To fortune man is just a pawn,
And till from earth he's dead and gone,
A happy life he hasn't led
For Dest'ny cares not where we tread
In life, she is a terrible judge.
If you're at peace she'll give a nudge
Then soon you're wealth she'll confiscate
And leave you poor to speculate
Why fate has been so cruel

Monday, April 30, 2007

An Untitled Song

During my trip to Chicago (the one for the internet marketing seminar) I wrote a song. I wrote some piano music to go with it too, although that part isn't quite finished. I thought it turned out decent, see what you think. As a sidenote, if you haven't guessed, it sounds better when put to music.

Are we lost, after all,
To what depths can we fall?
If we fight, can we win,
How much trouble are we in?
Is this fight worth the hell
That it takes climbing up this knell
All this trouble all this pain
We go through

Are we up against a wall?
Can we make it if we crawl?
Is it worth the pain and sweat
These lives we lead full of regret

(little piano solo thing)

Through the pain and the fear
Though the end isn't near,
I will slog through all this mud,
I will sacrifice my blood,
For the Lord who made us all,
He has given me a higher call.
And to that calling I shall make,
For him a legacy great.
For the Lord, who made us all,
To me has given a higher call

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Evil Apples

I took down the previous post... because I felt like it. I don't know how the heck I came up with that. Seriously. It just came out of nowhere. Kinda scary actually...

I had an interesting thought yesterday. Why is it that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil always portrayed as an apple? I mean hey, I like apples, they aren't evil. It seems like it should be a more sinister fruit... take the extraevilsuperbad fruit for example. Ok, fine, I made that one up, but still, why apples? They have a sort of negative connotation to them now, like I don't think they should be, but if I try to think of a sinister fruit (which I suppose is sort of random and abnormal in the first place, but that's beside the point), I sort of automatically think of the apple, which I find rather interesting. I wonder if the apple has a truly evil nature, or if it just has a negative connotation from the Bible (which, as you should already know, never actually says anything about the type of fruit). Then again, the apple might have derived it's evil implications because it was evil in the first place. Quite the paradox.

It's almost beginning to sound like the old 'chicken or egg' statement. Anyone with any common sense (someone really stupid trying to be really smart must have come up with this thing) would know that the chicken had to have come first. Even if you're an atheist, the chicken must have come first. I mean, it's not like the egg evolved (Well, it's not like anything evolved, but you get the idea) from a goat. Or a whale. Or a codfish. Or anything else for that matter.

I'm terribly sorry, but I'm going to add a paragraph about me personally. Nothing interesting after this line, so you might as well not read it. I don't know why I'm writing it if I'm telling you not to read it, but oh well. I'm a weird person, right? (That was a rhetorical question)

At the moment, I'm at an internet marketing seminar in Chicago. I'm in my suit and tie, sitting in the conference center, on a laptop with wireless. I've been here since Thursday, and I'm leaving tomorrow. Internet marketing is quite an interesting and complicated world, but to put it simply, it's all about how to make money on the internet. Entrepreneurial stuff applied to the internet, really. Quite interesting.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Of Mind and Body

Well. I just watched the movie 'Super Size me'. It was good but also very sad in a big way. It's about this guy who goes on a diet. A McDonalds diet. For thirty days, he eats nothing but McDonalds; if they don't sell it, he doesn't eat it. He was very healthy to begin with, but as the days progressed, he got worse, and worse, and worse. He gained like twenty pounds, was depressed, had weird physical symptoms, got addicted to the food, his liver began to pickle.... the list goes on. Just goes to show how bad fast food is.

Now me, being the person I am, was quite disgusted, but I could still devour a big mac, or any other fast food item for that matter (Taco Bell is by far the best fast food place; as anyone with any common sense knows). I mean, come on, who *didn't* know fast food was bad for you? And anyways, it's not like we ever get the stuff in the first place...

Throughout the movie, they were also taking little side-trails on food concerning health. One of the figures that saddened me greatly was this: 40% of Americans are obese. That is a large percentage. That is almost half of the entire United State population.

Another thing I noticed is that I can't think of any unhealthy homeschoolers. They all seem pretty fit to me. There are two factors that I think might contribute to this observation. While I was reading Plato's Republic, one of the things he said that was mental education should come before physical education. If you train the mind correctly, and if your mind and brain are harmonious, it seems likely that your body will also be in a harmonious, healthy state. If you are truly smart, you will take proper care of your body as well. Another thing, most homeschooling families (at least the ones I know) are larger. Like four kids and up. When you have this many kids, you tend not to eat out very often (if at all), mostly because it's expensive. A side benefit is that home-cooked meals are almost always healthier than restaurant or fast food meals (parents might also be concerned about this in the first place, and that could contribute to the eating out factor).

