Sunday, October 31, 2004

Europe Hates Bush?

Thanks to Rudy for this link. According to this blog on German politics, Germany's largest newspaper has endorsed, are you ready for this, BUSH for US president! Check out the ten reasons behind the endorsement! I'm shocked and amazed! I've been leaning toward Bush, but haven't made a final decision. This piece, though, is a stunner!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

One of those Kid Sayings

We got home today and Nathan desperately wanted to go to the hobby shop. We decided to drop off Jill and Isaac and then I took Nathan to the hobby shop. As we were pulling out of the driveway he asked if he'd be able to play with the trains at the hobby shop. I told him that he sure could. He responded, "That makes me a very happy little boy...a very happy little BIG boy!" Oh yeah, that's my boy!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Computer fun for another year

If you are concerned about security with your computer, here's a link for you. It's an interview with a leading computer security expert (Robert Graham). Some things are reassuring (hackers are only taking one step at a time rather than five or ten), some things are very worrisome (Voice over IP).

This article really points out the dangers of marketing the newest technology. VoIP is getting a ton of press and marketing, but Graham talks about how extremely dangerous it can be. Is your caller ID hacker proof? Yeah, right. As technology companies start doing more marketing of insecure services, you can bet that there will be a sharp rise in hacker related problems.

The first part of the article discusses trends in hacking. Notably in the change from prestige based hacking to profit based hacking. Anyway, good article. And yeah, I'm glad I have a Mac!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Cornerstone Fest

Wow, if there was any doubt about the prefered style of music at Cornerstone, one only needs to cruise over to the vote on what bands the fans want to see next year. Disciple, POD, Switchfoot, and Blindside take the top four spots. Lots of serious rock on the list, of many different types. Interesting is where some of the long time favorites are on the list. I've never seen Over the Rhine play in front of less than a packed out tent, and usually during the fireworks display, but they were way down on the list. Guess lots of teenagers take advantage of the online voting!

Getting Home

When I got home from work today, Nathan was excited to show me the new movie that he "got for you, daddy!" We sat together on the couch and watched his new Thomas the Tank Engine movie. After a couple minutes he looked over at me and said, "How was your day?" I laughed and said, "It was great. How was your day?" "It was a great day!" We proceeded to carry on a conversation for a couple minutes while enjoying our new movie. Just think, he'll finally be three years old next week!

All Bill Wanted was Email

I follow Bill Palmer's site semi-regularly. He's had a big hit on the Macweb today, though. Seems he finally sat down in front of a Windows machine to check his email. The rest, as they say, is history.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

CDW Trip

This morning I cruised in to the CDW warehouse in Vernon Hills, IL. It was HUGE (not as big as the IBM facility in Rochester, but little is)! I was picking up our new computer system for work, including a Mac for me! Anyway, as I was waiting for the order to appear, I wandered around the store there. An interesting thing that I noticed. All the people who complain about Apple's OS prices are speaking out of ignorance. Panther (Mac OS X) was listed at $110. Windows XP was $300. Red Hat Linux was $350. $350?!? So much for Open Source. OK, which would you prefer to buy? Maybe this is why Windows users don't actually buy new operating systems. They wait until their computer is dead and then get a new OS with the new computer.

Apple - iPod U2 Special Edition

Apple - iPod U2 Special Edition

Now is this cool or what?!?

256 mb Transflash Card

Hey, good news for my phone, according to Engadget, Sandisk has announced a new 256mb transflash card, which is the smallest memory card and is used in phones, specifically in my Moto v710! I'd been putting off getting a card. It's limited how many pictures I can keep on it, and I haven't even attempted to put on custom ring tones yet. Now I can get twice the size! WooHoo!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Economy and Abortion

Jordon Cooper posted an interesting observation from Glen Stassen. I highly recommend you check it out (and read the comments that are attached). When I've taught on Micah, I usually spend a week brainstorming the social issues of the time (which surprisingly don't change much). We then talk about how interconnected they are. Jordon's point is that the state of the economy has a strong impact on the number of abortions. The result is that there were more abortions under President Bush (the Second) than under President Clinton.

iMac is in town!!

