Pro-Life or Anti-Abortion?

I know…I know…I’m not usually the political type when it comes to social media.  But as you may know, I am raising support for the local crisis pregnancy center (see my last blog) and I felt some qualification was in order.

I am a Christian.  And an evangelical one, at that, which certainly conjures up all sorts of ideas in folks’ minds: white, Republican, middle-class, the list goes on.  At one point in my life, all of those descriptors would have fit relatively well.  But something began to change in 2008.  As you know, 2008 was full of political intrigue and debate.  The Bush II era was coming to a close and our country was, I think, exhausted by 9/11 and the somewhat confounding wars that followed.  Who exactly were we fighting?  Where exactly were they?  And why exactly were we in Iraq?  Blood had been spilled–American blood, Afghan blood, Iraqi blood, Pakistani blood, and that blood continues to be shed.

What I realized in the rhetoric of that election in 2008 was what the King James Bible would call double-tongued.  I felt like the candidate I was “supposed” to vote for as an evangelical claimed to be pro-life, yet they seemed almost giddy about killing adults in another country.  Something  simply did not sit right with me.  Around that time, I made the mistake of listening to two other people: St. Augustine of Hippo and Ron Paul.  From one, I learned that there is such a thing as a just war…they’re just few and far between.  From the other, I learned that someone can oppose not only abortion, but also wars that seem difficult to justify (according to the Bible or the Constitution, for that matter).  Strange birds, these two men.

In the years that have passed since then, I have learned that pro-life may not actually mean pro-life.  In many circles, it may just mean anti-abortion.  But as a follower of Jesus, I’m not called to simply oppose things.  Instead, we have been called to be for something, namely the spread of life to all through the power of the Gospel.  This truth has forced me to rethink issues like war, capital punishment, and even our approach to poverty.  If we are to be truly pro-life, we need to be considering all things that rob people of life–people to whom we have been called to share the love of God.

So all that said, I really would appreciate your sponsorship as I run next week in the Tour de Life 5k.  I’m not just running to oppose abortion–I’m running to promote life across the board.  I hope you’ll join me.

If you’d like to sponsor Jason, follow this link.

Pay to watch a fat boy run?

As you know, since last Thanksgiving I’ve picked up a nasty habit called exercise.  Running, to be more specific.  Since finding out that a Wood baby will soon be gracing our home, I’ve decided to try to extend my life as much as I can.  Thus, running.

On Mother’s Day weekend (May 11th, to be specific), I am going to be running a 5k that benefits the Northlake Crisis Pregnancy Center here in Covington.  Northlake offers free counseling and care for pregnant mothers who do not have the resources (relational or financial) to care for their child well.  Many of them are considering abortions, but don’t know the other options that are available to them.  I have been personally impressed with how Northlake has worked to help thousands of women and children in our community.  As a result, I wanted to support them by running in this race.

How does a fat boy running garner support for a non-profit?  Good question!  Each runner is invited to raise support for the Crisis Pregnancy Center.  If you’d like to sponsor me in this run, all you have to do is click this link.   You can read more and make any donations (via PayPal) at that site.  I’d really appreciate your support in this process of restoring health to myself and to the families on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain.  I do hope you’ll consider giving generously.

Star Wars: About To Get Pwned

And, no, I don’t mean the franchise is about to get pwned.  I mean, I’m probably going to get pwned for the comment I’m about to make.  So I’ll just come right out and say it:

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is almost as good as Return of the Jedi.

I know.  A  statement bordering on blasphemy.  Let me take you on a journey, my young Padawan.

When I heard that J.J. Abrams was going to be working on Star Wars, Episode VII, I felt more than a slight thrill.  I consider myself an Abrams devotee of sorts, particularly because of LOST.  Once the news that Abram was directing had sunk in, I decided it was time for Megan to see Episodes I-III.  We tried to watch Episode I during our first year of marriage and I couldn’t bear it.  We turned it off and never went back.  But if she is to be the informed, discerning mother of the Wood clan in Louisiana, she needed to know.  With Episode VII coming in 2015, we needed to be ready.

