Friday, January 31, 2003

Yup, we all crave affirmation. Hug a geek today.

The Jamaican Bobsled Team has a web site. Yes, I did just watch Cool Runnings, why?


Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Cool, I'm the only person to misspell 'blogssphere' on the web!

The New York Times identifies Vaclav Havel as "a playwright and a humanist first", even though his faith is well known. Bias? What bias? Despite that over simplification, the article Exit Havel, to Muted Applause From Czechs is worth the read. This section caught my attention.

When he first came to office, for example, he gave amnesty to a large portion of Czechoslovakia's prison population, ordinary prisoners and political prisoners alike. The move was consistent with the concept of a fresh start for a new democracy, and with Mr. Havel's own years as a prisoner. But he has continued to issue presidential pardons — of a woman who murdered her own child, for example — without explaining them, and that has alienated many Czechs.

One family has even filed suit with the United Nations, alleging that Mr. Havel's pardon of a drunken driver who killed their son was a violation of their human rights.

Two things strike me, first the obvious comparison with G.W. Bush's unblemished record of pardons while Governor of Texas. The second is that mercy always scandalizes those who feel no need for it.

Thanks to Sainteros for pointing out the article.

- Peace

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Just finished Eugene H. Perterson’s Leap Over a Wall. The book is a set of reflections on the life of David. In the final chaper, Death, Perterson writes:

Those who take a firm and prayerful stance against the removal of limits know what they’re doing: ridding our selves of inconvenient lives that seem to interfere with our living results not in more life for us, but less.

In the footnotes he adds:

Abortion at one end the spectrum, euthanasia at the other and murder anywhere in between are the commonest attempts at this “removal of limitations,” but there seems to be plenty of other ways to accomplish the same thing through both subtle and blatant specices of abandonment, abuse, desertion and avoidance.


Sunday, January 26, 2003

For Mike: Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under, and anyone else who loves pun-ishment.

Laugh Out Loud - Portraits of Mr. Wright.


Thursday, January 23, 2003

Today's Dave proverb:

Real Life gets in the way of blogging.

It's true.


Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Caught a good chunk of Buffyworld on Ideas last night. The web page summary of Buffyworld is a good intro into the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Thoughts to follow.


Monday, January 20, 2003

Learned a new word today:


adj : (informal terms) small and of little importance; "a fiddling sum of money"; "a footling gesture"; "our worries are lilliputian compared with those of countries that are at war"; "a little (or small) matter"; "a dispute over niggling details"; "limited to petty enterprises"; "piffling efforts"; "giving a police officer a free meal may be against the law, but it seems to be a picayune infraction"

Read "Bush, Sr." for "Bilbo" and "Saddam" for "Gollum"


Sunday, January 19, 2003

Thousands pray for peace in downtown Seoul

SEOUL - Tens of thousands of Koreans rallied in downtown Seoul on Sunday, to pray for peace and to support the U.S. military presence in South Korea.

Put together by the General Association of Christian Organizations, the demonstration called for the United States to find a peaceful solution to the crisis surrounding North Korea's nuclear programs.

The protesters sang along to gospel music, waved U.S. and South Korean flags, and carried placards declaring, "Korea and U.S. are blood brothers."


Saturday, January 18, 2003

"[Mircrosoft's] accumulation [$43.4 billion] is almost world record, and it's getting embarrassing,"

Ralph Nader from the Wired News article Microsoft Reverses on Dividends


Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Sally Anne Sk8 Church!. Story via ChristDot.

Frodo Failed?


Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Bad Hair - the book by Mark Rahner. See sample pics! As seen on Thunderstruck.


It's hard to get over the disappointment that God, having made an exception in my case, doesn't call nice people to repentance.

Eugene H. Peterson, Leap Over A Wall

Monday, January 13, 2003

Have you heard the inspiring story of the twenty six angles that protected a missionary because twenty six men in Michigan prayed? I have, it's been read in my church twice. It appears in the book: Minute Meditations for Couples by Bob and Emilie Barnes. A woman on our worship team owns a copy and has read it in church as part of the the service. It's a great story. Problem is, it isn't true.

And that's too bad cause it makes people, well me at least, cynical about great stories like the ones Mike shared. One we know is true, cause Mike knows the woman, but the other I doubt simply because of the number of other "spiritual stories" that turned out to be junk.

I think we tend to like stories that agree with how we see the world and reserve our critical thinking for things we don't like. I'm not sure that's a healthy habit, it leaves open to all sorts of charlatans. Consider some of the stories told by WorldCom Executives for example. Lots of people wanted to believe that the net was doubling every three months, it made the Internet bubble easy to justify, but in the end it just turned out to be a nice sounding story, that cost investors billions.

What gets me about the 26 angles story is it's often used as an example of how important it is to yield the spirit urging us to pray. Why is it that these people who imply every Christian should be tuned in to God enough to know exactly when to pray for people half way around the world, aren't tuned in to the Spirit of Truth enough to see a hoax right in front of them?


