Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Let It Snow!

On Thanksgiving Day, Nathan was quite upset because my folks house had a thin layer of snow on the ground. He wanted to know why we didn't have snow at our house. We reassured him that we would get snow, we just didn't get it yet.

Well, today we got it. We've gotten about 4" of snow so far. If you hit my MoBlog, you'd see a couple of pictures from my cellphone, including a great view of the evergreens surrounding our church. I'll try to get some shots first thing tomorrow and get them posted here. It's actually a beautiful snow. It's pretty heavy, so it's sticking to everything. Our chain link fence is almost solid white. The roads were pretty bad for a while, but I think I heard a plow go by a few minutes ago, and by the time I came home from church, the main roads were in relatively good shape.

At this point, the snow is still coming down. They expect it will be over by midnight, and with sun and temps up to about 40 tomorrow, it probably won't last long. The good news is that Nathan is VERY happy. He's looking forward to getting outside tomorrow and throwing some snowballs around!

The Pats are the Team to Beat

First, it was Madden on Monday Night Football, now its Marv Levy over at NFL.com. Sorry Sven, but the Pats are the team to beat.

A Little Farther Down

I hit another article over at churchmarketingsucks that I thought I'd pass on. It's a look at U2's new album and all of the marketing surrounding it. There are a few bullet points at the end commenting on ideas for churches to implement. Good stuff.

Apple, Google, and the Church

churchmarketingsucks.com has an interesting little piece about major corporations take on advertising. Why don't churches follow in the marketing efforts of successful corporations? The comments section on this blog will have you thinking as well.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Football Debate

We've been debating the NFL over at Sven's. The assumption is that the AFC will win the Super Bowl. Gotta say, though, the Pack was pretty impressive tonight. Maybe not the best in the NFL, but certainly nothing to sneeze at. They've now got 6 in a row and, let's face it, who wants to play in Green Bay in December or January? Oh, and they did it without Ahman Green (unlike the Pats who didn't win without Dillon). They just scored on a fumble recovery with less than a minute left. They have completely decimated the Rams tonight.

They were talking about Favre's 200 straight starts. To give some perspective, there are currently only five players in the NBA and MLB COMBINED that have over 200 straight starts. You can check out a good article on the man here.

Lexus Commercials

Has anyone else noticed that Lexus' TV commercials keep telling us that stupid people own Lexus vehicles?

Folding @ Home

I've joined Team MacOSX in the Folding@Home project. This is a project in Distributed Computing. Stanford University is using this to study the folding of proteins in their effort to fight disease. My team's homepage can be found here. The project uses my computer, taking up inactive processor cycles so that it doesn't interfere with my computer usage. In other words, my computer is working at full capacity all the time, but how much of the capacity is going to Stanford's study of proteins varies by how much I am using my computer at any given time. I've got my computer at work going at it too, now, so I'm hoping to score pretty well as time goes by. Of course, I have relatively weak computers, so it'll take two computers working for me to equal on good computer. Ah well, it's for a good cause, so a little bit is better than nothing.

Spam Filter

I was explaining to my mother in law that Apple's Mail program has a built in spam filter that learns what the owner classifies as spam. I know it's not new technology, but it is to many people who switch. Most people just aren't used to having built in spam software. She was amazed when I told her that she wouldn't even see most spam in a couple weeks because the filter will get rid of it before it hits her inbox. She's becoming more and more happy with the switch (not that I had any doubt!). My mom can't believe that it's hard to keep a Windows machine working well, but she doesn't understand that with a Mac it can be done without any effort.

Bears got George

The Bears have signed a contract with Jeff George. I guess that's the sign that they've given up on the season.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Insanity Of It All

Today we decided to go for it and went shopping (yesterday we stayed home and got some work done around the house). Not only did we do that, we went all out and went to Woodfield Mall. Yes, THE Woodfield Mall. We started outside of the mall by going to Ikea. Wow, Swedes are bland. That store offers nothing but low prices. It has got to be the most boring store I've ever been in (would you like your furniture in white or bleach?).

After a break, we headed over to the mall. Jill's dad and I headed over to the Apple Store while Jill and her mom took the boys to wander around. When all was said and done, we walked out with a new iMac, an all in one printer, MS Office, .mac, and AppleCare. Of course, this is for Jill's dad. Her mom told him that she wanted to get him a computer for Christmas, but she'd only buy one if he got a Mac. It's amazing what happens when you sit someone down in front of a Mac. Jill's mom was convinced months ago that they needed one when I told her to use my computer and do whatever she wanted because she couldn't do any harm to it.

The nice thing was that I was able to land the education discount since I'm enrolled in a grad class next semester. I simply logged into the CU-Denver site where I had registered for the class and the salesman said, "Good enough." Since we saved some money, Jill's folks are letting me keep the .mac for my renewal next year.

