Who is ArcoJedi? A life-journeying Christian, ecstatic husband, proud father of four, web guru, all-around geek and Star Wars fanatic. Read these thoughts that he felt were worthwhile. Then wonder why he thought that way.

2006/07/20

Massive Storm in St. Louis, Missouri

Whew!

The greater St. Louis area was blasted by a pretty outrageous storm last night. I was out in it, driving around in my car (as it was overheating... more on that some other time) and pulled into the Flying J in Pontoon Beach, Illinois. I was going to stop anyway, but I saw these horrible looking clouds moving in. The wind picked up too and nearly whipped me off the highway.

I cowered in the gas station with the truckers and various people. Visibility dropped to two or three feet for a few solid minutes as the rains hammered down. The lights throughout the building flashed on and off as power fluctuated and then died altogether.

When it was over and the clouds started to clear, we could see a factory directly to the north --the locals identified as most likely Proctor & Gamble-- which was completely on fire. Flames were shooting directly into the sky to a height of what I'd guess to be one-hundred feet.

I drove home down West-bound I-270 towards the Chain of Rocks bridge in slow bumper-to-bumper traffic. The East-bound lanes were empty and I was soon to learn why. Three tractor trailers had overturned while on the bridge. One was originally in the West-bound lane and had been blown over and was laying with it's wheels in the West-bound lanes and it's trailer in the East-bound lanes. The two other trucks were in the East-bound lanes and had been hauling mobile double-wide homes, now a shambled mess. Crews had just gotten onto the scene and were still scratching their heads about how to remove all three problematic wrecks. The East-bound lanes were completely blocked and closed and 270 was a parking lot from there back to Highway 367 or perhaps farther.

We were without power all night (with no air conditioning) and will most likely be out for the next 3-4 days. It also seems that we are under a boil order for our water which makes it even crazier. It's a good thing we have a gas stove.

KSDK has several articles about the storm and their home page puts the number of folks without power at 360,000. There are also several articles and picture galleries available.

It's all so surreal.

Final note: I was wondering what other St. Louis area bloggers were talking about after last night and decided to check out a site I knew of and had participated on called StLBloggers.com. However, I was disappointed to learn that the site is down. I briefly wondered why, and then it occured to me. The site is probably hosted locally and the datacenter is without power. :O DUH!

Update: KSDK now puts the number without power at nearly half-a-million; 480,000!

2006/07/09

There Are No Other Words For Miscarriage

Yesterday seemed like any other day at first. About 4pm, a series of events began that we as a family experienced that I cannot begin to put into words. So I'll just quote from Wikipedia.

Miscarriage ... is the natural or accidental termination of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or the fetus is incapable of surviving, generally defined at a gestation of prior to 20 weeks. Miscarriages are the most common complication of pregnancy.

I want to thank everyone who has helped, talked and hugged us through this. Yesterday was a very bad experience. We're feeling much better today. I know my faith is helping me most of all. God has a plan and this is part of it, though it may be nearly impossible for me to begin to understand why. The best part of faith is that I don't have to know why.

I've repeated it before. God does not put you through something that you cannot get past. The important piece to remember is that it is only with His help that these mountains become speed bumps along your path.

Lisa is okay. I'm okay. We are probably going to try again eventually. Thanks again to everyone reading this.

2006/07/05

Download Free 3D Snake

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If you want this for your site, Download Free 3d Snake.

2006/07/02

I Am Going to Be a Dad Times Three

Almost all of my family knows and by Monday, most of my friends and coworkers will know as well. If you haven't found out by now, Lisa and I are going to have our third child! Can someone sing an ♫ Hallelujah ♫?!

We are about 6 or 7 weeks along so it is very early, but we have already had a doctor's appointment last Thursday to confirm, have an Ultrasound (there wasn't much to see yet) and speak with the Doctor.

Our prayers begin and end with a healthy and happy baby. However, Lisa and I both would like to have a boy. Also, Lisa would like to add gently that it would be nice to have a slightly smaller baby than Reese (9 pounds, 3oz.) or Olivia (9 pounds, 13oz.).

I'll let you know more as I know more.

2006/07/01

Superman Returns

Here is a more recent post on Doug's forum about Superman Returns.

I saw the movie at 10pm Tuesday night. I loved it. First off, the thing about this movie is that it very subtly and comfortably inserts multiple nods to the original two Superman movies that everyone loves. The occasional comedy is good but not trite or overly done. All of the casting choices are spectacularly spot on; from Brandon Routh as Clark/Superman to Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor and Perry White and Jimmy Olson too. The one exception you might note is Lois Lane, as I don't really think she seems like the traditional take charge nosy reporter. The story has some changes especially with Lois. But they are appropriate changes.

If you haven't seen the movie yet or haven't heard a synopsis already, get out from under your rock. It's now five years after Superman disappeared mysteriously to visit the galaxy where Krypton was to look for survivors. Finding none, he returns to Earth to find that the world --and Lois-- has moved on. Lois is engaged and a mother. So, if her character has changed it made sense to me.

Clark has returned to his job at the Daily Planet in Metropolis for --oh say five minutes-- when Lois and random others are involved in a big disaster involving a 777, a space shuttle and a stadium full of people.

What is surprising is that the special effects are not big and in your face. Like many other movies (X-Men III, King Kong) the special effects are overused. The filmakers of Superman Returns could have really overdone things and tried to create really impressive effects that ultimately would have overshadowed the film's important plot points, but they did not. There are many dramatic sequences and the jilted love story is realistic.

From the first frame, where the opening credits flash onto the screen against a floating star field just like the original films, to the end where Superman triumphantly flies above the planet towards the setting sun on the curved horizon line, this is a great movie with not one boring moment. See this film and post your agreement/disagreement.

Want more Superman information?

John Holmes Video Game Challenge

I've been putting in some of my free time on Doug's website in the forums and arcade. I thought I'd repost some of the scores and stuff here.

I just wanted to make sure that you noted that I beat all of the high scores for the SNAKE game. Not only did I get 700 plus points on the HARD (python) mode, but I also set the high score on the two slower modes.

Now to brush up on my Pacman, Simon, Asteroids, and Invaders. I swear I'll take y'all down very soon.

I am the Snake and Tetris mastah!

My high scores lasted for a little while but were soon overturned in the Snake game. However, I did figure out how to add the game (and high scores) to my web site.

Snake

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For more information, visit dogbyteonline.com and take part in the John Holmes Video Game Challenge.

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