PS How I know it isn't true

The time lines just don't add up. Most of Michigan is in the Eastern Time Zone, (GMT – 5h). Central Africa Time is GMT + 2. So at 6:00 (am) in most of Michigan it is 13:00(1 pm) in Africa, give or take an hour if you are in East Africa or West Africa. That's not the middle of the night as the story claims. There is exactly one verifiable fact in the story and it's completely off.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

On Sept. 11, 2001, as 3,000 people died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, [Tony Compolo] said 30,000 children died the same day of hunger or a disease related to malnutrition, just as they do every day.

Point of life is not to get more stuff by Cynthia J. Drake
as seen on Thunderstruck.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Friday, January 10, 2003

Scott Adams has been having fun with Extreme Programming the last couple of days. Today's strip illustrated what happens when you don't get customer buy in on the XP process: Give me all my features or I'll ruin your life!

I've talked to a number of developers and some management types who have claimed to have tried XP yet when I've ask how the business handled making choices between features, I get blank stares. The hardest part of XP, and Agile in general seems to be getting business buy in. I've raised the point with Martin Fowler and Ken Schwaber, and they agree it's a definite challenge. There was talk of Fowler and Schwaber doing a book aimed at PMs and MBAs, using a publisher like HBS Press, to get the attention of the PM and MBA community, but I haven't heard anything about it for quite some time.

Anyone else had fun explaining XP to business people or watching the wreck when they are left out of the picture?


Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Mikes Spot On The Wall
  • Jonah Is Awesome
    I saw Jonah and I was very impressed. I was in a blah mood going in (something I seem to get every holiday season), but I was feeling much better when I came out. What did I like best? They got the theme right. Almost every time I've seen the story of Jonah done for kids they seem to make the theme obedience (or else a big fish will come along and eat you…). Now Jonah's disobedience and it's consequence is definitely a part of the story, but the whole reason Jonah ran away and the lesson God is trying to teach him (and us) is that He is a God of compassion, mercy, and love. I hope to see more Veggie Tales movies in the future.
Mike's Walk
  • When it seems dark.
    In our prayer meeting this morning two stories were related from people who experienced God's blessing in the midst of unusual circumstances.
    1. The bible came back: Alice is an awesome Christian in our congregation. She leads a couple ministries, bible studies, and helps out around the church with every event we have. One evening on the way to our church for a bible study she put her bible on the roof of her car and drove off forgetting it was there. The bible stayed for quite a ways but fell off on the highway coming into town about 2 miles out near an industrial park. She was frantic that she lost her bible of course. It had all her notes and highlights from various classes and courses. A man out of his luck was walking along the highway at night and tripped over the large bible. Picking it up he looked for someplace to take it to. He saw the industrial park and went over to see if someone there knew who's it was. A pastor of a tiny church in the park was also walking around praying over the area. The man showed him the bible and they began talking. The man received Christ and when they looked inside the bible they found Alice's name and number. Alice got her bible back and the kingdom grew by a soul because she lost it.
    2. A pair of glasses: A church was making boxes to send to an impoverished part of the world. One of the workers put his glasses in his shirt pocket while he was working and then at the end of the day after they had packed many dozen boxes and sent them off he realized he no longer had his glasses. He of course was very upset and angry because he was getting along in years and it was difficult for him to afford a new pair. Sometime later a missionary from the country they had sent the boxes to came to his church to talk about what God was doing there. He thanked the congregation for all the supplies they sent but most especially for the pair of glasses. "They fit my face and they were just my prescription too. I had been praying for a pair of glasses and God answered my prayer." The man moved to tears confessed to the missionary his anger now turned to joy over the glasses he had lost.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

so the buzz in the offfice today was that I got fired.


grapefruit grapefruit, unchain the hot petunia.


Monday, January 06, 2003

William Gibson has new web site, It's creation is tied to his new book Pattern Recognition. Gibson is credited with coining the term Cyberspace, helping create the cyberpunk motif and predicting elements of net culture years before they manifested themselves on the web. Pattern Recognition is set in the present, departing from Gibson's near future dystopias, but net culture still plays a big role. In the excerpt from the book two major characters are introduced in part by Google.

Google Damien and you will find a director of music videos and commercials. Google Cayce and you will find "coolhunter," and if you look closely you may see it suggested that she is a "sensitive" of some kind, a dowser in the world of global marketing.

Instead of predicting net culture, Gibson is drawing from it, should be interesting. Gibson is also keeping a blog, hope it lasts longer than the book promotion budget. As seen on /.

I'd like to thanks Josh for nominating IdeaJoy for a blogie as Best Canadian Blog. He posted it a and It provided quite the traffic spike and made my day. Thanks Josh, that was very kind of you.


