Tuesday, December 30, 2008

From MSN - "Why I Went AWOL"

This sounds so familiar.  I pray for people like this.  Whether they protest their involvement in the war out of conscience or more earthy matters.

If I were a soldier deployed to Afghanistan, I would be so discouraged that I was paying such an enormously high price, and that my civilian leadership had gotten distracted from our goals by deciding to invade Iraq when it did.  "This is MY LIFE, man.  I got Nothin' more VALUABLE than what I'm giving to this war...", I would think, and I'd think of my strained marriage and kids whose dad had been gone for half of their life - the price that THEY'RE paying, and I'd be VERY tempted to desert.

If I were a soldier in Iraq - well, I wouldn't be a soldier in Iraq.

Our troops have a right to certain expectations.  They should be able to expect us, as a nation, to honor the magnitude of the sacrifices (remember, their LIFE, shattered homes, mental stress and psychological trauma, risk of physical mutilation, etc. etc. etc.) that they make not with words, but with deeds. 

First among these: DO NOT SQUANDER the currency they provide in flesh and blood and pain on unwise or unneeded military ventures, plain and simple.

Second among these: BE RESPOSIBLE and A-POLITICAL about our war efforts.  The military is over-stretched.  Where's the draft to help us fight our two-front war?  Well, we can't have one, because then there would be no war.  Suddenly, people would get a lot less distracted and busy and the pressure would be applied.  So, miliatary families: sorry, you're boned.  Says the commander and chief: I can screw my troops and get my war, or I can be a man about this and not get my war.  It's evil that he's doing it, and it's evil that we're letting him.

And Thirdly:  God help us, why are we not giving these soldiers the support they need when they get home?  Why can we ALWAYS find budget for the fight, but NEVER find budget for the post-war care?  What is WITH US!? 

We owe our soldiers such a huge apology.  We (as a nation) were so busy letting ourselves be defined by the experience of the 60's that we couldn't stand up against a war that many of us (including me) KNEW didn't make any sense, even if we took the intelligence of the time at face value.  When we spoke up, we were shouted down as unpatriotic and "against the troops", and so we clammed up.  I'm sure that this is what happened to many members of congress as well.

Chris, Terry, Jon, & Ethan - I'm sorry.  I don't know what I could have done to stop this, but I am SO sorry that I didn't at least talk more often and more loudly about how it was enormously bad judgment to invade Iraq when we did and in the way in which we did.

I'm sorry that our political system is one in which we can elect such a thoughtless commander in chief who would squander your LIVES on a war that was over-reaching and absurdly damaging, with little return for the high price paid. 

I'm sorry that the major reason that this man is in office is that my Christian brothers and sisters see every national election as a one-issue race, and have sold their minds, if not their souls, to the Republican party; to the extent that Republican/Conservative & Christian are used synonymously in my church in the same way that Liberal and Sinner are.
 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jewish Voice for Peace ...

I was deeply moved by a video message that Monty Asbury linked.



"Palisentians
Isreali
Jews
Muslims
Christians
athiests
everyone ...

we all need to stand togeter
against violence
against repression
no matter who does it
take a stand with us for peace, coexistence, and real future for children like us everywhere.

Sign the letter today."

www.December18th.org


Amen...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jesus is the what, now? (3)

warning: This is a brain dump and should be summarized and better organized.

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: John 15:5,8

5"I am the vine; you are the
branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.

So, in programming terms, Jesus is an interface? He's the IDL (Interface Definition Language) that defines the contract between the ineffable "Father" and the hairy (some more so than others), smelly mammals that NEED Him to sustain them in ways they cannot even fathom.

This metaphoric device would have Jesus marshaling and unmarshaling the
love between the Inneffable reality and the mundane organism. There's a proxy and stub that makes Two things separated by a vast distance and uncrossable barrier become conjoined.

Interesting, too, is the fact that the vine and branch are one organism, composed of the same stuff. The two things are primarily different in function, not substance.
By the above logic, Jesus might be though of as a specialized strutcure within the humanity organism.

So, thank you Mr. Obvious. Why does this all bear saying?
Well, I'm not searching for the role that Jesus plays in my own salvation. I think I'm wondering at the role He potentially plays in the salvation of, say, the "un-saved" ;-)>. Example: A devout Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, etc.

Here's my problem when it comes to Jesus:

I almost HAVE to reject the notion that just God would damn a good and devout person because he had not accepted, intellectually at any rate, the concept of Jesus as savior.

Combine that with the fact that I KNOW there are so many things we DON'T KNOW.

Makes me wonder - is there another way to find the Way? To walk through The Gate? To be grafted to The Vine? or to be found by the Shepherd? Is there a sort of salvation that we Christians might not recognize? For example, is it not possible that Ghandi was bearing fruit, somehow, through the Vine of Jesus?

Maybe Jesus is a REALITY as much as a savior? And here's where I can't express what comes next. *Frustration*

Or, maybe I'm reaching for something that just isn't there.

