From Across the Net – “Is Your Church Frantic or Focussed?”

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Photo by Jeremiah Higgins on Unsplash

This is worth the read:

It says a lot about church culture that above anything else we fear “white space”, we fear a lack of noise.  It says a lot about church culture that everything has to run smoothly to the point that a gap in the service is viewed as hellish.  I expect my eleven year old son to be that little bit bored in church.

You can read more here

Something I Enjoy – The Geek to Geek Podcast

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Geek to Geek Podcast logo

I enjoy commuting with the Geek to Geek Podcast. Hosts Void and Beej do a fantastic job talking about movies, TV Shows, apps and video games. There is something about their rapport that reminds me of geeky dinnertime conversations in college. Granted, they haven’t talked about the return of zeppelins for use in military applications… yet.

If you are looking for a solid geeky podcast, you can’t go wrong hanging out with Void and Beej.

Take a Flying Leap, Robot

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Will Robinson found a robot. He saves the robot’s life. Will and the robot are now friends.

Netflix’s Lost in Space reboot later reveals that Will’s robot is a killer and the reason the Robinson’s are now stranded. Despite this dramatic revelation, Will loves the robot for who it is now. He fights for the robot to be accepted by his family and fellow survivors.

The story seems to communicate that the robot, a highly advanced artificial intelligence, is learning to be good. But after an incident where the robot tries to protect itself from an attacker, flinging Will’s dad across the room in the process, Will makes a drastic decision.

A Boy and His Dog

I keep seeing articles and comments that Will and the robot’s story are similar to a boy and his dog story. Stories that make me think of:

  • Old Yeller
  • Sounder
  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Even Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur

The problem with saying that Will’s relationship with the robot is like a boy and his dog story is that the robot is an advanced AI. An AI capable of thinking and perhaps even feeling on some level. When Will commands the robot to walk off a cliff, therefore killing the robot, Lost in Space takes a big poop in the story pool. Flushing half a season’s worth of “the best part of the story” (as Wyatt puts it) down the toilet.

Having a young boy suddenly see no hope for his robot friend and ordering said friend off a cliff is dark. Even darker, having the robot looking at Will, knowing what Will is ordering it to do, and doing it anyway. I have no doubt that the writer’s are trying to set up an “evil robot” storyline down the road… but really, suicide as the only answer in a family show? This is dark and gross, Netflix.

“Danger, Will Robinson!”

Indeed.

The Bonkers Lincoln Lawyer

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Tab and I dove into The Lincoln Lawyer last night on Hulu. We figured Matthew McConaughey + courtroom drama = win, right?

In the far off land of Los Angeles, Matthew McConaughey is defense lawyer Mick Haller. Mick has figured out a scheme most Angelenos would balk at in an instant, he works out of his Lincoln. Mobile, free from having to pay property taxes or outrageous SoCal real estate costs, Mick is the man. Until one day, Reese Witherspoon’s ex-husband, Ryan “Pretty Boy” Phillippe, hires Mick. Turns out the rich white dude Ryan is playing (Louis Roulet) has been accused of beating up/trying to rape a woman and kill her. BUT SHE LIVED!

A bunch of other stuff happens. Ryan (playing Louis) turns out to be evil. SPOILER! McConaughey, being the top dog that he is, plays the game and brings him down. Also, JUSTICE!

The biggest crime in The Lincoln Lawyer isn’t the films plot but the way it hands out small amounts of screen time to amazing actors. I’m still trying to figure out why Bryan Cranston is in this movie. And what about William H. Macy? And future Aunt May (Marisa Tomei)?

I was good with the movie up until it’s 11th hour super conspiracy theory reveal and biker beat up. But the smoggy Los Angeles landscape made me miss my home state. Take a deep breath… cough, cough, cough. Ah, asthma.

Final Note: Someone please tell Matthew to stop pointing with his middle finger? It’s rude.

THE END

What’s your favorite McConaughey courtroom drama?

Settling in with SteamWorld Dig

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Picked up developer Image & Form Games SteamWorld Dig last night for the 3DS– I figured why not, the 3DS sits on my nightstand collecting dust. I love the compact design of the system versus the Switch, especially for nighttime/in bed play–. Spent a whole $2.91 for the game on sale too.

I fell in love with SteamWorld Dig 2, on the Switch, sometime last year. Echoes of the Atari classic Dig Dug are strong with this game series. Minus the violent blowing creatures up with an air hose…

I love Digs core gameplay loop:

  • Head down to the mines.
  • Dig mine shafts in a way that allow traversal and ease of harvesting minerals.
  • Dig deep. Fill your bags with as many minerals as you can carry.
  • Once your bags are full, head back to town and cash-in said minerals for money which equals upgrades. Who doesn’t want bigger bags and a stronger pick?

In the small bit I played last night, I can see the influence Dig 1 had on Dig 2 (no duh, right). Fun to see where characters got their start; relaxing to settle into that familiar mining loop. Definitely check this series out if you haven’t had a chance. I am also thinking about picking up SteamWorld Heist on the Switch (on sale right now for $4.99).

What do you think of the SteamWorld series? Have you had a chance to play?

Adoption Update – Level One A

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I was telling Tabitha last night that if adoption were a video game, we have finally reached the first level. The tutorial and character creation process were the initial first steps:

  • PRIDE Training (40 hours of state-mandated classes)
  • FBI Database Fingerprinting
  • Fire Inspection
  • Health Inspection
  • Home Study

With our home study approved, we are now certified by the State of Texas to adopt. We can now put in interest requests through the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange (TARE); we can also now go to meet up events (where you can interact with kids available for adoption) as well as have our caseworker alert us to children available for adoption who are not listed online.

The adoption process is weird. A mixture of buying a home and speed dating. Level One A, of the adoption game, looks like:

  • Looking through pictures of children in an online database
  • Going to a meet up event
  • Our caseworker notifying us of a potential match

After initial inquiries are made, which includes our caseworker “selling” another caseworker on our family via telephone conference (home buying), we then enter the speed dating phase. Level One B includes:

  • Our family driving to whichever region the potential child is located in and then going on a day outing with the child.
  • The following weekend, a follow up over night visit (probably in a hotel room, especially if the child lives out of town) with the child.
  • The following weekend after that, a day trip/overnight visit again?
  • Eventually these visits shift from being on neutral ground to the child coming to our house.

The biggest hurdle of Level One A is going to be finding a match. We have to agree on the match; our caseworker has to agree on the match. Already, we are learning that:

  • It’s good to have a caseworker who says no and is looking out for our family (versus just trying to place a child and move on).
  • That descriptions of children, on TARE, do not include all the details. Sometimes even surprising our caseworker…
  • That there are not a lot of younger kids (ages 7 and younger) up for adoption online.

Bottom Line: We know that God has a child in mind for us. We just have to wait, trust, and talk, as a family, through the adoption process.

I’ll keep y’all updated. Maybe not so much in this Level One A stage… but more IF we make it to Level One B. Prayers are appreciated.

Bryan