I stopped by the local CompUSA store today since I was out in that part of town without my wife (she hates CompUSA--too sterile). The new iMacs were on display! Actually, just the 20" was on display, but that was definitely good enough. That is a great looking computer!

My question is this: WHEN IS APPLE GOING TO OPEN A RETAIL STORE IN ROCKFORD?!? Driving two hours to Woodfield isn't that great. Even just a mini retail store would be outstanding. I mean, c'mon, DesMoines has a full blown store. What's so difficult about giving us a mini? Fact is, I only go into CompUSA because it's the only retail place to see a Mac. The store isn't that great, so I don't blame my wife for hating it.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Adoption & Pics Signup

We were signing up for pictures for a new church directory today. We were asked how many would be in the picture. Since I'm an elder, tons of folks know me. Since the person who asked is not only on staff, but also the wife of another elder, she knew how many people would be in the picture, or did she?

The fun thing about adoption is that no one ever knows when we'll show up with another child. When we adopted Isaac I was just starting to teach in an adult Sunday school class. I introduced myself and then told them that what I was about to say would be a surprise to the people who knew me, but no big deal to those who didn't. I then said that I was the father of two children. A brief pause while that settled in, and then the explanation that we had brought home our second child that week. People were shocked :) .

The person signing us up this morning knew that we are considering another adoption, thus the question, "And how many people will be in the picture?" We'll probably go in for another adoption in the spring, so we'll probably be a family of five by the time we go camping next summer. WooHoo!

BTW, if you are interested in adoption and live in Illinois or Indiana, check out our agency! If you want to know why we assume such a short turn-around in the adoption cycle, stay tuned. I'll get into the whole adoption and racism thing at some point on this blog.

Tough Blogging

It's been a crazy week. I'm glad it's done. This week we hope to complete the final payouts on our house and be done with the pressure here. We need to figure out what to do with the other house (I keep thinking eBay might be a good option!), but at this point it is simply sitting on the market. I stopped by there today. Some new renters moved in up the street a ways. I'd guess that anybody who might have been interested in our house are losing their interest when they drive by that place. Tons of people sitting out on the porch and curbs. Of course, it was Sunday, so I don't know if its like that during the week, but it wouldn't necessarily be a comfortable feeling for people who are familiar with the neighborhood. We, of course, loved the neighborhood and moved for space reasons, so it wouldn't be a big deal to us, but we're not the ones buying the house.

Anyway, I felt like I was short on blogging this week due to the crazy schedule. I've decided to keep at it, though, as it's good for me, even if no one else stops in for very long. I've actually been pretty surprised at the hit counts, not that it's very high, but it's a lot more than I expected. Blogger does a good job of linking folks of similar interests, so that's where a lot of the hits come from.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Christianity Today Article

I posted on the Emergent church recently, now Christianity Today is running a cover story on the same thing. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, so I have no opinion, but here's the link.

Wow, what a couple of days!

The last couple of days have been doozies. My latest start was 7:30, but I also had to do a United Way presentation at 9pm, so it was a long day. I was hoping to take today off to work on our bathroom floor. I got one piece of the laminate flooring in, and spent almost half a day making final arrangements for the computer system we're getting at work (thanks to the United Way!). I went back and forth with Gateway and CDW and they ended up nearly identical. Too bad for Gateway that we have one of their computers sitting in our office letting out an occasional scream. CDW is actually a good deal for us as we can get everything we need, from HP desktops and a server, to a Mac (FOR ME!!) and internet security cameras.

After giving a presentation last night, I hit my small group this morning at 6, breakfast appointment at 7:15, and a stop by the office that lasted a little longer than expected and ended with me knowing that I'd be back in the afternoon. About 2pm I was back and got out in time to go see the eye doc at 4. It's been a long time, but no need to change prescriptions--woohoo! An evening of watching the kids in my near comatose state while the house was having some final touches applied. This week we hope to finish our payouts and be almost 100% complete.

All in all, I've barely had time to keep up with my regular web readings! Its tough missing As the Apple Turns!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Good Night

Off to bed, got a 7:30 meeting tomorrow morning and another busy day ahead. Two days of doctor visits and early starts to the day. Fortunately I'll be home for most of the evening hours. The only thing tomorrow night is a United Way presentation at 9 pm, but the kids will be in bed or close to it when I leave. Anyway, BoSox won, more importantly, YANKEES LOSE!

