Yesterday was not a good day. I lent my nice digital camera to my sisters to take a couple pictures with it...and they got to fighting...and dropped it...on the cement patio. In short, it's busted and will be $140 to fix. It cost me $320, but I could buy a new one for $175, or get a 5 mp one for $300, but right now my main concern is having my parents make my siblings pay. Because I don't have that much money to spare.


Computer Game Review
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2
EA Games
Westwood Studios

Graphics: 2 stars
Gameplay: 2 stars
Storyline+cutscenes: 4 stars
Overall: 2 stars

This was supposed to be the greatest new Westwood game, but it was essentially a rehashed cartoony version of earlier games, with a bland storyline about the Commie invading the U.S. There were few new units, and those that were new were absolutely pathetic, like "Camoflauge" tank that turned into a tree, or a "weather storm" manufacturer. The gameplay wasn't anything new, and while it was cool 5 years ago they needed to introduce something new to keep the series going. In short, this game is not worth more than $5, but I only paid $4. :P It's also pretty easy, the first time I had it (about a year ago) I beat the first 11 Allied Mission in one 8 hour stretch the first night, and the twelth and last mission onyl took me a couple more hours. The replay value is very low, as the skirmishes are very boring, and the online gaming just isn't that great.


OK, to catch up on some stuff. Last Wednesday I went to Best Buy with my birthday money and got "Command and Conquer: Generals: Deluxe Edition", with the money I got from the Franciscan Friars, and the "Laptop Collection Pack" with the money I got from Joe and Rose. It's a collection of 5 older games, which means I can play them on my laptop. it's actually not that bad, and can handle Age of Mythology pretty well. The 5 games were SimCity 300 Unlimited (great game), Red Alert 2 (decent), Tiger Woods PGA (I'm not into golf games), and Alpha Centauri, and the Planetary Expansion Pack. I'll probably also be getting a Wireless card for my laptop. I should be writing reviews soon for all the games I got, except I don't have any computer that plays "Generals" well, because for some reason it doesn't like the video card I have in the basement computer, so I've been playing alot of SimCity and Alpha Centauri on my laptop.
I'll be writing about the IRL tomorrow.


Sorry for the lack of posts over the past few days, I have had a bad cold (headache, congestion, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, everything you can imagine). I should return to normal duties tomorrow, including a writeup of the Institue for Religious life last weekend, and possibly a review of C. S. Lewis' Space Trilogy.
Also an account of how I spent my birthday money and possibly some computer game reviews.


Book Review

"The Rumsfeld Way"
by, (will look it up later)

Half bio half instructional, this book is interesting, but not superb.
In insturcting you in how to use Rumfeldian techniques in your life, it gives an in-depth look at the secretary of defense and his life. You learnt to see how he thought and why he did what he did, from leving the Nixon administration before Watergate to returning to salvage what he could of the Ford administration. His ruthless yet legal methods are documented in this short volume. It is also an instructional book, giving valuable lessons on how to survive office politics by remaining above the fray. However, it ontaied precious few lessons that could be applicable to my life, yet I enjoyed learning abou the background behind the dry-witted "Rummy."
A good book, sepecially if you like Rumsfeld.


Personal Log

Yesterday was my birthday, and I actually had a pretty fun day. I spent most of the morning reading "Red Rabbit" by Tom Clancy. (review coming later) Then in the afternoon, severla of the oompas, actually most of them (Joe, Johnny, Tommy, Chris, Tim, and Moe) came over for a round of golf, which was fun but cold, and came to my house afterwards for a grillout. After that some of my relatives and the friars from the local monastery (Marytown) came over and we all had cherry cake and chocolate chip ice cream. Later after the other guests had left I showed Tim, Chris, Moe, and Tommy (Joe and Johhny had left for driver's ed) my awesome dual LCD monitor computer in the basement, after which they ransacked my basement looking for spare computer parts which they wanted for free. ("No Tommy, you cannot have the serial ATA 80 gig hard drive for free, here, take this old network card. Now be happy and lave me alone.")
Than Elizabeth called (the best part of my birthday) and after I was on the phone for about 15 minutes the oompas figured out I wasn't going to be getting off anytime soon, so they left, and my Lizzy and I talked in peace.
(well, on my end at least, hers was a bit more exciting from the background noises I heard, and little sibling can be annoying.)


Book Review

The Man Who Was Thursday, by G. K Chesterton

An intellectually engaging book, which is short enough to be read quickly and enjoyably.
The Man Who Was Thursday primarily argues against the anarchists whose ideas were prevalent around the turn of the century when the book was written, showing both the logical inconsistencies and the dreadful results of the practical application of such ideas. However, it also shows how people can become to obsessed with a cause, even though it may be good.
It relates the story of a certain Mr. Syme, a vehement anti-anarchist, who is recruited into Scotland Yard’s special anti-anarchist department. He engages in a debate with Gregory, a poetical though not seemingly violent anarchist, who takes Mr. Syme into his confidence and introduces him to the underground world of anarchists. Mr. Syme seemingly infiltrates the deepest society of anarchist in Europe, only find that he is faced with an unconquerable enemy, but he fights nonetheless against his demonic foe. In the telling of this story Chesterton not only intertwines a number of intellectual arguments against anarchism, but he also relates it with a striking literary style of brief but vivid descriptions of the differing characters and their actions. The plot is almost too action-packed, with an extremely high number of betrayals and reversals, but this makes for an exciting, though exhausting, book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys arguments and intellectual puzzles, but anyone who finds philosophical debates complicated or boring would most likely think the book overly complex and compact.


My unfirst post...I refuse to have a first post like everyone else. Instead, this shall be my 0th post (and don't ask me how to pronounce that, it's Russian). As you may have noticed already, I like to be different. I happen to be happily homeschooled, and also a Catholic, two essential components of my indentity.
Yeah, so on to boring personal info. I'm 18 (well, tomorrow I will be, so this is can be a blog of my adult life), I live in a northern suburb of Chicago with my mom, dad, little sisters and brother. I like cycling, reading (encyclicals, Lord of the Rings, Tom Clancy, and other assorted materials), debating, playing computer games, and other fun stuff.
I go to Mass daily, I love my Catholic faith and will defend it forever. I like homeschooling and will probably homeschool all of my kids, I use Mother of Divine Grace. I'm probably going out to Thomas Aquinas College in California next fall, even though Ave Maria offered me a full scholarship. Maybe I'll add some more stuff later...