Sunday, December 25, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 25

December 25- 7:30 AM

            The constant beeping was the first thing that Caleb noticed when he came back to consciousness. He must have been on one heck of a pain killer because he couldn’t feel any pain in his stomach. He cracked his eyes open and was instantly blinded by the light that flooded behind his eyelids.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 24

            “So basically what I’m saying is that I didn’t know if you were saved and I didn’t figure that you would here too much evangelization where those people were taking you,” Caleb finished. “I guess I did it so that you would have another chance to receive Christ since, you know, I don’t want to see you die and go to hell.”

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 23

The two teenagers walked down the sidewalk sometimes walking through the snow where it had not yet been shoveled. Kristy slipped on an icy patch and grabbed onto Caleb to keep from falling down. Their eyes met and she quickly let go. How embarrassing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 22

December 24- 3:30 PM

            All of the Christmas preparations were finished, and Caleb had finished his book. He had spent the last half hour looking for things to do, but literally everything was done. Maybe it was time to go see if Kristy was doing okay. He hadn’t seen her since she was kidnapped, and his father had said something about her wanting to talk to him. Heck, what could it hurt. Caleb grabbed his coat and stepped out of the front door.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 21

December 23- 10:00 AM

            The last of the decorations were finally in place, and Caleb stood back to admire them. Another year of decorating was finally done, and this time he had two days to spare. Well, now it was time to stash the boxes back in the attic so that he could pull them back out in a week or two and stuff all of the garlands and such back into them. That was the cycle of his life, a good cycle to be back into now that all of the upheaval surrounding the kidnappings was finally done with.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 20

            To say that the man was not happy would have been an understatement to say the least. He was used to being crossed every once in a while, but not like this. Not when his own men were involved. He had lost four of his own in this one.

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 19

            Kristy pulled the blanket that the paramedics had given her tighter around her shoulders and hunched her shoulders against the cold. She just wanted to go home, but she knew that the police would want to talk to her about what had happened. The last thing that they needed was to think that one of their rescued hostages had been kidnapped again.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 18

            Mr. Henry strapped on his bullet-proof vest, slid a side arm into the holster on the back of his belt, and slung the shoulder strap of his assault rifle over his head. He would be leading the assault team in the front door, if that became necessary, while one of the officers in his unit would lead a squad in the back door. The perimeter was now fully set, and the trap was just about ready to be sprung. Mr. Henry reached for his radio and was just about to give the signal to move in when the lights in the house came on. Had something alerted the people inside? He didn’t know, but it didn’t change anything in the plan. Quickly he made sure that the squad in the rear of the house was ready, then motioned for his team to advance. Part of the unit moved silently up onto the front porch of the house and took up positions around the door while the other part moved into the garage and set up around the door located there.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 17

            Kristy return to consciousness was not fast this time. As she woke up in stages, she gradually became aware of her surroundings. Wherever she was being held was dark, and it took her eyes several minutes to adjust to the lack of light. Her body was slower to function than her eyes, so as she tried to see in the dark, she forced her body to move. The first thing that she noticed was the conspicuous absence of any restraints on her whatsoever. The second thing was that there was a sound of quiet sobbing coming from about five or six feet away.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 16

December 22- 3:30 AM

            “So, this is the house,” Mr. Henry said as he stared at the single story dwelling sitting by itself at the end of a cul-de-sac. “Doesn’t look like much, though I suppose that’s what makes it such a perfect cover.”
            “It’s the house,” Caleb assured his father. “That car in the driveway is the same one that was at the gas station. I thought that it was familiar because I see it just about every day, driving into and out of our subdivision.”
            “And who do you say these people are?” Mr. Henry asked.
            “Mr. and Mrs. Young,” Caleb answered. “At least that’s who they are if you trust their word at all, which I don’t really at this point in time.”
            “Well, I don’t much care what their names are as long as we can take them down and make this kidnapping stuff stick in a court of law,” Mr. Henry said. “If it happens like I want it to, they’ll be looking at the inside of a cell for the rest of their natural lives.” After a moment, he looked at his watch. “The rest of the units should be arriving soon. Let’s get back home; the recon unit will make sure that they don’t leave the house.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 15

            Caleb got out of the car and headed inside. The intense throbbing in his head had subsided a while ago, but a dull, persistent pain had replaced it. This pain was part of the reason that he hadn’t been able to be more help to his father. No matter how much he tried, he couldn’t think through the incessant ache. Which was why he was going to bed right now. The sooner he got to sleep, the sooner he would feel better, and the sooner he would be able to remember something that his father could use. Finally the people who had kidnapped Kristy would be caught and prosecuted.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 14

            The car bounced to a stop and Kristy coiled up, ready to make a break for it as soon as she had a chance. Despite Kristy’s attempts to wake her, Emily was still unconscious. She had already made the decision to leave her behind; the best way to help her now was to escape and bring help. The car doors slammed, and Kristy could hear voices, but they were moving away from her. Drat. They were going to leave them in the car, at least for a while.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 13

            Caleb’s dad was back in the office, exactly where he would expect to be after yet another kidnapping. His unit was still at the scene of the crime, trying futilely to find clues as to who had done it or where they might have taken their prisoners. Once again, Mr. Henry found himself at the station grilling the witnesses for details. The only difference was that this time, the witness was his own son. The gas station attendant had been less than helpful since he had been in the back of the store when the abduction occurred, but here was the gold mine of information: Caleb. Or Mr. Henry could only hope. The doctor had said that he was not seriously injured, but he didn’t know what the blow might have done to his memory. With any luck, his testimony would still be more helpful than those of previous witnesses.