Lead Poisoning

The environmental hazard that I know the most about is lead. A few years ago I had to become a licensed lead abatement supervisor through the IL Dept. of Public Health. In older neighborhoods like mine, it's a very serious problem. Since I'm a former teacher, I've seen a lot of the results, often sitting in special ed classes. We have to have our house tested soon due to the funding we received for converting our house. We've been pretty safe, but we're also going to have the boys tested just to make sure.

I bring this up because it's National Lead Awareness Week. I was reading today that computers that get tossed have become a major source of lead in landfills and can potentially be an issue if people are recycling computers without taking care of the poison.

How do you avoid lead poisoning? There are some very easy steps to take. First, realize that it affects kids under 7 years of age more than anyone else. Make sure your kids are eating a healthy diet and get plenty of calcium, iron, and vitamin C. Lead is a metal, as are calcium and iron. Think about where calcium and iron are found. If your child has lead poisoning, the lead can be found in those locations (bones and teeth, among others). In fact, the first link between lead and behavior disorders was done through the collection of teeth when children lost them. The researcher tested the teeth for lead and then went back and asked the teachers to describe the behavior of all of the children that had given teeth. There was a direct correlation between those who tested for lead and those who were described as unruly.

Anyway, besides a healthy diet, keep the house clean; keep the paint in good condition. Don't let kids eat paint chips, ever. There are lots of other things to do, but these are the easiest ideas for parents to implement. For some more information, you can start here. Check out the links, as there are tons of them.

Long Day

My day has been an incredibly long one. After getting home from church at 10pm last night, I was up until 11:30 getting ready for a presentation first thing this morning. At 6:30 this morning I left the house to go to the office (yeah, the 1.5 block drive is a killer :) ). After finishing up a few things before my meeting, I headed over to the Grand Apartments for our long term planning committee meeting. I gave my presentation. It was my first ever Powerpoint attempt, and it went well. I started the actual ordering process for a new computer system for our office (yeah, I'm ordering a Mac for myself!). CDW has been great to deal with and it looks like we'll do pretty well and stay within budget. I ended the day at a lead meeting. Our community has a very high rate of children with elevated lead levels. I'll post specifically about that later. Jill and I went out for dinner. It wasn't anything spectacular, but it was just the two of us and we were actually together, something that's been rare this week. After getting home we played with the boys for a while and then got them to bed. That went well. We then went digging through receipts trying to reconcile our Lowe's bill. It turned out we were missing a credit, but we tossed a lot of very old receipts that we haven't had a chance to clear out. Jill hit the sack while I've been watching the BoSox smoke the Yanks (it just became 10-3 in the top of the ninth!) and was working on money stuff. I'll go to bed when the game is over.

Go Sox!

It's the bottom of the eighth, and the Yankees are getting squished! WOOHOO!!

Don't worry, your pizza is safe!

Is this really a surprise?

Computer Associates: 'Higher standards for pizza than for software' - ZDNet UK News

Fight AIDS

Thanks to Rudy for this link. AIDS is easily one of the most important issues facing the world today. This link will allow you to send an email to your members of congress encouraging them to support the president's proposal to put $15 billion towards the worldwide battle against AIDS. DO IT NOW (I've already done it)!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Apple Updates

Maybe I'm posting just a little too early, but Apple is updating some of it's Macintosh product line...WOOHOO! Speed bumped iBooks and a new low end Power Mac. All that and the rumors of a limited U2 Edition of the iPod (colored black, no less) with U2 music preinstalled. Ah, temptation returns.

Yet Another Reason

Damien Barrett posted a great little piece about his love for the Mac and the temptation of Windows. After thinking that learning about Windows would be a good idea, his employer gave him that opportunity...a weekend of cleaning viruses and malware off of students' computers at the college he works for. Can you imagine? People who use Windows wonder why there are Mac Snobs; Mac Snobs wonder why anyone would choose to use Windows. So, why would someone CHOOSE to use Windows? 20,000 pieces of malware on ONE computer?!?

