music, robots, and batman.

So I had request about 3 topics – 2 of which I am rather knowledgeable of, 1 of which I know very little.

1. The music scene in Pittsburgh:
Ok, I really don’t know very much about the Pittsburgh music scene. I know that Christina Aguilera and someone from N*SYNC (maybe Backstreet Boys) is from Pittsburgh. Wiz is from here.
Probably my favorite artists to come out of Pittsburgh are Punchline and Girl Talk. Punchline seems to be on a decline recently, and they don’t seem to tour very often. They do pop up with shows around Pittsburgh every month or so. These shows are pretty cheap and a good time, so I try to get to one every year. I’ve never seen Girl Talk. I’d love to, though. The last time he was here, it was too expensive for me. Someday.

2. The imminent overthrow of the Burgh by robots or zombies:
To be honest, I don’t foresee a zombie uprising as a possibility. If it did occur, it probably wouldn’t be a huge deal, as a lot of people seem to know what to do when zombies attack – aim for the head. Done. Not awful.
Robots taking over, on the other hand, is a huge possibility in Pittsburgh. Carnegie Mellon University, one of the best universities in America, specializes in robotic research. If there was a robot uprising and overthrow, Pittsburgh would be the place for it to happen. We’d never see them coming from over the hills. According to CMU’s Robotics Institute’s website, they are “leading the world in integrating robotic technologies into everyday life.” To that I ask, “Carnegie Mellon, where will you be when they turn on us.” You best change your website to say, “leading the world in integrating robotic technologies into everyday life, but also preparing and protecting civilization from the metal monsters we create.” I’d feel safe then.

3. Batman jacking up downtown traffic:
Oh. My. Gosh. I signed out work yesterday at 3:00pm, in order to catch my 3:03pm bus home. When I reached the lobby of my building, I was stopped by a girl with a walkie talkie. She looked official. Her name tag said she was working to “Magnus Rex.” Which is code for “new Batman movie.” We stood in the lobby waiting for them to do a run through of a scene. It didn’t happen, and we ended up getting to leave about 10 minutes later. I figured I missed by bus, but I still tried to get to the stop, as it may be late. Who knows?
I had to walk the opposite way around the block, because our street is out of use. I made it to the stop, only to wait until 3:55pm to get my bus… It took me 55 minutes between leaving work and stepping onto the bus. 55 minutes. I could have walked home illegally through the tunnel in that time.
Honestly waiting for the bus wasn’t awful. I got to see them do a number of dry runs of a chase scene between some sort of SUV and a camouflaged Batmobile. (yes that sentence just happened). I also go to see a bunch of irate Pittsburghers every time they closed down the block and traffic. One old lady stood in the middle of the street and yelled, “Batman! Please let the buses through! I want to go home.” Honestly, I shared her sentiments, but I can’t wait to see my building in “Magnus Rex” next summer.
I drove to work today, so I didn’t have to deal with the bus.

opinions.

So here’s the idea. I’m going to post about some opinions I have on different topics that I think of or people ask me about. I often don’t share my opinions on things, so this’ll be great.

thrifting.

I’ve been thrifting board games a lot recently. The Red, White, and Blue by my house apparently has a huge selection of board games on the cheap. So far I’ve acquired: Make n Break, I’m the Boss!, 10 Days in the USA, Qwirkle, and Pizza Box Football. I’ve been successful on each of my trips. Make n Break was given to my sisters, because they loved it. 10 Days in the USA will be kept by us, because it’s awesome. Qwirkle seems fun for now, so we’ll keep it. The other two were purchased for their trade value. I should be able to get games I’m more interested in for them. This is great.

grass.

Candace and I planted grass today. Last fall we tried to fix our lawn, but it ended poorly. This spring, we’re hoping for better results. I may post pictures if we get some sprouts.

We actually talked to a guy at Lowes this time about what type of grass to buy. This was very helpful, as we probably bought the wrong kind. For a high traffic lawn, you should go with a variety that is not “tall.” Who knew? Apparently “tall” is the same as “thin,” which is the same as “dogs crush it without any effort.”

Here’s to grass!

trading.

So a few entries ago, I posted about my new hobby: board games. Since then, I’ve amassed a pretty legit collection. I’m not going to go through, game by game, and give my thoughts, as there are too many at this point. They’re all quite good, though. My favorites at Agricola, Power Grid, and Chinatown. Fantastic. According to Kenny Wu, Chinatown is only a little racist. Score.

One of my favorite parts of the hobby is the community aspect to it. You pretty much have to play board games with other people. Score! Also, at this website (boardgamegeek.com) you can find people you can trade games with. I’m not stuck with this game that wasn’t really any fun. I can find someone else who wants it. Score! I’m currently waiting for my new-to-me copy of Pandemic: On the Brink. It was shipped out today. I need to mail out my copy of Alea Iacta Est to the guy tomorrow. Nice.

orginal sin.

I’m back (at least for today).

I’ve been going to a Bible study with some people from my church when work doesn’t get in the way. It’s pretty good, despite there not being a real leader or discussion questions. We are also reading Romans, which is written by Paul. Apparently Mennonites aren’t fans of Paul. Who knew? Baptists are.

As I told Candace, I sort of go rogue at Bible study. Have fun following this thought process.

In Romans 5, there is the idea that because Adam sinned, we are all sinners. I think it kind of reads that because he sinned, we sin. That sort of removes some element of choice in our sins. I’m sure I totally buy “original sin,” but maybe I do.

During Bible Study I was leafing through a commentary and it said something along the lines that in Jewish culture, sin and forgiveness were collective. They rarely spoke about individual trespasses or grace. THEY were God’s chosen people, HE is not God’s chosen person. That’s terribly interesting.

It’s difficult to see sin and forgiveness this way for Christians. We rarely talk about the “sins of the Church.” Sure the Crusades happened, and most Christians still hate gay people, but I don’t, so I’m okay. I think Donald Miller was on to something when he asked non-Christians for forgiveness for the sins of the historical Church.

It sort of see it like White Guilt. As a white person, I have a number of privileges that I was not always aware of. The thing is, white people throughout history, have done terrible things to other people. We killed the Native Americans, enslaved Africans, and profile Latinos. As a white person, there is a sense of guilt that comes along with what my ancestors did.

Now, Adam was a human. He was the first human. He is all of our ancestor. If he sinned, we must deal with that. I must deal with that like I have to deal with the idea that my ancestors had slaves.

As a Christian, I have to deal with the trespasses of the church. As a white person, I have to deal with the issues of my forefathers. And as a human, I have to deal with the first sin of Adam.

tumblr.

I hate when the good parts of the day are overshadowed by the bad parts.

In other news. I started a Tumblr. It’s right here. It’ll be mostly for tumbling thoughts and ideas. Re-blogging, videos, music, re-blogging, the usual. I’ll probably still post here from time to time with a real, fleshed-out idea or random update on my life.