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 12

            People were talking to Caleb, but he couldn’t tell what they were saying. He felt hands touching him, but his mind couldn’t make sense of what was happening. The first two sensations that he registered were the uncomfortable texture of gravel underneath his body and the throbbing in his head. Slowly he opened his eyes and tried to look around. The light blinded him, making his head feel even worse. His vision flashed bright white momentarily, then the world came back into focus.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 11

            Mr. Henry sat at his desk and flipped coins from his fist into a container on his desk. It was something that he did when he was thinking, especially when he had hit a wall. The clink of coins on each other had been known to break him from a mental stalemate, but today it was doing nothing for him. Probably because he had nothing to work with, he thought angrily. With no information, it was hard for it to lead him anywhere. He flipped his last coin, gathered them again, and for the millionth time began to muddle through what he knew.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 10

            Kristy wasn’t sure what was happening. One moment she was sitting in the passenger seat of Emily’s car when she heard her door open. Instantly the world went black as a bag was shoved down over her head. She tried to scream, but a hand was clamped over her face preventing any sound from escaping.

Friday, December 09, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 9

            Caleb handed his money to the cashier and turned to look out the window at the other car filling up at the pump. The girl pumping the gas was talking to a man. He gave a wave a turned to walk away. Caleb turned away from the window to take his change from the cashier, and when he turned back around a black van was pulling out of the lot. It could have been his mind playing tricks on him, but he could have sworn that it was the same van that he had seen last night.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 8

            Kristy was still in front of the mirror when the doorbell rang. Kristy glanced at the clock; was it 10:30 already? No, if that was Emily, she was five minutes early. Kristy grabbed her purse and moved quickly out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Sure enough, Emily was standing in the foyer, waiting on her friend. The girls exchanged greetings.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 7

            Caleb was back at the decorating, this time inside the house. Twelve boxes of various decorations were stacked before him in the dining room. He stood, staring at them, putting off the inevitable. Eventually he was going to have to start putting up the decorations, or they would stay in their boxes. With a sigh he opened the first box and began to take out the wreaths that were stored inside. It wasn’t that he didn’t like to decorate, it was just that he found slightly sad even after all of these years.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 6

            Mr. Henry looked up to see his son, Jacob, stagger down the stairs. He grunted a hello, then turned back to his paper. He was too distracted right now for a conversation; he just didn’t have the time. The front page story today was another kidnapping, the third in a month. All of the kidnapees were girls, all between the ages of twelve and twenty-five. This rash of crime had all of the marks of human trafficking, which meant that it was Mr. Henry’s problem.

Monday, December 05, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 5

December 21

            It was now only four days until Christmas, but Kristy wasn’t thinking about the holiday. The most important to her mind at the moment was the Christmas party that was only a few hours away. For the thousandth time she looked at herself in the mirror and twisted this way and that, trying, it seemed, to find something wrong with her outfit that she could fix. As it had for the last thirty minutes, imperfection evaded her sight, and she thought again how good she looked.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 4

            Caleb never had trouble sleeping, yet here he was at 2 o’clock in the morning tossing and turning in his bed. It was like he had been on Christmas Eve when he was still a child, except he wasn’t a child anymore and it was still five days until Christmas. Also, instead of a feeling of happiness, there was a terrible feeling in the pit of his stomach, almost as if something terrible was about to happen.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 3

Kristy stepped into her house and was immediately assaulted by the smell of freshly baked cookies. The sound of a vacuum cleaner running upstairs told her that mom was cleaning the house. Not your run-of-the-mill regular cleaning but only-before-Christmas-move-everything-and-clean-every-nook-and-cranny cleaning. Kristy hung her coat in the front hall closet and stepped out of the foyer into the living room.

Friday, December 02, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 2

Caleb Henry glanced up as Kristy Brown shut the door of her house. He knew that he didn’t have a chance with her; heck, she probably didn’t even know he existed much less what his name was. But he couldn’t help himself. Ever since second grade, he had had a crush on Kristy Brown, and that had only strengthened over the past eight years. Yes, he knew that it was pathetic that a sixteen year old like him was still clinging to this crush, but that didn’t change anything.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 1

December 20

            It was almost Christmas and Kristy Brown was happy. The weather was cold with a brisk north wind blowing and snow piled in drifts on the sides of the road, so she pulled her coat tighter around her as she splashed through puddles of melted snow on her way home. She couldn’t keep the smile off of her face as she plodded onward; tomorrow she would be going to her first Christmas party of the year!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Less than a Week

To whoever reads this:

I know that it has been a long time since I have posted anything new. If my calender is correct, it's been something like FOREVER, but that's about to change. Actually, by the time that you read this, it will have already changed. Because you're reading something new. That I wrote. Obviously.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What I've Learned

            This semester in college (the first of my sophomore year) I have already learned so many interesting things, and I’m only 5 weeks into it. These new (and not so new) revelations come in a variety of areas and are in no way shape or form related to each other. To paraphrase Mark Twain: Anyone trying to find a relationship between them will be taken out and shot.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beginning AFROTC

                Today was my first day going to PT for AFROTC. I want to say that it was fantastic (because it was) unfortunately, my performance would indicate otherwise. On the bright side, I learned several new ways to torture myself. In either case, I now know where I stand in relation to my physical fitness. I suppose that I should be happy since I didn’t throw up today (I hope that I never do in PT).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Another Trailer for my Movie

