Category Archives: Life

Butcherings of My Name

With a name like Blas Uberuaga, I often see some very odd ways in which it is distorted. I’ll post them here as I get them. I must have the worst hand-writing to get some of these readings.

The most recent, and probably worst butchering I have ever seen, came from Whirlpool Home Products:

Elas Aberugel

I think I could use some of these for characters in some sci-fi or fantasy story some day.


Lisa and I just got a 2004 Toyota Prius. So, it is a couple of years old but in good condition and has low milage. I thought I’d keep a “diary” of sorts here on what we think and how this experience goes.

We both really like the display. It is definitely fun to play with. Maybe a little too fun, especially when you are watching it as you drive down the road. But, presumably, some of that novelty will wear off and it won’t be as distracting.

We already had a crisis moment with the car. Lisa tried to start it and it wouldn’t go into drive or reverse. It would only go into neutral. We had no idea what was wrong except for some service light was on and the manual said take it to the dealer. This was before we had a real chance to drive it! (Due to some snafus and incompetence at the local DMV (or MVD as they are called in New Mexico).) It turns out that there is an easy fix, as I found out at this Wiki site. It seems this is a well known problem, even a recalled problem. So, it looks like we’ll need to go to the dealer anyways. At least it was simple to fix, but it is frustrating that before you even get to drive the car, you run into a problem like that.

Overall, we’ve enjoyed it so far. The only other odd thing we found is that, when planning a mock trip to Idaho, it picked a route that is significantly longer than the one we often do. And we couldn’t get it to pick the one we prefer (through Utah), the one that MapQuest picks as the shortest path. So, we aren’t sure why that is. But, that is a minor thing.

More news as we get it.

Is God the Answer?

Anthony Gottlieb has a very interesting article on the New Yorker website.  His article, Atheists with Attitude, is about the recent “flood” of books that defend an atheist view of the world, some being fairly hostile to religion.  (I tried to begin Richard Dawkin’s book The Selfish Gene, which is one of his most famous books, and had a hard time getting past his hostile attitude, even though I’m not a very religious person.)

But, it isn’t so much his review of this series of books that I found so interesting.  Rather, it was his paraphrasing of David Hume I found so intriguing:   God is merely the answer that you get if you do not ask enough questions.

When I was younger, I found solice in this view of the world.  Believing in God meant that everything had an answer.  Why does the universe exist?  God created it.  Why are we here?  God put us here.  Why didn’t I get a hit in that game?  God willed it so.  Believing in God meant that there was an answer to every question, every question but one: where did God come from?

I guess that is a question that isn’t supposed to be asked.  But, when I did ask it, I realized that, in not having an answer, it meant I didn’t have a real answer to any of my other questions.  Why does the universe exist?  God created it.  But who created God?  Where did God come from?  In the end, the answer I took so much comfort in didn’t really answer anything for me.

I find that the scientific method is much more fullfilling for me, intellectually and “spiritually”.  I hesitate to use that word, as it isn’t so much a spiritual thing, but rather it just feels better to me.  Science doesn’t have all the answers and there is no scientist that would claim it does.  But, what science does offer is an approach to search for the answers to the questions we pose.  Why does the universe exist?  Well, we don’t know, but science keeps getting a little closer to understanding the earliest moments of the universe.  Why are we here?  It might be just a random bit of luck that life was right on Earth to lead to our existence.  Why didn’t I get a hit in that game?  I just suck at baseball.

Seriously, many more questions go unanswered for me now.  But, I also know that by investigating the questions, I will have a better understanding of the world around me than if I just ascribed everything to God.  I might “know” less than if I relied upon God as the answer for everything, but I definitely understand more.

Time sink: where did my Christmas break go?

One of the things I got for Christmas was Neverwinter Nights, which I’d been eyeing for a while so that I could play online with a buddy of mine up in Moscow. Anyways, I started playing on the day after Christmas and pretty much played all week (fortunately the Lab was closed so my life, while shut down for the week, didn’t get in the way of work).

I created a half-elf monk and played the standard campaign. It was pretty damn fun. I finished the game just last week, having defeated the big evil lizard queen. The story, while not overly deep, was still engaging, especially the betrayal of Aribeth (in the picture). The game play was nice, though it did require a mouse (just playing with the touch pad on my laptop would have been hard).

But, it was several days of just doing that, which is what I feared and the reason I haven’t bought a game machine. I’ve gotten this game out of my system for now, but when I get online with Bob, it might start up again. We’ll see.