At work I've taken to running Adaware and Spybot at least once a week (it's a given that anti-virus software must run every day). I ALWAYS find malware on my computer. A recent test was done where a Windows computer was purchased, taken out of the box, hooked up to a broadband line, and turned on. Twenty minutes later, it had malware. The computer wasn't used, it was just hooked up! U of MA folks didn't believe that when they read it, so they did the same thing with two computers guessed it...within 20 minutes both were infected. (Sorry, but I'm not going to look up the links unless someone complains)

Now, admittedly, I'm one of those Mac users who does have anti-virus software on my computer. Every 30 days I download new definitions. Someday I might just run the software. I used to run it once a week, but I got sick of finding the window open telling me everything was fine, so I switched to once a month. I still got sick of it, so I quit. It's there in case someone somewhere finds a virus that might infect my computer, until then, why bother? I've heard that people get sick of the internet because it's become to hazardous. Me? I'm Lovin' It!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Site Meter

In an attempt to figure out the whole blogging thing, I've been doing some playing around with different schtuff. The result tonight is the addition of a site meter from here. Since I'm pretty much an amateur on anything web-creation-wise, BlogSpot has been a great place for me to start in the whole blogging sphere. Tons of helps! Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see that someone was actually checking out my blog. That's a cool thing. BlogSpot seems to really work to create a community by providing links to others with similar interests. Very Cool.

God and Politics

Sojourners is running an election year campaign entitled "God Is Not a Republican. Or a Democrat." You can check out the petition here. There are so many issues in life that should be informed by our faith. When I teach on Micah I spend the second week just talking about the wide variety of social issues out there. To even pretend that the issues fall into simple categories is foolhardy at best. When a group can list more than 40 issues in less than 20 minutes, it becomes very difficult to imagine that people can begin to grasp the complexity and interrelation of the issues, much less put them into simple "agree/disagree" categories. It reached a point the first time I went through this exercise with a group that someone blurted out, "God doesn't require us to care for the poor!" Ignore the fact that that is patently false. I've come to believe that this person simply was overwhelmed. When multiple issues fall to one side of the political spectrum and just as many fall to the other, and all are informed on by our faith, it's too easy to jump back into the world of comfort by denying the Truth of the difficult. We are called to care for the poor, even if our preference for tax cuts (or fill in any other political agenda) gets in the way.

Anyway, check out this petition and let me know what you think. I signed it.

[one more thanks to Jordon Cooper who pointed me in this direction]

A Very Sad Story (yeah, gambling does that)

I've been following Jordon Cooper's blog lately. Today he pointed the way to this article about the fall of Cecil Fielder. You may remember him as the slugger for the Detroit Tigers in the 90's. He was one of the best. Sad to see what's happened since then.

How many megapixels do you need?

Engadget has pictures on the new Hasselblad H1D camera that's operating at 22 megapixels. Instead of memory cards, it sports a 40gb hard drive. Not bad since one photo would take up an entire 132mb memory card!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Steve's in town!

I couldn't believe that I ran into Steve Horseman at church this morning. Steve's a missionary in Canada who often stays at my parents home when he's in the area. They didn't even know he was coming on this trip! Our conversation was brief, but very good. Great to see him again!

Doors of Rockford

Last night went EXTREMELY well. We had an excellent turnout and significantly more bidding than we've had in the past. We changed the sponsorship portion of the event and it allowed us to start the bidding lower than it had been in the past. All in all, that change alone made it a much more active night at the bidding table for the Bobs. I did get a few pictures and started a Doors site at flickr. To me flickr is a new thing that ties in well with this blog, but I've very quickly learned that much thought needs to be put into which pictures get uploaded to the site. More pictures will be available next month!

My truck is still loaded down with stuff from the event. Tomorrow morning will be the unloading ceremony. I'll probably also be making a couple more trips to pick up easels that we left at the museum.

Medical Week

It's starting to shape up to be a week for doctors. I'm going in on Thursday due to numbness in my leg (I'm a little young for that still!) and have to call for an eye exam asap. I've decided that a recent spat of headaches is due to the fact that its been a long time since I went to the eye doc. Tonights headache went away very quickly after I took my glasses off, so we'll see if that takes care of it.

Computerized Voting

From Reader's Digest again (Nov. 2004, page 180)...

