it is almost comical the discrepancy between the write-ups and the actual plot/film.


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Friday, December 14, 2007

My Name is Merle

Hello Sphere o' Blog,

My name is Merle. I am a striking grey cat with some hints of orange hair around my white feet. There is a bit of a striped pattern to my coat which only adds to my splendor. I'm currently curled up directly on Daniel's feet, which will incapacitate him until I move, but I don't care. I spend a lot of time sleeping on his or Marcy's legs. Other hobbies include spanning distances 2 to 3 times my body length in order to see out the window. I assure you that I'm quite the athlete. What is the secret to my peak physical condition? I believe, like Daniel, that every day should start with a healthy breakfast. That is why I wake him every morning around 8 AM so that he can serve me my Purina Cat Chow Indoor Formula with Vitamin E and half a spoonful of Special Kitty chicken dinner. My preferred drink is toilet water. I've been fascinated by toilets since I was a kitten, and now I'm quite adept at slaking my thirst at the Porcelain Prince. While that might seem pretty macho, sometimes I forget that I don't have front claws. This occasionally causes problems when I'm trying to jump up on a chair. That is all.

Charmed I'm Sure,


PS I'm still on his feet.



At December 15, 2007 11:07 AM, Blogger Cerise said...

Awwwww... I think I need a kitty.

At December 17, 2007 2:13 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Merle seems lovely, I hope you keep the toilet clean for him.

I have two cats who've been skulking around my apartment the last few days. One is a large gray and white affair who likes to sleep in the leaves the wind has collected near my door. When I approach, he stares at me menacingly until he sees I'm not intimidated then runs off.

The other is the friendly black cat from down the street. The other day he spent about an hour rubbing himself against my bedroom window and meowing.

Oh the life of an outdoor cat in winter. I'm glad yours eats indoor kitty food to quell the animal urges.


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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Food and Friends

So yesterday, I was grumpy, but I wasn't the only one. Turns out Angela was too. So it was fortuitous that we had planned to meet that evening to go to Ivanna Cone. And even better, we expanded our plans to include supper first at Bread & Cup. Angela copied me and got a bowl of their spiced lentil soup with a hearty half of a beef sandwich (it really was a lot of meat). We differed in our beverage of choice. She got their hot chocolate and I got a pint of the Nostradamus Belgian brown ale. I really liked it, and if I'd taken a bit more time with it, I would have appreciated the port notes more.

After eating past our fill there, we went to Ivanna Cone. There was a wonderful flavor I hadn't seen before: Cranberry-Peach. Their eggnog was spot on too.

And while the food was most excellent, it was the company that alleviated the worries of the day. Thank you, Angela.

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At December 16, 2007 10:35 PM, Blogger Angela said...

Oh Daniel, thanks. *^^* It definitely was a nice evening.

And thanks for all the continued help with rides and places to hang out and such.

I traded my shift with Josh today and worked at College View instead. I couldn't psych myself out for the long walk.


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Sunday, December 09, 2007

O Nival Night

I like many Christmas songs, so I've turned to my local soccer mom radio stations more frequently to catch their Christmas format. Today I went to church, and while driving there, O Holy Night played on the radio. The line that I never noticed before that I really like is "Till He appear'd and the soul felt its worth." I was disappointed to find that the 1985 version of The Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal doesn't include the song.

But back to that lyric, it seems to encapsulate the majesty and power of Jesus so efficiently, reflecting its own eloquence. That Jesus came to save all souls and that they recognized not only His ability to save, but also His glory, wells up in them a value previously unknown. His presence carries twofold meaning, that he is there to die for them, and because he is so great, they are also great.

After church, I went to Grateful Bread with Karen, Angela, Katie Carlson, and Ben Yancer. Their menu item of the day was Moroccan Chili Soup. It was very tasty, but not for everyone. Before I got there, Karen was in line and an elderly woman came in and asked if that was the only soup they had. Karen responded that probably it was, which was greeted with disappointment by the woman who whimpered, "It's too spicy for me." as she left.

Then I took a nap and it was Toaster Streudel at Ben and Ashley's. I could only stay there for about an hour though, because I had plans to play Guitar Hero at Hans' with one of our student workers and Lindsay, his girlfriend and my friend. Guitar Hero is a fun game, and I recommend it.

I was watching The World Stands Up on BBC America and a half Native American comic said that for the Indians Thanksgiving Day is called You're Welcome Day. The other thing he said that caught my attention was, "My father is unique. He has a brother who is his identical twin."

Tomorrow I try to make a woven lattice top apple pie.

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At December 10, 2007 1:19 PM, Blogger Karen said...

A friendly reminder: In the future, "Seventh-Day Adventist" should be "Seventh-day Adventist." Someone forgot to check their General Conference style guide!

At December 10, 2007 1:20 PM, Blogger Karen said...

P.S. There, I'm back to reading your blog.

At December 10, 2007 1:21 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Could you also, in the future, hyperlink my name to my blog? I like the free advertising.


At December 10, 2007 1:32 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Oh, I have to retract my first and second comments. I'll start with the second, I was probably more skimming you're blog rather than reading, as you can see from my first comment, that you incorrectly spelled Seventh-day Adventist. Upon closer inspection, I see that it was specifically the title of the hymn book, so I'm certain the "d" was probably displayed upper-case (the commission style guide[which, {of course} I am most currently familiar with] says to upper case only the first letter of the first word in a hyphened pair if the word appears in a title or headline, but perhaps the General Conference style guide recommends otherwise.)

Well, I'm filling in this hour for the receptionist, the phone isn't really ringing too much and I have some free time for commenting. You're welcome.

At December 10, 2007 1:41 PM, Blogger Karen said...

What I'm kind of excited about now? The fact that you're going to check your blog page, and maybe think "wow, 5 comments already" Maybe you'll wonder who they are from, for a minute, or maybe you'll just click right in to find that all five are from me.

At December 10, 2007 9:04 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Thank you Karen, for everything really.

You're right about the "-day" thing and the title of the book has a lower case D as well.

At December 10, 2007 9:06 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Speaking of free advertising, you still owe me some cookies, and I've hyperlinked you. I was figuring that whoever wanted to check you out could just go to my side bar, oh well.

At December 10, 2007 9:08 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

And I knew it was you that left all the comments because I check my email first and it says who I got the comments from.

However, I wasn't paying much attention and thought that the comments had been left on MySpace and not on Blogger, which made me think they were spam comments, but I'm much happier things were the way they were.

At December 12, 2007 3:30 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Jesus' presence illuminating the value of the soul. Beautiful.

At December 13, 2007 12:12 PM, Blogger Karen said...

It's funny you should mention the cookies debt; I was actually planning a trip to the super target for ingredients this evening, provided I can get out of the office, jazzercised, and south target by the time The Office is on. You can expect cookie delivery some time this weekend. What netflix do you have comming in? I mean not that I would have the gumption to invite myself over for a movie or anything--I was just curious. Also, what is the shortcut key for an em dash on a PC?

At December 13, 2007 12:32 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Special note to readers: The only reason I am using a PC currently is that, once again I am filling in for the receptionist, and while I do have the MacBook Pro laptop with me, it is currently busy deleting a trial version of Adobe InDesign CS3 so that it can be downloaded and reinstalled again.

At December 13, 2007 12:34 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Special Note to Readers: Apparently deleting previous trial versions of Adobe InDesign CS3 does not erase Adobe's memory of you already downloading a trial version. Does anyone know a way around this? I really don't want to ask the IT department.


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