We got home and set it up. Piece of cake. Now Jill's dad just has to get used to using it, but he'll definitely be enjoying it. Wireless mouse and keyboard, extra RAM, great system. It's good.

All in all, we had a good time, in spite of the crowds and the shear insanity of shopping at one of the world's largest malls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. None of us went too crazy, even the boys did great!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Home Computers in 2004

Check out this view of what home computers would look like in 2004. Its a view from the Rand Corporation in 1954.

Thanks to Rudy for the link.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Bears

The Bears are playing. As long as the defense is on the field, they have a chance at scoring. Wow, their offense has got to be the worst in the NFL. Have they earned a first down in the last month?

It's Thanksgiving

For the second time in the last four years, I've got some bad bug on Thanksgiving Day. I spent an hour or so sleeping at my folks and am starting to feel better, but it has not been a fun day for me.

Hope your day was better.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Hey, they only went 1/8th of the way through the season before winning a game. Now the streak over.

World Affairs

Americans don't tend to do a good job of staying up on world issues. My world traveling friend, David, mentioned that the elections in the Ukraine would have a HUGE impact on the Church there. Tonight the news was talking about a potential civil war as a result of those elections. Pray for the Ukraine.

Sudan has been in the throes of a civil war for some time. I'm sure there are far more issues involved than I know about, but slavery has been one of the many issues. Now, you can make a donation by purchasing music through the iTunes Music Store. Check out the Afrobeat Sudan Aid Project (ASAP) on the start page of the iTunes Music Store. All of the proceeds go to provide humanitarian aid in Sudan. It is the first charitable album to be offered on the iTMS. Check it out! (If you're not already using the iTMS, get it here.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow morning, you'll be able to wake up and eat a light breakfast knowing that you will more than make up for it later in the day. As for us, we will be joining my parents for the feast. My mom's good friends from England have made their (seeming) annual trek to the US for the event and they will join us as well. Jan and Mintie love seeing the boys and we always appreciate catching up on their world travels and the state of the Church around the world.


Too Graphic for Blogger?

Too Graphic 5
Originally uploaded by A Bob's Life in Pictures.
Nothing worse than kids saying thank you, eh, Mr. Kerry?

Too Graphic for Europe?

Too Graphic 4
Originally uploaded by A Bob's Life in Pictures.
Nothing worse than sending kids to school with supplies. I ought to know, I used to teach. I always wanted my kids to come without supplies. I liked buying supplies for them out of my own pocket. These kids' teachers must hate the USA now!

Too Graphic for Us?

Too Graphic 3
Originally uploaded by A Bob's Life in Pictures.
I'm sure this kid hates coloring. Here's to stirring up anti-American sentiment around the world!

Too Graphic for Me?

Too Graphic 2
Originally uploaded by A Bob's Life in Pictures.
See? What did they tell us? She looks angry!

Too Graphic for You?

Too Graphic 1
Originally uploaded by A Bob's Life in Pictures.
My aunt sent me several photos labeled as "Too Graphic for Mainstream Media." Here's the first. Yes, they're all from Iraq. I don't know anyone in any of the pics.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Last Elder Meeting

Tonight should have been my last elder meeting for a while. I have to take at least a year off since I'm finishing up my fourth year. We aren't planning to meet in December, so this was it. It is amazing how God has worked in our church during this time. A BIG thanks to those who have served with me during this time! You've been AWESOME!

Grad School?

Today was the day I was to register for an online class. It's the beginning of what will probably be a graduate program. Of course, I couldn't get registered! Very frustrating. It seems that the registration program doesn't recognize the course number I put in. I decided to try the phone registration, thinking that it might be automated and open 24 hours. I learned that its been disconnected...so much for automated! Now, if this was some obscure online school, I might not be surprised, but this is the University of Colorado. I'll assume the online frustration must be grounded in Microsoft, what more could be expected? As for the phone system? Well, somebody needs to get their act together.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Who's the Best?

Before the game tonight, John Madden made the comment that New England is the best team in the NFL. Now, I'm sure that Sven will point out that New England just lost to Pittsburgh a couple weeks ago, so I'll just make that point now. But then, Corey Dillon missed that game and is definitely back now. So, who's the best now? Hmmm.

Institutional Church

Tony Jones has a blog that'll probably get added to my regular reading list. I've only just begun to go through the comment section on this one, but I recommend you check it out.

I have a feeling that my blog will add more comments on my own feelings about institutional church life. I'm pretty much remaining tight lipped at this point due to my current position at church. I'll give a little hint by saying that I'm not nearly as down about the institutional church as Tony is, but there are definitely some areas that need improvement, and Tony makes some good and important points.


This has to be one of the funniest things I have found on the web! (Don't take it seriously...if you are wound too tightly as a parent, don't go here!)