Here is another awesome trailer for my movie coming in spring of 2012

From Bad to Worse

Being back at college is great. It’s so good to actually be doing something constructive again as far as my education concerns. And as much as some people hate college, I love most of it: everything besides the classes, the studying, paying the bills, living away from home, having to get up early again and riding the blasted bus system. Other than that, it’s great. But I know that you aren’t reading this blog because you’re actually interested in me, so I’ll get on to the interesting part.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Movie Trailer

To whoever sees this:

What do a pastor, a news anchor, and an assassin have in common? They all appear in my new full length amateur movie coming (hopefully) spring 2012. Get hyped up with this new trailer that I just put together.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finally Finished

To whoever reads this:

Don't you just love it when you finish something? Like that 50 gallon tub of ice cream that you promised yourself that you wouldn't eat all at once? And then you finish it and you're like, "Well good, I don't have that temptation anymore." I just finished my summer job at Boy Scout Camp and have a massive feeling of relief but also a small amount of sadness. Even if the job was physically and mentally exhausting, it was also fun, and I almost (emphasis on almost) wish that it weren't over.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

A Brief Rest

To whoever reads this:

It seems that all that I do these days is apologize for my lack of activity, and alas that is what I am here to do again. It seems that Boy Scout camp was a bit more work than I anticipated it being, so I have had almost no time to write anything at all much less blog posts. Nonetheless, here I am to leave you with a few tips for life that I have gathered from spending a few weeks at camp.

1. Heat rash hurts a lot worse than sunburn so don't get it.
    -Sadly it appears that I am fairly susceptible to the blasted stuff, so life-guarding at the lake, the only part of      camp that isn't in the shade, was perhaps not the best idea for my job. In any case, my rash never got that bad unless you count it getting infected and impeding the movement of my arm as serious. In any case, it's almost cleared up now and almost never itches these days.

2. Sunburn on your head hurts worse than regular sunburn. Again, don't get it if you can help it.
    -After spending two weeks out in the sun and getting a nice tan, I decided to buzz my hair which has been getting a bit long (by my standards). At first I had a nice tan line on my head; now I have a nice burn line and it hurts very badly.

3. If you hate kids, don't work at Boy Scout Camp.
    -I actually work with a guy who claims to hate kids. I think that his favorite part of his job is getting to yell at them whenever they do something wrong.

4. Never use that Velcro stuff to attach patches to your scout uniform. People love to rip the patches off and it can take your pocket with the patch if the Velcro is strong enough.
    -Our camp director has learned this the hard way several times from what I've heard. Makes me wonder why he still has them attached the same way.

5. If you don't know the fighting experience of your opponent, don't rush in blindly. Even if it is a friendly fight.
    -I have a friend that wrestled with a guy who wrestled in school. My friend got KOed with a wrestling move. It was hilarious.

That's all that I have time for right now. I'll get another post up as soon as I can.

Peter Last

Thursday, June 09, 2011

You'll Never Believe This

To whoever reads this:

The US government is concerned with a lot of things for our safety. The CDC is dedicated to making sure that we, as Americans, know how to prepare for and what to do in case of emergencies. These emergencies could include hurricanes, pandemics, earthquakes, and one other that you probably won't guess. The CDC's website now has an official page concerning, that's right, ZOMBIES!

Apparently zombies are officially a threat to us, and the government wants to make sure that we stay safe if they ever do attack. But let's be honest with ourselves. Zombies are the living dead, so if we have to worry about them in America, it will just be dead Americans. For them to be a problem, they'd have to catch me which means that they would have to run (which is exercise) There's no reason to assume that when they're dead they'll do something that they never did while they were alive.

As it turns out, the CDC's page on the "Zombie Apocalypse" is actually kind of useless in someways. Their plans for evacuation and such seem to be almost exact replicas of their other evacuation plans. Also, their emergency kit has no weapons of any kind in it, that is, unless you're supposed to whack the zombies with your gas mask. I would have expected a shotgun, but that's only because I actually want to survive the thing.

So the government has put out plans for how to best survive such an apocalypse, and yet important parts seem to be missing for it. Is that just a mistake or is there a reason for it? Consider that the government has largely turned into an entity that cares more about itself than the people it governs. Wouldn't zombies be so much easier to rule if you could figure out a way to control them? Give them enough brains and they wouldn't even complain about high taxes.

But seriously though, doesn't our government and its agencies have better things to do with their time than make plans for things that will never ever occur? Instead they could make plans for a party when Elvis comes back. Or spend money on a communication system for talking to aliens. Or even make a plan for combating vampires. Let me know what you think either here or on my facebook page. I know that none of you will so this is a futile request, but hey, it was worth a try.

The End

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Can I Mock Today?