So we began two weeks back.  We watched Episodes IV-VI three nights in a row.  And, let me just add for the record, those films continue to be my favorite movies of all time.  As a kid up until seminary, I claimed Jedi as my favorite…but began to lean toward Empire around graduation and ordination.  And now, I think I’m firmly going with Star Wars (or a New Hope…whatever).  What a fantastic movie.  I simply cannot get over how well that film stands not only the test of time, but also the test of me having watched it 60+ times.

Now, here is where the blog gets dicey.  While I was watching Return of the Jedi, I began to sense a tremor in the Force.  And keep in mind that we were watching the theatrical releases, not the Special Editions, DVD re-releases, or Bluray botch jobs.  We were back in 1983 with puppet Yoda.  And, no, it wasn’t the Ewoks that bothered me.  The Wood family is strongly pro-Ewok.  The Ewoks have never seemed like an overt appeal to children (like 95% of Episode I), because you witness an AT-ST kill a couple of them.  Not too child-friendly to kill sentient teddy bears with lasers, IMHO.  Nope, here’s what shocked me while watching Jedi:

When Chewbacca yelled like Tarzan.

Sure, it’s just a campy joke.  But it’s a sign of what would come, given a few more years.  This is the Wookie who would potentially rip people’s arms out of their sockets over a chess game, for crying out loud!  And now he’s doing a Tarzan yell?  The moment is not just confusing (and anachronistic), it’s pure ridiculousness in a tense battle scene.  I was shocked.  And then, when Megan and I decided to watch Episodes I-III over the last three days, my suspicions were confirmed.  Jar-Jar Binks?  Same kind of stupid crap.  Anakin born of a virgin?  You’ve got to be kidding.  Liam Neeson killed by a dude with tattoos on his face?!  Well, OK, Darth Maul was pretty badass, but we all know Liam Neeson can’t be killed (Yoda confirms this in Episode III).  Bottom line, during every moment of goofy foolishness in Episodes I-III, all I could hear was Chewbacca’s Tarzan yell.  Now, that said, I LOVE Return of the Jedi.  And I always will.  But in that one moment, we got a glimpse of the George Lucas that would be.

Now let’s get back to my main thesis about Episode III.  It is not as good as Return of the Jedi…but it’s close.  The film is two hours spent tying up loose ends and trying to get fans to stop griping about how Lucas had destroyed their childhood with Episodes I and II.  It was gritty.  It was dark.  And Hayden Christiansen apparently had taken a couple of acting classes.  In sum, Episode III is not that bad.  And here’s why I feel confident saying this.  Tonight was the first time I’ve watched it since opening night at the theater.  I was so let down when it came out, I have not watched it since.  After eight years, that disappointment had cleared up and, frankly, I didn’t remember much of the story besides the really crazy parts (like where Anakin kills a bunch of kids or where he gets burned up in a lava pit).  While Jedi only had one really stupid moment, Episode III had many more.  And, because of that and myriad other reasons, Return of the Jedi will always be a superior film.

In conclusion, Episodes VII-IX will not be as good as the original trilogy.  It simply won’t happen.  Abrams is, I hope, realistic enough to know that.  But if Disney/Lucas/Abrams/et al can make these movies better or on a par with Episode III, I think I’ll be OK with that.

Comments are not only expected, but invited.  Please chime in below.  Let the pwning begin.

A noble, a monk, and an actor walk into a bar…

Since this season of DnD Encounters is presented in a “sandbox” setting, I aim to not reveal any particular details our group may have uncovered in the game, focusing solely on DnD Next mechanics.

Last night was our first night playing DnD Next with the characters we rolled up last week.  And let it be known, fun was had by all.  As you can see from the picture I used on the front page of my site, we spent a lot of our time in laughter.  Combat went smoothly, even quickly (due to a devastatingly helpful Sleep spell from yours truly), but this element of our game isn’t what stood out to me most.  What struck me was how helpful Backgrounds and Specialties were.

4th Edition DnD gave you the chance to choose backgrounds, but I felt that the backgrounds offered in the books suffered from one of two problems: (a) many were too specific or (b) many granted relatively minimal benefits to your character.  In effect, 4th Edition backgrounds seemed like an excuse for players who didn’t want to write their own backstory to get one pre-written for them.  Now there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that.  But for those of us who revel in developing our own backstory, these 4th Edition Backgrounds would just get jammed randomly into our story, so that we could have the associated skill benefits.  They simply didn’t add to the creativity of the game.

