Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Couple of Monty's posts.

Love this guy's Disciple of Christ perspective.
Jesus loves Osama
Dissent IS Patriotic

Churches are Wrong?

interesting post at radial congruency

Air Supply and the music of the 70s

Making love out of nothing at all...

I know it's not right to say "they don't make 'em like that anymore", because modern artists are composing some pretty deep lyrics if you look far enough. But I do think it's rare to find the statements you found along with the epic instrumentation you found in some of those great songs from the 70's & early 80's.

Good stuff.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Embrace the Failure

Donnie Miller has a nice post on a new perspective on failure that I think uniquely applies to me.

I used to be a pretty big guy. I was fond of saying that I could bench-press nearly half a metric ton, but this was based on a mis-conception that a metric ton was 1000 lbs, as opposed to 1000 kilograms.

Yeah - didn't think that one through. Anywhoo...

One of our big training strategies was called negative reps. the concept of negative reps would be to lift to failure, then continue lifting with the help of your spotting partner until you could essentially no longer move your ... well ... whatever you happened to be moving.

I've learned to not be discouraged by failure. I can truly say that I shrug failure off, perhaps too much at times. But the new perspective, here, is that I live my life the same way I lifted weights.

I push to the obvious point where others would very sensibly stop, and then I just keep on going :-)>

Eventually something breaks, and it's usually me. Or, worse, something that falls on me. Usually God blesses me with a good spotter that pulls my fat out of the fire and helps me go until i am truly a quivering puddle of goo. Sometimes not.

But that's OK. I left it on the field, baby. I left it on the field.

Thanks, Donny.


Tonight! - I had an epiphany...

Check it out - ... ... Shaggy.
Let's see ...
* superhuman ability to ingest soda and veggie-burgers covered in wondrous assorted goo.
* eats famous "flaming sphincter" chili until annoying sound of smoke-alarms ruins mood
* Screams like a girl and runs with flailing arms in no particular direction when frightened
* dances poorly to "70's Solid Gold"
* bizarre man-love bond with a talking dog.
* very groovy van, man. Very groovy.

Yep - story checks out :-)>

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Stinkin' Windows

Remember Windows NT 4.0? Remember how great it was that, even though applications would go 'round the bend, the OS was rock solid and you could always end a task and go on with your business? Boy. That was great.

So now, in 2008, I'm using Windows XP SP2. My PC crashes like it was 1995 again.

Hey, Microsoft. Put the stinkin' drivers back into user mode so that they can't take down the os, and get rid of all those dependencies on IE DLLs, will ya?

I'm switchin' to linux.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Can a lie ever lead to God?

I would so love to go to church, just once, and not be outraged by something.

In tonight's episode, the bible quizzing book from which my children are learning (over Genesis) stated that men have one fewer ribs than do women. Yep. It really said that.

Why would they teach kids this? Not only is it not true, it's not even a legitimate a creationist claim. (See link in title).

At issue here are a couple of things:
1 - The crazy teacher who knows nothing of biology or the bible has scads and oodles more credibility than I do because she's the teacher, thus making it hard for me to convince my children that they're being mislead.
2 - My children are being mislead by an official publication of the Church of the Naz. Not even in some honest and understandable way like teaching them that the first few verses / chapters of Genesis are to be taken literally, but in some crazy way that smacks of some sort of sociopathic refusal to acknowledge reality.

So, are the people who write Nazarene quizzing text-books incompetent, uneducated, or under the conviction that no one who acknowledges truth can believe?

And why, why Oh, God, whenever I contemplate your "greatest" creation, am I left to ponder something on a continuum that lies between lazy and incompetent and downright out to hose me?

NOTE: I'm not upset about the fact or falsehood per-se, but rather that falsehoods are being presented as fact.

So, kids, to summarize: men and women have the same number of Ribs. But that's really not important.

God may or may not have actually created the earth in seven literal days; and it's not important. Noah may or may not have actually been 600 years old when he got on the arc; and it's not important. The great flood may have been a global event, or may have been a very large local event associated with the ending of the latest ice-age; and it's not important.

I'm confident that when you look at the text critically, you'll agree that the genesis story makes no sense as a literal account, but is truly beautiful and uplifting when viewed as an allegory of man's relationship to others and his God.

And another thing, my children: People of great personal certainty will ignore the limitations of their own finite perceptions and try to convince you that they know things that they cannot possibly fathom.

Whether they do so out of fear of the divine retribution in store if they think otherwise, or perhaps because of the consequences to their world view, or the fear of facing a life that is uncertain and fraught with complexity and mystery, and being forced to rely on their own God-given conscience rather than a written map of legal-es, is unimportant.

They will tell you that their capricious god will sentence you to eternal torment for refusing to surrender your reason, your conviction, and your own good sense in your personal pursuit of Truth and Godliness.

Now THAT's important. How will you respond?

