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Showing posts from March, 2009

Bombarded with thoughts

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There are some days (so unlike today) where there is such a dearth of thought and thinking in my brain (cue jokes) that I have absolutely no idea what to blog about. Of course, I could blog about how my hands smelled like bleach last night or the fact that I exercised this morning, but that may not be too compelling to see me through to the end of the post. Then there are other days where my head is just exploding with things to write about. Subject after subject pops into my head and I would be hard pressed to get a fifth of it down on the screen let alone all of it. By the time that I get around to blogging I am sure that a lot of it falls by the wayside. I may need a list of sorts to track all of the different items that pop into my head and blog about them as I tick them off my list. But then there is part of me that doesn't want to be so self-important that I think that every thought that crosses my mind is worth capturing and recording. I know that God loves it when I apply m

Sticker club train wreck

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No one said I was a brilliant child. - Mark Dudley, Almost every day No one should underestimate my ability to take something that should be fun and easy and make it into an absolutely craptastic experience. Yesterday we finally got around to having Will fill out the forms for a sticker club that he was tagged in the mail for. I am sure you're familiar with these types of things, but basically he had to send some stickers to one of his school friends and then fill out six forms to send it to six of his friends in hpoes that he'll get some stickers out of the deal. That part seemed to go pretty smoothly and I was happy with our progress. Well, it came time for the envelope stuffing and this is where things went horribly wrong. I had previously made 12 copies of the letter that he needed to fill out and send to his friends, but thought that, perhaps, I made too many copies. After all, he is only filling out six of these forms to give to his friends. Well, the thought never occur

The best way to begin the day

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So in my life there is a good, better, and best way to begin the day and I need the best every day. Of course, I need to want the best beginning as well and I guess that's where the Spirit comes in. The best way that I know of to begin the day is to exercise and pray before I get my ugly...er...coffee mug out the door. To take train and exercise both physically and spiritually is not only a balanced perspective of my need but it is an acknowledgement of my frailty, dependence, and impotence. The fact that I struggle with both disciplines is evidence of how far I have fallen and how much I need my Dad as I stare my fourth decade on this earth in the face.

Presto PC

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Well life on the farm is kind of laid back Aint much an old country boy like me can't hack - Thank God I'm a Country Boy, John Denver I had a chance to play with a beta release of presto today and I was very impressed with it. It is basically a copy of Xandros which is a Linux distribution much like Ubuntu or RedHat but it has a Windows installer (which installs about 3.9 GB worth of software in Windows) that modifies the boot loader adding an option to select either presto or Windows XP at boot time. On my Dell Optiplex GX 280 with 1 GB of RAM I was able to get to the presto desktop in about 20 seconds after selecting the option to boot to it over Windows XP . Not quite instant on like my Palm m500 but then again it is a real PC operating system with networking, sound, and the like so not too shabby. It comes pre -installed with Firefox and OpenOffice .org so that is good as well. Ideally this is a quick option for note taking and internet browsing which is pretty m

So why did He do it?

There is a lot that is mysterious about God. I doubt I'll ever know why He created something rather than nothing. That there is something (the cosmos) rather than nothing (not the cosmos) is, perhaps, the fundamental philosophical problem but getting to the "why" is something altogether different I dare say. There has been something kicking around in my head since I finished reading Schaeffer's Genesis in Space and Time that has cleared up something for me. Again, maybe I am simple, but my intellectual curiosity is satisfied in regards to God's command to Adam and Eve to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Apart from the knowledge that tree imparted and the implications of eating from it from that perspective, I always wondered why God commanded obedience at all. Schaeffer remarks that obedience of the created to the Creator is the only love language that is appropriate or even rational. I wouldn't think much of the professions of love that

