Thursday, October 10, 2019

Common Denominators

Good afternoon and thanks for checking out the blog. So, What's Good today, Scott? I am glad that you asked. Common Denominators are good, but I must lay groundwork for this post, right from the jump. Important things to consider:
1. I am not good at math in any sort of way.
2. I know that money is cool and wish I had more of it. I am not dumb.

Monday, October 7, 2019


What’s good? A man once said, “What is truth?” I’m asking you: What is good? What is good in your life? Do you take time to acknowledge it? Are there things in your life that aren’t just good, but they’re so good you make a point to tell other people about them? I’ll bet there are. It is an interesting question, and I would enjoy reading your answers. Leave a comment below if you don’t mind. 
I was presented with this question when I was asked if I was going to write another post on this blog. It was kind-of a big ask. I haven’t made time to write a post for our other blog for over nine months (if that last one even counts – note to self: update the images on that post.) So, is there something that is so good that I would be motivated to write a post about it? I mean, there are lots of things that are good, as I mentioned last time: surrealism, understanding, gardening, the Book of Judges, Simon StÃ¥lenhag… The list is long, and I would love to tell you about every entry on it, if only I had the time. But is there something so good that it motivates this composition that I’m writing right now?!?! There is…
What up, y’all? It’s ya’ boy, Hal. As you may have ascertained, this ain’t Scott. I have once again commandeered his blog for my own purposes. But I would like to acknowledge that I really appreciate Scott sharing his appreciation of things with those wonderful few who are interested to read it. We don’t take enough time to appreciate the good things around us. It is worthwhile to take a moment now and again to pause and say, “You know what? I really enjoy _______ for the following reasons…” Scott does it, and I enjoy it. You’re good, Scott.
So, four paragraphs in… What am I writing about today? What’s good? Mash-ups! In my opinion, mash-ups are the best. A mash-up is something where two independent things are fused together to make a hybrid thing that stands alone as its own thing. Like this:

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Bon Iver's Album, "I, I"

I only know about cool music because of Jac, Tim, Randy, Sean, Nate, Spotify, and Brycen. They rarely shoot me in the wrong direction. I hope that I can make your list of people who tell you about good music when you make your blog to promote things that you like. Maybe after reading this, you will fall in love with Bon Iver and make your own post. I don't know, but I bet that you could do it.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Good Vibes On A Sunday

Hey, guys. No big, full post today, but I thought that I would send you a smile.

This is my son, Max. He is very silly and loves playing with phones and especially camera filters. He makes me laugh CONSTANTLY. Sometimes he breaks everything and sometimes he yells and sometimes he stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that he loves Grandpa, but he is a good boy. His lego game is crazy on point. I love him so much. Let his good vibes and crazy eyes bless your heart this Sunday.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Far Away Friends

Friends are a good thing to have. Dudley Moore once said, famously, "isn't fun the best thing to have?!?" in the movie Arthur, but I contend that it might not be. Sure, if you could guarantee that life would be ONLY fun forever, I guess that that could be true, but life isn't really like that. Science says everything is going down via the concept of "entropy." Even Jesus Christ guaranteed us that in this life we would have trouble (John 16:33). So, perhaps the best thing to have is somewhat more nuanced.

I would contend that the best thing to have is friends because if you get into trouble, friends can help you and if your friend gets into trouble, you can help them. If you are really friends, both of these actions will be beneficial. When I help someone move, it is good for them because moving sucks and help is needed, but it is also good for me because there is a joy explosion that comes with being a blessing to others. In my 35 years of life, I have had friends who have:
  • - Helped me with bills when ends did not meet.
  • - Literally helped me get my car off of the back of a repo truck.
  • - Give us presents to give our kids for Christmas that were better than our meager offerings.
  • - Give us food when we were broke.
  • - Give me rides to and from work for almost 6 months without accepting any kind of repayment.
  • - Helped me buy multiple cars.
  • - Cried with me.
  • - Prayed for me/with me.
  • - Cared about things that I cared about just because I did.
Not to mention, talk me through almost every kind of heartache and problem that a dumb person can have. When life hits, friends help you hit back. When life is heavy, friends help you carry the load. Friends are the best thing to have because no matter the give or take, whether you celebrate or mourn with them, no matter what comes down the pipe, friends stick together and friendship is much better than being alone. I have had A LOT of friends in 35 years and have tried to be a friend to many more, but this post is about a specific sub-group of friends, Far Away Friends.