Do You Know the Hokey Pokey?

Jason Clark has an interesting history lesson on the Hokey Pokey. Like most of those old ditties, there was a whole lot of meaning that we don't know about today.

Latinos, Religion, and Politics

Rudy links to a very interesting study on the affects of religious affiliation and political views among Latinos. What I find truly fascinating is that latinos who affiliate with a mainline protestant denomination are the MOST likely to identify as a Republican. I could understand if it were evangelicals, as that matches the stereotype, but the stereotype of mainline churches is that they are overwhelmingly liberal. Interesting how the Latino population goes against so many stereotypes that people try to hand out.

Say No to Drugs, and Cellphones

Find out why here.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Microsoft is going to help the Air Force with computer security. MacDailyNews has a pretty funny take on it.

Throwback Jerseys

I was over at the NFL site making sure the Browns were still winning (they were) and the Steelers were still losing (bummer, they weren't) when I noticed a link to throwback jerseys at the NFL store. I decided to check it out and see if they had any of the old Browns stuff around. As soon as I saw the prices, though, I realized it just wouldn't matter. $125 for a jersey?!? Don't think so.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

An Idea for Microsoft Office

While I appreciate the functionality of Microsoft Office, I'm constantly frustrated by how bloated it is. It seems to me that most of the features that are found in Office are a complete waste of my hard drive space.

Some people say that Microsoft has to add all of these features because they have such a wide range of clients and all of their needs are different. As soon as they leave one of those obscure features out, they'd get complaints from the few who use them.

I started posting this idea on Sven's site (in his post that was linked to me, no less) and realized that I really ought to put it on my own site. So, here's the idea:

MICROSOFT SHOULD LEARN FROM MOZILLA!! (Sorry for the yelling, but Redmond is a long ways from northern Illinois) I love Mozilla Firefox. I use it on both Windows and Macs. I prefer it over Internet Exploder (big surprise) and even over Apple's Safari. One of the best features of Firefox is that they only include the basics (tabbed browsing, pop-up blocker, etc). If there are functions that I want in a browser that are a bit more advanced, I don't look for a more full-featured browser, I simply go to mozilla.org and look through the extensions. The features that I want to add, are then added. The features I don't need, I don't add. Did you know there is even a Bible verse lookup extension? Surfing the net and suddenly think of a Bible verse but don't know where its found? Simply type in the key phrase on a bar in your browser and there it is. The number and variety of extensions is simply amazing.

So, what would this look like from Microsoft? Simple. Give me a very basic word processor (for example), only the basics (bold, italics, underlining, paragraph indents, etc). If I want other features, I simply browse through the available extensions to add those features (for example, mail merge). Now, I'd be truly shocked if Microsoft would offer them for free (there is a reason why Microsoft's initials on the internet are: M$), but make them low cost, $5 for instance. Of course, since Microsoft would be selling a basic version of the software, that would cost a lot less to start out with too. In fact, Microsoft could actually start this very easily by simply using...Microsoft Works! They hand that out so freely, yet they could make a bundle if they'd sell extensions to add functionality that people wanted.

That's my two cents, anyway.

Another Pathetic Observation

It seems like everytime there is an "incident" in the NBA, some "astute" observer of the game writes an article like this. Yeah, we know there weren't any innocent parties in the brawl. Guess what else we know...Michael Jordan wasn't/isn't a saint, Magic Johnson bumped a ref one game after blasting a teammate publicly for doing the same thing, young players tend to be jerks (give a 19 year old kid several million dollars for bouncing a ball, and it tends to affect their ego in bad ways). The so-called "good ole days" were never as great as people like to imagine they were (how was it that Magic got HIV?). Throw a bunch of human beings into the weird, money-laden life of professional sports, and you better believe that stuff like this will happen. Maybe not regularly, but it will happen. Of course, cashing in on people's alcoholic tendencies at these games doesn't help the situation, but it does give the NBA more money to pay their egomaniacs. Sounds a bit like a vicious circle.

If the NBA were actually serious about having a clean image, any technical foul/flagrant foul would mean immediate expulsion from the game and a one game suspension. If a violation isn't worth that, don't call it a technical foul, call it a foul and give the opponent free throws. The NBA won't work to clean up its image that much, though. It would have a negative effect on the incomes of those employed in the NBA. The last player to go after a fan got a $20,000 fine and a suspension. It should have been a $1,000,000 fine and an expulsion with the first appeal coming after three years (once the player is out of shape so they won't make a team anyway).

If you can't tell, I don't watch the NBA anymore. I love basketball, but I've gotten tired of watching people who make more money in a season (for playing a game) than I'll make in my lifetime. I figure if I can play, why waste time watching others get paid to do it. These days I'll watch football (I've never played organized football) or NASCAR (I'm not crazy enough to try something like that). The NBA--it's a waste, kind of like the pathetic observations from the NY Times.