This weekend was so much different

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This weekend was so much different for me as I didn't have a looming trip in the back of my mind. I know that it probably shouldn't have been different, but I still have an issue with living in the here and now and I let the future impact way too much of my feelings and activities. Will I ever get to the point where my past and the anticipation of the future will never encroach on where I am at the present moment? I hope I do and I know that's the standard I need to hold myself to. But boy is it hard. Too hard at times. So there I was Saturday and (more so) Sunday reveling in the experience of the days without a care in the world it seemed. I had such a great time with my family that I thought my heart would burst out of my chest. There were the little things here and there that would try to pull my down from my bliss but I wouldn't let them. It seemed like there was nothing that could have stopped the way I felt. Not one thing. Yet I now I know there was something that

Honesty

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I have been trying to be more honest in my interactions with people especially when it comes to my faith. I am beginning to bring up things that impact me more and more and tie them to "my church" or "a preacher" or "the school that is attached to my church" and things of that nature. Often I would share the same bit of information with people but couch it in more veiled terms like "the school my sons attend" or "someone said" but I am getting to the point where I am giving more and more hints about who I really am to people. This morning I was eating breakfast with a colleague and told her about "something a preacher said" about the bald truth. My wife knows the quote well - too well perhaps through my constant repetition of it. I was tempted to attribute the quote to a "someone" but I decided to just be honest. So much of my life revolves around this Christ that I am less and less interested in couching it. I want

Religion, faith, arts, and sciences

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There have been a couple of books that I have read that have shaped the way I think about things. I have blogged about them before so I won't bore you with details about their content and their influence. One that I am just about done reading, Genesis in Space and Time by Francis Schaeffer, has done that for me as I think about the Fall and the ramifications of it all. One of the quotes that struck me was something that was said by Sir Francis Bacon where he said that: "Man by the Fall fell at the same time from his state of innocence and from his dominion over nature. Both of these losses, however, can even in this life  be in some part repaired; the former by religion and faith, the latter by the arts and sciences." Schaeffer goes on to say that the Christian has every right to view that the arts and sciences as substantially delivered to humanity by God Himself. The trouble I see is when we, as humans, attempt to utilize the arts and sciences to restore our innocence a

Traveling without the ones I love

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I have blogged before about this strange sense of place that I have. I love to see places and to know that, for example, I have driven a car on the 101 or seen the Hudson River. It gives me an indescribable feeling to have gone to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee or to have seen the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. I am here in the Palmetto State (South Carolina) and can put another notch in my belt so to speak of places that I have been. We have had great weather down here and it has been a largely satisfying experience save the fact that I am here on business. And, also (and so much more so) that my family is not here with me. They magnify the pleasure of my travel and solidify the feelings I have as I experience a place. They are so dear to me and as I am walking through an airport and see a family with young children (young boys especially) I get a sense of loneliness in my heart. Sometimes it quite literally takes my breath away, albeit for a short second or two. I can't ruminate

At long last...

OK, with more than a little fear and trepidation I decided to try, yet again, to get the wireless networking working on my laptop, a Dell Latitude D610, running Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) and I was able to do it. Of course I needed some help from my friends on the Internet (I do have them you know), but here is what I did: 1. the first thing I did was download, extract the b43-fwcutter tarball and build it using these commands: wget http://bu3sch.de/b43/fwcutter/b43-fwcutter-011.tar.bz2 tar xjf b43-fwcutter-011.tar.bz2 cd b43-fwcutter-011 make cd .. 2. I then downloaded and extracted the firmware from this driver's tarball using the following commands: export FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR="/lib/firmware" wget http://mirror2.openwrt.org/sources/broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0.tar.bz2 tar xjf broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0.tar.bz2 cd broadcom-wl-4.80.53.0/kmod sudo ../../b43-fwcutter-011/b43-fwcutter -w "$FIRMWARE_INSTALL_DIR" wl_apsta.o 3. I then rebooted and could see all of