For the purpose of this, note that a Far Away Friend is someone who is not in your vicinity and who you cannot interact with, as friends, locally or regularly. One of my mother's best friends, Ellen, was only friends with my mom in person for 2 years, but they have been Far Away Friends for 23 years! Spoiler alert: I have really great Far Away Friends. Some of them have become Far Away over time, but some of them started out that way. With the modern invention of the internet, new and deep connections are possible. But, I have always technically had Far Away Friends, just less far away.

When I was young, AOL was invented and they rolled out something called a "chat room." I was a kid and I liked to much so that I used to take the school directory of my Jr. High and just call people to try to make friends. Naturally, I went into a chat room and made friends with a 30 year old man named Kevin. We would just talk about weird stuff (nothing nefarious) and it was very chill and casual. We only talked for a year as my interest in chat rooms waned. Kevin was my first Far Away Friend.

Fast forward a few years. Technology boomed and boomed and all of a sudden I had Myspace friends that were people that I have never met in person, but interacted with regularly. Then in 2009, I got Facebook, which got me even more friends that I had never met. I became part of a moderator team on a Facebook group with over 1000 members and got to be Far Away Friends with all of them. Then, fast forward to three years ago and something crazy happened...ESO (Elder Scrolls Online).

We developed a problem in our home, out of nowhere, that plagued us for two years and removed our ability to entertain guests. With two autistic children, it's hard for us to be guests at other people's homes, so without the option to entertain, it was getting real lonely and depressing. We pitched our money at it, other people's money at it (thanks to friends) and it would not go away. Our social life was sidelined, but at a fortuitous time...because I started playing ESO. 

ESO is an mmorpg, or a role playing game that is massive and multiplayer, online. This means that you build characters and gear them out and complete content. There are multiple things to do on ESO, which make it great, but none of them are the BEST thing about ESO. The BEST thing is the social interactions. Since playing this game for 3 years I have made CLOSE friends when I should have been isolated. Instead of suffering alone, I picked up Far Away Friends and boy, was it a blessing to me.

Our "guild" in ESO features so many wonderful people that are really a blessing to me. When my wife wanted to play, but we did not have the means, two of our Far Away Friends put together a used Xbox (they had to pay to fix it and send it to us) and a Samsung tv, which became our bedroom tv and my wife's portal to ESO. Those people live in Washington and Missouri, respectively. We've gotten medical advice from Doctors and Nurses playing High Elves. When I was dealing with deep, world shaking problems, so many people were so attentive and supportive to me. That doesn't seem like it would be a big deal, because I have strong real life friends, but sometimes Far Away Friends are specialists in dealing with existential crises at 11:40pm.

Our network of Far Away Friends has blessed each other too. We really became an online community that loves each other and cares for each other. Strangers who cry with each other, PWN N00bs together, and watch out for each's really great. Even though the positive vibes around ESO are cooling and less people are playing, I still talk to my Far Away Friends every day. I would even if I stopped playing video games altogether.

In life, it is good to have friends. In my life, I have gotten to have great ones, both near and Far. I hope that I have been as good a Far Away Friend to others as they have been to me because Far Away Friends are What's Good this week. If you don't have any Far Away Friends, you should get some. The next stupid game you play, Words With Friends for instance, don't hesitate to shoot a chat over asking "how is your day?" You may be surprised and end up at their wedding 3 years later.

This post is dedicated to all of my very close friends on vidya games. I love ya'll. You truly make my life better.

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Dark

Hey there, ya'll! I don't mean to be inflammatory, but there are a lot of lights on this planet. Street lights outside, skyscraper lights, neon signs, Las Vegas, lights on the space shuttle launch pad, lights inside (think closets, dining rooms, accent)...tons of lights dot everything. There are lights that simply seek to illuminate. Some lights give directions. Some lights sell us things. Lights... they are everywhere...except around me as often as I can arrange. I like The Dark. This post is about The Dark.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Videogamedunkey And By Association, Super Mario 64

Reviewing, critiquing, or hating on things is pretty easy, when you think about it. Our culture is very negative and seeks out "AH HA!" moments to disprove our foes' points or bright lights to shine on how bad things are. It's easy to say "this bowl of ramen sucks!" and then copy and paste that in a Facebook-tagged post, a yelp review, and a text to your friends....maybe even an instagram pic of that HORRIBLE ramen. It's a lot harder to take in something, enojoy it, and explain why/how it made you feel and changed you. That takes effort. People are often afraid to do this.