Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Bene Diction has moved again, the new url is http://benedictionblogson.com/. Looks like this will be home for awhile.

From Dave Barry Year in Review

the most poignant quote from all of 2002: ''I want to focus on my salad.''

Yep that's a good one.

Thanks Ian.


Sunday, December 29, 2002

Bene Diction has a new home. http://benediction.webhop.org/. I talked with Bene on the phone today, it was very cool. And I'm not just saying that beacause of some nice things BD said in his first post at the new site.

Update this is now out of date he's moved to http://benedictionblogson.com/.
Bene, if you read this send me an email, I'd love to hear from you. You're in my prayers.


Monday, December 23, 2002

Merry Christmas

The is image is Festival of Lights by John August Swanson, click for a larger image

I'll be away for a bit so the latest WLW results will have to do till I get back.

My to do list for when I get back.

  • fix the blog within a blog bug in WLW
  • add features to track new links and de-links in WLW
  • start collecting latst updated headers from the HTTP protocol ant start creating some aggregate RSS feeds for Mean Dean.
  • deal with the fact that I will have turned 32.
  • get caught up on some overdue posts:

    • Surprised by Joy: CS Lewis as member of tribe Geek.
    • The Bible – a review.


Sunday, December 22, 2002

Richard Bott has written three poems,

Christus Natus est... secundus
Christus Natus est...tertius
Christus natus est...quartus

though I had to punch Christus Natus est into google to before it dawned on me what was going on. Yup I can be dense.

I love the ambiguity of the male character in the secundus poem. Is he a preditor or protector? From this perspective we just don't know. Thought provoking and beautiful, well worth a read.

I'm just a sucker for Canadian pop culture.

What Jones Soda Flavor are you? by: Dannielle Albert. As seen on The Riehl World

I've been a Jones Soda fan since they were just a local drink in Vancouver.

Stryper has a website. stryper.com. I guess their slogan could be: reaching the youth of the 80's today. And yes I used to listent to them.


Saturday, December 21, 2002

Christmas is bitter sweet, it's been that way from the begining.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."

The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."

Luke 2: 25-35

I'm preparing a Sunday School lesson on this theme, cause I know for most of my class it will be a rough Christmas, two are in families that have split this year, and another's Dad has cancer.


Friday, December 20, 2002

I'm on Vaction! I don't go back to work till next year! now if I can just get my Christmas stuff done.

My wallpaper.


Wednesday, December 18, 2002

It's been a good week for New Brunswick pride, First Bene raves about Brunswick Sheets, and then we find out that Mean Dean likes Moosehead. While I'm on a roll I might as well point out that New Brunswick is home to SABIAN Cymbals as well.


Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution
by Tim O'Reilly

Tim shares 7 lessons about Piracy and Online Distribution:

Lesson 1: Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy.
Lesson 2: Piracy is progressive taxation
Lesson 3: Customers want to do the right thing, if they can.
Lesson 4: Shoplifting is a bigger threat than piracy.
Lesson 5: File sharing networks don't threaten book, music, or film publishing. They threaten existing publishers.
Lesson 6: "Free" is eventually replaced by a higher-quality paid service
Lesson 7: There's more than one way to do it.

Thanks Karl, well worth the read.

I'm reading, Hudson Taylor in the Early Years, the Growth of a Soul, by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor. It was a gift from my grandparents over 12 years ago, I've just started reading it. First edition was in 1911, the copy I have is from 1940.


Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Dougie was 'gifted' at collecting the offering.

Hmmm, I wonder if that's why I'm on the collection team at church?


Monday, December 16, 2002

Surgery under review after metal object left inside woman
- CBC news

from the story

The retractor is two inches in width and 13 inches in length

ouch. Truth is stranger than urban ledgend.

The Woman and the Dragon

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short."

When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
-Revelation 12

I wish we used this chapter more at Christmas, it's a nice counterbalance to the sometimes overdone cuteness of Christmas pageants, music and nativity scenes. It places Christ's birth at the very center of the cosmic battle between good and evil.