We Christians are taught that you confess with your mouth, but is there some deeper reality by which the Christ connects humanity with Divinity even when there is no profession of faith in the biblical Jesus? If a man (like Ghandi) follows the teachings of Christ and displays the heart of Christ but won't convert to Christianity, what does that make him? It seems arbitrary to say that Ghandi is in hell today because he didn't profess faith in Jesus as his personal savior, doesn't it?

But, I'm being presumptuous - who knows what God's really up to, and who am I to say what is just and what is not based on my fractional and fractured view of reality. Maybe that's really what I'm driving at. Maybe, just maybe, those of us who say Jesus is the way but really mean that my religion is the way aren't as correct as we think. But what would be the alternative?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was the God...

I am the way, the truth, and the light. No man comes to the father but by me.

I am the Vine and you are the branches

I am the Gate

I am the Good Shepherd

Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice ...

My kingdom is not of this world
You are ever hearing, but not understanding

My ways are not your ways, My thoughts are not your thoughts...


So, Jesus is the what now? *fingers rapping...*

My future's so bright, I gotta wear ...

We just bought a house and we love it - it's great
in every last way it is truly first rate

well, every last way? Perhaps every but one
I've no shades on my windows, and that's no darn fun

I've just one complaint and it's oh so sincere
my neighbors can see me undressing up here!

I've told all my girls - we've no shades and that blows
so I would suggest that you sleep in your clothes

and by all that's holy - please stay on your toes
or if you get naked, well, everyone knows!

and to my wife I say DON'T LET THEM SEE YA
You're too darned HOT - it could be like Bathsheba!

and why, you may ask, are my shades not up there?
why am I stuck with the state of affairs?

My shades, they sit idle beside my back door
and some have grown tired and lay down on the floor

and await my next coming to cut them and place
them into my windows to hide my red face

they want to be placed - they don't like things this way
they call from my kitchen, and here's what they say:

OH - when will you fix us? - This isn't a game!
you need to cover you girth and your shame

I've seen you undressed as through this house you race
and I must observe that your hair is mis-placed!

the hair on your head, OH! the sight makes makes me gak
it seems to have moved to your ass, ears, and back!

Their point is well made, and although it sounds crazy,
they'll sit on, I'm afraid, because I am quite lazy.

so drive by my house and if you care to peak
I'll be running, quite naked, singing "call me the streak"

OK - Tell me this isn't cool ...

PS3Cluster Guide: By The Cluster Workshop

You can perform enormously complex calculations by day, and play a wicked game of Crisis by night ;-)>

The PS3 is doomed to go down in history as one of those amazing contraptions that was just too far ahead of it's time.

Q: Why the PS3?



A: In short, the Cell Processor ‘packs a punch’. One of the authors
(Khanna) estimates that his MPI computations run much faster than on
desktop workstation chipsets, and that his original 8 PS3 (i.e. 64
core) Cell cluster had comparable if not better performance to a 200
Node IBM Blue Gene system.

Mmmmmm.....  $4,000 super-computer.   *drool*

If programming languages were religions

Aegisub: If programming languages were religions...

Nice :-).

I would add that:
Middleware is the rich demagogue that demands your money and gives you only a twisted semblance of the underlying truth in return.
The WebSphere library is the necronomicon.
Jython is what happens when you put some fundamentalist (Java) in charge of your humanism (Python), kinda like a self-help guru.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Spellcheck ...

So, i usually write my blog entries in a big hurry.  I'm noticing that they need some proof-reading and spell-checking.  My apologies to those of you who slog through the entries with improper wording and misspellings.

Jesus is the What, now? (2)

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: John 10:7, 9-10
9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Several points here:
1 - life and to the full.  This isn't some ascetic thing. There's joie de vivre implied here.
2 - the gate as a metaphore implies entrance and exit, as does his statement in 9[a].  What do we make of that?  Probably nothing, but ...
3 - he sets himself up in comparison against a thief.  Who's the thief?

If we move on and don't over-isolate on this passage, we see later Jesus makes a comparison that he is the good shepherd.

I get it when the jews say he's raving mad.  Some of these things make my brain hurt.

Jesus is the what, now?

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: John 6:35
 35Then Jesus declared, "I
am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he
who believes in me will never be thirsty.
Jesus makes all sorts of statements like this throughout his ministry.  What does it mean in real life.

This seems abstract.  My quest is to turn it into something real for myself.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gratitude

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: Colossians 2:6-7
One of the greatest gifts that God has given us is gratitude.

Being grateful for someone makes us get along better.  Being grateful for our job makes us work harder, being grateful for our family makes us love more.  It's powerful medicine.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Can someone explain this to me ...

California voters approve gay-marriage ban - Yahoo! News
I mean, honestly, I don't get it.  Help me out.