Friday, April 20, 2007

Two More Pictures

The first one is me and my little brother Josh after a martial arts tournament. The trophy is his. The second is a picture of my incredibly beautiful culinary creation: black bean soup. My dad makes a really good soup. I put on indian peppers (pretty spicy), indian red pepper (pretty spicy), cheese, and sour cream.

Altruistic Totalitarianism

An Essay about dictatorships I did for Great Books. I had some interesting thoughts in it. For those of you who don't know what altruistic means (I sure hope you know what totalitarianism is) click here

Altruistic Totalitarianism

Dictatorships and monarchies are the purest form of government and have the highest potential good for their citizens. Unfortunately, they also have the highest potential evil, and as history has proven, absolute power is almost always abused. The problem with the dictatorship does not lie in the system itself, but in the men that use it. As a race, we are basically evil. When a man has the absolute power over an entire country, his sinful side is magnified. Throughout history we have witnessed so many monarchies go awry that absolute power has won itself a reputation of oppression, unfairness, and corruption. People now-a-days tend to associate negative connotations with the words 'dictatorship' and 'absolute power.' By their main definition though, these words have no negative denotations. It is not the actual object that is evil, but the people who misuse it.

If monarchy is truly the purest form of government, there must be some sort of ideal structure for it. As we look back at history, it it becomes clear that constructing an incorruptible dictatorship is extremely difficult, if not impossible. One of the problems with this form of government is that there are very few men capable of holding absolute power and not abusing it. Many times, the immediate decedents of an exceptional king are weak or stupid, or both. In most cases this is because a ruler simply doesn't have enough time to devote to his young. At the very earliest stages of their youth, when they are desperately in need of a godly father model, there is no one there for them. Then again, kings often make parents in the first place.

The inheritance system. Herein lies the problem. As soon as a weak and easily corruptible—or already corrupt— man takes the throne, things are thrown into a mess. Any good done by a ruler is almost always vastly outweighed by the imprudence of his feeble successor. If you could ensure that strong, moral men stayed on the throne, the monarchy would promptly become a powerful and altruistic state.

The ideal hierarchy system must be based on this important factor; that the founding monarch is be an honest, valiant, and strong man. Ideally, he would be Christian as well, although this is not a vital point. The traditional system of inheritance desperately needs to be done away with. Instead of his first born son, the ruler would pick a young man out of his country to mentor as his heir. Because there is the slight chance that a ruler might be biased towards his children, it would be customary that he not pick any of his own offspring. As soon as any king begins his rule, he would begin a search throughout his kingdom for this heir. The young heir would travel by the ruler's side, almost like an aide-de-camp, and the ruler would teach him wisdom and country-running skills. If a strong, wise, Christian man took the throne to begin with, this system would ensure that a good king was always on the throne. Also, there would be a board of counselors that the king would appoint. These men would have power only subordinate to the king, and would advise him and help him wisely rule his country.

Another consideration that must be made, is that of marriage. Will rulers be allowed to marry? At first glance, the simple answer is no. It would be distracting. On the other hand, Kings throughout history have had queens (or harems), but ours isn't the normal dictator. In the end, it is necessary that a ruler have an intellectual partner and a second in command—a sort of 'vice-dictator' who would take command in the scenario that anything happen to the ruler. This would mean that the dictator would have to pick a wife very carefully, but if he is already a wise and godly man, this should not be a problem.

There are, as is probably apparent by now, gaping holes in the above system. It is quite possible that a ruler could die before he had chosen an heir. This would likely result in a fierce struggle to gain power. For this reason, it would be the queen's responsibility to choose the heir if her husband died. Hopefully, corruption would also be counterbalanced by the kings council, who would presumably be wise and godly men, and would attempt to keep evil out of high positions. If both the queen and king died before a new heir was in place, it would be up to the council to choose the next heir, and for practical purposes, none of them could be put into the position themselves.

Due to man's sinful nature, constructing a workable monarchy in the real world would be extremely difficult. There is, however, one perfect dictatorship we can look up to: that of God over the universe. He reigns perfectly, always knows what is best, and has supreme power. There is no problem of corruption in his monarchy, and he needn't deal with the problem of heirs, because he is everlasting. Neither has he any need for a council; he is all knowing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Lone Picture

Wow, here's a first. A Picture of me at TeenPact, giving a speech as Representative.

