Archive for July, 2007
As if having a blog devoted to nothing more than my own personal aggrandizement isn't enough, please allow for but a bit more gratuitous self-promotion. As many of my readers know, my "day job" is web-design. From initial concept creation, to html programming, to database architecture and application development, this is what I do. While I am certainly not the best, I do strive to make things work well and look good.
This site is a product of my most recent efforts. In designing and developing it, I operated with simplicity in mind. While there were a lot of other bells and whistles that I would have liked to add, their inclusion seemed to unnecessarily bulk up the site. Also, I attempted to make the site as bright and inviting as possible. While I liked the color scheme of the old template, it did get quite dreary after a while, and I for one welcome the change.
Well, finally my hard work has paid off in part. Over this last week, I was privileged to be featured on no less than 3 web design showcases. While they all have varying criteria for their entries, the majority of these sites base inclusion More >
"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
With the dawn of the Enlightenment, it seemed to many that the evolution of human epistemology was nearly complete. The application of logic and scientific methodology, to the minds slowly waking from the lethargy and darkness of the Middle Ages, seemed incontrovertible proof that absolute knowledge was not only extant within the universe, but moreover that it was the proper subject of investigation, from the phenomenological, to the legal, and even to the metaphysical. In all areas of thought and study, the Western mind was intoxicated with the seeming success of propositional truth and its corollary assertion within the parameters of human paradigms of thinking.
However, as the unimpeded rush to lay claim to the absolute and objective proceeded forward at a frenzied pace, the tiny cracks of inconsistency which at first seemed to be but small bumps in the road to a fully formed and infinitely encompassing epistemology soon manifested itself for the disastrous cancer which it had always been. Like a patient who has learned that they are terminally ill and that nothing can be done to stop the spread of the destroyer, the modern Western mind was More >
Recently, my pastor spoke about the parable of the Good Samaritan. As with other messages on this parable, the crux of the issue came down to the identification of the "neighbor" in the story. As was concluded in the message, it was the Samaritan man–not the religious elites–who was a true neighbors to the bloodied, violated man, for he alone showed care.
As I was reflecting upon this story, I was struck particularly by the identities of the characters in this parable–the three Jewish men, and the Samaritan. Most of the messages on this parable that I have heard conclude that the point of the story is that the definition of "neighbor" must be expanded beyond one's friends, family and acquaintences, and must more inclusively be defined by all humanity. While I believe this is certainly a part of the import of the story, I think a much more poignant point is being made by Jesus, the point that one's neighbor not only includes "everyone" generally, but one's enemies, specifically.
I think it is no accident that the protagonist of the story is a Samaritan. Hated by the Jews and despised for their mongrolized religious belief and praxis, the Samaritans were a More >
Okay, I have some theological bits coming soon, but I can't resist this.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – SEASON 1 !!!!
There are a lot of reasons, of course, so here we go:
1.) Terrifically cheesy. Okay, so we have to give some grace to the first season. After all, the producers were trying something very new (for the time) with state of the art technology. There is apparent tension between trying to keep the spirit of Kirk's enterprise (notice the "wheeeereee" noice of the computer from the OLLLLDDD Star Trek…and the mini-skirts…and the many LED display computers) and move forward into a more inspired (and, let's be honest, better looking) future. Also, the acting is quite suspect, as each of the main actors (with the exception of Patrick Stewart) is clearly struggling to find the pathos of their particular characters.
2.) Overtly political. Whether it is a commentary on the evils of rampant capitalism, the rarified cuteness of religious belief, or the villifying of basically the entire 20th century on Earth, the first season never pulls punches nor wastes an opportunity to weigh in on (what was then) pertinent and contemporary political/social issues.
3.) Respect for literature. Okay, I love More >
Hmmm…two CD posts in a row…
Anyway, I checked out Lifehouse's newest album, "Who We Are," a couple of weeks ago and…
Wait, let's cover this first. If you are a Lifehouse fan, you know the appeal of their music. The songs are thoughtfully written with intelligent lyrics. Musically, they are not phenomenal, but the songs are interesting and something one might like to listen to repetitively. Finally–and perhaps the biggest draw–is the incredible melodies which they consistenly deliver from song to song. I can think of few other bands that I listen to that are capable of producing songs that are endemically sing-a-ble and incessantly hooky.
…I loved this album. Like their other work, Lifehouse's "Who We Are" brings no surprises, no random stylistic changes that smack of artistic evolution (or devolution, as it might be). To the contrary, Lifehouse continues indefatiguably to BE Lifehouse. It is similar to eating at McDonald's. With every visit, one is not expecting to have a gourmand rebirth; one goes there because it tastes like you want it to taste, and how you know it will ALWAYS taste. On this album, Lifehouse continues to be the double-quarter pounder with cheese that is not a revolution in taste More >
I know that my "tough guy" reputation is going to endure significant damage because of this post; nonetheless, I will press onward.
It is a bit of a secret that I write CD reviews for my wife's website, maryandstella.com. Every Tuesday, I find a new album, listen to it a billion times, and then write something fairly contrived–but with big words–that sounds like an exhaustively knowleable review.
Anyway, last week, I reviewed Sara Bareilles' new (and first) album, "Little Voice." Approaching this CD, I was a bit skeptical. It is not secret that I do not particularly care for female artists. There are notable exceptions, of course (like Jewell, Sheryl Crow, Ella Fitzgerald, etc.), but on the whole I prefer the music my own gender makes. So it was with significant trepidation that I logged onto Napster to listen.
To completely destroy any potential suspense, I was absolutely blown away. From beginning to end, Little Voices is quite superb. While I was expecting the same warmed over Kelly Clarkson/Mandy Moore fare, Bareilles' album is incredibly interesting from a musical perspective. On some tracks, like my favorite 'Gravity,' Bareilles is vulnerable, sensitive and deliciously melodic. On others, like 'Morningside,' the pace is entirely More >
Those not involved in website design and development may not know where I am coming from (and therefore not care), but I found something incredibly interesting today. During my lunch break, I was making some updates to my blog, specifically adding links and images of the various browsers that are friendly to the design of my site (pretty much everything worked except the devil [IE 6], thank you very much). Of course, I went first of all to the ol' standard browsers–Firefox, Internet Explorer 7, Opera. No problems. Then, I decided to see how Safari and Camino–both Mac browsers–handled it. No problems either. Woot.
Feeling pretty good about myself, I went off in search of some good-looking logos that I could use to provide links to said browsers that no one will actually ever use. After finding all of the ones I wanted, I finished by searching for a great image of Safari's logo on Apple's site (not hard, since it is Mac and, therefore, necessarily wonderful). To my surprise, I learned that Safari 3 is now in beta…for Windows! Finally, a great Mac browser is coming to the devil's computer…it's about time.
Intrigued by my new discovery, I decided to see More >
Well, as those who have visited this site are aware, existdissolve.com has undergone major plastic surgery. While I did enjoy the old style, I was becoming somewhat tiresome to me aesthetically, so I decided it was time for a change.
In this new design, I have striven for simplicity. The code itself is tremendously more lightweight, and there should be no significant load times unlike the previous version that took FOREVER to load the sidebar with all the content that was included there. Also, the fonts are a lot larger and easier to read, so hopefully this will cut down on the eye damage that the 11 px font size was causing many on the previous version.
In moving to this design, I have also decided to display several posts on the home page instead of the solitary article that graced the former site. I hope that this will allow me to be able to update more often with shorter posts, not fearing that a major article will be buried in the archives behind something not as significant. Moreover, I have added post snippets of even more recent articles at the bottom with links to the particular articles. Finally, the astute More >