Friday, November 29, 2002

Dilbert Moment

I want to find out how long it will take, and then I will give you the requirements.
- [Name Withheld], Project Manager

Peter Case has released Ice Water as an mp3. From what could be a sort of "best of" album "THANK YOU ST. JUDE". Only all the songs seem like fresh recordings of his earlier work. If you like folk/blues/rock with smart lyric writing then you need to spend some time with Peter Case.

More then a few bloggers dodged the real question ... when commenting on "What Would Jesus Drive?".
- Karl

Karl's post on the WWJDrive? issue is the best I've seen.

1000.5 km

On the way home from our small group meeting I passed the 1000 km mark. That's

1 000 500 meters
1 cracked bike frame
1 new bike
2 plane trips (to Ontario and Back)
2 bike shops
3 wipeouts on ice, all on the new bike
3 provinces: Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia
6 Municipalities:Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Elora, Calgary
1 Federal park, Mt. Revelstoke. (a 1400 meter drop over 21 km is a blast!)
3 provincial parks: Fish Creek (Alberta), Elora Gorge (Ontario), Mt. Mackenzie Demonstration Forest (BC) (at least I think it's Mt. Mackenzie)
1 damaged handspring visor
1 broken cross
1 lost wedding ring
1 found wedding ring
1 cracked helmet
1 new helmet
10 blog posts (Main ones being June, July, August, November)
~63 hours of ridding. (that's just a rough guess it's hard to average off road and city ridding)

It's been a good ride. 1200 km next year :) 2500 km was my best year, but it will take time to get back to that.


Tuesday, November 26, 2002

A hand written digital clock.


Monday, November 25, 2002

quick links

Flexibility and Complexity

Bill Venners & Martin Fowler discuss " design decay, the cost of flexibility and reusability, four criteria for a simple system, and test-first design of interfaces." I've been a big fan of Bill Benners since I first read his stuff in JavaWorld back in 98. Martin Fowler's Refactoring is a classic. I have an autographed copy :)

The New Convergence
A nice look at the current trend of science being more open to the divine. As seen on Apologia via a link in WLW thanks to Alan K. Henderson's Weblog

Coming soon: Gulf Wars: Episode II, Clone of the Attack.

hmmm I wonder if the opening lines will be. "Mr President, we've found the plans to the death star".


Sunday, November 24, 2002

Found it!

I went back to West Fish Creek today, found where I had wiped out and at the base of the bank, just off the path was my wedding ring! I just took one step off the path and looked down and there it was, sitting on some leaves. I am amazed and very thankful. As both my wife and mother will tell you, I don't do well in the looking department, and that's for stuff in the house like my keys. So I count finding my ring in the park, nine days later, after the snow had melted, a small miracle. Or maybe it was just a huge chunk of common grace (christianese for luck). Either way I am most thankful.


ps 25 km to go...

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Fist Full of Links

Liz Creech gives advice about sex, Nov 21,23 posts. Liz is a prude where perma links are concerned. Link via Wendy

Shut That Bible! - thanks to exclusively Kristen

Karl says he's an Emacs/JDEE/bash/ant user. I'm an jEdit/ant guy myself

Starbucks Spirituality as seen in the Book of Joshua


Thursday, November 21, 2002

There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:

Ants--they aren't strong,
but they store up food for the winter.

Rock badgers -- they aren't powerful,
but they make their homes among the rocky cliffs.

Locusts--they have no king,
but they march like an army in ranks.

Lizards--they are easy to catch,
but they are found even in kings' palaces.

- Proverbs 30:24-28

The Locusts caught me off gaurd this morning. That they have no king but are organized like an army would make them an emergent system. Emergence is a powerful way of explaining the world and has been quite popular as of late. Jordon recently posted a link to the Nov. 28, 2001 article The emergent new order: how how self-organizing systems are made to order for ants, cities, software and terrorists. Most of the material on emergence I’ve read has been quite hostile to the intelligent design view. Spontaneous Generation in the Exploring Emergence active essay from the MIT Media Laboratory would be an example.