So, from the perspective of the church, marriage is a holy and sacred thing ordained by God with very stringent rules and limitations on circumstance and behavior to be applied.  I get that, and don't argue the point even though I think I could.  The church's right to their crazy views is, thanks be to God, protected by our CONSTITUTION. ;-)>

From the state's perspective, however, a marriage is nothing more than two separate legal entities that represent individual citizens joining into a single legal entity for sharing of assets and liabilities of both fiduciary and other nature.

Given an appropriate separation of church and state, and that the state has not considered homosexuality illegal for quite some time. how can the state NOT acknowledge the rights of two consenting adults join their assets and liabilities into a single legal entity?

It occurs to me that the church, or someone, is undermining our constitution by adding what is in fact an UNCONSTITUTIONAL constitutional amendment.  That is, of course, precisely why an amendment is needed.  Any law short of that would be stricken as unconstitutional.  We don't want to play by the rules, so let's change them.  In some cases that's the right thing to do, but I don't see it that way in this case.

Maybe we should all stop and reflect on that for a moment before the next big gay-marriage-ban vote.  Also, reflect on this: The SAME laws that protect your right to lead the life that you choose to lead (go to church, kill animals for pleasure, eat foods known to lead to heart disease, have sex with your spouse at any time and in any way that you choose, etc. etc. etc.) have to apply broadly to ALL people, even those whose behavior you don't understand or condone, provided no one is placed in immediate danger of loss or harm by such action.

I've said it before, I'll say it again.  If we are to be a pluralistic society (as opposed to a fundamentalist society), we MUST have the gold-standard of our law be the golden rule.  Do unto others as you would have them to unto you.  If I were gay and in a committed relationship, I'd want to be able to get on my significant other's insurance and share a bank account.  I don't see how that undermines the family more than the divorce-on-demand and me-first attitudes that permeate our culture top to bottom.

I really want to understand the other perspective.  Someone explain it.  Please.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Amen ...

Adam Kotsko Tuesday Hatred

Just wrote some words over at http://heteronomy.wordpress.com/, and thought I'd re-write them here, because copy and paste is easy, and I like filling up the cloud's disk space with not just drivel, but superfluous drivel.  Nice ;-)>

In re-reading this, I recognize that some of the stuff about Joe the Plumber is pretty mean spirited.  I'm leaving it as unedited, but will say that it reflects more my frustrations with the air time the guys given than anything strictly personal.
I hate that I was all excited about coming back and hating a bit, and that I've forgotten all that which I was intending to hate, owing to the fact that I'm now immersed in "work".

Oh, I remember ...
I hate Joe the Plumber.  Conversely, I love the thought of kicking Joe the Plumber in the teeth.  I hate how, if I want to hire a programmer, he's got to have an advanced degree in brain-surgery, but any apprentice douche-bag can become a political pundit.  (Reference Joe the Plumber)

I hate the astounding ability of the average person to radically oversimplify any given problem.  Hey, over simplifier: whether your pro- or anti-choice, it's not a three word problem.  Chanting "Abortion is murder" just shows me that you haven't really though this through.  What I love about Obama, and the thing that is making him inaccessible to so many, is his steadfast refusal to reduce a problem beyond it's simplest form.

I hate the realization that many people I know that would truly and dearly love to vote democrat will still vote republican because of the abortion issue, completely failing to recognize that a)another conservative judge or two won't overturn Roe, and b)only the liberal judges are set to retire, so a democratic president would maintain balance, which is important...

I hate that my daughters' swim coach wants her to swim 2 hours a night, 5 nights a week.  Does this seem to anyone else like a lot for an 11 year-old?  She's just starting to change in the ways that girls of that age often do, and I'm more than a bit concerned about the effect to her development by that level of activity.

"[..] The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: 2 Corinthians 3:6

6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Not a passage that I think I've ever heard cited or preached upon, in all my nearly 35 years.  I'll be thinking about this one for a while.

Thanks again, BibleGateway.com.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Pro-Life: Pro-Obama ...


http://masbury.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/pro-life-pro-obama/

Probably bad form to link to someone else's blog with no value add, so ...

I’m coming to see these battles not as left vs. right ideology, but pragmatism and problem-solving vs. dogma and oversimplification.

It’s literally a battle against fundamentalism wherever it’s found, isn’t it. Whether you’re hard-core pro-choice or hard-core pro-life, you’re really just creating noise and emotion that prevents rational and effective problem-solving…



Another tremendous, level-headed post by Monte Asbury.
Arguments for pro-life being pro-Obama:http://prolifeproobama.com/

Soft costs for a corporation

I've said it before and I'll say it again:
The big business Management Advancement (fad) of the 2010's will be to somehow estimate and control soft costs.

Example:  Through continuous mergers, we have not used the same systems for payroll, time recording, etc. for any two of the last 4 years.  IOW: lots of churn.  The inefficiency that this creates is enormous.

Additionally, though turnover produced to gain lower labor costs, our labor has become ultra-inefficient.  So, rather than having 10 units of work for 10 dollars, we're getting 5 unites of work for 8 dollars.  Saving some money to be sure, but at what real cost?