            I’m sure that if you read my blog on a regular basis, and THAT is certainly a huge assumption, that you noticed that my last post was more than two weeks ago and in it I promised a new post soon. Well, I’m sorry for the delay, but I’ve found that now that I no longer have internet access at my house, I just can’t seem to make it to the library to use the net. Well, here’s the long promised post that I’m sure you all have just been dying to read.
            I was casting about for a topic that was ripe with humor and I finally settled on a good one: cheap crap that’s made in China. Now before anyone gets any ideas that I don’t like China or something like that, let me set that record straight and say that that is not the case. I like China, Chinese people, Chinese food (real or Americanized), Chinese football, Chinese freeze tag, incredibly fake stylized Chinese martial arts movies, the secret Chinese handshake, Chinese names, and Chinese history (this last one is only funny if you know how much I HATE history in general). That point is that anything in the following paragraphs is not an insult to China but really more of an insult to America for buying all of the cheap junk that China makes.
            So, what cheap Chinese garbage is there out there that I can make fun of? I had a bugger of a time finding something made in China and when I did there was nothing funny about it. Maybe this post won’t work out very well. (Hee hee hee! I almost couldn’t say that with a straight face) Actually, as I sit here typing this, I look around for something, anything, and figure that it will be made in China. I see a pencil box and grab it. It has only mediocre quality, and I think that it is a perfect candidate for something made in China, but as I turn it over, you’ll never guess where it says it was made. It was made, and I’m not making this up, IN THE USA! So much for my first attempt at finding some cheap Chinese crap to make fun of.
            The ironic part to this post is that as I began to search my house for things made in China, the first items that I found were the nice pieces that my family has received from people who were actually in China. Which is ridiculous because everything is made in China these days, but there’s irony for you. Anyway, I finally found a good piece of junk from China to mock, a Rubik’s cube. A Rubik’s cube doesn’t need to be made in China to make fun of it, I mean the thing is ridiculous. You spin pieces round and round until you finally get two reds on one side, but after that you are royally screwed because there’s no way in heck you’re going to get anymore reds on that face of the cube. So you sit there spinning pieces and trying desperately to get another red to join its brothers, but instead they look up at you mocking you. After twelve straight hours of this (assuming that you have that kind of patience) you’ll invariably find that all seven other red pieces have not joined the face that you wish them to but are on the opposite face mocking you from there. You’ll think that that is good; all that you have to do is get the other two red pieces to join them, but when you try to do that, they will suddenly scatter in all directions, infuriating you and prompting you to throw the blasted thing at the wall. And this is one time that losing your temper will actually help because when the Rubik’s cube hits the wall, a few of the colored pieces will pop off. As you’re about to pop the pieces back onto where they came off of, you’ll realize that all that you need is a butter knife to pop ALL of the pieces off and put them back with all of a given color on a given face. And for all of you sitting out there trying to solve one of the infernal puzzles, let me tell you that that’s the only way that you’re actually going to succeed. It may seem like cheating to do it that way, but hey that’s only because it IS cheating. Once you do it a few times you’ll get used to the feeling.
            But getting back to the Chinese-made Rubik’s cube. So besides all of the problems that I already listed with this infernal and futile puzzle, there is the added benefit that the quality of the object is horrible. This means that it takes fifteen minutes to get the pieces to actually turn for the first time. The good news is that after the first time it only takes about fourteen minutes for each of the following twists. After three or four hours, you’ll realize that the only thing that this piece of trash is good for is to be shredded up and used for synthetic woodchips. The only benefit of the Chinese-made Rubik’s cube is that it’s easier to pop the colored pieces off of the faces and replace them where you want them to go.
            So what else is there that is made by China? Well the only problem is that there I could only find one thing to make fun of. And by one thing I mean crappy quality! Surely you didn’t think that I’d only found a Chinese-made Rubik’s cube. Heck no, there are hundreds of things to mock; in fact, there are so many that there are entire magazines devoted to them. One of these that we receive at my house in called Oriental Trading but here we know it by its true title the WLCC (World’s Largest Collection of Crap). It’s filled with all kinds of great things like foam swords that wouldn’t last five minutes among my brothers, costumes that only come in one size that is always two sizes too small no matter who you buy them for, pencils that disintegrate when you sharpen them, and all kinds of party favors like frogs that supposedly hop but never actually do, light sticks that glow in the dark (sometimes), and whoopee cushions who specialize in silent but deadly. The best part about the WLCC magazine is that they have models in it that wear the most ridiculous things and yet still smile about it. Obviously they have either been threatened at gun point or are being paid a large amount of money. My bet is on the first one. The only good thing about the WLCC is that they allow you to buy in bulk so that if you purchase 150 bells, you might get a dozen that actually have the ringers in them.
            As fun as it is to make fun of Chinese things that are sold in the US, you have to go to China to truly appreciate some instances where, quite frankly, the Chinese didn’t spend enough producing things and so ended up with poor ending quality. In the cases that I’m referring to, China really should have spent more on an interpreter to write English translations on their signs.

Sadly, I apparently can't upload pictures to this blog page or I simply don't know how to do so. I was going to have several pictures of crazy Chinese signs, but stupid Blogger won't let me. I plan on uploading the pictures to Facebook if anyone is interested in seeing them. Below is the link to get to the pictures. Hope that you enjoy them.

But as fun as it is to mock China, sadly this post must come to an end. As always, thanks for reading and any input that you have will be appreciated.

Peter Last

P.S. I was given this idea by one of my siblings, although I modified it a bit before it made it to my blog. So here’s a question that will stump most people; What do an assassin, a clergyman, and a germaphobe have in common?
You can answer this by use of feedback at the end of this post or simply wait until my next post to find out the answer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When God Doesn't Answer

