Consumer vs. Creator

I’ve been thinking about this post ever since I started this blog. I could never really wrap my head around what I wanted to say until just recently when I listened to a liturgical worship set from Willowcreek Chruch. The theme of the liturgy was creation and our place in God’s creation. This allowed me to synthesize a number of thoughts that were spinning about in my head into something that is hopefully coherent.

For a long time, I’ve been an avid consumer of content on the internet. The number of feeds or blogs I subscribe to in Google Reader is over 50. According to Google, since 2008, I have read over 150,000 articles from those 50 subscriptions. And that’s just from Google Reader, that number doesn’t take into account things posted to Facebook, Twitter, and all of the other websites that I frequent. You could say that I have a voracious appetite for web content, whether it’s a blog, news provider, or sports website.

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The Face: 5. Procopex

Chapter 5: Procopex

            The six of them stood in the dim light of the hallway. Looking left and right, the hallway curved away into darkness. The only light came from a torch in a sconce on the wall. The party members looked suspiciously at their newest member, Procopex.
            “How can we be sure you’re from the Mages Guild? What guarantee do we have that you are who you say you are?” asked Vera.
            “Hey, I know you. I saw you when I was at the guild earlier. Guys, I can vouch for him,” said Loran, speaking quickly to ease the tension.
            “I can offer nothing but my word, you’ll just have to trust me,” growled Procopex.
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Mariners Make Two Moves, Add Veteran-ness

Over the course of the last two days, the Mariners added two veteran players to their roster. One move makes some sense, its hard to discern the reason behind the other. On Friday, the Mariners signed pitcher Jeremy Bonderman to a minor league contract. The very next day the Mariners signed “outfielder”/designated hitter Raul Ibanez to a $2.75 million, one-year contract. Both of these moves are similar in nature yet one is rational and the other doesn’t make much sense given the current state of our roster.

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Mariners Trade for Kendrys Morales

Today, the Mariners made a move that everyone had been waiting for them to make. They added a middle of the order bat that fills a position of need. Joining the Mariners is Kendrys Morales, first baseman. Leaving the Mariners and heading to the Los Angeles Angels is Jason Vargas, starting pitcher. My initial reaction is that this trade will end up being valuable but not immediately. This move answers some questions but also brings up new ones.

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Our Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released in theaters this last weekend. I saw the film at midnight on opening night and thoroughly enjoyed being drawn into Middle Earth once again. One of the themes I think Tolkien (and Peter Jackson) writes well in The Hobbit is to show us the value of persevering through the unexpected. Bilbo Baggins is pulled into an adventure he could never have expected or been prepared for. He is in over his head and stumbles between trials and tribulations with the rest of his Dwarven company. We are reminded over and over again that Bilbo is far away from the comforts of his home, out of his element, and facing the unknown. Gandalf tells Biblo, “You’ll have a tale or two to tell when you come back.” Biblo asks, “You can promise that I’ll come back?” Gandalf responds by telling Bilbo, “No. And if you do, you will not be the same.”  The unexpected is what truly makes Bilbo’s adventure worthwhile.

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The Seattle Mariners and Josh Hamilton: A Reasoned Response

As many of you know, the Los Angeles Angels signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million dollar contract on Thursday. Josh Hamilton was viewed as the jewel of this year’s free agent class and many thought the Mariners were front runners to sign him. The overwhelming response from Mariners fans has been frustration, outrage, and disappointment. Failing to sign Josh Hamilton has been characterized as a failure by the Mariner’s front office to act and to understand the fundamental needs of the team. These reactions are ultimately emotionally driven and I would like to offer a reasoned response to those Mariner fans who feel frustrated and disappointed.

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Why is Batman the Best Hero?

This argument has raged on for years, “why is Batman the best hero?” The common answer to this question is because Batman doesn’t rely on any super powers what-so-ever. He uses his strength and intelligence, as well as his limitless bank accounts, to overcome the corruption in Gotham. I think these traits are incredibly valuable to the strength of Batman’s character. But, I think we have a hard time relating to Batman because most of us are not billionaire playboys who are also great detectives and trained in the martial arts.

I think we can relate to Batman because of the way his heroic character is highlighted by the villains he faces. The most famous rogues that Batman faces feature aspects of Batman’s character or themes that he represents that are twisted and taken to the extreme. We see what Batman could have become if he wasn’t so noble and heroic. I think, to some extent, we all wonder who we would be if a single aspect of our character was changed or different. Batman and the relationships he has with his rogues gallery allow us to see character traits taken to their extremes.

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Mariners sign Jason Bay

As expected, the Seattle Mariners signed an outfielder this offseason. He just happens to be an outfielder who provides questionable upside but is none-the-less part of the mix for next year. The name Jason Bay might ring a bell for some of you. He played for the Pirates, Red Sox, and Mets and gained a reputation as a power/speed outfielder. The last few years, he has dealt with a number of injuries including a serious concussion and a bad back leaving him a shell of his former self.

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Microserfs and Feudalism

Feudalism is a concept that has been relegated to history classes and Medieval Reenactment Societies. It is a system that is foreign to our modern sensibilities. However, the rise of technology giants like Google, Apple and Microsoft has created a pseudo-techno-feudalistic society. Are we just Microserfs in a new Feudal system?

In the ancient days of computing (just a few years ago), security and data storage was centered around the users. They had a plethora of choices for the level of security they wanted and the way they stored their data. Users were left to their own devices and any failure was left on their shoulders. If your hard drive failed or your computer was infected with a virus, it was the user who was left with the mess to clean up.

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The Face: 4. Visage

Chapter 4: Visage

            Loran walked through the gate of the Seafell estate awestruck. He had never seen a house as marvelous as the one he was approaching. Looking around the grounds, Loran could have believed that he had entered into another plane, the differences between Thebes and his surroundings were so stark. The grounds were a maze of pathways, shrubberies, and gardens. It was clear that Seafell was more than just a name, it was a motif for the entire estate. Fountains of every shape and size dotted the landscape, water falling from their sculpted frames. Natural green and blue hues mixed with the oranges and yellows from the setting sun creating a visual masterpiece.
            Alongside of Loran were Visage and Syre. They had taken the afternoon to go shopping for a dress for Syre. She had insisted on a dark, midnight blue dress that wasn’t as elegant as much as it was utilitarian. Loran was impressed with Syre’s pragmatism even if Visage was disappointed she hadn’t gone with something more flamboyant. She was still bitter from the preening and grooming Visage had instigated to make up for the flop of her outfit. She walked sullenly in the wake of Visage, his gold cloak sparkling in the twilight. Loran himself wore the best outfit he carried with him accentuated by a smart vest loaned to him by Visage.

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