Update for 2/11/2018



After being sidetracked from my liturgy hunting project for a few weeks by music duties at church, last Sunday I visited Lutheran church #1. It definitely had the feel I was going for, but I spent the whole service in confusion. I got there late, only by 15 minutes, but they were already at the sermon, as if they’d started half an hour earlier than the time they listed everywhere. And then I couldn’t see where they kept the printed liturgies, if there were any left, so I couldn’t even sing along most of the time. It was also closed communion, but at that point I was relieved not to feel the need to participate. Interestingly when the priest greeted me as I left, we recognized each other. We concluded it was from college. I want to go back for a proper experience of their service, but that’ll be after I’ve visited the other places.



I posted another section of my analysis essay. That’s it for the preliminaries, and now I’m digging into the heart of my method. It might take a while to sort things out enough to post more. But this is the fun part. The hard kind of fun.

I can already tell the trajectory of my analysis project is taking me straight into the realm of systems theory. So prepare yourselves to have systems thinking foisted upon you at every opportunity! Once I learn enough. You can begin by perusing these inspiring tweets. The world’s had a long break from being bludgeoned by me with a blunt framework. It’s been long enough. It certainly bludgeons me enough with complaints about the pit it’s falling into. Systems thinking can possibly offer some handholds.



I finished Red Mars. It was very good, and I’ll listen to the rest of the trilogy at some point. I was reminded that my other favorite character besides John was Nadia, a very sensible, determined, and competent person. She inspired people to follow when she was in her element. Overall the story demonstrated to me that fleeing to Mars won’t solve humanity’s problems. The last few hours of the book were rather stressful.

While I was waiting for my next audiobook to be available, I listened to short stories by some Internet acquaintances. One was a set on AudibleΒ byΒ Jeffrey Koval. They’re all paranormal fiction with some interesting twists. The other was a story by James Troughton, “The Mothgate,” on the Escape Artists podcast for young adult sff, Cast of Wonders. It also has an interesting twist.

The audiobook I was waiting for was Skeleton Crew by Stephen King, a collection that has the next story in my Dark Tower listening project, “The Mist.” It arrived at the library late in the week, so I trekked there on Saturday to retrieve it. I’ll probably listen to the whole collection. After that is the first actual Dark Tower book, The Gunslinger.

While format shifting Skeleton Crew to listen from my phone, I started on another short one I picked up from Audible, The Oedipus Plays. It’s a full-cast production of a very listenable translation, and it’s so good I haven’t even finished and I’m ready to give it 5 stars. I wish this cast would do an audio Bible. You can listen to a sample on the product page. It makes me want to listen to more classics.

Video games


I’ve been missing Minecraft, so I’ve returned to my single-player world where I’m building homes in a bunch of different biomes. I’d built paths through the Nether to all the locations, but actually building the homes was stalling me. When you don’t know what you’re doing, designing nice homes is too much work. So now I’m stealing other people’s designs. Last week I built this one at my main base in a plains village. Next will be an adobe house in the neighboring mesa biome.

Social life


My longtime friend Alpana is back home from her latest Navy assignment, and we caught up over the phone. She pointed me to a potentially interesting collaborative sf franchise, Imperial Odyssey. Collaborative writing projects intrigue me, and now I’m thinking a list of them might make its way to the wiki.

Side note, Minecraft is a great way to pass the time when you’re on the phone.Β πŸ˜‰



On my way back from the library on Saturday, I passed one of the lakes where I take pictures, and even though I’m usually not interested in trying to photograph winter, I liked the sky that day and decided to try it. The trip reminded me that walking through deep snow is a workout. Afterward I had to lie back in my car for a while to recover. I think the pictures turned out pretty well.

One of my usual photo spots, now with added winter. #snowscape

A post shared by Andy Culbertson (@thinkulum) on

A bristly hill. #snowscape

A post shared by Andy Culbertson (@thinkulum) on

This entry was posted in Analysis, Books, Church, People, Photography, Systems theory, Video games, Weeknotes. Bookmark the permalink.

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