I was surprised to find the chief insight of emergent systems, that organization does not need to be centralized in a 3500 year old religious book of wisdom. What does it mean? I don’t know …


Wednesday, November 20, 2002

I just finished Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. I spent more time thinking about it than actually reading it. Most of the time it was to savor a beautiful scene or thought that she had expressed. Though once in a while it was because she completely lost me. Reading Pilgrim is a vocabulary expanding experience to say the least.

What I enjoyed most about the book is how she takes both the beauty and horror of the natural world and wrestles with them. She spends time with the monarch butterfly and it's amazing migration, and parasites that eat their host from the inside out. She mixes in science, religion, and personal observation with a grace I have not encountered in other works. The pilgrimage through Tinker Creek is a trip worth taking.


Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Go Esks!
if Love is sacrifice then let me submit that Faith is risk. Faith without action is dead, only in action can we take risks. It's only when we do something we wouldn't do without faith that our faith is made manifest.

Risk is

  • stepping out of the boat
  • going to a gentile's house
  • forgiving those who have trespassed against us
  • inviting the left out, unpopular to a party
  • raising kids, or in my case kid
  • ....

add to the risk is list in the comments.


Monday, November 18, 2002

Mike's Spot On The Wall
  • A New Song:
    I wrote a song last weekend and I wanted to share it
    My wife and I both struggle with depression and my Wednesday morning prayer group encouraged me to write a song.
    This is what came out:
    He Collects Your Tears

    I see you struggling with your burden.
    Where will you find comfort? When will it end?

    You wonder how you can continue, how can you go on?
    There is this crushing weight and it's pressing down.


    He collects your tears in a bottle
    A man of sorrows well acquainted with grief
    He's never far from the broken hearted.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.

    They tell you to get up again, but your strength is gone
    Then He gently reminds you that you're not alone,


    He collects your tears in a bottle
    A man of sorrows well acquainted with grief
    He's never far from the broken hearted.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.

    He collects your tears in a bottle
    A man of sorrows well acquainted with grief
    He's never far from the broken hearted.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.
    Someday He'll wipe away every tear.

Mike's Walk
  • God's Pen:
    God must have been writing His word on my heart (Hebrews 8:10) because I didn't go out of my way to quote scripture on that song and yet there's quite a bit in it. So let's have a look:
    • He collects your tears in a bottle - Psalms 56:8
      You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
    • A man of sorrows well acquainted with grief - Isaiah 53:3
      He was despised and rejected--a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.
    • He's never far from the broken hearted - Psalms 34:18
      The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.
    • Someday He'll wipe away every tear - Revelation 7:17
      For the Lamb who stands in front of the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe away all their tears."

Sunday, November 17, 2002

oh yeah almost forgot, 34 km to go, though I need to get a new helmet before I can do any more.

Things break, yes when we use them,
bones ache, as time goes on...
-Elim Hall

I've had that tune running trough my head today. I've been having trouble with things breaking as of late. Last night was game night, a semi regular event with my circle of friends, we had ~15 guys here last night to play video games and my PS2 went of the Fritz just as we were setting up. Ryan brought his xbox and we had another PS2 that we projected up on the wall, but still how totally frustrating! This is the third PS2 I've had go on me. So the extended warranty in this case is well worth it. The games are great, the controllers rock, but the quality of the disk player has been horrible. Sony can't seem to build a disk player that lasts more than nine months. Grrr...

A week ago, biking to work I hit some ice in fish creek and wiped out. No damage done, I just got up and moved on. When I got to work I found that my Handspring Visor had a permanent grey spot in the middle of the screen. It's been getting worse, like a crack in a windshield that spreads over time.

My worst experience though was on Friday, after a long week I was able to leave work early and decided to do some riding in Fish Creek. I was on some very icy single track I had goten off to walk that section, I slipped and lost my footing, ended up sliding down the bank toward the creek head first on my back. I stopped when my head hit a tree. My bike helmet was cracked, but better it than my head.