Much more direct than I use to be

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I am much more direct than I used to be. I don't know if it has come with age, marriage, subjecting temperament weaknesses to the control of the Holy Spirit, or something else, but I am less inclined to let things happen and more inclined to let people know exactly what I am feeling. The other night the person we are working with to continue to get our finances in order was giving me some direction that I was not inclined to take. Rather than saying, "I'll think about it and get back to you" or, even worse, "I'll do that" I flat out said, "I don't want to do that, I want to do this". It even took my wife back a bit and she was happy that I handled it that way rather than any other. I was too, actually, and we hammered out a plan that I am very happy with rather than one that would, at best, be mediocre. That is something I need to do more and more. I need to emphatically say yes when I agree and no when I need to. It is only fair to the per

Whether I like it or not

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Whether I like it or not God has created me in His image. And He commands me to be like Him for my good and so that I will not be frustrated in what I was created to do: worship Him through reflecting and enjoying Him. He commands me to worship Him because the Son worshiped the Father and the Spirit holds their purposes in much more than a crisp and enduring focus. He commands me to love Him because of the relationship that He continues in with His Son and the Spirit in eternity. He commands me love my neighbor because of the affection He shows them every day through the provision of the sun, rain, and, most importantly, salvation. He commands me to thank Him because the Son showered thanksgiving on His Father even as he broke bread with his apostles before his crucifixion. He commands me to be holy because He is holy and He wants me to fully partake of one of His communicable attributes. More than His deserving of all of my being (which He definitely deserves) He pursues my good in go

Do I sharpen?

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I wonder if I sharpen people? I can entertain and I like to hear myself talk, but these are not qualities that would lend to works that endure. I can point to people in my life that sharpen me and force me to re-think some of the preconceptions I have about life and holiness. I would like to be that person to others. Or at least one other. I want people to see God in a different light because of who I am or what I say. I don't mind entertaining as long as it sets the stage for sharpening and helping people become more holy. If I had to give up the funny business that I engage in, that's all right. I am willing to do it as long as it is replaced by something other than sobriety for sobriety's sake. I'll be sober for sharpening's sake. Maybe God just has me wondering about all of this to keep me humble. He knows how proud and puffed up I get at the slightest compliment I receive. He also knows when a compliment will encourage me and they always seem to arrive just in

Undetected

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This may be a post with too much information, but in my mind it is OK to use the restroom in the building I work in but not OK to uuuusssseeee the restroom. It is the difference between #1 and #2 for all of you that didn't get the too subtle reference in the previous sentence. Using the restroom is #1, but uuuuusssssiiiing the restroom is #2. My hangup is with the #2. My goal in ussssiiiing the restroom is to both enter and exit the stall undetected. It is all right if someone sees me washing my hands, or entering the restroom, but once I am in the place where the stalls are I must be as clandestine as possible. This leads me to all manner of activity to perpetuate this need of anonymity. If I hear someone else in the restroom and I know they are out in the open I will wait until they are gone before I leave. In the times I dread the most, if I have to uuuusssseeee the restroom and there is someone who sees me, I pose at the urinal until they leave. Sometimes I have had to leave an

Creation's transmission

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All of creation (myself included) transmits a constant message about God. I am humbled by the fact that this mannishness that I find in me (yes I am still on this topic) places me in a unique position of both transmitter and receiver. I have been wracking my brain recently to find anything that God communicates to His creation beyond the commands to "do this" or to "go no further". It seems to me that the whole of creation is controlled by Him as a driver would control a vehicle. He gives it energy as I would when I turn the key to my car or purpose as I would when I let the clutch out and depress the accelerator. Working my way through the gears and turning the wheel ever so slightly this way and that I arrive at my destination and my machine finds rest until it is pressed into service again. Such it is with the whole of creation...save me. I would never invite my car into a love relationship with me, but I would my wife, children, family, and friends. What an awes