Saturday, January 04, 2003

Ideas that Should Have Grown Into Articles

Sorry to Dave for my erratic presence; the busy fall included a new puppy, new job for my wife, 12-hour work days, 2 weeks in Europe, a bad car accident, a busy handbell choir, and more, and as a result creative writing got turfed. But I came across a number of items that would have made interesting postings. Like:

  • The December issue of Wired magazine with stories on the meeting of science/technology and religion/theology.

  • MyLifeBits
  • , an initiative suggesting digital immortality, and the interesting questions it raises about completeness, privacy, interaction and reflection vs human memory, ditto for whose lifebits of a given event is "true", and other fun questions for those spare brain cycles
  • The privacy / security questions around TCPA / Palladium


"Does Jesus love Silicon Valley?"

On a mission of hope, Pat Robertson will come to Palo Alto to hold a prayer vigil for the return of the market for high-end Cisco routers. Thousands of still-unemployed Internet marketing executives will show up to network with each other.

- Salon's top 10 technology and business predictions for 2003

Friday, January 03, 2003

I'm away from my home machine, so no new WLW results till Sunday.

“Brevity is achieved by selection rather than compression.”
-- Donald M. Murray

Is the opening quote in an article about editing. Since bloggers tend to be their own edditors I figure we could all use the help.

Surgery Without Pain: A Tale of Revision.

Good article, though they could use some work on their article titles.

As seen on


Thursday, January 02, 2003

Best or Worst 80's Flashback Picture?

- Peace
A couple of aticles on the theme of calling. The first from Fast Company: What Should I Do With My Life? By Po Bronson

[the] fantasy: Put your calling in a lockbox, go out and make a ton of money, and then come back to the lockbox to pick up your calling where you left it.

It turns out that having the Financial independence to walk away rarely triggers people to do just that. The reality is, making money is such hard work that it changes you. It takes twice as long as anyone plans for. It requires more sacrifices than anyone expects. You become so emotionally invested in that world -- and psychologically adapted to it -- that you don't really want to ditch it.

Good News Magazine has What is Your Calling? By Os Guinness

Our primary calling as followers of Christ is by him, to him, and for him. First and foremost we are called to Someone (God), not to something (such as motherhood, politics, or teaching) or to somewhere (such as the inner city or outer Mongolia).

Our secondary calling, considering who God is as sovereign, is that everyone, everywhere, and in everything should think, speak, live, and act entirely for him. We can therefore properly say as a matter of secondary calling that we are called to homemaking or to the practice of law or to art history. But these and other things are always the secondary, never the primary calling. They are “callings” rather than the “calling.” They are our personal answer to God’s address, our response to God’s summons. Secondary callings matter, but only because the primary calling matters most.

thanks to Paradox1x and Thuderstruck for the great links.


Wednesday, January 01, 2003

Going to start 2003 by knocking something off my to do list, I'll pick a quick one: review the Bible.

I'll give the Bible 7 out 10. I'm sure you're aware of the many virtues of the good book, so let's see where it misses the mark. It's been a best seller forever, and as any arty reviewer knows, if it's popular it can't be that good. Though we can take consolation in knowing it's better than the Ikea Catalog. And just to prove the point it's never once won an artistic award. Not that I checked, but I'm sure I would have heard. Let's just admit it's not Booker Prize material. And finally, not one single mention of Canada. Not even in Revelation, which as one in four Americans will tell you is all about the United States of America.

Irony off. Reviewing the Bible would be a huge task to do well or it would come out as parody, but I would like to share some thought on the format of the Bible I just finished reading. A couple of weeks ago I finished New Living Translation in The One Year Bible format. The One Year Bible divides the bible into 365 readings. Each day you advance through the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. Mixing the Old Testament and New Testament was a profound experience for me. Let me give you a recent example.

In the reading for December 20th I read:

Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, "Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers. But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations.

Revelation 11:1-2

this passage didn't mean much to me until the next day I read Zechariah

When I looked around me again, I saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. "Where are you going?" I asked.

He replied, "I am going to measure Jerusalem, to see how wide and how long it is."

Then the angel who was with me went to meet a second angel who was coming toward him. The other angel said, "Hurry, and say to that young man, `Jerusalem will someday be so full of people that it won't have room enough for everyone! Many will live outside the city walls, with all their livestock--and yet they will be safe. For I, myself, will be a wall of fire around Jerusalem, says the LORD. And I will be the glory inside the city!' "

Zechariah 2:1-5

And then the lights when on, I got shivers, I was in awe, John measuring the temple could be an echo of the measuring in Zechariah. Did it also imply an echo of the promise? Would the Temple of God "be so full of people that it won't have room enough for everyone!" It was a moment of wonder and discovery, one that I wouldn't have found reading strait through the Bible in the traditional fashion. if you're looking to read through the Bible, I'd recoment the One Year Bible. There is also a Two Year Bible available.

In the interest of full disclosure it took me about 4 years to work through the One Year Bible. So there you go, I'm about 25% effective at doing daily Bible reading.