It was dark by the time I got home but I feeling lucky to be alive, and no damage done to the new bike. I checked my necklace that I always wear, it has my cross and my wedding ring on it. The the cross and ring we gone, just the leather string was left. It's funny how attached to things we become, in this case the two symbols that remind me of what I care about, of what are important to me were gone.

So to sum up, my neck and back are sore from slamming into a tree, the ring that was a cherished gift from my wife is lost, and with it the wooden cross I wore for the last ten years is gone, and I can't even take out my frustrations by blowing things up in virtual fire fight.

Oh Lord why?


Friday, November 15, 2002

It was my 24th birthday last weekend (nov 9) and one of the gifts I received was a hooded sweatshirt. Pinned to it was a sticker that says crossfader. I had no idea what this meant. At first I thought maybe it was a skate or snowboard company or a band. I still don't what it's referring to. I later discovered that "The DJ mixer crossfader was originally developed as a control for implementing smooth fades from one program source to another". As I thought about the word crossfader I started to think that the Cross, that is supposed to give us hope, does seem to be fading. In a world that is filled with so many other things that we can preoccupy ourselves with, why look to the cross? The cross hasn't faded completely though. It can still be found around the necks of some of out favorite musicians and actors. The cross is no longer the place where Christ was hung to take on the sins of the world. The cross is now a cool piece of jewelry, or a nifty tattoo. However, when you look at the word crossfader in relation to the DJ mixer crossfader it applies to how we should live as Christians. I don't believe that we should flip our "Christian switch" on and off depending on where we are. A lot of us turn on the switch when we go to church or are with our Christian friends and for some reason switch it off afterwards. This shouldn't happen. We should be able to move smoothly from one scenario to another, living as completely sold out Christians.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

could not pass this up.

The final book of Narnia, you're a sometimes disturbing story about the end of the world and the beginning of a new one. Your characters include an evil monkey, a misguided donkey, stubborn dwarves and all the human characters from the previous books. You manage to be heartbreaking and beautiful at once.

Find out which Chronicles of Narnia book you are.

as seen on My World as it is Sung

if you like puzzel games like Tetris, check out Diamon Mine.


Tuesday, November 12, 2002

More Star Wars Adds

Passage To Alderaan: Ten thousand, all in advance.
Used XP-34 Landspeeder: Two thousand.
Reward To Rescue Princess: More wealth than you can imagine.
That look on her face after you've blown up the Death Star: PRICELESS

- TheForce.Net

you've seen the ads right? With Tony Hawk and Ellen Feiss.

now checkout with Anakin.
Link via Dispatches From Outland

Can a Saul/Paul ad be far behind? ?


42 km to go ....


Monday, November 11, 2002

The Dorcus Fund - Ellen is raising money for a Car for the EUS staff in Bosnia.

I want this car to be a blessing and to help further the ministry of EUS. I want Enisa to use it to travel to other university towns, for NeŇ°o to get home to Stolac for the weekend. I want to use it for emergency airport or bus station trips, and for emergency ice cream trips. I want it for taking students to conferences, and for getting to conferences myself. I want to call the car "Dorcas" after its namesake in Acts 9, the woman who was known for helping and "always doing good".

Something to think about.


How to turn off Windows Messenger Service.

Yup I got hit with this type of spam so I just turned off Windows Messenger Service.


Friday, November 08, 2002

Just found out I did not get that contract that I interviewed for last week. So it looks like bench time for me in December.

Mean Dean takes aim at Canada.

only 63 km to go...


Thursday, November 07, 2002

Mike's Spot On The Wall
  • Reading, birthdays, and music:
    I'm re-reading "The Jesus I Never Knew" by Philip Yancey. I like Philip's honesty as he wrestles with the same questions we never want to admit we ask.
    My family is having a mega-birthday bash this weekend. My mother, grandmother, and I are all November birthdays so we are going to have one giant hoot.
    The music club at my college is moving in some interesting directions. The Christian bunch of us are thinking of putting some modern praise and worship together after the Christmas break. I'm looking forward to it. It's been a long time since I played with other Christians.
Mike's Walk
  • The spirit enters a prayer meeting:
    On Wednesday morning our prayer group met at one of our members new place of work. Gary's new shop had yet to open for business (in fact the contractor had to let us in because Gary didn't have the keys yet). We gathered in a circle and placed our hands on Gary and his family as we prayed. Our prayers turned to singing and our singing turned to joyous fellowship. It was a great time.
    Thank you Jesus for being there and helping us pray and for giving us a glimpse of you.