Some really, really smart people are no doubt working on this today, and we'll eventually get there...  I hope.

Obama LOVES free markets

YouTube - Obama Answers Question on New Coal Plants in Indianola, IA

The flack that's being thrown up from the republican party makes me unable to support them.  I cannot believe the lies and misrepresentations that I've seen from day one.  I can only pray that the American people see through it.

I'm hearing about how Obama's going to tax coal plants etc.  Nonsense.  I'm hearing how he's a socialist.  Nonsense.

The republicans are GREAT at creating a turn of phrase, ascribing to it a negative connotation, attaching it to democrats, and hammering on it over and over and over.  Please please please please please don't give in to their fear-mongering.

This guy loves free markets, he's pragmatic like nobody's business, he's innovative, and he's not afraid to give strait talk on what things are going to cost. 

We NEED Obama for the next 4 years.



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

IBM AIX v.s Windows, one hotheads anecdotal and completely un-scientific comparison

So, seriously ... AIX sucks.
I know there will be all sorts of people who think I'm talking crazy talk, but in my experience, it is :
* - not user friendly
* - not especially stable
* - not especially robust

the first point is obvious, and few will argue it.

in defense the second, let me say that we run IBM WebSphere on AIX, i5, and Windows, and AIX is BY FAR the least stable.

in defense of the 3rd, again my experience is with WebSphere on the platform, but you can load Windows much more heavily than AIX with test environments, or so it seems.  No, I don't have hard data to support this, but I DO have anecdotal evidence related to updates taking 4 times as long for similar hardware, and the fact that we have to allocate these systems way more physical memory in order to run the same amount of WAS/JAVA software at an acceptable clip.

Combined with the fact that they're enourmously expensive, I find myself wondering why anyone still buys them, I gotta tell ya.

joe out...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tonights meditation ...

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: Psalm 27:14

 14 Wait for the LORD;
       be strong and take heart
       and wait for the LORD.

I've had more than one dream or vision about this.  (Bad Joe - quit being crazy...)

In one, I remember going with Jesus through an escalating gauntlet of terrors, actually culminating in a trip into hell, or something like it, as he assured me that they could not harm me.

Tonight, as I began my meditations, I felt an uncertainty and deep uneasiness.  I felt I was unready, that I had not learned enough.  Who will teach me?  I asked.  Will I be mislead? 

I asked for protection in Jesus name, and actually asked it of Him if memory serves, as I clearly do not have the wisdom to discern an angel of light from something cleverly disguised as such. 

Soon I was walking with Jesus through a dungeon.  He told me several things, but the main thing I remember is that it is a dark world, and implied in his comments was an image of humanity. 

I was expecting, I think, this to BE another "hey, you're OK cause I'm with you" thing, but instead he placed me in a pitch black dungeon cell and closed the door behind me, leaving me alone. 

There I was assaulted by demons who tried to gain entrance into me.  It's odd, but I felt it.  Yet I didn't.  Not sure how to explain... 

Under their attack, I started to glow, and though they flew all around me like bats and TRIED to get into me, they did not seem to penetrate, although some stretched me uncomfortably...

My light (the glowing) grew in intensity, but only with exertion, although not physical exertion.  Exertion of will, I suppose.  It illuminated them.  Some it drove back, some were unperterbed, and some seemed to be revealed as people.

Then, Jesus took me out of the cell and, as we walked, demons began to come out of me one at a time or a few at a time.  This was unexpected, considering what seemed to be a great success in the dungeon cell. Jesus then injected light into me, and it seemed as though the pressure of the light caused the remaining demons to burst from me.  He then mentioned rather nonchalantly that it was bound to happen as you had contact with the darkness.  Essentially (to paraphrase) "You CAN win 'em all, but htey other team's gonna score points.  You can't be immersed in that sort of dirt without getting a little on you.  Then, every once in a while, I take you out and clean you off."  There was an implication there that the presence of the demons WITHIN ME didn't change anything between He and I.

I touched on this briefly, but at one point, the "demons" that I thought I was encountering were shown to be, at least in part, people - people who simply haven't been shown the light.  The message here was very clear.  I (Joe, to be clear) am the light, and the only light they'll see.  There's not much light out there, and even those of us who should be light often aren't.  I needed to be calm and unafraid, I needed to endure pain and privation in endless amounts if needs be, and above all, I needed to shine.  To put a very fine point on it, the Demons weren't the enemy, they were the mission. 

The interesting side note that brings me back to the scripture above, though, is the undercurrent of fear, or lack thereof.  I was unafraid of death.  I was unafraid of hell, I was unafraid of people, I was unafraid of the dark.  I was unafraid of the demons, even as I felt physically their attempts to invade me.  I don't know whether to characterize the calm I felt as objective and detached, or more resigned to the fact that whatever will be will be and is as God intended.  i THINK the latter.

Well, at any rate...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blog readers - Little help?

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: Romans 12:2

2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will

Blog readers - Little help?  What does this REALLY mean.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Gay Marriage - The Last Stand?

