Jason's Blog

Archive for May, 2006

Wish I could have seen this sinking!

by on May.30, 2006, under General

For those who haven’t seen this in the news, here’s some information on the carrier that was recently sunk to create an artifical reef. Gotta say, I’d love to also dive this, although this would be a realllly advanced dive! Still, a VERY cool thing to see!

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Should we be drinking even diet soda?

by on May.30, 2006, under General

I was reading through a couple of “news” sites this morning, and while reading through some discussions on an article complaining about the FDA and sunscreen (it’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s the basic argument, and I have no clue if it’s really valid or not), I saw some discussions on aspartame. Basically, several people were complaining that aspartame wasn’t very healthy, was quite possibly a carcinogen, etc. I had to ask, if anyone else had any thoughts/evidence on this? The wiki-pedia page on aspartame lists a ton of information about the controversy (scroll down on their page). Now, I don’t know that there is a definitve answer on whether it’s really bad for you, but I do have to wonder, whether it’s even worth worrying about, in the sense that shouldn’t we all be drinking more water or juice anyways?

Soda CanThis is the basic “situation” that I’ve been thinking about lately. I think the problem is we’re looking at soda all wrong – soda is something we drink a TON of during our daily regimen. All things considered, even diet soda I doubt is very healthy for human beings. Why not drink juice or water instead? If we drink juice that doesn’t have sugar added, but is pure 100% juice, wouldn’t this be a better alternative? Or better yet why don’t we just drink more water?

I know for myself, here in the last few years, I’ve switch entirely from regular soda to diet soda, and have even turned down that to drink juice or water. I rarely, if ever, get soda when going out for lunch, and most of the time if juice is an alternative, that’s what I’ll drink. It’s just a shame that this isn’t more prevalent, considering the doubts about sodas.

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Soda Can

by on May.30, 2006, under General

Soda can of diet dr. pepper

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Wow, beautiful storm chasing photos!

by on May.27, 2006, under General

Just saw some of these beautiful storm chasing photos this morning and thought others might be interested smile God knows, I love a good thunderstorm. Watching from my porch, seeing the clouds roll by, etc. I remember living on the coast up in New Hampshire, and seeing big storms come in from the ocean. It’s an awe-inspiring, yet humbling feeling to see such an awesome sight. God does some truly amazing things in this world.

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Nickel Creek coming to the Blue Note Jun 4th!

by on May.25, 2006, under General

I thought I’d toss this one out there real quick. I’m about to buy tickets, and wanted to see if anyone else wants to go smile Nickel Creek, to quote the blue note page, is

Distinguished by their youth and eclectic taste, Nickel Creek became a word-of-mouth sensation on the progressive bluegrass scene and soon found their appeal spreading beyond the genre’s core audience. Guitarist Sean Watkins, fiddler Sara Watkins (his younger sister), and mandolin/banjo/bouzouki player Chris Thile first started performing together in 1989, when all three were preteens and taking music lessons in their native San Diego. They met while watching the local band Bluegrass Etc., which put on weekly performances in a pizza parlor. A bluegrass promoter liked the idea of such a young band, and thus Nickel Creek was formed, with Thile’s father Scott joining them on bass. Nickel Creek were regulars on the festival circuit through most of the ’90s, and during that time, Thile recorded two solo albums, 1994’s Leading Off… and 1997’s Stealing Second. In 1998, with help from Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek landed a record deal with the roots music label Sugar Hill. Krauss produced their self-titled debut album, which was released in 2000; with the kids apparently all right, Scott subsequently retired from the band. Though it was decidedly a bluegrass record, Nickel Creek boasted elements of classical, jazz, and rock & roll both classic and alternative; naturally, the influence of progressive bluegrass figures like Krauss, Edgar Meyer, and Bela Fleck was also apparent. Perhaps aided by the success of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which brought traditional roots music to a whole new collegiate audience, Nickel Creek became a slow-building hit; by early 2002, it had gone gold, climbed into the country Top 20, and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album. Meanwhile, Sean released his solo debut, Let It Fall, in 2001, and Thile followed suit with Not All Who Wander Are Lost. Nickel Creek released their sophomore set, This Side, in 2002; it debuted in the Top 20 of the pop charts and went all the way to number two on the country listings. Even more eclectic than its predecessor, the Krauss-produced album turned indie rock fans’ heads with a cover of Pavement’s “Spit on a Stranger.” This Side won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album in early 2003, after which Sean issued his second solo album, 26 Miles.

Click here to visit their home page. I won’t say too much more about this band, other than their really good smile For all you St. Louis readers who want to come visit, you’re welcome to come, crash on my couch if needed! Anyways, if you want to order tickets separately (feel free to IM/email me if you want me to pick ya up tickets), you can visit ticket master to order tickets. I plan on ordering tickets today, so get to me quick!

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Pictures to download, use, or just admire

by on May.24, 2006, under General

I generally check the National Geographic Photo of the Day site for background pictures about once a day. I love to have backgrounds of all sorts, but generally prefer landscapes and architecture type shots. National Geographic has some of the best selection of backgrounds I’ve seen, with a lot of very good variety. However, I saw a few other sites I thought I’d mention here for cool pictures – most of them totally free for any use:

Feel free to include links to other “free” picture sites, or such information – I’m sure there are a ton more out there!