            Have you ever heard of God’s phone number? Believe it or not, it’s not the phone number that they show in the movie Bruce Almighty. Ironically, that number put many people in touch with churches and pastors, which is as close to God as you’re going to get by using a telephone, but obviously no one actually got God Himself. In actuality, God’s phone number is Jeremiah 33:3 which says “Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (ESV) So there you have it; all that you have to do is call to God, and He will answer you.
            But what about those times that He doesn’t answer, or at least it seems like He doesn’t? If the Bible says that He will answer, it’s true that He will, but sometimes it seems like He never answers. What is happening in those cases? There are three options for what might be happening in cases like these. God could be answering but you don’t like the answer so you discard it, God could be answering but it is a way that you don’t recognize, or God could be delayed and He wants you to wait for it.
            The first option, that God is answering but we just don’t like the answer, is more common than many of us like to admit. Just one example of this happening is found in 1 Samuel 15:23. Saul knew what God had told him, but he simply didn’t like it. Instead of completely cleansing the land that he captured in a battle, he spared the best livestock and such for himself. In his rebuke of Saul, Samuel said, “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king." (ESV, italics added) You see, even back in ancient Israel when there were prophets that had a direct line to God, so to speak, people still ignored what God said when they didn’t like it, and guess what: people are no different today.
            The second possibility when it seems like God is not answering your prayers is that God is answering but in a way that we don’t recognize or understand. The Bible refers to the voice of God as a “still, small voice.” Perhaps you lead a life that is so noisy that you can’t hear God when He answers. Maybe, in connection with the first case, you are afraid that you won’t like God’s answer so you purposefully put yourself in a position where you will not hear it when it comes. No matter what the situation is, the problem here is not with God failing to answer but with you failing to hear it.
            The third case when God doesn’t appear to answer is that He is answering but it is delayed. In Daniel 10, Daniel recounts a story of how at one time he prayed but received no answer for three weeks. When God’s messenger arrives, he explains that he had been detained by “the prince of the kingdom of Persia,” a demon, for twenty-one days before Michael arrived to help him. In this case, God did answer but it wasn’t until three weeks after that Daniel received it. Most of us, in our microwave and drive-thru world, don’t want to wait three minutes let alone three weeks for anything. But according to this Bible story, sometimes we just need to wait for God’s answer.
            It is all good and well to tell someone that God always answers and that if they don’t get an answer it is their own fault, but what if you don’t recognize or hear God’s voice when He does speak? Of course you need to work at listening for God, but that’s not going to happen overnight. What are you supposed to do until then? I recently made the comment to one of my friends that “God doesn’t usually answer when I pray.” I was feeling sorry for myself at the moment and at least halfway meant what I said. My friend answered by saying that sometimes God answers, just not in the way that we wanted Him to answer. I agree with this statement, and yes perhaps this is my case sometimes, but I believe that I have more of a problem in the area of not understanding or recognizing what God is saying. So what am I supposed to do? My plan is to keep on praying and hoping that one day I’ll be able to hear God’s answers, but even if I never get there, I’ll continue to pray and to try to hear. The good news is that one day I will know exactly what God says and not have to wonder about it and worry that I heard incorrectly.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Plans for the Future

DISCLAIMER: Since this post contains a fair amount of information about my life (no matter how modified and just plain screwed up that that information might be) and since the vast majority of you don’t care about my life, I promise that there will be a fairly good moral at the end that I hope you take to heart.

           “What are you doing to do when you grow up?”
            Whenever I hear this question, I laugh to myself especially since it is usually directed at children. I mean, come on, a lot of people in college don’t even know what they are going to do much less these small children. The reason that I say this is because I’ve been asked this question many times in the past. In most of these instances I said that I didn’t know and people looked at me like I was the weird one (How can you possibly not know what you’re going to do with your life?) Finally I figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up and had an answer to people when they asked one of the stupidest questions in the world. And then God entered the picture.
            This is not to say that I wasn’t saved before this or that I hadn’t been praying. Rather I was praying about what God wanted me to do and I thought that I had received an answer: I was wrong. Somewhere around tenth grade I decided that I wanted to be an architect. Who wouldn’t want to go through hell in college so that they could design buildings and paid very little when they got a job? Seemed like a no brainer to me. But while I thought that I had life figured out, God was up in heaven shaking His head as He hit my plans a few times with his heavenly hammer.
            About a year after deciding that I wanted to be an architect, God’s squishing of my plans finally reached me when I realized something: I’m too left brained to be an architect! I have my fair share of imagination, but I’m much more comfortable with numbers and math than I am with creativity and such. So I decided that I would do structural engineering instead. It was also around this time that I decided that I wanted to serve in the military and my preferred branch was the Marines. Also, I thought to myself, what better way is there to join the Marines than by going to the Naval Academy and getting a commission there? So that became my plan. Once again, God was up in heaven wondering why I was such an idiot and letting Michael practice his angel martial arts out on my life’s plan.
            My 11th grade year I applied to the Naval Academy. I even attended one of their summer seminars to get a feel for academy life and had a chance to realize that I didn’t need to go to college there. Alas! I was too stupid to learn the lesson that God had for me and finished applying to Naval Academy. Everyone that I talked to said that they thought that I would have a good chance of getting in. My grades and ACT scores were good, I had good references, a good interview, and received recommendations from both my Senators as well as my Congressman (you only need one of these recommendations to qualify for an appointment). Despite my impressive application packet, during my 12th grade year, I was informed by letter that I had not been accepted into the Naval Academy.
            Due to my failure to get accepted to the Naval Academy, I was forced to go to a different college. So, had I learned the lesson that God wanted me to learn? I’ll give you a hint: if I had, this post would be shorter than it is now. I was accepted to college and entered with a declaration of civil engineer. At the same time, I began to look into entering the Marines ROTC program on campus. I can only guess that by this time God was wondering how I could be such a complete moron as he took my plans and smashed them with a sledgehammer. I took a Marine class, and this time, rather than just closing a door as He has done in the past, God tried a different tactic. The Marine class was going just fine all semester long. I learn ranks, when to salute, about uniforms, and a ton of other stuff, and I was still convinced that God wanted me to join the Marines. That is, until about two and three days before classes ended. The teacher from our class had been inviting people from different careers in the navy to come speak to the class. Finally it was time for the Marine to lecture.
            As I said before, God didn’t close the door this time. I could have entered the Marines ROTC program the next semester and yet I didn’t. Why not? Because of what the Marine said. God used an actual Marine to show me what I was getting myself into which was actually quite different than what I had thought that I was getting into. Let me preface my next statement by saying that several people over the past year or two had told me that I was too smart to join the Marines but I had just dismissed those statements. It was during this lecture that it hit me: The Marines are too stupid for me! God was probably up in heaven nodding His head as He put His baseball bat away.
            So, do I have my life figured out now? Heck no! I still think that I’m supposed to serve in the military so right now I am seriously considering Air Force ROTC. I also believe that I’m supposed to go into civil engineering which is what I am doing. I suppose it is possible that I finally am going down the right path, but it’s equally possible that God is backing out His steamroller for yet another lesson.
            This is why I laugh when people ask kids what they’re going to be when they grow up. I don’t know and I’m already almost through my first year of college, and unless those kids are extraordinarily luck, they don’t know what they’re going to do either. So try to refrain from asking kids what they’re going to do with their lives. All that it does is put undue pressure on them to make a decision that they don’t have enough information to make. Oh, and one other thing; never tell a child that they can be whatever they want to be. I used to want to be a Marine, but now I don’t think that I would be a very good one. Instead, tell kids that they can do whatever God wants them to do. After all, that’s the only way that they’ll have a happy life.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