Everyone loves a parade

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Everyone loves a parade. And everyone should love XML. Recently I had to redo my blog a bit because, well, I love to to go to places I shouldn't be and press a lot of buttons. Thankfully I had been keeping an extra copy of the blog around on Wordpress and could export the contents to XML. I found a service online that would transform the XML that I exported from Wordpress into XML that could be used to re-create the blog (minus comments) and I was back up and running. That was the fun part. Recently my wife commented that I should look at publishing my blog posts into a hard copy format. I think that would be a worthwhile exercise and I would have another use for the export to XML feature on Wordpress or Blogspot. Using XSLT I could get the XML into a printable format (like PDF) and then use that for wahtever I needed. I think it would be an interesting exercise as there may be a few gotchas (like graphics that I include in my blog from time to time), but I think I may bite this pr

Software (and documentation) wants to be free

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If you hang out with me long enough you will come to realize my affinity with open source software (OSS). I am a firm believer in it and think that it levels the playing field, somewhat, between the "haves" and the "have nots" of this world. I have followed the One Laptop Per Child initiative with great interest and think that India and China, with their huge low-income populations and technical resources, will have a big role to play on the hardware side of things. Indeed, this is already happening in India at least. Well, I ran across an initiative that I think will be as important as the open source software movement. One does not have to be perusing the availability of open source software long before they realize that the documentation that accompanies it is often not of the highest caliber. It may be too detailed for people like me, poorly organized, or non-existent. There is a foundation that is centered in the Netherlands that aims to change that. It is call

That clears it up a bit for me

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Like many of you I have been bothered a bit by certain criteria that have been established for the definition of a planet. These criteria have demoted Pluto and other Trans-Neptunian Objects, like Quaoar and Eris, to dwarf planet status. One of the criteria that really stuck in my craw was the one that stated that a planet (or uberplanet) has to have cleared its orbital zone. Well, Neptune has not done that with Pluto nor has Earth (with the near-Earth asteroids in its orbital zone) or Jupiter for that matter with the Trojan asteroids in its path. A clarification made this much more understandable to me: A planet is deemed as such as long as it is the dominant mass in its vicinity. So, in the case of Earth, it is many times more massive than all of the near-Earth asteroids combined. This would also include Neptune because of its size in relation to Pluto and its moons Charon, Nix, and Hydra. This is the current understanding of what it means for one of the eight classical uberplanets t

Dork dancing

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No matter how I try when I dance I look like a stork that is wigged out on chili powder...or crack. I am not one for meter or rhythm and my body awareness is severely taxed when I attempt to get my tushie into the chair in front of my desk. It has wheels, you know. I shot a video for viewing by the church recently and the pastor who taped the video actually asked me if I could moon walk. In an attempt to silence the shrieks laughter in my head I just shook my head and offered this assessment of my capabilities: "Not really, no." But I can dork dance. Oh my can I dork dance. No one has ever said to me "Man I love to watch you move" as I attempted to dance. The fast dances that I performed in Junior High and High school were largely for comedic value. They were laughing at me, but that was all right. I knew that my date wasn't with me for my looks or dancing. I just had to resist the temptation of making her laugh so hard that her soda would come out of her nose.

And why shouldn't it be?

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Can I help it? Is it part of my mannishness (as Schaeffer puts it) to sing louder than the rest of God's creation? I have been redeemed and that redemption is the stuff of my song. Positionally creation has been redeemed as well, but there is a big difference in my redemption experience over that of the rest of God's creatures. I know a hint of my actual redemption - the manifestation of my position in Christ in reality. I have a foretaste of what it is like to live a life that is in concert with His will. I have an inkling of pure motivations. I have a wisp of restored relationships. I have a drop of unadulterated meditation. I have a blink of true beauty. Such is the life of this man who has been bought and given the Spirit to indwell and empower him. His creatures that do not share in my mannishness know nothing of this. All of this allows me to lean to the oak in my front yard and whisper "Not yet." Soon it will sing a new song like the song I sing. Soon, when my