Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The End...

This time has come to say farewell.

This blog has run a strong 4 years. I've enjoyed it thoroughly. It started out as "Remembering Titus," then became "The Straw Man's Favorite Blog," then became "The Red Herring's Favorite Blog," and will end its tenure as "Captain Ahab's Continuing Story: The Search for the Great Red Herring."

But I have changed... a lot. I am not the same person I was 4 years ago. Don't get me wrong--I still carry a lot of the same attributes within my personality. But overall, I'm just not the same. And its time to move on.

I'll probably start a new blog. Perhaps one about the VW Beetle restoration project or about the remodeling project we're getting ready to do on our new house. Or perhaps I won't start a new one at all.

So, for all my readers and commenters: thanks. I appreciate you being a part of this in some way. The discussions have typically been invigorating and intellectually stimulating. Even if you were a complete a-hole to me or simply read it to gain more ammunition about what a heretic I am, I'm glad you read it. It boosted my ego when I would check my blog traffic. But seriously... this is like saying goodbye to a real friend, not a blog. Its actually somewhat emotional. Its recognizing that its time to move on from an era in my life, not just to retire from posting on This is saying "Hello!" to a new phase.

I won't delete the contents of this blog. I'll leave it up (unless I run for public office). I like to occassionally read posts from years ago to remember what I was thinking about at that time--to read about how much my thought/belief processes have changed. If I do start another blog, I'll post the link on here.

Thanks again, fellow readers. I'll leave you with a quote from my very first post on Feb. 27th, 2007:

"I want to be remembering Titus. A man all too often forgotten. I want to be remembering that where I come from doesn't designate where I'm going. I want to be remembering that I may not be exactly what everyone expects, but in the kingdom of God, who cares? I want to be remembering that we have a purpose..."

The End.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Life changes...

I'm getting older.

I knew it was happening. We all know it is happening. But sometimes, we recognize it.

I had a conversation with my dad about cholesterol last week. My sister and I talked family history yesterday. I constantly have to monitor my calorie intake. I make sure we always have Tums or Rolaids in the kitchen medicine drawer.

I'm thoroughly enamored by my 11 month old niece. The reality of possibly having children of my own one day isn't as scary as it once was.

I used to stay out all night. Now, I like to be in bed by 11 or so because my wife sleeps better knowing I'm by her side.

I watch HGTV more than any other channel on cable and spend too much time reading about buying my first home. I can explain how escrow, PMI, and fixed interest mortgages work. Mike Holmes is something of a folk hero in my mind.

I don't play video games very often anymore. My Xbox 360 broke a while back and it didn't bother me. I haven't even played the new version of Halo.

I'm restoring a 72 VW Beetle. I don't really care about what the next video game platform is, but I can tell you how to troubleshoot engine issues for a stock 1600cc VW motor that was carbureted. You can see the road through the holes in the floor of my car, but I smile every time I fire it up.

Life changes. And I'm okay with that.

I'm humbled and grateful for the life I get to live--its pretty damn awesome.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Couchsurfing and Global Climate Change...

So Brittany and I host Couchsurfers. If you don't know what couchsurfing is, goto the main website and check it out (here). Essentially, we let perfect strangers stay at our house as they are journeying across the country for one reason or another. Every experience we've had has been great. We really enjoy the lives and stories that have been shared. We've gotten to meet some very interesting people.

For instance, this last week, we hosted a middle aged couple from Canada. He is a retired accountant and she is a retired chef. They've chosen to live a very simple life and, because of that, retired in their early 40's. They live in a 500 sq/ft house off the grid in Canada and run a small organic farm. He taught workshops on alternative energy sources, composting, and gardening. They were fun people and great conversationalists. The vegan meal she cooked for us on Wednesday night was fantastic and the talk that followed was thought provoking.

These Couchsurfers were passionate about living simply and conserving our planet. We talked lots about how they do that, what choices they've made, ways the world is over-consuming natural resources, and practical steps people can begin to make the in right direction. Basically, they felt that we have to start doing something now, because if we are lazy and put it off any later, it'll be too late. It won't be the next generation's problem. It is our problem. Now.

It got me thinking... about how I live. And about how we all live. Particularly, how we as Americans live. And is it too late? Should we say: "Screw it. Its too late. Eat, drink and be merry... for tomorrow we die."? Or should we actively seek to change things? What if global climate change is all a bunch of BS? What if I do everything I can and no one listens to me about why they should change their lives?

There's lots of questions. And few answers. Then I ran across this YouTube video today. He makes an excellent point:

What are we going to do? Nothing? Something? Anything? And what sacrifices are we willing to make to change our planet? And what if it really is too late?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Its very peculiar...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Best Book of 2010

I read a lot in 2009. A whole lot. It makes me feel bad that I haven't read as much this past year. I still read plenty, just not as much as I did. And its still been almost entirely fiction. I just can't read a bunch of non-fiction lately. Don't ask me why. I don't know why. I just can't get in to it. I'm currently reading Donald Miller's "Through Painted Deserts" (again).


Last year, reading Chuck Palahniuk led me to Christopher Moore. After I read everything of his I could get my hands on, I then looked for other authors that Chuck recommended. That led me to John Irving.

I had heard of this book. I had also heard of the movie. I decided to read the book first. I loved it. Its a story that reminds you that life is real and we better be aware of the decisions we make. The main characters in the book are forced to come face to face with their humanity and the lives they choose to lead. This book is not for the faint of heart. It deals with every hot topic under the sun, and still tells a story that both filled and tore my heart.

Everyone should read "The Cider House Rules." I'm sure that some uber-conservatives will hear that its about abortion and therefore avoid it. But the story is about something so much bigger than abortion.

Get it. Read it. You'll be happy you did.

PS-The movie sucked... a lot. I hated it. Its not even a decent movie if you look at it apart from the book. But when comparing it to the book, its almost blasphemy because it wanders so far away from John Irving's original plot line.

Oh, the YouTube comments section...

Just read this in the comments section of a YouTube video:

"You say Lady Gaga, I say DEADMAU5
You say Hannah Montana, I say METRIC
You say Owl City, I say MODEST MOUSE
You say Jonas Brothers, I say GORILLAZ
You say Justin Bieber, I say DAFT PUNK
You say Taylor Swift, I say MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE"

I may not agree with every selection here, as this person is obviously really into electronic music, but I agree with their point and thought it was worth noting.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Best Album of 2010

This one was easy. Too easy, actually.

It starts off with a quote from Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." It finishes with one of the best compositions I've heard in a long time. I saw them in concert at the War Memorial auditorium a couple of months ago. It was literally some of the best 2 hours of my life.

If you have not listened to Mumford and Sons' album "Sigh No More," you are not complete. I seriously mean that. These songs will get into your mind and heart and bounce around in your chest. They will make you sing. They make you feel like music is important. They make you feel like the moment matters. They make you remember why art is so valuable.

I don't know exaclty when I got my hands on the album for the first time. I do know that "Little Lion Man" was the first song I heard. I thought "Winter Winds" may be my favorite, then they played "Roll Away Your Stone" as the final encore song at their concert with Cadillac Sky and Old Crow Medicine Show on stage in Nashville... and my mind was instantly changed.