When the Lights go out

            I remember when I was a small child and liked it when the electricity went out. With no electric lights and only candles to see by, me and my siblings could play games like hide-and-go-seek-in-the-dark without anyone being able to cheat. Also we could make the argument that we couldn’t do school since the lights were out. Every time a thunderstorm came along we would cross our fingers and hope that the electricity died. Of course, we weren’t very smart kids because we also flew kites in lightning storms in an attempt to reenact Ben Franklin’s experiment but anyway… The problem with these child-like fantasies is that the world runs on electricity. Like the toaster. Toasters use electricity and without toast, there’s really nothing to live for. I mean, there is God, happiness, true love, but all of those pale in comparison to toast. (And I cringe, waiting for the lightning bolt to strike me down for comparing God to toast and ranking Him second)
            Another thing that electricity produces, if you have an electric water heater is, (you guessed it!) hot water! Hot water is fantastic for showers and washing the dishes, just two situations where cold water just doesn’t cut it. When I finally realized that both toasters and hot water are a product of electricity, I put two and two together and decided that since each of them was great by itself, they would be even better together. My only regret is that I lost my fillings when I was slammed into the wall by the electric shock.
            Last night the electricity where I live went kaput right while I was studying physics. Not that I wanted to study physics, but I have to anyway, so I was a little ticked at the interruption. With my physics engorged brain on the loose, I began to think about the efficiency of a generator that I would need for a hamster wheel to power all of the electronics in the house. For the hundredth time I concluded that I am a hopeless geek. The lack of electricity made my night bad, right off the bat. First of all, the toaster had no power so I was unable to have toast for dinner. My foul mood was worsened by the fact that I had to take a cold shower and by the fact that I kept running into to walls and stuff.
            So how did the electricity die in our house? There a few theories on that, some more plausible than others. I’ll start with the ridiculous ones. There is a slight chance that the mammoth storm that we were having disrupted the power lines. Like I said, ridiculous. It’s more likely that a dog got into the power station and fried himself, disrupting power flow. Now I’ve no grudge against the dog, but if he wanted to commit suicide because no one loved him, one would think that he could have done it so that it didn’t inconvenience everyone else. On a side note, this leads up to an important safety rule: No matter how bad Rover is, never throw him into a power station. You should throw your cat in instead!
            The most logical explanation for the lack of power is that it was a conspiracy. How do I know this? Last night when the power was out, I saw a car that had its headlights on. The conspiracy was invented to prevent me from studying physics or to generally inconvenience me. I know this because today when I was riding the bus to school, guess what? The lighted sign indicating the bus route worked but the stoplights didn’t, creating a huge traffic jam and making me late for my first class.
            In any case, the power is back now, so I’ll probably never find out who it was that was conspiring against me. I guess that it will remain one of life’s little mysteries.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This is Me with Writer's Block

To whoever reads this:

I know that none of you actually want to hear about my life, but for anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis (and according to my statistics at least a few people do) I feel that you deserve an apology and explanation for my lack of publications in the past two weeks. A week ago I blamed this on the pre-Spring Break crunch. Heck, right now I can blame it on my sadistic teacher who decided to have a physics test the first Friday back from break. You can imagine that rushing to study all of the material is taking a lot of my time.

All excuses aside, however, and the truth comes out: I have a horrendous case of writer's block. I haven't been able to write anything very good in several weeks now. I keep looking at anything, everything in sight, hoping that the muses will descend, but to no avail. I considered ranting about the apparent consensus among smokers on campus to smoke right below the balcony where my friend and I like to do homework. The balcony itself is very nice being out of direct sunlight (so that it's not too hot and we can actually see our computer screens) as well as being a smoking free zone. Unfortunately the sidewalk that the balcony looks out over is distinctly a smoking zone. I think that I'm allergic to cigarette smoke because my nose gets stuffed and my eyes get itchy whenever I smell even a whiff of it.