The good news: The new computerized voting terminals in Boone County, Indiana, automatically counted all 144,000 votes in last year's election.
The bad news: Boone County has only 19,000 registered voters.

Jamming Cell Phones

Engadget has mentions a piece of equipment that are becoming all the rage at churches. Yeah, cell phone jammers. Tired of the people who can't seem to figure out how to set their phone to vibrate? No problem, just cut off all their calls! $2000 gives the quiet. Of course, what about the docs, volunteer firefighters, etc.? Our church has someone sitting at the phone each Sunday morning. How tough is that?

Presidential Poll

Reader's Digest has an interesting article in the November issue. RD did a poll to find out what characteristics people think are important in a president. Some aspects are very telling. It appears that a person's liberal/conservative leanings determine which factors are most important. There are some ironies in that though. Conservatives prefer someone who served in the military, yet Bush is not generally thought of in that light. Liberals prefer someone who is "genuinely intellectual" (which usually means highly educated) and "has traveled the world extensively." Yet few people of either leaning thought that independent wealth was important. does someone travel the world extensively if they are wealthy? Oh yeah, become a politician and travel in the name of the "common people." The magazine article, though, states some very interesting observations about what people expect vs. which presidents are considered to have been successful. It appears that few of the most loved presidents met the most important criteria that people have for a president. The author points to "Presidential intelligence" as a blend of knowledge, judgment, temperament and faith in the future (taken from the late Everett Carll Ladd). When you think about the "favorite" Presidents, they tended to be defined by specific circumstances that they had to react to. They reacted well to those circumstances. Pure intelligence is not a good determining factor. As it says, "if the Presidency were about IQ, the country would be full of statues of Herbert Hoover and Woodrow Wilson--or Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon." Won't be seeing many of those in the future!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Banner

The Banner
Originally uploaded by A Bob's Life in Pictures.
Here's a close up of our banner hanging over the door of the museum. This year we remembered to bring a taller ladder for taking it down after the event. Last year I was balanced precariously on the top of a six foot step ladder to get it down.

Burpee Museum Hosts the Doors of Rockford

This is the place. Jeff and I got our banner up yesterday, as pictured here. I'll be shooting pictures throughout the day today, hopefully a couple shots of the view from the back of the museum, as it looks out over the river. Of course, there'll be lots of work to do, so we'll see how things go!

Packaged for Transport

Yesterday Kohnne, Cindy, and Rosemary got all of the art packed up to transport over to the Doors of Rockford. Today is the big day. I'm meeting Jeff in an hour to do the actual transporting.

Glasses from Cliffbreakers

Cliffbreakers was willing to donate a few glasses for us to use at the Doors of Rockford. We were expected a dozen or two. What a pleasant surprise!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Emergent Church

I've been reading some blogs by folks in the Emergent church movement (aka postmodern churches). There seems to be a lot of positives and a lot of questions. While I like a lot of what I read, I'm left wondering where the accountability is. There seems to be a growing divergence between Evangelicals under 40. The two directions seem to be old-school reformed theology and the emergent church. At least, that's what I'm seeing. It's not that the two can't work together, I just haven't seen anything online that points to them together. Of course, Rockford doesn't have an emergent church model in the works that I know of. I'd love to see what they look like combined. Anyway, if you're looking for a starting point on the emergent church, check out theOoze or the Next Wave.

Running for Sam

Just a note, you can support the Running for Sam campaign. Proceeds go to helping Sam Carrasco in his battle with leukemia. Keep up with Sam's progress via his dad's blog.

Doors of Rockford

We just heard a blurb on public radio about our event tomorrow night. It'll be a very long day, but it's always a great event. We hung our banner at the Burpee Museum of Natural History today. The entries this year are outstanding and we expect more bidding than we've had in the past since the bidding prices are lower. I'll be taking some pictures and will certainly post some on my website and hopefully on Zion's website as well. Bidding ends at 8 pm, so get there early and bid a lot!

Media Center?