In DnD Next, on the other hand, Backgrounds are much more broad and they grant your character’s Skill bonuses.  In our first session, at least three backgrounds:

  • Noble: a disgraced human cardinal (read: Cleric) who has been sent away on forced sabbatical for some less than recommended activities.  Still he has three peasants attending to his every whim.
  • Bounty Hunter: our dwarven fighter is eagerly seeking the local constable, so that he can make sure he’s collecting bounties as we go on our quest.
  • Charlatan: our dual-wielding human loudspeaker who is constantly telling his own tales of do-goodery to make any female without shouting distance swoon.  Of course, being a liar, he usually fails at this.

What I found interesting about these Backgrounds is that they added a LOT of flair to the table.  I’ve played several 4th Edition sessions with this crew and they don’t lack for creativity.  However, the breadth of the backgrounds provided allowed us to each work it into our backgrounds in a more integrative way.  My character’s Background has not been revealed yet, but I’m certain that it will come in handy, not to mention it played a key part in my [9-pages-long] backstory.  Beyond the creative flair, our different backgrounds are encouraging us to check out different key areas in town (my guy would never have gone to the constable’s office).

In sum, I’m a big fan of the Background dynamic and how skills are achieved through them.  It simply makes more sense to me than the 4e system.  Well, that’s enough for this post.  I’ll comment more on Specialties next time after Session 2.

The REAL Dungeons and Dragons

I’m new to Dungeons and Dragons.  A friend introduced me to the game in 2011 and my interest in the game took off from there.  When I got involved as a Dungeon Master (go ahead and chuckle…it’s funny), I began to troll around on various forums and blogs to learn the tricks of the trade.  As I did, I was shocked to learn that

I was not playing the REAL Dungeons & Dragons!

No, what I was playing was 4th Edition, the illegitimate love child of D&D and World of Warcraft, so the internet said.  I was saddened to hear that I was not playing the “real” game, so I started exploring my options.  What else was out there?  Well, it didn’t take long to learn that every person who has ever played D&D has their own preference as to the edition that best represents the Dungeons and Dragons ideal.

In the meantime, it seems that Wizards of the Coast (who publishes D&D materials) realized that their fan base had become somewhat split on the issue.  And now they have announced D&D Next.  From what I’ve read, they hope to create a new edition that will have enough commonality with all the prior versions that all us kids will finally play nice with one another (and consequently buy buckoos of books).  Because I don’t have enough things to learn in the non-imagined world, I signed up for the DnD Next Playtest to give the game a shot.  Let’s see how this newbie, 4th Edition lover responds to DnD Next.

Last Wednesday, I met up with the crew at Big Easy Comics, where they are running a weekly game using DnD Next rules.  The goal of the night was to create our characters for the season, which will begin this Wednesday.  I decided to play a wizard, whose story I had been dreaming up for the Pathfinder RPG system (which I still haven’t tried, FYI).  Here are a few thoughts on the character creation experience:

I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve been playing DnD for almost two years now…or if it’s DnD Next…but I feel I might be experiencing what I’ve heard from some of the really early DnD players.  I have thought more about the motivations and the minutiae of this character than I have any other.  Seriously.  I could even tell you how his multiple daggers are different and what the buttons on his jacket look like.  Here’s the bottom line:

I feel like 4th edition encouraged me to jump in and play (yes, like a video game).  But in this edition, it feels more immersive.  Maybe it’s the way wizards are created in DnD Next–maybe it’s because I’ve been dreaming up this character for awhile.  Frankly, maybe it’s because I’ve been reading Lord of the Rings and writing short fiction for fun.  I really don’t know.  What I do know is that I’m highly anticipating what the first day of gameplay will be like.  If it’s half as engaging as the character creation process, it should be a real treat.  You can expect my thoughts on that very soon…

Why I Sucked at Baseball












Anybody who knew me when I was a child must be surprised at what a rabid baseball fan I have become over the last five years. Why?  Because I sucked at baseball as a kid.  For what it’s worth, I still suck pretty bad even though the baseballs have been replaced with softballs for my current age group.  Why did I suck so bad at baseball, you ask?

