02 December 2009

Just Today

I got this in a recent Joke-Of-The-Day email and just had to share it:


Rex Barker here with "Just Today," sent in by Dara F of Portland, Maine...

Please submit your favorite inspirational stories, pictures, quotes, or dog pictures to RexBarker@Joke-Of-The-Day.com

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry. Two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone!!

The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow, with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is beyond our immediate control. Tomorrow's sun will rise, whether in splendor or behind a mask of clouds. But it will rise. Until it does we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.

This leaves only one day: today.

Any man can fight the battles of just one day. It is when you and I add the burdens of two awful eternities - yesterday and tomorrow, that we break down.

It is not necessarily the experience of today that disturbs one's peace of mind. It is often time the bitterness for something which happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring. Let us therefore live one day at a time.

This is Rex Barker reminding you that while we should remember the past and plan and anticipate the future, it is critical that we don't get paralyzed by either. By focusing on making the best of the present, we can actually make the past a sweeter learning experience, and make tomorrow's hopes and dreams closer to reality.


Or as Professor Harold Hill would say: "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering."

Which is part of why The Music Man is one of the greatest musicals ever.  8o)

07 November 2009


First off I'd like to welcome all of my new readers.

Secondly, I'd like to apologize to those readers for the lack of new content. I, along with my wife and thousands of other people around the world, am attempting to write a 50,000 word novella during the month of November so I don't really have time for blogging right now. But I've got plenty ready for post-NaNo so stick with me until then.

15 October 2009

"For Sensitive Skin"

Why is it that nearly everything that's labeled "For Sensitive Skin" contains moisturizers, fragrances, aloe, and other things that irritate my skin? Why can't "For Sensitive Skin" simply mean "no unnecessary crap added"? It would sure make shopping a lot easier for me and result in my poor hands hurting a lot less often.

I can't even buy razors anymore because so many of them have aloe in their lube strips and don't bother saying so on the package. And now I have to be careful about buying soap (SOAP!) because it so often contains aloe and other irritants (my hands were oddly and painfully dried out for several months before my better half noticed aloe listed in the tiny print ingredients list on the massive bottle of Dial that we had purchased from Sam's Club). It's almost like HBA companies don't WANT me to buy their products...

Now I realize that my aloe allergy probably puts me in the minority but there's no reason for EVERY BLOODY SKIN PRODUCT to contain aloe. Sheesh.

Pokémon Power-type Tier List

I originally intended to list every Pokémon type in order of awesomeness but decided that detailing why each one is in its respective position would simply be too long and nobody would read it. So instead I present only the best and worst in no particular order:


Dragon - Dragon has only two weaknesses (itself and Ice) but multiple resistances which can make them rather hard to take down. But what makes them really shine is that only Steel resists Dragon so they're usually swinging for big damage even though most of their moves are only of moderate power (or have low accuracy or negatively effect the user in some way).
Psychic - Psychic not only has some incredibly powerful attacks, it also has lots of extremely powerful Pokémon. As a result resistance generally doesn't help much so only Dark-types have a reasonable chance of surviving a hit from a Psychic.
Dark - Dark's best attributes are it's immunity to and effectiveness against Psychics. But Dark-types tend to have low defenses and are thus glass cannons. Also, Dark-type moves are fairly low-powered compared to most other types but tend to have more side-effects (flinching, defense lowering, etc) as a result.
Ice - Ice is by far the easiest way to take down Dragons and a lot of them have a chance to freeze the opponent which renders the target incapable of doing anything. Ice-type Pokémon, however, have one major problem: multiple weaknesses and only one resistance (Ice) make them fairly weak defensively.
Ground - Ground-types are immune to electric but can't hit fliers so it's a bit of trade-off. What makes Ground really good is that is super-effective against FIVE! different types (and attacks like Earthquake and Magnitude which can one-hit kill anything that's weak to ground and severally injury most everything else don't hurt).
Steel - Steel-types aren't the hardest hitting lot but their resistance to nearly everything makes them useful as tanks while you heal up the rest of the party.
Fighting - Strong against both Dark and Steel but only weak to Psychic and Flying. Not surprisingly, Fighting-type Pokémon tend to have fairly high Attacks which, when combined with Fighting's super-effectiveness against five different types, makes it a force to be reckoned with.