There's been lots of tech talk this week about Microsoft's new Windows Media Center operating system. We are all very excited about watching tv on our computer monitors, right? Oh yeah, that's why its been a terrible selling product for the last couple years. Rather than telling us what we want to do with our computers, perhaps Microsoft would be better off giving us computers that do what we want. Personally, my Mac is still virus free, and that's without anti-virus software. I have a built in spam filter that comes free on every Mac sold, so I see very little spam...actually, I haven't seen ANY spam at all in a couple months! That includes a Yahoo address, two SBC addresses, and a .mac address. No complaints though! As far as media goes, iTunes does everything I need and has a wireless connection to our stereo system, iPhoto handles all of our photographs easily, iMovie lets us edit our camcorder movies and record the result back to our camcorder and VHS tapes, and iDVD lets us burn those movies to dvd. If I ever wanted to create music (like anyone would want to hear it), Garageband lets me do that too. I don't watch enough tv to want it on a computer monitor, and it would be even worse if I was trying to surf the web at the same time!

High School Class

I got a visit today from the teacher of the high school construction class that works with me every year. This is the teacher's last year before retirement. Only two kids are coming back from last years class, which is disappointing. There are, however, two girls in the class, which is good. This will be the first time in my five years with the class that there will be any girls at all in the class. Overall, the expectations are a little bit lower than the last two years, those were outstanding classes. This one has too many juniors, so there are too many kids just learning. It is a smaller class this year, though, and that will help them get up to speed a little quicker.

My Big Boy

I realized yesterday how difficult it will be to buy clothes for Nathan someday. I've been amazed at how big his legs are since he was an infant. He has never had chubby legs, they've always been solid muscle. Yesterday as I was getting him dressed, though, the reality hit that his thighs are significantly larger than his waist. Getting his pants on over his waist was no problem, but getting them past his thighs was a LOT of work! His thighs are at least 14" in circumference, each. That's pretty big for a kid who's almost three!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Bush v. Kerry

I haven't stated much about the election (I dread the whole thing), but today I spent a little time at Bush's web site and Kerry's web site. They're pretty underwhelming to say the least. You can download Bush's 26 page plan for America and Kerry's 260+ page plan for America. Bush's plan is set up a bit like a Powerpoint presentation, Kerry's plan is set up like an easy to read book with larger than normal font size. Bush, as far as I saw, didn't mention Kerry at all (which I like), Kerry mentions Bush a lot (which I don't like). Advertising mavens say that you shouldn't worry about your competition in your ads if you're the leader, and Bush seems to have grasped that in his plan (ok, not in the debates, but at least it shows somewhere). Kerry missed that basic lesson in advertising. Anyway, I haven't gotten into them in any depth, but if I do, I'll keep you posted. BTW, when you get to Kerry's site, the opening page is simply for giving money or time. The link to get into his site is on the bottom right, and not too easy to see without looking hard. I was pretty confused by that whole page...if you want people to know where you stand, just put it out there, don't beg first!

Doors of Rockford

It's that time of year again. My employer, Zion Development Corporation is having their annual Doors of Rockford art auction. Bidding begins at $50 and goes in $25 increments. You can check out the art here before showing up at the Burpee Museum of Natural History. There's a $15 entry fee, but there's light food available. Also a cash bar with pop, beer, and wine. It's a great time. Stop by the bidding table and give your greetings to the Bobs. That's right, I'll be working the bidding table with our ever cheerful Bob Huffington. It's always a fun event and you can purchase note cards and posters of the eight prize, I'm not going to tell you in advance which ones they are, you'll have to find out by showing up!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Tax Cuts...hmmm

Rudy's blog pointed me to this interesting article. The Nobel laureate stating that Bush's tax cuts weren't enough. He should have cut more.

Apple Reports Fourth Quarter Results

Looks like the analysts underestimated the world's best computer maker. They predicted earnings of 18 cents per share and Apple gave them 26 cents per share. I remember when Apple stock was under $20 (probably not more than 2 years ago), and boy was I interested. Now, of course, it's over $40. The only two things I've really wanted to invest in, and I missed them both (Sammy Sosa's rookie card when he first came up with the White Sox--I even recommended it to someone else!). Maybe next time I get the urge, I'll do something with it!

You Knew This Was True

The highly respected O'Reilly Publications ran a blog today by one of their writers who specializes in Windows. It's entitled Spyware Targets Only Windows Users. One more reason to own a Mac! I run Adaware and Spybot regularly at work, and they're always finding something. I don't even run anti-virus software at home, of course, there aren't any viruses for my Mac, so why bother?