Friday, December 13, 2002

Mike's Spot On The Wall
  • The Joy Of Work:
    It's great to have a job that I really enjoy. There's been a lot to do lately (which sort of explains my not posting in a while). But it's been a great blessing to get up and look forward to going to work.
  • Looking Forward To The Holiday:Christmas is great for me. I was pretty Grinchy about it for a long time but then I found my own joy. I don't know how I had forgotten what Christmas was for but I had. I was depressed by the commercialism and the trend away from Christ as the central theme of the season. These things have not really changed or improved but I found a quiet inner joy knowing that He came.
Mike's Walk
  • Hunting For The Supernatural:
    I was feeling down trying to find evidence in my life of late of His power at work in me. Unsatisfied with who I was and how my walk was going, I prayed for quite awhile about it. After a while realized I was trying to twist God's arm to do things in a way that met with my approval instead of recognizing the work He was doing. I was reminded He frequently doesn't show His power in a way that humans understand. What He requires of me is not that I be a spiritual superman but that I do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with Him. It's not about gaining power but about laying down my rights, my strength and my life that He might live in me more fully.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

The image is "The Great Catch" by John August Swanson. It's used on the cover of the Latino Heritage Bible. I just thought it was a fantastic work of art.

Thanks to Rudy and Nydia for introducing me to John August Swanson.


Over-reliance on the system, of course, is characteristic of modernity in its mistaken belief that the perfect programming will yield its perfect result.

when the church is its own worst enemy by Stephen Shields

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

What Ever Happened To Quality? - The Daily Aardvark
Some notes on WLW,

There is a bug that is counting all the links to the multiple blogs at under one entry at http://www.hornes.org/ that meansCogito Ergo Blog gets listed first. I fixed a bug in my duplicate detection code that was excluding some of the blogs at http://www.hornes.org/ so if they get some extra exposure while I fix this bug, I figure I owe them.

The ranking is not my main focus, the name is Who Links Who because that's what I'm interested in. The ranking is a by product and as people can see what links make up that number I expect people to make their own judgment's on what that number is worth.

Yesterday HNBP toped the ranking at 372, because someone added 300+ links on their blog to prove that would send HNBP to the top of the chart. As we say in the software biz "That's not a bug it's a feature." The person in question has removed the 300+ links to HNBP so things should be back to normal with the next run of WLW. I could add code to try and filter out extream cases such as this, but I don't want to focus on the ranking of blogs, it's just not a big deal to me.

I know the title Who Links Who makes our inner Grammar Nazis go nuts. I'm ok with that.

The titles for blogs in WLW come from the entry at blogs4God, if you'd like to update it contact one of the team there. They are all nice people, though Mean Dean may look at you funny if you wear a powder blue helmet.


Tuesday, December 10, 2002

/. poll: Most Deadly Sin?

Jesus in space!

In the Future, We'll All Be Harry Potter

Jakob Nielsen makes some predictions on next generation tech so advanced it will seem like magic. He also takes a shot a poorly designed tech.

Designers who inflict poor usability on the world and its Muggles are wicked wizards indeed.

Watched A Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday, haven't watched the whole thing in a long time. I was moved, am I a complete sap? Picked up the Sound track yesterday at lunch, it's wonderful. I now have three Christmas CD's that I love.

Christmas - Bruce Cockburn
The Court of a King: A Celtic Christmas Celebration – The Crossing
A Charlie Brown Christmas – Soundtrack

Some nasty name calling over four Canadians who are going to Iraq as volunteer "human shields". What seems to escaped the name callers is that

  • Canada is a free democracy, if some of our people want to act as cannon fodder they are free to do so.
  • A much larger group of American cannon fodder/peace activits that the four Canadians are joining.

Seems to be a case of being American First, thinking latter. And no that doesn't reflect on all Americans, Junk Yard Blog and and Hoystory were able to report the story without trashing Canadians, but Scrapple Face, ETC. and The Concervative Journal fell short of the mark.

- Peace

Sunday, December 08, 2002

If the tender yearning is gone from the advent hope today, there must be a reason for it; and I think I know what it is, or what they are, for there are a number of them. One is simply that popular fundamentalist theology has emphasized the utility of the cross rather than the beauty of the one who died on it. The saved man's relation to Christ has been made contractual instead of personal. The "work" of Christ has been stressed until it has eclipsed the person of Christ. Substitution has been allowed to supersede identification. What he did for me seems to be more important than what He is to me. Redemption is seen as an across-the-counter transaction which we "accept", and the whole thing lacks emotional content. We must love someone very much to stay awake and long for his coming, and that may explain the absence of power in the advent hope even among those who still believe in it.

- Excerpt from A. W. Tozer

Small personal connection: when my dad was a young man working in Toronto he spent some time as A. W. Tozer's driver. Mr Tozer had agreed to do some preaching for my dad's church, but only if someone could drive him and my dad volunteered.


Saturday, December 07, 2002

GeekMaids.Com - Creating order out of chaos. Cleaning and Beyond!

I am not making this up.


I think code is like a sonnet
- Alison, Quantum Tea

I think she’s right. Though I can’t remember writing a sonnet, so it’s not like I’m an expert.