So, if Genesis doesn't teach us that men are missing a rib, what DOES it teach?

Genesis teaches us that one of the first thing that God does in the bible is to show tremendous grace to Cain, when even in banishing him from His presence, He marked Him and promised His protection.

Genesis teaches us that there is a God, and we have a relationship with Him that is vexing and difficult and rewarding and beautiful.

Genesis teaches us that even our most precious relationships with the people we love will be tainted with selfish motive -- but that's no reason to quit having relationships.

Genesis teaches us that our children are born into a life of hardship and distress, and that this fact is to be celebrated, because we love them, and we thank God for them because they are truly gifts.

Genesis teaches us that our actions have enormous impact on others even when that fact cannot be easily seen, and we are a part of a community, and we are in every way our brother's keeper.

Genesis teaches us that there is a price to be paid for not being as the animals, and that becoming like God is a perilous journey. But it's a journey we have begun, and this cannot be undone. This is a terrifying thing, but it must be faced without undue dependency on pat answers and simple Sunday-school truisms.

Yeah... Important...

"But the teacher said..."


Sunday, October 07, 2007

When Seconds Count

I'm always amaized at the things that can suck time out of your day.
The Packers found out tonight what can suck time out of your two-minutes drill.

I was shocked to see the lack of hustle and generally poor clock managment that cost the packers 10's of seconds with < 120 seconds left in the game.

Everything is relative. 10 seconds is nothing if you've got 10,000 seconds. 10 seconds is huge when you've only got 119.

Same-same money. It seems so odd to me that the money I considered chump-change not so many years ago when my wife was still working and we had 2 fewer children had now, essentilally, might as well be a million dollars. Completely out of reach.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Unrespectable Jesus

Good Stuff. Monte is great, and he's named for a character from the Simpsons.

Comment to Durk Niblick's post

yeah, the war in iraq.

It's sad to me that everything becomes politicized. All people seem to be capable of doing is dividing into us and them, and loving us no matter what and vilifying them no matter what. So, the war has become the Republican's thing, so Liberals (such as NPR) are required to hate it, vilify it, mock it, dismiss it, etc.

it was the wrong time
it was the wrong way
it was unwise
but, at some level, it was still the right thing to do

Is what we're accomplishing worth the price? I don't think so, and I didn't think it would be before we invaded. But, about the first time I got called names around a lunch-table for expressing my concerns, I shut up.

Bottom line, this war is my fault and the fault of people like me. People who knew better, but still allowed ourselves to be intimidated by people who were too overwhelmed with patriotic fervor to think clearly.

I'm the bad guy here. I owe the troops and apology for not doing more to keep them out of this mess.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sympathy for the Devil

Been thinking about the lyrics to SFTD today.
Reason to Rock writeup is interesting.

I've read that Sympathy for the Devil is the Screw Tape Letters of rock'n'roll; the idea that evil is insidious and everywhere and that we need to be very wary.

I'm not sure about this coming from the Stones. I don't know them well, but it seems out of character, doesn't it?

Then again, in the Viet-Nam era, when the institutions in which we place our hope and security are so badly boning us, I could see a group of rock-n-rollers coming up with this. Also, Jagger was going to the London College of Economics or some such thing, so he's probably reasonably clever.

I guess I could buy that the lyric is a thoughtful and even-handed treatment of evil in the world and that all the apparent satanism in the concerts, etc was a publicity scheme to set them in contrast to the beatles.

I guess I could buy that the guy who claims they were into satanism is just an example of the sort of nut who gets into satanism and shouldn't be taken seriously.

I don't know. I'm looking for a way to make it OK for me to listen to this, because I really love the song. Something just won't pass my sniff test, however.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Penny Arcade! - Eerie In Its Accuracy

language warning: Penny Arcade! - Eerie In Its Accuracy

Oh, dear LORD! This is SOoooo real to life. Video games are crossing some strange line.

Why would you want to get knocked up in a video game?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Don't think I'll ever get tired of listening to this ...

How many times have i heard the phrase: "I will never date you 'cause you smell. like. bait."

So what? who cares? we're doin' it how we like...

Love it.

Shoulda' stumbled accross PAIN years ago.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My day today

I was going to delete this because it's useless emotional drivel ejected from a self-pitty party.

Then I decided it's relevant because I really felt this bad, if only for a while.

Then laziness won, and I decided not to decide.

I cried when I sent it

the letter from my physician

the recurring panic attacks

ending my career

little hope


And one again I felt t

The thrust and twisting blade

should have done better

Eviscerating me again

Try harder


Self's blood cries from the ground

his spirit shrieks towards sheole

Forcibly discharged from flesh

Cold empty blackness

No warmth


But this is a tremendous thing

There is now No ambition

There exists no pride

No deceptive worth

quietly awaiting


And something that is empty can most easily be filled.