I sucked at baseball, because I didn’t care to succeed.  I didn’t have the drive to learn the rules, to practice in the back yard, to play with my friends, or (heaven forbid) watch other people play.  Of course, this lack of desire didn’t apply only to baseball.  I could get around on the soccer field or the basketball court OK, but I was never a dynamo…I certainly never played or practiced at home.  I simply didn’t have the drive to succeed at baseball, or any other sport for that matter.

That’s not to say I was lazy or an under-achiever.  I applied myself vigorously to academics and videogames–two grand hallmarks of geekery.  It’s probably better that I didn’t discover Dungeons and Dragons until my late twenties.  And in my late teens, I began to pursue success in the work of the Church and music.  That drive was there, just never in the realm of physical activity and exercise.

It may sound strange to say this, but I never knew why I sucked at baseball until about three months ago.  Thanks to the influence of a good friend and a child on the way, I decided to take my health more seriously.  My first goal: to run a 5K in February 2013.  As I began training, I realized that running is hard freaking work.  If you are not absolutely dedicated to it, you will not succeed.  The pain in your legs, the burning in your lungs, the cold of the air when bed is so warm–all these things will force you to stop.  That is, if you are not absolutely dedicated to the process.  I learned to push myself further than I wanted to go, through the pain, through the frustration, to achieve the next goal.

Two weeks ago, my doctor told me to stop running.  He said I was going to obliterate my knees and ankles, unless I lose 70 pounds first.  That really pissed me off.  Because now I can’t achieve my goal of running a 5k in February.  So, I’m taking a different route: intensive exercise and a really crazy diet, so I can get back to running and run that 5k.  I’ll run/walk this one in February, but eventually, I’m going to fully run one.  Here’s what this all has to do with my sucking at baseball.  I sucked at baseball, because I didn’t care to succeed.  Because I never cared to succeed in the areas of health or exercise, I have to do extra work now to make up for it.

In retrospect, watching me play sports must have been a bittersweet process for my parents.  They loved me and would have been proud if I’d been a ribbon dancer.  Still, I imagine my lack of interest and heartfelt drive probably made watching me play somewhat exhausting.  On Tuesday, Meg and I found out that we are having a baby boy.  Whatever sport he chooses to play, I hope he learns the value of pushing himself–not just academically and spiritually–but also physically.  Physical training may be of some value, but it is valuable nonetheless.

I wish I had learned this earlier than at 29 years of age.  But then, I’m a stubborn son-of-a-gun who likes academics, video games, and D&D.  You can expect I’ll never be good at baseball, but with God’s help I’m gonna get healthy.

Oh, and why did I suddenly start watching baseball?  I met a beautiful girl who rooted for the Red Sox.

Does God lead us into temptation?

An excerpt from my sermon, “The Father’s Love“:

God does lead us into temptation.  He does!  He leads us into situations where we will be tempted and tried.  He doesn’t tempt us, but He leads us into these situations.  But Jesus’ request [in Luke 11:4] is that He will not take us too far–that He will not take us into a place that will overwhelm us.  You see, God leads us into those positions, so that we grow–so that we grow to look more like Him.  He brings difficulties, trials, temptations into our life to grow us, so that we will look more like our Dad.

The beautiful danger of the spoken word is that once it is said, it can never be unsaid.  As a Pastor and preacher, this truth weighs upon me often.  Above you can see an excerpt from my sermon from last Sunday at Faith.  I was preaching on the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11, aiming to describe the love of the Heavenly Father that is revealed in this prayer.  Due to the amount of content in my sermon, I felt somewhat rushed for time and in retrospect I wish I had been more clear in my discussion of Jesus’ request “lead us not into temptation.”  This blog is an attempt to do that in a more nuanced way.

When Jesus asks His Father, “lead us not into temptation,” His request raises an important question: Does our Heavenly Father lead us into temptation?  Otherwise, why would He ask that He not do it?  Any time we ask a question about how the Heavenly Father relates to us, we would do well to seek our answer in how the Heavenly Father relates to Jesus.  If the Gospel is true (and I believe that it is), God feels and acts toward us in the same way that He feels and acts toward Jesus.  The first question we must answer then is this: Did our Heavenly Father lead Jesus into temptation?