Emergent Nazarenes: Gay Marriage - The Last Stand?
The single greatest threat to the sacrament of marriage in America is
the rampant and wanton abuse of divorce by heterosexual Christians.

The
next greatest threat to the sacrament of marriage in America is rampant
and wanton abuse of sex in all it's forms by heterosexual Christians.

I could not AGREE MORE with these statements.  It is indeed the "plank-eyed plurality" that is destroying the institution of marriage. 

So, here are my positions on this:

1 -  homosexuality may or may not be a sin.  Yeah, yeah, the bible says ... the bible says all sorts of things that we conveniently ignore every day.  (Ladies, when's the last time you prayed with your head covered?)  Surely it must be said that the standards of morality at a granular level shift over time if viewed through a biblical eye, even if the underlying essence form which that morality emanates does not.
2 - at any rate, #1 is irrelevant to the political discourse.  if we are to be a truly plural society, we must make our standard of law the golden rule.  The standard against which we must hold any law is "who is being harmed".  That MUST become the basis of our system of law.  Actions or inactions which cause no immediate and obvious danger or harm to the individual or community must be allowed.  Actions or inactions which cause harm must be disallowed and punished.  Two homosexuals sharing insurance benefits and jointly applying for a mortgage doesn't hurt anyone, regardless of what someone may think of their behavior.  Certainly it is less damaging than gambling, drinking, divorce, smoking, cheating on spouse, eating fast food, or any of the myriad other things that we overlook.

In 100 years, historians will be talking about why the church in America died, and this crazy culture war will be the reason.  We must bear in mind that the same laws which protect our freedoms to worship, dissent, etc., MUST be applied equally to people outside of our own camp.  If not, we simply have yet another new religious tyranny.



Monday, September 29, 2008

Hysterical

Stumbled accross this when searching for ... well, I don't even remember now precisely what I was searching for.  Something with Linux...

At any rate, check it out.  Made me chuckle.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rejoicing in our suffering

Romans 5:3-4
3Not only so, but we[a] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope.

I've heard much over the years that challenged me to rejoice in my suffering. Time has taught me a couple of things that I think I should share in this regard:

1 - One of the greatest gifts that God has given us is gratitude. If we can find the strength within ourselves to praise the God who gives and takes away no matter what out situation, it's a tremendous lift to our spirits.
2 - Sometimes you can't find it in yourself to act on #1, and that's OK. Don't let that fact add guilt to your already onerous situation. Even Jesus, when he suffered at the cross, did not rejoice. "take this cup from me", "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" These are laments, not the sound of rejoicing.

If Jesus can do that, I'm sure that God will understand when we do.



ruminations on programming

Welcome to VMware-land!
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

sad, but true

Welcome to VMware-land!
"The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the computer hardware industry..." -- Henry Petroski

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why publish this software?

Threat to computers for industrial systems now serious | InfoWorld | News | 2008-09-10 | By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service

Finisterre released his attack code as a software module for Metasploit, a widely used hacking tool. By integrating it with Metasploit, Finisterre has made his code much easier to use, security experts said. "Integrating the exploit with Metasploit gives a broad spectrum of people access to the attack," said Seth Bromberger, manager of information security at PG&E. "Now all it takes is downloading Metasploit and you can launch the attack."


I have to admit, I will never understand the open source and hacker crowd. Particularly the hackers.

I can understand researching to identify risks.
I can understand developing exploits to further understand and define those risks.
I can even understand publishing an academic style paper on said risks and my research, which was very clever indeed.
I CANNOT understand giving away the frellin' crack for somthing like this. I mean, honestly, isn't this a bit like handing out lock-picking kits at a grade-school?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

There's nothing more disturbing than someone who thinks they know God's will for the world

Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God' - Yahoo! News

Heavenly Father, please deliver us from the very good intentioned and earnest, even Godly people who would do crazy things in Your name.

I just don't even know how to fight that sort of earnestness and misguided certainty.

They select their path, please direct their footsteps.

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Selecting Palin might have been brilliant. McCain just increased his stock with evangelical Christians (who are STILL, apparently, in a state of complete cognitive surrender to the Republican party, and still hell-bent on legislating their personal moral beliefs based on some bizarre perspective that this nation was founded to be "Christian".). He might also get some of the Hillary vote in terms of people who see their first allegiance to Womankind rather than to a party or ideal or issue.

He's a sly old fox, that one. And it won't likely backfire. I don't think that the same evangelicals who think that homosexuality is an abomination will see a man with a man and a woman out of wedlock as two sides of the same sin of sexual desire in 2008. The homosexuals are "them", and the pregnant republican girl is "us", and that's WAY more important that a consistent, loving world-view derived from the teachings of Christ.