Fox News vs. Fox TV

It seems like the conservatives in America love Fox news because it is "balanced." I don't get Fox news, so I have no opinion, but Fox tv is the worst of the networks, by far. Now the FCC is fining Fox stations across the country for airing a Fox show. Is there absolutely no relationship between the news network and the rest of Fox? I don't have any idea, just wondering. I don't even like to watch football on Fox because I know that they'll air a bunch of commercials that are trash.

What's up with the Pack?

I'm not a Packer fan, but living in Rockford, you can't help but follow them since half the folks around here are Bears fans and the other half are Packers fans. Looks like nobody will be happy with football this year, especially the Pack fans. They've already lost to Chicago AT HOME, and now SI is letting everyone know how bad they really are! Between the two teams, there are two wins out of nine games, and one of those was from playing each other! That makes one out of seven against other opponents. PATHETIC!

Serious Mouse Work

I've wondered why Google would pay people (like you, Sven) to put ads on their pages. The risk seems to be pretty high for that type of advertising. What made sense to me was pointed out today at Google even lists this type of advertising as a risk according to the article. So, I could get Sven a nice check, cost Google and their advertising partners a bunch of money, and it would be as simple as hitting the mouse button. The article points to a growing industry in India of clickers, people who simply sit at a computer and click on ads. They get a couple hundred dollars a month for hitting a mouse button. It would seem that this would put small businesses at greatest risk as they are least likely to have the resources to pay Google if a clicker hits their ads. Anyway, interesting article on a side of the internet that no one seems to think about.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Excellence of Love

Charles Woodward has an excellent article over at The Ooze. It really hit home recently given a bunch of stuff going on at church. The primary focus is on the importance that Love should play in all of our interactions. Too often we get stuck on our programs, plans, evil plans to save the know, all the stuff that requires time but no real human interaction. But Paul writes at the end of I Corinthians 12, "Now I will show you the most excellent way." He then launches into what is commonly known as 'The Love Chapter.' Probably the last time you heard someone read from I Cor. 13 was the last time you attended a wedding. It's sweet and sappy and just what the newlyweds ordered. Actually it's hard-hitting and an important reminder about what is important in life. I've sat in meetings where I have argued fervently for something that I (still) truly believe is important, but I was doing it all wrong! I was the banging gong and clanging cymbal!

Woodward looks at the huge emphasis on leadership in the church. I know my church has been talking about leadership for a decade at least. Woodward's point is that the discussion is misplaced! Our purpose should be the demonstration of love! Forget all the programs and plans, the easiest way to bring people into a relationship with Christ is through...Love! I can have all the right theology, all the right beliefs, all the right prayers, all the right songs, the world's greatest pastor, the most effective Sunday school teacher, and on and on and on..., but all of it is worthless without love. Why aren't churches growing? Because we only read I Cor. 13 at weddings.

Political Leanings Quiz

The web site has a little quiz that lets you test where you fall on the political map. Yep, I landed in Centerville!


Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar (makers of Toy Story, Finding Nemo and the soon to be released The Incredibles), was interviewed recently for Business Week. Among the comments, he was talking about the downturn Apple went through after he was ousted. He mentions that the "sales guys" took over and that was the downfall. Most notably, though, was this exchange:

Q: Is this common in the industry?
A: Look at Microsoft (MSFT ) -- who's running Microsoft?

Q: Steve Ballmer.
A: Right, the sales guy. Case closed. And that's what happened at Apple, as well.

Ouch! Guess it serves Ballmer right after his comment about iPods containing mostly stolen music. I know that our iPod (with well over 2,000 songs) doesn't contain ANY stolen music.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Sine Again...told you so

Well, I mentioned in my last post that I pick up the writings of Tom Sine every chance I get, so here's another one. I seriously believe that Christians in the US need to put more energy into furthering the Kingdom than in furthering political agendas. We've done a good job in the US of making demons out of our brothers and sisters who have a different political views. This goes for both sides of the political aisle. I've seen the pleas for money from both views, and they are both strongly reactionary against opposing viewpoints.

