The Goblins & the Forest

Netflix has really gone all-in this Halloween.  They’ve produced tons of original content for the holiday. But over on reddit, they sponsored an interesting little campaign. They asked for users to tell their childhood nightmare stories and an artist would volunteer to illustrate the dream.

I submitted mine, but I think it was just a little too late to be picked up by an artist.  But here it is anyway…

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Digital volume knob fix

The volume knob in my wife’s Toyota Highlander behaved weirdly.  As you turned it up or down, the volume setting would jump up or down, sometimes in the wrong direction and by an unpredictable amount.  It didn’t give a linear output as you would expect.

What to do?  Why, take it apart of course!

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The Language of God review

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for BeliefThe Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really loved this book. Collins helped me wrestle with the very real possibility of “a third way” to be a spiritual being and yet also fully endorsing of material science.

The false dichotomies in humanity (science vs. religion, good vs. evil, Left vs. Right, etc.) are exhausting. They lead to burn-out and disenchantment. The Language of God reminded me that it’s possible to navigate two worlds in harmony.

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Letters from a Skeptic review

Letters from a SkepticLetters from a Skeptic by Gregory A. Boyd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was incredibly helpful to me during my faith deconstruction, long before I even had the language to call it that.

What struck me the most about it was its compassion. Boyd has this rigor in his delivery somehow without being dogmatic. So instead of being exhausting, as most Evangelical religious treatise are, he comes across as being earnest and loving.

I have so many underlines in my copy, I can’t possibly get rid of it. Which is a very good thing.

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Life After God review

Life After GodLife After God by Douglas Coupland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have an embarrassing number of highlights, underlines, and margin notes in this book. I’m a picky person with picky tastes, and yet this is one of those few books that just resonated with me deeply.

It’s format is unique, which I think hooked me from the beginning. It’s structured like a diary, so it feels extremely intimate. It’s confessional and raw. It’s philosophical and meditative. It’s spiritual and contemplative.

Life After God was one of those stepping stone books for me. It came to me at a time in my life when I was beginning to branch out of Evangelical Christianity to discover what it was that I really believed.

Needless to say, this thing will be on my bookshelf forever. Thanks, Douglas.

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Sharp Objects review

Sharp ObjectsSharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a pretty great debut novel. I’m so impressed with Flynn’s sharp wit. She has this acerbic dissection of everyday relationships that is both hard to read, yet difficult to quit. As soon as I read Gone Girl, I was hooked on her style.

I was actually more pleased with Sharp Objects’ finale than with Gone Girl’s.

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TortoiseSVN + Escape = tears

So I’m nearly done committing my software changes using the normally amazing TortoiseSVN. I’m about 200 words into this tome, documenting all the arcane bits of changes that I feel will aid the future Rob and other devs understand why I did what I did.

And what should I do at that ill-timed moment? I hit the escape key.

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Cordifying battery things

In my house, we have a ton of “batteried” devices.  Having small children, in this modern age, one tends to collect a lot of toys, tools, crafts, and associated appliances that require an array of batteries.  Triple- and double-As are in high demand, though 9V and even the C cells are occasionally used.  Don’t even get me started with the coin cells.

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Einstein’s religious thoughts

I found some old collected daily calendar Einstein quotes that rang true to me recently.  Enjoy…

I think that a man’s moral worth is not measured by what his religious beliefs are, but rather by what emotional impulses he has received from nature.

To sister Margarit Goelmer, Feb 1955

One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity of life of the marvelous structure of reality it is enough if one tries to comprehend only a little of this mystery every day.

from William Miller, Life Magazine, May 2, 1955

The main source of the present day conflicts between the spheres of religion and science lies in the concept of a personal god.

in Science and Religion (1939)

I do not believe in the immortality of the individual. I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.

to A. Nickerson, July 1953

If god created the world, his primary concern was certainly not to make its understanding easy for us.

to David Bohm, Feb. 10, 1954

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