I'm still pullin' for ya', Obama. But I gotta say, I really think that this nation and the Christian Church may be just messed up enough to NOT elect you. Good luck, man.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Transitive Property of the Bible

BibleGateway.com: A searchable online Bible in over 100 versions and 50 languages.
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”- Isaiah 26:3

A steadfast mind is a difficult thing. Do I want a steadfast mind? What about constantly questioning, taking new data, and integrating that data as best I can into my overall world-view?

I don't think it's saying that we shouldn't do those things. For me, this says that at the bottom of all the churning and doubt to be faced by someone who is really willing to examine something in the cold hard light of day, there lies a steadfast belief that our God works all things to the good of those who love Him.

That's probably not what the writer meant, but filtered through my values and experience, it's what I come out with.

The mental exercise above is something like the transitive property of multiplication gone biblical. PERHAPS there was a certain amount of humanity combined with inspiration in the writing, as there is in the reading, and God's great trick the creates a one-size-fits-all solution in a world where there is no such thing is that these things balance each other out on each side of write=read equation?

No, that doesn't sound right at all. The fact that this doesn't work would be why different people can read the same scripture and draw such remarkably different conclusions. Their humanity add weight to certain inspiration. OR, is that that their inspiration gives rise to certain features of their humanity which inform their view of scripture and how to implement it in their lives?

Well, that's all just quick muttering before a meeting. I'm sure I'll never take the time to develop it further. ;-)>


Monday, August 18, 2008

For me, To live is Christ, To die is gain


Philippians 1:21 (New International Version)

New International Version
(NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International
Bible Society


21For to me, to live is Christ and to
die is gain

Taken in a vacuum, it is difficult to know exactly what this means. However, in the context of the rest of the paragraph that it nestles within, it's clear that the writer is saying that his life is "fruitful labor" for the kingdom, and his death will be welcomed because he will be with Christ.

Lord, may I be a blessing to someone today. May my labor be fruitful for the kingdom. May I be a useful enough servant that it is indeed "more necessary" that I be here rather then going on to my reward, but also help me to trust that you would work even my death to the good of those in whom I have tried to instill a love for You.

Give me a back strong enough to carry whatever cross you have for me today, and to do it while setting an example of the fruits of the spirit.

Give me enough of You within me to fill the gap between what I can do and what I should do.

In Jesus' name, so be it.



Friday, August 15, 2008

Rejoicing in following the statues of God... Theory 1

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: Psalm 119:14

Derin asks:
Does it mean I love money too much or not love God's statutes enough? Or both?

I'm still mulling this one over, but here are some thoughts.

I think it goes deeper than what I love and how, or immediate vs. spiritual.

Money is food, shelter, water, the best health care, good education, more money (it's easy to make money if you've got money), etc.

These are, of course, things for which I tell myself that I rely on God. But ...

In reality, though, I don't think any of that is the issue.

I had a bit of an epiphany when reading Mere Christianity last night (yep, still working on it). I have much in common with Lucifer. Primarily in the form of Pride. A big pile of money is MY thing that I can use to fix MY problems. And YOUR problems, and my family's, and my church's, and little childrens' in Brazil.

It's like when, in the (fictional) Book of Nod, God sent an angel to Cane (the angel Urial, if memory serves), to presented to him the chances for redemption. Again and again it was offered, again and again Cane said something to the effect of "No, by My Own power shall I overcome your judegements." Each time the curse upon him grew worse, until in the end he was unrecognizable, twisted, and evil.

So: There's Lucifer, Cane, and Joe. Excepting that I recognize this pride and make effort to humble myself before God and men. But somewhere deep down ...






Rejoicing in following the statues of God... Theory 2

One of the most bitter points of my Naz upbringing was the way in which we were taught to hate ourselves for really very normal, harmless, and indeed necessary things.

One of the ways in which this devilry was insinuated upon an eager young man with a tragically dysfunctional under developed bullshit detector was in the form of the doctrine of holiness, as presented.

I say "as presented". This is important. I don't know what the official doctrine states, just how it was presented to me.

Holiness in Word, Thought, and Deed. It's not enough that you don't sin, you really shouldn't even want to. If you FEEL this, you're sinful. If you THINK that, you're sinful. Come to the alter and let's pray about it. I hate to admit how weak-minded I am, but, oh-boy, did I swallow the hook on that stuff.

So, where's the connection between this and my not living up to
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.
Well, as much as I'd like to think I've undone my childhood and adolescent religious perspectives, I must admit that even when I succeed in "following [God's] statues", I'm still kicking myself. Maybe because I didn't do it with a joyous enough heart, or didn't do it soon enough, or didn't do it every time forever, or maybe I just really would have liked, deep down, to have behaved differently.

We need to stop kicking ourselves for wanting to do what every other person on the planet would want to do, and start patting ourselves on the back for doing the right thing, despite the fact that 9 out of 10 people we know would not have done so.

My internal bar is set too high, and it often robs me of the joy that I should be experiencing from following God's statutes. Still working on it, I'll get there God willing...

I've never won this argument with the folks at my church, and as it turns out I haven't truly won it with myself. My position is that I'm responsible for my ACTIONS, not my FEELINGS.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rejoicing in following the statues of God...