In Luke 4:1-2, we find our answer:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.

Also, Mark 1:12-13 says:

At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan.

These passages show us very clearly a situation in which the Holy Spirit, acting in concert with the Heavenly Father (see the preceding passages referencing the relationship between the Father and the Spirit), leads Jesus into temptation.  Now, let me be clear, I am not saying that God tempted Jesus.  James 1:13-14 is clear about this:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

While God led Jesus into temptation, He was not the tempter–Satan was.  This event in the life of Jesus reminds me of what the Westminster Divines said about God’s providence in their Confession of Faith V.2:

God is the first cause, and in relationship to him everything happens unchangeably and infallibly.  However, by this same providence, he orders things to happen from secondary causes.

That is, God in His foreknowledge knew that presented with the right conditions, Jesus would be tempted.  In this case, Satan (a secondary cause) tempted Jesus.  But why would God put Jesus in this position?  Why would God lead His child into a place where temptation would occur?  The book of Hebrews is helpful at this point:

In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.  Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family.  So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers (Hebrews 2:10-11, 1984 NIV).

For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.  Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:17-18, 1984 NIV)

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him… (Hebrews 5:8, 1984 NIV).

Jesus’ temptation was instrumental to His own growth as the High Priest and Savior for God’s family.  It’s hard to think of Jesus needing to “learn” or “develop,” but the author of Hebrews seems to understand Jesus’ humanity as necessitating His own growth and development (cf. Luke 2:52), so that He would be made “perfect” or elsewhere translated “complete” for His task.

So if you buy the axiom that “God treats all His children the same because of the Gospel,” you can expect that God will lead you into temptation.  He will bring you into situations where secondary causes will tempt you to sin.  But why?  So that you will grow to be more like your older Brother and, perhaps more significantly, your Heavenly Father.  God’s goal in your moments of temptation is to purify and strengthen you, so that you will persevere in faith (cf. Rom 5:3, Jas 1:2-4).

Jesus’ request, then, to “lead us not into temptation,” in my reading of the Lord’s Prayer means this:

“Heavenly Father, hallow your name–prove yourself to be faithful to your Word by keeping this promise: You will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.  Instead, You told us that when we are tempted, You will also provide a way out so that we can stand up under it.  Gracious God, lead us not into temptation, but if you desire to do so, help us to grow through it, to overcome that temptation as our older Brother Jesus did, and to become more like You through it.”

In Jesus’ request, we find a promise from God: that He will not lead us into temptation, in order to crush our spirits or pull us inexorably and irretrievably into sin.  Instead, because we are His deeply loved sons and daughters, He will not leave us unaided and will guide us through into a persevering faith.

I hope that this is more clear than I was on Sunday.  Feel free to post your comments or questions below.  Also, if you’d like to read another explanation of this request of Jesus, I encourage you to check out the Westminster Larger Catechism, Q. 195.

2012 in Review

2012Banner2012 is long gone and either the Mayans were wrong, or we’re living in an alternate timeline.  Regardless, at the end of every year, I like to remember the important things…you know, movies, music, and what not.  Here are my favorites from 2012:


#5   “21 Jump Street”
This one probably gets a special place, due to the fact my brother worked on it.  And by worked on it, I mean he made sure nobody walked into a shot.  But still, this movie was by far the funniest movie that I saw in the theater this year.  Not to mention, Johnny Depp’s cameo was freaking priceless.

#4   Tie – “Skyfall” and “The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey”
Here’s why I liked these movies so much…and why they tied.  I had hyped these movies up in my head way more than I should have.  And then they stood up to the hype.  I loved the humanity of Bond in this edition; and Jackson’s interpretation of The Hobbit was faithful enough to please and creative enough to be deemed an interpretation.  Dug ’em both.

#3   “Django Unchained”
I loved Django…or I didn’t.  I have been so torn about this movie since seeing it, that I decided to put it in spot #3.  Depending on the day, I could call it my favorite…or my least.  Here’s why I loved it.  First, I felt like it was Tarantino’s best storyline ever (not necessarily his best film).  Moving and engaging, I really wanted Django to get his wife back.  Second, I appreciated his treatment of slavery.  It wasn’t glorified and I left thinking how horrible slavery was.  Third, Christoph Waltz is unbelievably good in everything he does.