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Major changes in life

by on May.18, 2006, under General

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted… so much has gone on, that I’m not sure how to explain it all. I could do a list of events, but it’s not the events themselves often but the results of the various occurances that mean the most. Still, to understand where things end up, you have to understand where they start from. Or so I’ve always thought. You shouldn’t focus on the start of things though, other than for understanding. I used to focus on the past, heavily. In some ways, I still do and this post is in some way a reflection of that, yet it’s also a “clearing” or a statement, or a way to get things out in a way I’m not normally able to do so, through conversation or other methods. Thus, people get to hear more of what’s going on in my head than normal.

With that minor “diatribe” out of the way, I suppose I should begin with all that has been going on in life lately, and there definitely has been a vast list of events. I’ll start with my last posts, and move forward chronologically from that point onward, although please forgive any daliances I make with my thoughts wandering all over the country side, like they tend to do.

The last real bit of information on what was going on in my life was the search for a house. This search, unfortunately, has failed at this point in time. I was unable to find a house that was desirable, or more to the heart of the matter, desirable at a desirable price. SO, I’m renting yet another year. The plan however is next year to purchase a residence where I’ll be more or less permanently located. This of course has a number of ramifications, and has had me pondering things with great anticipation, heavy introspection, as well as lots of dread and fear combined. It is a more “permanent” decision in many ways than I have made in a long time. I’ve made decisions, but I’ve never really settled down, in any sense. The decision to stay in the Columbia area is one that I look at, and fear, for a number of reasons. I’ll get into some of those momentarily, but let me continue with some of the other events that occurred after the house shopping.

A major factor in my life lately, and one I alluded to with a much earlier Malcolmpost around the February time period, has been a new 4 legged family member by the name of Malcolm. Malcolm has been a wonderful friend, as well as distraction, companion, and sleeping buddy of mine. He’s also pulled me out of the house even when I’ve not been in the mood to go running around the neighborhood to stop and sniff at every plant, tree, and fire hydrant in the area. Yet, despite waking me up at odd hours of the night, or wayyy too early on a Sunday morning, Malcolm has been a major blessing in my life, and I’m very glad to have him around.

Now, there are times where Malcolm is definitely a difficulty and struggle – having him around is like having a small child. It’s a responsibility and a struggle at many times. Coming home and finding a very olfactory enhancing “present” is not the most entertaining thing in the world. Neither is the 3am wakeup call when thunder is going on outside my window. And, it’s also made my trips to St. Louis or other locations…. difficult, to say the least. I miss, VERY much, all my friends in St. Louis, and lately it’s been very hard not to be able to just pack up and come visit on a whim. Malcolm, unlike a child, is not welcome in all households. This has made any level of traveling very difficult. However, as stated earlier – there ARE a great many rewards to having Malcolm around, and I wouldn’t trade them (most days : ) ) if I had the choice.

Other than Malcolm entering my life, a major, recent change has been the departation of Laura. Laura is a wonderful woman – I can’t express that enough – yet due to issues, that are private and I won’t discuss here, I broke up with her. [edit]I’ve commented out some of this stuff. Just to clarify – I made mistakes, made a lot of them, but not going to air the personal laundry here. I felt that talking about our breakup really didn’t need, nor deserve any more commentary than already exists.[/edit]
One of the last major changes in my life is that I’m moving yet again. My current roommate situation is changing in that the 2 girls James and I are currently living with, wanted to live with 2 more girls. As such, James and I are moving into a new duplex over off of Nifong. I’ve already started the packing and moving process, and intend to be completely moved into the new place (or at least mostly) by Monday. Like any wish, we’ll see if it comes true or I’m just living a pipe dream. I suspect though that I’ll have MOST of my belongs moved in, with only minor holdouts dealing perhaps with odd things tucked into various closets.

Last, and this is probably the biggest issue for me, is a major struggle of faith. Or more, where my faith is going. For those who know me, they realize I don’t really have any doubts in God/Christ. If anything, the doubts I’ve had have all been centered around the Catholic church. And, lately, those doubts have been more about myself. I’ve been struggling, HEAVILY, lately with my faith, with any level of faith, with my “Christianity” and what I believe in. I’ve struggled, and struggled, and struggled, yet have come to no solutions. I haven’t been to church in a very long time, minus a few oddities here and there (i.e. going with Laura during family visits). I have had no motivation, no desire, and if anything, more along a certain… fear? Aprehension? I’m not sure if I’ve got the words to adequately describe my feelings on it, but I haven’t had a home in a very, very, very long while, and so it’s been very hard for me to take any active role or participate directly in the church. I haven’t even been to a retreat in 3+ years at this point. Right now, and particularly lately, I’ve been feeling like a ship lost in a storm, struggling to stay afloat, wandering here and there with no direction or no idea where I’m going. More than anything, I think this has been my main struggle. I would appreciate prayers from anyone who reads, or perhaps a story or commentary on times you’ve struggled similarly… I’d love to have an easy answer on how to get through this, but I don’t think there are any such answers. SO, prayers and comments, please.
Like any major update, there are numerous things said and unsaid here. There is more to the story of Malcolm and how I haven’t traveled as much because of him, more to the moving situation, more to the breakup with Laura, and much more to my faith struggle than I’ve listed here. However, those details will have to stay where they are – in my head – at least for now. Maybe I’ll talk more about those events in a future post, but more than likely some other topic will come to the foreground. Who knows what direction my mind or my life will take?

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