BibleGateway.com - Passage Lookup: Psalm 119:14

14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.

Wow. When I think of how I would rejoice in great riches, I'm not sure that I come anywhere close to measuring up to this. I'll be challenged by this one for a while.

Friday, July 25, 2008

that ghastly show that shambles in the clutch of a terrifying unlife

Penny Arcade! - San Diego Sketchbook: Intimacy
So, once again, I must assert my undying devotion to Penny-arcade, for words like this:


that ghastly show that shambles in the clutch of a terrifying unlife

And art like this:


breathtaking elegance...

Penny Arcade! - San Diego Sketchbook: On Vibroblades

"Originally we did it this way because our laptop gave out, but now it's
all we want to do whenever we go places. Also, in order to get napkins
to sketch on, I need to order drinks. The elegance of this pristine mechanism is breathtaking. "


I've been thinking more and more about how I don't really drink anymore. Or draw on napkins. It's expensive (the drinking, not the drawing), and I have to either work or take care of kids (the only things I ever do) no matter how tired or hung over I am the next day.

I didn't used to get hang-overs at all - ever. I could literally be so drunk I couldn't roll over, wake up the next day, and eat spicey tacos with my mother and Mother-in-law. It was like a strange, wonderful super-power. However, as have many things, my super power has weakened and become less reliable with age.

Still, I have to admit, I REALLY miss hanging out with people and tying one on. I miss the alcohol-fueled mayhem and crazy adventures that would often ensue, and I miss having stories to tell about doing karaoke in Todd's basement @ 4 AM, or dancing with strange brazilian girls in a bar on the hill above the hilton until sunrise, or nearly getting beat up by an old lady, or nearly getting shot by some crazy kid from Chicago, or talking to a nice young girl about forming a trade union and how her job teaching head-start is going before slipping a dollar into her g-string, or how crispy cream donuts taste as good coming back up as they did going down. THEY DO!

I know my Naz friends will find this repulsive, and in my defence it's been years. But I gotta tell ya, i really miss those zany sit-com situations, and even moreso I miss the guy who used to constantly find his way into them.

So, I get it, I'm old. But ya' know...

Nah. What's on TV?

Not a teenager ...

So, I'm no longer particularly awkward socially.

I no longer dream of playing linebacker for the bears or being a millionaire by 30.

I no longer fear that I'll be inadequate for any given task, having learned from years of experience that I can do pretty much anything, provided I'm not feeling particularly lazy that day.

I'm excited about good deals on mini-vans.

I no longer have spontaneous erections, nocturnal emissions, or naughty fantasies about July Strayer.

I'm bald, have gray in my beard, am broader at the waist than at the shoulders, don't worry in the least about how I dress excepting in a business setting, watch my blood pressure, eat lots of greens, and don't get the music my kids like.

Clearly, no teenager am I.

Having said all that, Riddle me this: why, oh why, do I still get pimples?

Certainly, there are worse things; but c'mon ...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I like ScribeFire

Yes, indeed. It's a nice way to publish to my blog without actually going and logging in. I also like the extensions it makes in the right-click menu for Firefox, such as "blog this". Good stuff.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

On Naughty words...

Was just reading a response I did to a post on Durk Niblick's site, and felt it warranted posting here with some minor revisions:

[When it comes to naughty words ...]

I like “Frell”, or “Frellin’”.

It’s this nice cross between a couple of popular naughty words. So, it's not just naughty, it's, like, naughty in stereo. D'ya get my meanin', govna'?

So I can say “Hey, what the frell?”, and no one knows… Is he going to hell for saying h-e-double hockey-sticks? Has he marked himself a social pariah for referencing unlawful carnal knowledge? Or perhaps he has left polite society gasping in the miasma of his verbal flatulations with a clever combination of the two?

But little do they know that THE JOKE’S ON THEM - because I don’t mean either! :-)>
It’s just a nonsense word in which my feeble mind takes refuge when trying to express strong emotion! Bwah-hah-hah-hah-hah…. ah...

Well, sort of let the cat out of the bag on frell, didn’t I. Word will travel, so use it quickly if you want to revel in it's ooey-gooey-goodness before the revelation of it’s naughty secret drains it of it’s cream-filled center and leaves only the partially hydrogenated yellowing husk of a once brilliant new (not)-naughty word.

I can certify it as 100% not a naughty word, as it has neither religions or sexual implications, nor does it have Saxon origins.

Actually, all kidding aside, it’s something they use on the sci-fi channel. So, you know, could mean anything.

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Wife is my hero

I for some reason saved this as a draft and did not publish. Will was born over 1 year ago, but here it is:

So, my wife just pounded out kid #5.
William Allen Hayes.
The boy is pink and perfect :-)
My wife is a machine.