But then the cons…I have read way too many articles about the use of the n-word, how women are portrayed as flat, helpless characters…but these things don’t concern me as much as a third issue: justice.  I find myself cheering for Django as he slaughters wholesale not only slave owners and their families, but also slaves.  Given, really jerky slaves, but slaves nonetheless.  It felt immensely unsatisfying for justice to be in the hands of this vigilante…and puts into question all the other vigilante crime-fighters.  Was it right for Django to kill all the folks that he did?  I would say no. <SPOILER ALERT> It seems that when Dr. Schulz died, so also did Django’s moral restraint in killing only those with prices on their heads.

Anyway, all that is to say, it’s a deeply engaging film–one that has made me think a lot about justice, slavery, and their depiction in film.  So I can’t help but include it in my top 5.

#2  “Lincoln”
Thankfully, this was not as preachy as I thought it would be.  It painted Lincoln in gray tones that made me more interested in him.  This is a good thing.  However, I agree with other who have said that it wasn’t necessary to have Lincoln getting offed in the end.  Could’ve shortened an enjoyable film and we all would’ve known that it happened anyway.

#1   “Looper”

Bruce Willis travels through time and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (transfigured into young Willis) has to kill him.  Insanity ensues with a surprise lesson at the end.  You really can’t beat it.  I LOVED this movie like the commercials told me to.  And for days afterward I thought about time travel.  There’s not much more to say.  Watch it.

Top Albums
#5   Tie (because I’m not sure either of these will be getting played much after the artist’s next release)
Derek Webb’s Ctrl and Sola-Mi’s Nexus [Can be DLed at and]
I’ve blogged about these sister albums previously, so I’ll trust you’ve read that already if you have any interest.  A cautionary tale about when we allow technology too much control in our lives.

Jack White’s Blunderbuss

Not nearly as gritty and guitar-driven as the White Stripes, this is a really solid album, in which Jack shows himself once more to be a “musician’s musician.”  Solid Nashvillian rock and blues album.

#4   Punch Brothers’ Who’s Feeling Young Now?

If you like newgrass or the Punch Brothers’ other offerings, you will deeply love this one.  Their best album to date, musically and lyrically.

#3   The Avett Brothers’ The Carpenter

I’m late on the Avett Brothers bandwagon, so I can’t compare this to their other works.  Bottom line, the lyrics are deeply moving and the music is great.  When it comes to folk-rock, these guys rock.  Blew Mumford out of the water this year.

#2   Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ The Heist (w/ bonus tracks)
I have never listened to rap as moving as this.  I have also never heard rappers sing about thrift stores, baseball, or the shame of relapsing.  Macklemore is so intensely honest and personable that you can’t help but love this record.  If you’re a rap fan, you will love this one.

#1   Indelible Grace VI: Joy Beyond the Sorrow [Can be DLed at]
The sixth album from the Indelible Grace collective, this is my favorite offering yet.  Musically, this album feels more cohesive than older ones and the lyrics they dug up for this one are intensely good.  If you like old Reformed hymns to a folk rock beat, you will really dig this one.

Well, that’s enough for tonight.  Feel free to post any questions or responses.  There were others I’d like to talk about, especially the new children’s album Rain for Roots and this single from Wright Family Music, but I’ll let you do a little research yourself.

New Website!

Come On!










Typically, I swear by Apple’s software and service.  They may not make the sturdiest hardware, but their software is usually so simple that a monkey could use it.  And their “geniuses” are intensely helpful in troubleshooting software problems.

Speaking of “not the sturdiest” hardware, the backlight on my Macbook died for a second time late last year (the first time it was under warranty).  Regardless, when faced with a pretty pricey repair, I opted for a Macbook Pro since my Macbook was almost 5 years old anyway.

And when I get my pretty new Pro, what do I find…but iWeb has been discontinued!  Come on!  For five years, I had been building my personal website on iWeb, not to mention  So began the search.  My dad showed me how versatile the engine over at can be, which has proved to be really solid.  Hope you enjoy the new site…hopefully the ease of editing will mean that I will update it more often than I did the old iWeb site.