I've also considered ranting about how my school gives tours of campus and every time that one passes where I usually eat lunch, I feel like I'm a zoo animal on display. I mean, I seriously want to leap up onto the table, tear my shirt off, and pound on my chest like a gorilla. I figure that if they took the time to go on the lengthly and very boring tour, I should at least give them a small amount of entertainment. Now to be honest, I will probably never do what I just described, but I am a little perturbed about the campus being treated like a tourist trap. I'm sick and tired of it being pitched to visitors by the tour guides who, quite frankly, make it sound much better than it actually is. (Let's be honest. If you aren't getting a degree in a pathetic major and you're halfway committed to getting good grades, you'll never have time to actually go to their "game room" with the xbox and other gaming systems)

So what do I intend to do about the commercialization of my college campus? I could go talk to someone in charge and express my concerns. It would go something like,

"Hello Mr. Dude who is committed to getting as many unsuspecting souls as possible to come to this University in order to justify its existence (even though it doesn't need to do so). I'm concerned that the constant tours are detracting from my ability and the abilities of others to get a proper college education. Perhaps you would consider stopping them or at least limiting them in an effort to increase academic success?"

To which the response would probably be (since I attend an SEC school),

"And this hurts our football program how?" quickly followed by, "What exactly is academics anyway?"

For obvious reasons, this idea wouldn't work, so by enlisting the help of others as well as by using my own brain I have come up with a few ways to decrease interest in school tours.
1. A flash mob. Literally. I want to get about thirty people with flash cameras to sit at a group of tables where the tours usually stop and, just as the tour guide begins their little talk, all of us talk pictures (with the flash on of course) of the tour group until they leave.
2. Enter a tour group (possibly with an accomplice) and ask embarrassing questions.
Me (raise my hand): How many bars that don't card you are their within walking distance of campus? Accomplice: Ooo! I can tell you how many and where they are too!
3. Stand with four or five people in a group where tours tend to stop and, just as one stops, begin to talk in loud voices about how one of your friends was beaten and stabbed to death last night. One of my friends also suggested spilling BBQ sauce on the ground outside as a visual effect.

(Cough) I just so happens to be writing this on the porch that I described earlier and someone is smoking down below. It's times like this that I wish that I owned a water balloon launcher. I mean, they're smoking: How am I to know that they aren't on fire?

Anyway, I just thought that I would explain why I haven't had any new posts in a while. Hopefully my writer's block will break soon, and I'll be able to write again. Until then, please leave feedback for me. If you hated this post, tell me. I won't care, plus it's anonymous (I think). Oh, and for those of you new to blogs, and for those of you who are confused, and for those of you who are too stupid to understand (makes me wonder why I'm addressing you since you'll still not understand after you read this) feedback can be left by clicking on the small blue words "Backtalk" at the end of this post. You can also very easily leave feedback by selecting one of the three "hotness factor" boxes at the end of the post. For those who need this scale explained (and yes I worry greatly about you) "Angelina Jolie" is an "I liked this" vote and "Nancy Pelosi" is an "I hated this" vote.

Thank you once again for reading my blog. As I said before, I appreciate any feedback that you have to give.

Peter Last

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Two Great Quotes and a Heads-up

To whoever reads this:

At the moment, my school work is bogging me down so much that I haven't had time to write anything new. Hopefully this will pass pretty soon especially with spring break just a few days away. I hope to have something new to post in less than a week. Until that time, here's two more great quotes from my Physics professor, Dr. Marlin Simon.

“[there’s] No smoke and mirrors…I mean, I’d lie to you guys, but I’m not lying now.”
Dr. Marlin Simon
He said this while performing a physics demonstration. He was emphasizing that he was not tricking us, but that we were actually seeing what we thought that we were seeing.

“You can’t be an electrical engineer without a right hand.”
Dr. Marlin Simon
We had just been talking about and using the various applications for the right-hand-rule in electronics.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

An Addition to My Last Post

“I don’t know where they got the material for these pants, but it’s so slick that I feel like they’re going to fall off.”
Dr. Marlin Simon

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Great Quotes

Over the past few weeks, I have heard an astounding number of excellent quotes from a variety of people. Here are a few of them and their settings:

“Electrons are just like all of you guys…”
Dr. Marlin Simon, my physics professor.

Dr. Simon was in the process of explaining that electrons (and electric current) travel by the shortest path and the path of least resistance. He did this by using the analogy of a person driving to the beach by the best and shortest route.

“Peter has a Grandiose Type of Psychotic Disorder…”
Grace Peng, my sister-in-law

Grace has been studying mental disorders in her school and, my guess is, has been dying to use what she has learned. Consequently, when she examined the number and placement of my weapons more closely, she decided to diagnose me. The above comment was shortly followed by a diagnosis that I am schizophrenic (probably more to do with my business card than anything else)

“[You] do not possess the skill set to write a world class novel.”  
Dr. Crowley, my Introduction to Civil Engineering Professor

Dr. Crowley said this in a lecture about the skills that engineers have and don’t have. I took it a little hard because I already have a novel on its way to publication. Apparently it can’t be “world class.”

“So it’s engineering for the guilt-ridden…”
Benjamin Smith, my friend

After hearing, in our engineering orientation class, about how Biosystems Engineers help repair damage done by humans to the environment. The other option was to get rid of the humans, but no one seems to like that idea much.

“Having ten children is irresponsible and unsustainable…”
Dr. Gillen, my Geography professor

This was in Geography calls when we were talking about (you guessed it!) large families. He also said that such families would kill the world or something like that. Despite this remark, I like Dr. Gillen.