Some Thoughts on Music

Well. Well well well. I haven't posted for quite some time. I wonder if it's the time. Last week was TeenPact, which I always enjoy greatly (This was my third year attending). I won a position as Representative, which is just a title, and I had to give a speech at graduation. Well, I used to be the quiet kid who never talks and is super shy... Lately I've found I enjoy public speaking, and I'm not really that shy anymore. I guess God has something in store for me.

Unfortuneatly, I haven't worked on my story for a few weeks, but I hope to start up my quota again, because the next few weeks will be pretty much normal. Then I have an internet marketing conference with my dad, and nationals in Oklahoma city.

Lately I've been thinking about the music thing. Yeah. The music thing.

This is a very controversial topic. I must say, I'm surprised how many conservative homeschooled kids are vehemently against music (especially rock) being bad for you. They seem to not want to believe it, I dunno, probably cause they like it. They don't want it to be true, so it can't possibly be true. I listen to it (unfortunately for me), but I wouldn't get so upset if people would just admit it's bad. I mean, if you smoke, then you don't justify it by saying "Smoking isn't bad for me, heck, it's probably good for me. At any rate, it doesn't affect me." It's this rebellious spirit that I dislike most.

Another thing that I'm surprised at is how many teens so vehemently dislike classical music. last Friday I went to an ice-hockey game to do a demo. I'm part of my Martial Art's school's demo team, so we went and did the demo, and stayed for the game. One of the guys, whom I very much enjoy talking to, is named Adam. He must be 18, and he's going off to join the marines in June. He drove me to the thing and back, and we got to talking about the subject of music. I was very surprised to find that he holds pretty much the same view I hold: classical music is good for the brain, especially for babies and early development. Another thing thing he said was, was that classical music is the base. He said he'd never met a good musician who wasn't grounded in that base of classical music. If you can't appreciate classical music, how can you then appreciate rock, or any other contemporary music? (As a sidenote, we were listening to blaring rock during this conversation). But he's right. Classical music is the very foundation of music. How can you listen to rock and whatnot if you hate classical?

Something else about music. How bad is secular rock? How much do the lyrics matter? I was discussing this with someone, and that person was strongly against secular rock, but also thought that Christian was not bad, or even good. All this was based off of the lyrics. What is in your head comes out of your mouth, so if you're thinking about all the things secular rock talks about, and all the swearing and stuff, it's bound to manifest itself in your actions and words. That was the argument. This got me to thinking, because lately, I've started listening to secular rock (quite against my better judgment I might add). I have to say this again, but the Christian music community is not that talented. But how much does secular rock affect you? Well, I suppose it depends on the person, but I find myself singing lines to songs I listen to, almost withouth thinking about it. Of course, I would never (at least at this point) swear. But... who knows, maybe it will wear me down, and someday I'll start swearing. It seems unlikely to me, but you never know how far you can fall.

Well, that was quite a long post. I noticed that that first part was rather irrelevant... pertaining to my life and such. The stuff that I'm not supposed to write about because it's boring, and no one cares (Or at least, I wouldn't care if it was someone else, hehe). I will try to keep that to a minimum, but I sort of had to start it off that way, to get the words flowing, and I'm not gonna delete it. No idea why.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Father Joseph

Here's a short story I did recently... actually the first I've ever done independent of school.

Silence filled the room—every corner and crevice was laden with it. Then, ever so faintly, the sound of a murmuring voice crept through the thick silence. It bounced around through the empty pews, then scampered up the alter.

The great, high-ceilinged room was darkly lit by sunlight streaming in through heavily tainted windows. The murmuring echoes merged into a deep mellow voice.

“Were you there,” it sang, deep and mournfully, “When they crucified my Lord.”

An ancient man in a black robe walked slowly into the spacious sanctuary.

“Were you there... when they crucified my Lord...” the strains rang through the whole room now.

With wrinkled hands, Father Joseph straightened his high, black collar. After clearing his throat with a cough, he slowly continued pacing towards the alter. All the while, he gazed thoughtfully ahead of him, passing row after row of silent pews.

He loved performing the children's program on Good Friday. Then again, what old man didn't like children?

Children. He sighed deeply.

Those beautiful, innocent, round little faces; all gazing intently at him, all soaking in his every word.