So …

dread naught

ignore the tears

the breast that quivers

The unsteadiness of my speech

The slight quivering of my lip

The self in fragments in my hands

Observe! the glorious dawn of a new beginning.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

On Feminism

There's a tension between the good of the individual, which must be considered, and the good of the whole, which often requires sacrifice from the individual.

Nether of these can be dismissed, ignored, or downplayed. If we continue with our analogy of the body, we see that if enough heart cells are unhealthy, the body (whole) will die, but that if the whole dies, the cells of the kidneys, liver, and bone are soon to follow.

So, what of feminism?

As it turns out, raising the next generation of young is a lot of work, and most men aren't up to it. I could spend pages and pages defending those two statements, but I'm going to let them stand for now as assumptions.

The problem,then, becomes this: There is a critically important, time-consuming, and labor intensive job that is vital to the survival of our species, that no one is doing.

This, of course, is completely the fault of men. (Seriously - not being sarchatic) It is a shame that men have been so remarkably seflish as to disenfranchise women to the point where they don't trust us to do OUR job (which is to honor them, protect them, provide for them, etc) so that they can do THEIR job.

As a result, we have women attending to trivial things like the running of corporations and street cars and rivet guns and legal defenses, that could be deeply and profoundly engage in the enormous task and honor of raising the next generation of human beings.

I fear for the species when the best and brightest of our women cannot be bothered to raise children.

In thinking further (or, my arguments against feminism)... (part 1)

If we think about sin, we'll essentially see that the things defined as sin are things that harm others or somehow tear down the community.

The ten commandments in fact are a litany of do-unto-othersisms:
1. Don't kill who? Others
2. Honor who? Others (your father and mother)
3. Don't steal from who? Others
etc. etc. etc.

It's as though God felt we needed reminded that we are a social organism, and humanity as a whole (or the tribe or the other form that community might take) MUST be more important than ME.

So, if we challenge our selves to look into the aspects of the ancient Jewish religion which modern sensibilities find most disturbing:

Women - why are they commanded to be subservient to men?
Homosexuality - why would it be sin?
Destroying other cultures and ways of life because they hold fundamentally different values? (worship other gods etc)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The problem of sin nature ("So, what of sanctification")

It's disturbing to me that many tend to equate "sin nature" to "human nature". I can say it no more plainly - This is destructive.

Case in point - it is completely in my nature to want to give my girls big hugs and praise them when they've done well. It s completely in my nature to want to want to be intimate with my wife. Most people would believe these things are good.

It is also completely within my nature to occasionally want to kick someone in the teeth, or be intimate with women who aren't, in fact, my wife. The vast bulk of those who make up any sort of moral standard distribution in the bell curve sense related to this certainly agree that these things would be BAD.

I am able, without too much undue intellectual exertion, to think of twopossibilities; the evolutionary and the religious.

1 - evolutionary: Humanity has evolved a nature without any intervening divinity. Because of interactions between the actions brought about by this nature and the environment in which my ancestors lived, certain traits have led to more success in survival and the production of offspring than have others.

Due to the complexities inherent in the higher order species, these traits are, at time, at odds one with another. Example - most modern human males experience a tension between the urge to spread the genes (not my wife) vs. nurture existing offspring and strengthen family (wife). These dual options present the tension between quality vs. quantity, and are further complicated by the evolution of predatory species which use our reproductive traits against us, much in the same way a hunter would use deer musk.

In this model, right and wrong are simply constructs of our highly evolved social nature that we have superimposed over an essentially a-moral process.

2 - religious: Jeanie's explanation is one of the more sensible treatments of the sin nature that I've encountered.

She seems to be proffering (at the risk or speaking for her by elaborating on her assertions) that sin nature is a specific subset of human nature. More explicitly, it is a tendency to self-centered behaviors that are not only destructive to the community, but either directly or indirectly to one's self. The sin nature is, therefore, the egocentricity with which we are all born.

It is not difficult to recognize the process of socialization that begins shortly after birth, during which we learn empathy for others and are taught things like how to live with one another, good citizenship, etc. It seems obvious to me that this is not a spiritual or religious process, at least not in the strictest sense, although it could be argued that it is in the sense that absolutely everything bout a homo religiousous (humanity) is in some way religious or spiritual.

If we accept Jeannie's definition of the sin nature, and accept that the religious experience is essentially that of the subverting of the sin nature to something higher, where does that leave us?

It would seem that this is a long lived process, essentially spanning religious and non-religious activities and, in most cases I'm sure, the vast bulk of one's years on earth. Some are extremely successful (Mother Theresa, for example), and others fail miserably.

So, what factors play into this process? How much is rooted in the spiritual, and how much the biological? (or, is there even a distinction to be made?)

And, if this is a process, what is to be made of this crazy doctrine of sanctification?

Scripting out existing database mail configuration

SQL Server Central Artical on Scripting out Existing database mail configuration I wanted to save this here so I can easily find it. Sorry ...