Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sara Groves, Invisible Empires, Available NOW

Sara’s brand new album, Invisible Empires, is available right now for pre-order and download. I love waking up to surprises like this.

Sara Groves has been a family favorite since the late nineties when her song, The Word, came out. Little did we know then that we would end up living in the Twin Cities, where she lives, see her at Bethlehem, and in multiple concerts. Her vocals and words and thoughts touch our family in deep ways. My daughters fall asleep listening to her music and my wife and I play her stuff throughout the year. She is perennially in our playlist.

Wendy has already listened to this new album all the way through. We heartily recommend it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO

I am sure this is not news to most now. I am not trying to break news. As an Apple fanboy, should I be worried? Maybe, maybe not. Here is a paragraph from John Gruber’s (of Daring Fireball) analysis:

Apple’s products are replete with Apple-like features and details, embedded in Apple-like apps, running on Apple-like devices, which come packaged in Apple-like boxes, are promoted in Apple-like ads, and sold in Apple-like stores. The company is a fractal design. Simplicity, elegance, beauty, cleverness, humility. Directness. Truth. Zoom out enough and you can see that the same things that define Apple’s products apply to Apple as a whole. The company itself is Apple-like. The same thought, care, and painstaking attention to detail that Steve Jobs brought to questions like “How should a computer work?”, “How should a phone work?”, “How should we buy music and apps in the digital age?” he also brought to the most important question: “How should a company that creates such things function?” 
Jobs’s greatest creation isn’t any Apple product. It is Apple itself.
Read the whole thing.

The Dragon’s Tooth

This book arrives at theAbellsix doorstep today. We can’t wait. Wendy and I listened as the author read the first chapter to us back in June and are so excited to read the rest. My kids have been fighting over who gets to read it first for months. First to the door wins!

From the RabbitRoom review...
Which brings us to choices. Cyrus and Antigone face the age-old choice of doing what is easy versus doing what is right. Turning away from the Order of Brendan would allow them to grieve for their family, remain safe, and stay together. But Dan has been given the Dragon’s Tooth, the Reaper’s Blade, with the power of death. Immortals can die and the dead can be raised with the tooth’s power. Enemies want it and will kill to get it. At one point Cyrus is offered his family in return for the tooth. Give the tooth (and all personal risk and responsibility) and save his family. Or keep the tooth (and the risk and responsibility toward a greater good) and possibly lose his loved ones. Easy? Or right?
Read the whole thing.

85 Million is More Than Enough

I know nothing about Jared Weaver other than he is in a race for the Cy Young this year. Based on this article I am rooting for him to win.

Rob Neyer reports:
Well, this is certainly refreshing (via ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon): 
Jered Weaver admits he had to go against the advice of agent Scott Boras before agreeing to the Los Angeles Angels' five-year, $85 million contract extension, but he said the lure of staying home outweighed the seduction of greater riches.
“If $85 (million) is not enough to take care of my family and other generations of families then I’m pretty stupid, but how much money do you really need in life?” Weaver said Tuesday. “I’ve never played this game for the money. I played it for the love and the competitive part of it. It just so happens that baseball’s going to be taking care of me for the rest of my life.” 
“How much more do you need?” Weaver asked about his deal. “Could have got more, whatever. Who cares?”
Read the whole thing.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Hero Among Dragons

“This is also why the new novels die so quickly, and why the old fairy tales endure for ever. The old fairy tale makes the hero a normal human boy; it is his adventures that are startling; they startle him because he is normal. But in the modern psychological novel the hero is abnormal; the centre is not central. Hence the fiercest adventures fail to affect him adequately, and the book is monotonous. You can make a story out of a hero among dragons; but not out of a dragon among dragons. The fairy tale discusses what a sane man will do in a mad world. The sober realistic novel of to-day discusses what an essential lunatic will do in a dull world.”

—G. K. Chesteron, Orthodoxy, The Project Gutenberg eBook, Apple iPod Touch, pp. 45–46 of 838.

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Negative AL Central

Rob Neyer writes about the runs-scored differential in the AL Central...
[As of August 5,] The first-place Tigers have been outscored by seven runs. The second-place Indians have been outscored by seven runs. The third-place White Sox have been outscored by 30 runs. And the fourth-place Twins, you don't even wanna know about.
The whole thing.