Never underestimate the ability of otherwise clear-thinking men to take the most meaningless outward sign of holiness and build a monument to it.

What Would Jesus Hate? by Joe Bob Briggs, Thanks Jordon.


Friday, December 06, 2002

Innocence and Experience, Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets a review by Mike Hertenstein

In my reading of spiritual masters, I have noticed that persons we now view as saintly have a finely calibrated sense of sin. Aware of God's ideal, aspiring to holiness, free of the vanity and defensiveness that blind most people, they live in full awareness of falling short. Thomas Merton makes this point in an odd comparison between Adolf Hitler and Theresa of Avila:

Saint Theresa thinks everybody is the same as she is because we are all sinners. Hitler thinks everybody is different from him, because they are, some of them less pure, some of them less noble, some of them less intelligent, some of them less beautiful, all of them less godlike, all of them less perfect. It is the Hitlers who think they are perfect—because nobody else thinks so. It is the saints who know they are not perfect, although sometimes other people say of them that they are saints: the saints themselves know themselves only as sinners, liable to lose their love and the sight of Christ through a movement of impatience or selfishness or pride.

True saints do not get discouraged over their faults, for they recognize that a person who feels no guilt can never find healing. Paradoxically, neither can a person who wallows in guilt. The sense of guilt only serves its designed purpose if it presses us toward the God who promises forgiveness and restoration.

Philip Yancey, Guilt Good and Bad, The early warning signs.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Been having fun with The Advertising Slogan Generator. Modified a couple to make them fit the blog culture.

  • With A Name Like IdeaJoy, It Has To Be Good.
  • The Best Part of Waking Up is IdeaJoy on your blog roll.
  • IdeaJoy-Fiskin' Good.
  • Come See the Blogger Side of Ideajoy.
  • Doing It Right Before Your IdeaJoy.
  • Any Time, Any Place, IdeaJoy.
  • IdeaJoy Saves Your Soul - um no, but we know someone who can.
  • The Curiously Strong IdeaJoy.
  • Built IdeaJoy Tough.

Behold the Power of Mr. Wright!


Wednesday, December 04, 2002

because you can program well or poorly, and because most of it is creative (in that we don't really know what we're doing when we start out), my view is that we should train developers the way we train creative people like poets and artists

- The Poetry of Programming an interview with Richard Gabriel, Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems
For those of you on the blogs4God list who use frames in your blogs, you'll be glad to know your links are now being counted in Who Links Who. I added the upgrade when Rudy's links to IdeaJoy from UrbanOnRamps.com didn't show up in IdeaJoy's WLW entry. So now I check for frames and parse them as well. There's still some issues to work out, but it's an improvement.


Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Life of St. Francis by Giotto di Bondone is a collection of twenty eight paintings of the good monk's life. Five paintings with selected text about St. Francis are online. The art work is wonderful, and the selections thoughtful. This on a page about: St. Francis, Burning Bright, a program on the life of St. Francis that was broadcast by Ideas.


Stroke the ego

This morning, on the c-train a woman commented that I read good books. I’m reading Surprised by Joy, she mentioned that last time she saw me I was reading the Hobbit, that would have been last year, good memory. On top of that, Rudy Carrasco thinks I’m super cool. Not bad for Tuesday.


Monday, December 02, 2002

Saw Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Saturday. Reviews abound, so I don't feel a burning need for another one. One thing I do want to share, HP & tCoS gave me a new appreciation of Fellowship of the Rings. Both are adaptations of books too large for one movie. In FotR they dealt with this challenge by chopping out large sections of the book, combining characters and focusing on one or two aspects of the story. By chopping out whole sections what was left was given a great treatment, sometimes even expanding on the book.

In tCos they reduce all of the secondary elements but don't chop much out. We get little glimses of things that didn't add much to the story. Near the beginning Harry takes a wrong turn and ends up in the shady part of Diagon Ally. In the book this moves the story ahead as Harry overhears Draco Malfoy and his father talking. However in the movie, we just get a glimpse of some unsavory Wizzards and Witches, not much of point to the wrong turn. It does show us that Harry still isn't at home in the magical world, but when dealing with so much material you've got to double up, move the story and develop character all at the same time.

The challenge of having too much material won't get easier, the third book is longer than the first two and the goblet of fire is almost twice as long as the third.

Santa Lives Here

or at least his email server does. According to Wired News in Dear Santa: You've Got E-Mail, the best web site for getting email to Santa is EmailSanta.com, based right here in Calgary.


PS in case you're wondering we've told our daughter Santa is a game since she was two.