“There is a crazy on the phone, who wants her?”
Grace Peng, my sister-in-law

She works in a financial aid office and, being Chinese, doesn’t get enough credit from the people she helps. A customer had just told her to let them speak to someone else (someone smarter!) about the new “aggregate” loan that Auburn offers.

“Are you okay?”
Johnny Smith

He was nice enough to make sure I wasn’t dead after he got done mugging me. This one actually isn’t real, but I thought it was funny.

“So they’re just being a**es?”
Austin Hussong, a fellow student in my physics class

We were working physics problems and he was puzzling over an especially complicated one. After having it explained to him, he expressed his feelings for the creator of the problem.

To whoever reads this:
Thank you once again for taking time to read my blog. I hope that you enjoyed it. Any feedback that you care to provide will be appreciated.

Peter Last

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Novel Update

To whoever reads this:

I recently put the finishing revisions on my book and sent it off to my publisher. I hadn't realized that putting revisions into a book would take so much time. This experience has certainly been one of learning for me. Now I guess it's time for the editorial process. I have no idea how long that will take, but the way I see it is that it's progress in the right direction. I just hope that I can get this book in print before I shrivel up and die! Anyway, stay posted to get more updates on the book and more thought provoking and humorous articles. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Peter Last

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

50 Completely Random and Unrelated Questions

1.      What is the purpose of gift giving on birthdays? Assuming a perfect system where every gift is of the same value, there is a total transfer of $0 worth of wealth. It seems that if we all just kept our own stuff, we would be just as well off as if we give gifts.
2.      Why are so many people addicted to their cell phones? I truly do not understand this one. I don’t pay attention to my phone whenever I can afford to ignore it.
3.      Why does skin color matter? If you’re a nice person I’ll like you and if you are a total jerk I won’t like you. Skin color shouldn’t come into the picture.
4.      Why don’t women make sense?
5.      Why are there twelve inches in a foot? Why not eleven or thirteen?
6.      Why did God make the vast majority of humanity right-handed? And why do I keep meeting so many of the minority?
7.      Why do different denominations of Christianity hate each other so much? We all serve the same God, after all.
8.      Why do we use utensils when we eat? Why not just use our hands and wash really well after the meal?
9.      When a large number of college students get hired after graduation, they will work in jobs that they could have efficiently performed after they graduated from high school. Why do we make that college degree so important?
10.  Since the same gas tanker truck fills up the tanks of two gas stations which are directly across the street from each other with the same gas, why can one station charge 10¢ more per gallon and stay in business?
11.  Given that human emissions only count for a fraction of 1% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the world, how can decreasing time behind the wheel actually affect the climate?
12.  Why do Christians despise non-Christians so much? We would be just like them except for the grace of God.
13.  How can the Bible say that salvation is by grace alone but also require works as evidence of salvation?
14.  Why do things suddenly lose their problems when the repairman shows up and get them again as soon as he leaves?
15.  Why am I, a civil engineering major, required to take a music appreciation class?
16.  Why do you always have the most homework the week before a big test?
17.  Why does caffeine put me to sleep instead of keeping me awake?
18.  Why do chairs have four legs? Why not three? Why not five?
19.  It is said that everyone is special. Doesn’t this statement contradict itself? If everyone is something, wouldn’t that, by definition, make it common and not special?
20.  Why do houses without wood burning fireplaces have false chimneys on them?
21.  If trees don’t pick up after themselves but just throw their leaves on the ground, why can’t we litter?
22.  Why do opposites attract?
23.  Why do people with straight hair want curly hair and people with curly hair want straight hair?
24.  Why do people drink coffee when it tastes so nasty?
25.  Cigarettes make you stink, cough, have no stamina, and drive you to an early death. Why in heaven’s name do people smoke them?
26.  Who decided that school should be in session during the spring and the fall, the two best seasons of the year?
27.  Why didn’t God give pigs sweat glands?
28.  Why do people litter when they're only a few steps from a trash can?
29.  Does hearing something in your sleep actually cement it into your memory any more than hearing it when you are awake?
30.  Why do people question God’s love when He sends people to hell? After all, we all deserve to go there.
31.  If God made the world perfect, where did the first cold virus come from?
32.  If parents are actually showing love when they punish you, why does it feel so much like hate?
33.  Why are speed limits always ten miles an hour too slow?
34.  Why is it that people with the least to be cocky about are always the cockiest?
35.  Why does God love us even when we sin?
36.  Who “invented” the toothpick? They were a genius!
37.  Why does everything revolve around a cycle of some sort or another?
38.  Where is heaven?
39.  What is the difference between a mountain and a hill? Or a stream and a river? Or a pond and a lake?
40.  Why do people go to tanning parlors and pay to get skin cancer?
41.  Why do cheap watches from Wal-Mart last the longest?
42.  Why do certain car radios come with remote controls?
43.  Why is cafeteria food so bad?
44.  Why does the ACLU hate everything that is good? It seems like that have no conditions for their policies except that they must be against something that is good.
45.  Why do people use twitter? Do they actually think that everyone else cares that they just used the facilities and are now walking back to the living room?
46.  Why is everything worth having so hard to get?
47.  Why does it snow profusely everywhere except for where I am?
48.  Why do people die but trees grow indefinitely?
49.  Why do guys enjoy explosions?
50.  Why people say “They say…”? Who are they referring to?

If anyone has an answer to any of the above questions, feel free to respond. As always, thank you fo taking time to read my blog.

Peter Last