Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Project Marvel

So, as you all know I had a lot of stages in childhood of different interests. Funny thing is, a lot of them kinda stuck and I still indulge in them every now and then albeit not with the same tenacity. (Paul may have put away childish things, I just renamed mine.)

Anywho, a good example of this is comics. As a kid, in the back of your mind was always the thought, "Man, It'd be super-sweet if I had a copy every every marvel comic." Well, that was of course an idle daydream as it's a almost certain impossibility. It'd take you a lifetime to hunt down all those back-issues in those weird shops populated by the strangest individuals known to man. But as in so many other cases, Mr. Internet has come to the rescue, and thus I've been working on what I've dubbed "Project Marvel" for the last 6 months or so. (I think if the internet had to assume a anthropomorphic form, it'd be the guy in the dark alley wearing a trench coat who whispers at you slyly, "Hey, wanna buy a watch?") So far, I've got everything from 1961-1980. God bless technology. Tom argues that they publish things faster than I can read them, so I can never read everything, and he's probably right. But it's nice to know I could.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Its your time. Its my time. Its ten thoughts time.

#10 Train A leaves St. Louis headed east at 6:30PM traveling 70 mph. Train B leaves D.C. headed west at 4:00PM traveling 65 mph. When do the trains meet? Why was that always the example of a hard standardized test question? I'm not chomping at the bit to answer it, but it's not that hard. Not to mention has anyone ever actually seen this question on an actual test before?

#9 After winning the Presidential Nomination, Lincoln grew a beard because a little girl wrote him a letter saying he should. How cool is that?

#8 Evidently, back in Lincoln's day, neck-beards were in style. More proof I was born in the wrong era. I could grow an excellent one. People would say, "hey man! awesome neck beard!"

#7 I often mention nostalgic things from childhood in these, so I'll do the opposite now. I hated Nickelodeon shows as a kid. Hey Dude, Salute your Shorts, Doug, Rocko's Modern Life, Pete & Pete, Wild & Crazy Kids, all grade-A pieces of television garbage. The only good thing to come out of Nickelodeon in the last 25 years: David the Gnome! His show was off the chain.

#6 Tom has been rooming it up with me for about four months now, but he still hasn't fully realized what Tucker is capable of. Tucker helped himself to Tom's Taco Bell the other night, and his container Strawberry milk mix yesterday morning. If he thinks its edible (and his standards are quite low I assure you) Tucker WILL eat whatever you leave out.

#5 A slight disclaimer. As wedding season is now upon us, I'll be attending blessed event after blessed event in the next few months. But just so you know, I judge you by the details of you wedding festivities. Was there recorded music at any point? Did someone in your family drink too much? Do you have a picture on display with both of you wearing jeans and a white shirt? Did you smush the cake in each other's face? These are all bad things fyi.

#4 Developmental psychologists have all sorts of methods of delineating the endpoints between their arbitrary stages in life. Allow me to propose my own. Childhood officially ends when you come to the realization that McDonald's is disgusting.

#3 The liberal arts education is a complete fraud. Liberal arts meant in Roman times the abilities belonging to a free person, code for well-to-do. So what's important as a wealthy Roman? Why, rhetoric and poetry and such since you never have to do any real work in your life. Therefore, the the liberal arts education was originally very utilitarian. Now its just esoteric. Don't get me wrong, I like rhetoric and poetry, but those aren't very utilitarian subjects to a middle-class American male.

#2 Mike Hampton is hurt. In related news, dogs bark and water is wet.

#1 One of the things I loved about staying at my Grandparent's as a child was the fact I could eat all the lucky charms I wanted for breakfast (honeynut cheerios was as sweet as it got at my house growing up.) But now that I am perfectly at liberty to gorge myself on lucky charms, I don't really care for them anymore. One of life's little gotcha's.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This Just In....

Hello to all of you out there in blogger-land. Today's post comes from a guest writer, the one and only Ber. I've been thinking about joining this little blogging family myself, but every time I get pumped about it, my professors decide they own my soul. So Jonny, in pure Jonny fashion, pointed out the obvious: I can just post on his blog! Now I get the best of both worlds, both school and internet.

So anywho... Today was one of those days when I was confirmed in one of my life choices. I went to a conference at the Collin County Community College about abuse awareness and prevention in children. Listening to the presentations I couldn't find anything boring which was a victory in and of itself since I had been up since 5:45 am (not the morning person this one!) I just felt like I knew I was one the right track with my career choice. I can't wait to the day that I get to work with families and children who need someone in their corner.

I have also noticed that being a budding psychologist apparently means I am uber aware of those odd research stories on sites like CNN and Yahoo- you know like the ones that make claims like: "This just in! Peanuts make your Hippocampus function better!" Well, tonight I was checking the weather (we are in a severe storm watch) and I saw the follow title: "Mother's Diet Can Help Determine Sex of Child." With my interest peaked, I clicked the link. In a nut shell, moms-to-be who consumed a wide range of nutrients, such as potassium, calcium and vitamins C,E, and B12, in addition to eating more calories had boys. Jonny and I have often discussed how male-heavy this generation of the Dent -clan is, so with this new info, I wanna know what the Sisters ate during their pregnancies. Lets have our own research project! If you wanna that is :)

Signing off for now!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Conveyance Book Golf

So, I've created a new game at the Red River Parish Courthouse: Conveyance Book Golf. If you have two entries in the same book you need to look at, you decide on a par based on the number of pages between them. (Its arbitrary at this point, so I'll have to come up with a standard formula soon.) You then try to turn directly to the next desired page just by eyeballing it. Its easy enough for me to add an extra column out to the side of my runsheet to keep score. I was +9 today, not a bad showing. I've had one hole-in-one and a handful of double eagles. Maybe I'll introduce it to my fellow abstractors soon.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Even if its not popular

So, it's been a while. My apologies. I assure you this past absence is not indicative of future posting frequency.

Anywho, I read a lot these days and I thought it'd make for passable blog entries to share things I've found engaging, so here goes:

In 1846, a black man named William Freeman was released from prison after serving a sentence for a crime which it was later determined he did not commit. Shortly thereafter, Freeman entered the home of John VanNest, and armed with two knives, killed John, his pregnant wife, and his mother. Upon his capture he openly confessed to the crime and laughed hysterically. As it turns out, Freeman had a deep family history of mental illness. Unconcerned with Freeman's circumstances, the community demanded his death and threatened violence on any attorney who would represent him. When no willing man could be found, Henry Seward volunteered. In the following weeks Seward worked diligently preparing Freeman's defense and urged the jury to have Freeman committed rather than put to death as his actions were, "unexplainable on any principles of sanity." Ultimately, Seward's pleas fell on deaf ears as everyone knew they would. But Seward reflecting on the incident remarked, "In due time, gentlemen of the jury, when I shall have payed the debt of nature, my remains will rest here in your midst, with those of my kindred and my neighbors. It is very possible that they may be unhonored, neglected, and spurned. But perhaps, years hence, when the passion and excitement which now agitate this community shall have passed away, some wandering stranger, some lonely exile, some Indian, some Negro may erect over them a humble stone and thereupon this epitaph, 'He was Faithful.'"
Poetically enough, that phrase can be seen on his headstone today.

This would be a commendable account of any man, but what makes it more amazing to me is the fact that Seward was a very ambitious politician who was aiming for the presidential nomination. Today's candidates would never risk challenging public sentiment like that. It is therefore a great tragedy to me that we know Seward more singularly for his purchase of Alaska than his faithful pursuit of Right in spite of scorn and derision.