Bug - Bug is strong vs psychic and dark. And that's about all it has going for it. While Bugs have finally received some higher-powered attacks most Bug Pokémon still have fairly low attack values and thus still deal only moderate damage.
Normal - Immune to ghosts but can't hit them either; weak to fighting; resisted by rock and steel. Poor Normals; they're probably the most common type yet one of the least useful overall.
Poison - First off: I love my Crobat and my Crit-o-Matic Drapion. But Poison is still a pretty awful type overall. Poison does nothing to Steel and is resisted by multiple types but only super-effective against Grass (but many Grass types are also Poison which resists itself). Really the only good thing about Poison is the Poison status condition (which is why the only Poison attack my Crobat and Drapion use is Cross Poison).

Flying, Water, Fire, Grass, Ghost, Electric, Rock don't really stand out as particularly good or bad thus they're not in either list.

Now obviously a list like this is going to vary from person to person (an ask five people and get six responses kind of thing) so feel free to post your own lists. I'd love to see them.

11 August 2009

Gaia Online's New MMO

The following was first posted to Gaia Online on 27 October 2008.

When the Gaia MMO was first announced I was really excited about it. Currently Dungeon Runners is the only quality classless MMO I know of so I was glad to see another one being developed and was really looking forward to beta testing it.

But then the name was announced. Not only does "zomg!" sound stupid to nearly everyone over the age of eight, it's also offensive to those of us who serve the God that that phrase so irreverently references. I'm not easily offended but for me that was just one straw too many coming from Gaia.

For a site that claims to be kid-friendly there is an appalling amount of slutty avatar clothing, sexual innuendo in the comics, and other questionable content on Gaia. "Zomg!" is just one too many for me.

For details visit Gaia Online

Loving a Prodigal

The following was first posted to Gaia Online on 8 August 2008.

The story of the prodigal son from the Gospel of Luke has recently manifested in my family. After many years of running, our prodigal has finally returned to the family and appears repentant (details are private family business that I'm not going to post to the Internet).

We are now faced with a choice: we can celebrate his return and give him our love and support as he tries to put the shattered pieces of his life back together or we can act like the prodigal's selfish brother and shun him.

As disciples of Jesus our choice should be clear but far too often the free will that God gifted us with becomes a curse. Our selfish need to be right or to seek revenge or compensation stands in the way of healing. Instead of welcoming our prodigal home with love and forgiveness we are inclined to turn him away with righteous indignation.

Someone once said that we are the sum of the choices we make. In this case my choice is to stand by our prodigal no matter what he may have done or what wrong choices he may have made. That doesn't mean that I approve of his actions; only that I love him anyway. If God can unconditionally forgive me for all that I've done in my life, how can I possibly refuse to do the same for my own family?

The High Price of Gas

The following was originally posted to Gaia Online on 15 September 2008.

Anyone who has taken high school level economics should know about the law of supply and demand. Yet whenever we the people hear that gas prices might be going up we rush out and buy up all we can thus guaranteeing that prices will skyrocket.

Do you go out and fill every gas can you have whenever there is a hint of a fuel shortage? If so then YOU are partially responsible for high gas prices. Think about that the next time you want to gripe that the government or big oil is jacking up gas prices.

Eco-friendly SUV?

The following was first posted to Gaia Online on 2 October 2008.

I recently a TV commercial advertising some Chevy hybrid Suburban Assault Vehicle that supposedly gets the same mileage as a 4-cylinder car: 21mpg city. They're kidding, right?! 21?! My 6-cylinder truck gets 18 city and my wife's old 6-cylinder car got 23 city.

Even worse is the Cadillac Escalade hybrid commercial I just saw: 12 city / 19 highway.

The stupidity surrounding Suburban Assault Vehicles has reached epic proportions when a 12 or even 21 mpg hybrid is considered to be eco-friendly.

Fortunately for some of us our self-esteems aren't tied up in other peoples' opinions. Some of us have enough self-worth to buy the vehicles we need instead of the ones society tells us we should drive.

But then again some of us also care enough about the planet and other people to actually obey the speed limit. I guess not everyone can be intelligent, selfless, and self-confident.