    The verse that goes with it I found in Job of all places:
    Job 33:26
    "when they pray, God will answer; they will worship God with joy; God will set things right for them again."

According to The Numbers, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie is in the black. So far it's made 21,621,641 US$. That covers the 14 000 000 production budget and the 7 000 000 prints and advertising budget. So it looks like Jonah won't sink Big Idea after all.


Wednesday, November 06, 2002

only 84 km to go...

Wendy asks "What can you say to top Buddy Jesus?" Nothing I could say could top that, but have you seen Cheesus?

That's 11" x 20" of pure Velveeta folks. The artist is Jonathan Truch, he's a 2002 grad from the Alberta College of Art & Design.


Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Tonight on IdeaJoy, cool news and a confession.

cool news: I'm the proud owner of a new brodie Kinetic mountain bike. I'd provide a direct like but brodie bikes likes flash, so look under the lightning series. This is a very sweet ride, I rode it for the first time tonight. Winter night riding is fun, cause the ice is much harder to see :) I got a great deal on this bike as it's end of season, and because I cracked the frame on my previous brodie. It had a ten year warranty on the frame and was only 4 years old. brodie would have replaced the frame, but then I'd have a new frame with worn out parts, so I suggested they give me a deal on a bike an they did. For about what I paid for my last bike, I got a much sweeter ride :) The guys at work are jealous.

confession: I still haven't made my 1000 km goal for the year. I last posted about riding back on August 1st. I was at 720 for the year. I'm now at 891 in November. Sad I know, but I have a list of lame excuses:

  • beginning of August was cold and wet, we even had snow!
  • Mid august I was on vacation and did only 30 km that week. Why kill yourself on vacation? And Revelstoke being in the mountains is all hills, so that's like work!
  • End of August I was on the bench, that is not billable, that is doing research from home. I would have ridden from the bed room to the basement, but Kim wouldn't let me. It's not that far any-ways. So yeah I'm lazy, if I'm not going somewhere when I'm ridding I find it way too easy to put off.
  • September – still not billable, and had minor foot surgery, so there was a good 5 weeks where I couldn't bike
  • October - decide it's time to finish of my last 160 km or so, but crack my frame. Actually I'm pretty sure it cracked while I did my big 10 km of off roading in Revelstoke but it wasn't noticeable for awhile.

So that brings me to November with a new bike and as of tonight, 109 kms to go :) Right now we've got some nice weather, hope it holds otherwise I'll be biking in blizzards, cause I'm going to do this before 2003 rolls around.


Sunday, November 03, 2002

My Mom was in town and we all went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding last night. We all laughed. Kim cried. She cries at wedding and movies, so a movie about a wedding, it a sinch she's going to cry. It's nice to see a good movie can still be made on modest budget. 5 million for production, 19 million for prints and advertising. So far it's made ~184 million in the USA.

One of the running jokes in movie is the dad explaining how every word comes from Greek. Asked by one of the kids how the word "kimono" comes from the Greek, he replies that

"kimono" comes from the greek word for winter "kimona", and what do you wear in winter? A robe! hence komono!

That's probably not an exact quote, but you get the idea. This bit was made even funnier for me as I had a Greek taxi driver passionately explain how all technology was really Greek because it had Greek names. Tele being Greek for far, so telephone, television, and telegraph were all Greek.

Being a passionate Canadian I of course need to point out that the star and writer for the movie, Nia Vardalos is a Canadian. has an interview with Nia Vardalos, which explains how the movie got made.


Friday, November 01, 2002

The image on the left if from the Canadian War Posters web site. In Canada Remembrance Day is November the 11th.