Summer Music

one of the things about summer I really enjoy is listening to bands like the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, and Best Coast.

One of the things my wife and I often discuss is that, while we really like the tones that Best Coast uses, we’re not in love with most of the songs. A lot of them don’t really seem to go anywhere and aren’t super catchy like we want a good, airy, surfy song to be.

So in case you’re not listening to Best Coast already, let me share with you a few of my favorites.

God’s law and Our sufferings

As Americans, our society worships leisure, convenience, security, and the path of least resistance.

However, as God’s people through Jesus’s blood, we see that our afflictions are to teach about God’s law, which ultimately helps us understand Him. This is shown in the Old Testament as well as in the New. As I have been reading through the Psalms, the word statute has started standing out to me more, especially in Psalm 119.

Psalm 119:71

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

The writer points out one of the many benefits of knowing the statutes of The Lord in v. 80:

May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!

We see in v. 83 that the writer, by remembering God’s law was able to hold fast, though he was being tested to the point of feeling like he was withering. I found Spurgeon’s comments to be helpful:

The promises came to his mind, and, what was a still better evidence of his loyalty, the statutes were there too: he stuck to his duties as well as to his comforts. The worst circumstances cannot destroy the true believer’s hold upon his God. Grace is a living power which survives that which would suffocate all other forms of existence. A man may be reduced to skin and bone, and all his comfort may be dried out of him, and yet he may hold fast his integrity and glorify his God.

We also see in v. 86 that though we may suffer for obeying His law, abiding by His law is our comfort and will prove to be right on the final day.

All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me!

Lord, help us to know your law.

The Verge Goes Oblong

As most of you already know, I have a mild obsession with the future. There is something about seeing where things are going and trying to push things to the next level that really excites me.

That’s one of the reasons that I really enjoy The Verge. The Verge does some really cool things, most notably, their extreme emphasis on video, but also the look they take into the intersection of technology and how it is transforming our lives.

Back in November, they went to visit the folks at Oblong Industries who, most notably, did the design for the computer systems in Minority Report. The video below has a look into some of the projects Oblong does and what the future of computing might look like.

What’s really amazing to me is that, in the 6 months since I first watched this video:
1) the technology in it doesn’t seem quite as mind-blowing as it did back then (thanks to products like the leap motion which will be arriving at my doorstep by Tuesday)
2) the long way we have to go before anything in this video becomes commonplace.

Hope you enjoy the video. To the future!

why I don’t do well with baseball

The Wall Street Journal did a service to society with a recent analysis: how much time during a baseball game is actually spent “in play”?

According to the Journal’s observation approximately 18 minutes. The shocking thing to me is that baseball actually has about seven more minutes of gameplay than a football game.

I’ll be honest, I am extremely prejudiced against baseball. That mid–90s strike really left a sour taste in my young mouth. That and the fact that I get distracted quite easily.

One gem from the article:

The longest pure-action play was a Bryce Harper triple that took 15 seconds. It is no wonder the triple is known as baseball’s most exciting play (15 uninterrupted seconds of nonstop excitement!).

The Journal, to be fair, included a rebuttal defending the leisurely pace of a baseball game. Didn’t convince me, but I’m also a guy who gets a little sad every time I think about the Boundary Waters: all that land that will never be developed.

Sounds of the Seventies Revisited

Back in high school, I used to actually watch TV. Most of the times were it was while I was hanging out with my friends. We were usually swimming in my buddy’s pool, hitting up White Castle, or maybe even going to get some custard out at Adele’s, and then would head back to the aforementioned home to watch Conan or maybe some great movie.

During late night TV there we always commercials for these Time-Life cd sets called Sounds of the Seventies. I don’t know if it was purely because we were a bunch of high school dudes and we turned basically everything into a meme, or maybe because the songs were just cut so well together. For whatever reason, me and my friends used to have this commercial memorized and would often sing it together.

This morning, on the way to church, I saw some major skid marks on 35-W. For some, that reminded me of a song called Skidmark I had recorded for a buddy back in high school. There is such a weird intersection between memories. How do things we haven’t thought of in 10 years suddenly come back to us?

At any rate, I decided to hope on Spotify tonight and put together a playlist based on the songs that were in that Sounds of the Seventies commercial. Enjoy.