A Look at the Christian Right

"In the past 20 years there has been a huge migration of evangelicals not only into the Republican Party but into the most conservative wing of the party. What has brought about this migration and more importantly the conversion of most American evangelicals to a very politically conservative world view?"

Tom Sine has a great look at the rise of political conservatism within evangelical ranks over the last 30 years. I usually try to pick up anything he's written, and this piece is excellent. The Ooze has a couple pieces by Sine, so don't be surprised if another one shows up here soon.

Speaking of that rookie...

My rss feed from Jordon Cooper's blog pointed me to Ben Roethlisberger's blog. It would be interesting to follow an NFL rookie, especially one who's getting more press than his classmates. Now if only he'd update it now and then...

They agree!

I don't remember the last time I saw a Plain Dealer...probably over a year ago when we were out in Cleveland, but they agree with me (and they don't even know I exist!). It's pretty bad when a total Monday morning quarterback can make that analysis at 5 am, eh?


Congratulations to Rudy and Kafi (and big brother Sam)! She's a beaut!!

Browns lose again?

Can you believe it? After whooping the Steelers in week one, the Browns let a rookie QB take them to the bank. With an average of 5.4 yards/pass and 4.9 yards/carry, you'd think they'd run the ball more than 20 times in the game. At least we can take comfort in the fact that the Steelers won't be undefeated! After all, there's no serious team in Miami this year, as New England found out!

See it here first?

If anyone were reading this blog, they might hear it here first that Christopher Reeve passed away Sunday at the age of 52.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Sunday Morning

I had a typical Sunday morning at church today. I sat in the class that I had taught for the last four weeks as my dear friend Rolf talked about the importance of preparing for the last years of life. Since he's closing in on 80, he was an easy choice for me to ask about teaching this. I then went into Rolf's class, as I always do, to do the prayer and Scripture reading. I always enjoy doing this, but it means that the only thing I'm in the main service for is the sermon. Pastor John preached from I Timothy 6 on the importance of generosity. It was an outstanding message on stewardship that would not have been offensive to visitors. Pastor John has a great way of addressing issues that some find offensive without offending. Sometimes sermons are offensive because pastors stray too far from the text. Pastor John is pretty tight in that. He doesn't get too far away from the Word.

After church we had our usual discussion with Jill's folks about where to go for lunch. We'd been going to a nearby Arby's most of the summer, but they no longer have the chicken sandwich that Nathan can eat (he can't eat breaded meat due to his wheat allergy). I hate going to crowded restaurants, especially on Sunday, and that Arby's was rarely even close to full. Today we went to Beef-A-Roo (yeah, if you're not from Rockford, it's a real place...actually a GREAT fast food restaurant). It filled up very quickly after we got there, but by that time we were seated and eating.

The rest of the family is currently napping. I got mine in early, so I'm back up and functional. It's now time for me to get Jill up. She hasn't started her Bible study for the week yet, so she asked me to get her up so she can work on it. I've got to complete my annual report on behalf of the elders, so we've both got work to do this afternoon.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The House

We've been working on the house today. Saturdays seem to be good for that anymore, not a whole lot else. Nathan wouldn't nap at grandma's house, so he fell asleep on the way home. That was a good thing, because he was screaming when we announced that it was time to go home.

The dining room and front entry are almost ready to paint. Jill had picked out green. Green for the living room and dining room and front entry. I hate green. She knew I hate green. It's actually worked out ok, though. With lighting on a certain way, it looks almost blue :) . Her dad sanded down the walls in the front entry after Jill had pulled all of the wallpaper out a few weeks ago. I worked on trim in the upstairs bathroom. The trim was the old stuff we had pulled out, but we never painted it, so now we have a beautiful white bathroom with a few pieces of yellow trim. Jill was standing in the bathroom when I came upstairs with another piece to put in. "Hmmm...this sure adds a nice touch." Yes, there was more than a touch of sarcasm in her voice as she said it. Anyway, I'm hoping to get a few pictures up on our website of our most recent progress. I think the last update was in August, so it's overdue. I did take the pictures, I just have to get them up. You can get to our site by hitting the link to My Profile. There's a link in the profile that will take you to our website.


Welcome to the start of yet another blog by yet another person. Not a big deal, but I hope you'll stick around and see where things go from here. It'll be interesting, that's for sure!