Kidding aside, I think that the idea of putting men in the delivery room was meant to be torture. I would much rather give birth myself than watch helplessly as my wife does it. Watching her cry, hearing her pleas to the baby to just come out, and wiping her tears has, 5 time now, hurt me in ways that I once didn't know I could hurt, while at the same time filling me with a pride that I don't quite know how to voice.

So, as pain medicine dripped ineffectively down her back, she squeezed my hand and cried out in distress and suffered mightily, as has nearly every woman in human history, to assure that these days continue.

Watching what my wife does for her kids and for me day after day after day drives me to my knees, thanking God that I get to "get through another day" with her.

And thank you, God, for another beautiful, strong baby. May he be beautiful and strong, smart and wise, kind and Godly, and help me to be a good daddy.

Please to meet you, little Bill.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Marylin Manson Lyrics

I hate to admit it, but totally identify with the lyrics in this song, particularly below.

I would be interested to spend a day with MM and get to know him. He gives voice to some really interesting, and even sort of archetypal thoughts and emotions. I find these expressed a lot in those who were raised to hate our humanity, especially during a period when our humanity is most intensely felts (teen years).

There's little worse than intensely longing to be something "good" that you can never be, but believing that you're simply deficient in some way.

I love God, but I hate ... no, more like am deeply distressed and enormously saddened, by the voice, attitudes, and petty human-ness that the godly have superimposed on the idea of God.

Owl Intranet -- Owl 0.91 20060822
MARILYN MANSON - DISPOSABLE TEENS LYRICS
I never really hated the "one true God"
But the god of the people I hate

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Newsboys

I could be wrong. Newsboys might be the greatest band ever.

Sympathy for the Devil Remix

something about this video rings true. I almost like what they've done musically towards the end. I think it would have worked better to do that all the way through.

Yes. I have insomnia (stress induced I would guess) and am watching music videos. :)

Maybe it's because when I first saw it I was 19, in love simultaniously with three amazing young women, and stoned out of my mind on NiQuil, but I gotta say, this video doesn't carry the same potency for me that it used to.

Everything is defined by it's moment in time.

When I first heard it, I thought the lyric was
I'm not sleepin' ... alone...
I'm not sleepin' ... at all ...


U2

So, as it turns out, U2 is the greatest band ever. I recognize the complete banality of this statement, as it is a well established and objectively verifiable fact ;-).

Brazil is a wonderful nation. I was fortunate to spend some time in Rio while working in South American Joint Ventures for MCI. There's some life being lived, there, man. But it's not a hedonistic throw-away culture like ours. Everyone's partying, but they're partying with the people they love, and it's like a family atmosphere, even though everyone is drinking and dancing. Good stuff.



I never get tired of that song...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ben Stein once again proving that he is the ulitmate in conservative coolness

NOTE: Link is in post title.

Long have I been a big fan of Ben Stein. I love what he has to say in the linked web page, and particularly in the interview with O'Reilly. (Sorry, blogger is having trouble with links, or I'd include one).

There are, as I see it, at least two problems here:
1 - human nature is universal, and the sort of thing that he is decrying was as much a result of that nature in the inquisition as it is in 2008 in the scientific community.
2 - No one understands math.
Amount of potential knowledge in universe = infinity
Portion of that which you know = x where x < infinity x / infinity = zero for all intents and purposes.

Bottom line, no one should give up their science because of religion, and no one should give up their faith because of science. Neither side knows nearly as much as they'd like to think. Faith is important, and science and empiricism have given us a lot.

There is a legitimate historical fear that states essentially that when religion of any sort rules, free exchange of ideas is stifled, sometimes violently.

I love secularism in gov't and schools, but people should not be persecuted for not espousing the beliefs of the state (Stalinism, anyone?)

If science were taught and taught well, we wouldn't need to even have this conversation. (I'll post again on that, see my post on inversion of control for a glimpse.)

Thanks you Ben Stein.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Prince who's programmer?

some of you may wonder why I call myself prince Wang's programmer.
those who know me well will of course assume it is reference to the male genetaila.

you may be surprised to find that it is, in fact, referring to this:

Prince Wang's programmer was coding software. His fingers danced upon the keyboard. The program compiled without an error message, and the program ran like a gentle wind.

``Excellent!'' the Prince exclaimed, ``Your technique is faultless!''

``Technique?'' said the programmer turning from his terminal, ``What I follow is Tao - beyond all techniques! When I first began to program I would see before me the whole problem in one mass. After three years I no longer saw this mass. Instead, I used subroutines. But now I see nothing. My whole being exists in a formless void. My senses are idle. My spirit, free to work without plan, follows its own instinct. In short, my program writes itself. True, sometimes there are difficult problems. I see them coming, I slow down, I watch silently. Then I change a single line of code and the difficulties vanish like puffs of idle smoke. I then compile the program. I sit still and let the joy of the work fill my being. I close my eyes for a moment and then log off.''

Prince Wang said, ``Would that all of my programmers were as wise!''

I had previous written very breifly about  creating a report on disk space using WMI A much better, and very concise instruction for qu...