“A joyous blessing from the Lord,” he told himself.

By now, he had reached the raised platform where the Sunday sermons were taught. Hands behind his back, he turned pensively to face the pews. To his surprise, they were not completely empty.

A man was sitting, in the very back of the sanctuary, dressed meticulously in a dark suit. His head was bowed, and his hands were folded in his lap. Father Joseph studied the man, who didn't move even the slightest.

The cool silence was shattered by a cheery, “Good morning Father Joseph!”

The aged priest lifted his gaze from the silent, unmoving man, and followed the jumpy gait of a young woman walking down the center isle.

“Greetings, Miss Mary.”

“Sorry I'm late, the bus got caught in a traffic jam. I was listening to the radio, and it sounded like there was a murder or something,” she said, skipping up the alter stairs and quickly passing Father Joseph. “There were police cars everywhere on Richard Street. You can just see them from the bus stop out front,” Mary waved a hand, gesturing towards the front of the cathedral.

“How terrible,” said the old priest, once more resting his gaze on the man in the back row. After a moment of silence he asked,“Is everything ready for the service?”

“Yes, me and Alisha set it all up yesterday.”

There was a rustle behind him as Mary slipped into her black robe. Carefully, she smoothed her long brown hair and adjusted the cross hanging from her neck.

At that moment, a small family walked into the sanctuary and wandered around looking for a suitable place to sit. Mary looked up from tying her black sash.

“Oh, brother John's out at the front door greeting people,” she said.

“Very well. Let us greet them as well. Come.”

Father Joseph started slowly down the alter, closely followed by Mary.


“Now, if you have anything you wish to be forgiven for, or you want to thank the Lord for something, or if you just need to tell him something, then write a few words, or draw a small picture,” said Father Joseph, looking with a warm smile at the group of children in front of him. “There are baskets along the side of the room with crayons and pencils and paper. When you are done, fold up your paper and put it in the basket.” He motioned to a large wicker basked before him. “This is just between you and the Lord. Go on now.”

The group dispersed, and the children were led around the room by their parents to where the baskets of paper and writing tools lay. Fondly, Father Joseph surveyed the children skipping around, or crouching on the ground here and there with pencil clutched in hand. He took a few steps forward, leaving the basket behind him.

Then, he noticed the man in the dark suit was no longer present. He slowly swept the sanctuary with his gaze, but to no avail. The man had followed behind the children and parents as the group had made their way around the cathedral, discussing the Easter story. The whole time, he had watched the children sadly, almost enviously.

A hand pressed Father Joseph's shoulder. Behind him, a calm voice said, “A beautiful sight, is it not?”

Father Joseph turned and nodded. It was the same man in the dark suit. “Yes.”

Wistfully, the young man gazed at the children that filled the room. “They are the very picture of life and innocence. They know nothing of the evil world surrounding them. Their parents protect them well.”

Silently, Father Joseph turned his gaze back to the little ones, and nodded in agreement.

The dark young man clasped his hands behind his back sadly. He nodded to the old priest, and walked down the stairs of the alter, back to the last row of pews, where he took his seat.


There was now no one left in the cathedral except Father Joseph. The families had all left, as had John and Mary and Alisha—those that had helped put on the service.

Low strains of music vibrated through the room as Father Joseph carefully folded up his black robe. He was humming to himself in a preoccupied manner.

After storing his robe in the dressing room, he donned a tweed sports coat and straightened his crimson-red tie. Still humming, he treaded up to the alter, and bent down to pick up the basket filled with folded pieces of paper. Unhurriedly, he lifted the basket and exited the sanctuary. When he reached a trash barrel in the reception room, he dumped the papers in.

A single, unfolded piece drifted to the ground, and landed face up. In strong, bold script was scribbled,

God help me. I had to. But it will all be over soon. I'm sorry.

Just then, the loud screech of tires bounced eerily through the room. The ancient priest stood still for a moment, gazing off into space. There were a few yells and screams outside, barely audible from inside the cathedral. The wailing siren of an ambulance in the distance grew a little louder, stopping out front of the cathedral.

With a sad smile, Father Joseph picked up the paper and reverently folded it.

“You are forgiven,” he said.

Thoughtfully, he paced back into the sanctuary and quietly began to sing.

“Ama- -zing Grace,”

He started down the center isle. “How swe- -et the sound...”

Slowly, the mellow strains of the hymn faded, and every crack and crevice of the sanctuary was once more laden with silence.