Oh Yeah

College football season always comes down to the last game of the Big 10 schedule. There is no bigger game in college football. It almost always determines the Rose Bowl and it's rarely a "gimme." This year it was OSU 37, Mich 21. That's the way it ought to be!

Good, Now Make It Permanent

Four players were suspended indefinitely by the NBA, now at least one needs to become a permanent expulsion. Ron Artest shouldn't be allowed back on an NBA court. Oh, and the fan that threw something at him should never be allowed at an NBA game again either. Let's just get that all out there.

Mainline or Seeker-Oriented

I work for a non-profit that's affiliated with a large mainline denomination. I sit in quite a few meetings where I am the only person who does not belong to this denomination. This past week I was in one such meeting where we were discussing Christian bookstores. Now, I will grant that there is a lot of fluff in Christian bookstores these days. I have not touched the Left Behind series (nor do I assume that it's non-fiction!). During this discussion, our local seeker-oriented church came up. The church was poo-pooed by someone as basically being an intellectual marshmallow (my words, not theirs). I'm not a big fan of this church, but my brother goes there, as does most of his in-laws who attends church, so I have to give it a good nod for reaching my family. As a result, I tend to opt out of discussion surrounding this church. I must confess, though, that what I wanted to say was that that church probably has more new people from this old mainline denomination attending it than all of the local churches from that denomination. In other words, I wouldn't be surprised if there are 300-400 people from that denomination who have started attending the seeker church in the last few years, but I'd be VERY surprised if there were even half that many new people attending all of that denominations local churches combined.

Ironically, the same person who poo-pooed that seeker church, also commented that their denomination is dying. Now that is a statement that I agree with. There are four churches from that denomination within a mile of my home, and I'd be surprised if there were 1,500 people in all four of those churches combined. I'd be surprised if there were over 200 people under 40 in all four of those churches combined.

Computer's at the T's house

OK, when you go to the home of a software programmer, as we did last night, the subject of computers is bound to come up. Especially with a programmer who works in Windows, Linux, Unix, and Mac. So the guy has a bunch of computers. Please note, all of the pc's are dead right now, he just fried out a motherboard this week on his last remaining pc. His Mac 7200, G3, and mirrored drive G4 are all working just fine thank you very much. He's pretty close to giving up on PC's and just getting Virtual PC from Microsoft so he can run Windows. Yes, pc's are cheaper, and you get what you pay for. :)

Dinner at the T's

Our "adult community" at church (read: Sunday School class) has an old tradition that seems to go away and then return a little bit smaller every couple of years. It's called Table for 6. Everyone is assigned to a group and then those couples get together for dinner or a movie or whatever. Last night we had Tables for 8, as Jill and I were not on the list, so this group invited us to join them (that happens when you don't go to Sunday school for a few years--for us it was due to other commitments at church). We talked about the "Interesting Facts" over at Sven's site. I could only remember a couple, but ST proved that even napkins can't really be folded in half more than seven times. Later in the evening we were talking about how clean our society is and how its probably had a negative impact on our health as we are more vulnerable to less serious "bugs." ST mentioned that even the water spray from a toilet flush will travel several yards. HEY, THAT'S ON THE LIST OF INTERESTING FACTS!

We had a great time. The G's, unfortunately, had to leave before our games of CatchPhrase, that's always a blast. For some reason, its always men vs. women (and yes, the women were the ones who wanted it that way--a word game, so they've got something to prove). Each team one a game, of course, the machine whacked out when the winning points were entered for the women, so we couldn't play anymore. I'm not surprised they won a game. Jill got "Pepper," I got "Laurel Leaves." There were many more examples just like this. In fact, BT and I just about had our heads explode on some of the words the women did not get. Yes, KL, its a "Southern Term." :)

Dr. Billy Graham

This is the man who most makes me proud of being a Wheaton College grad. Now he's begun his next-to-last crusade, in LA. His final crusade is scheduled to be in New York next June. The NY Times is covering his LA crusade. Not a bad article, but its unfortunate that they assume that everyone there are Christians. The whole point of the crusade is to win new people to Jesus Christ. It's ironic that the Times calls his words soothing. Here's their quote, "We go to church. We pray. We're good people. We're moral people," Dr. Graham said. "But He looks at us through His own righteousness and He sees the defects in all of us. Sin." Most people don't like to be called sinners.

In another bit of irony, the Times turns the whole piece into a commentary on the election. Some of the points they raise are good ones, but I still have to ask, "WHY did you go there?" The only political comment they could get out of Graham was that he called Bush after the election to offer his congratulations.

Anyway, an important article, not necessarily for the content at the end, but for who the article is about. Praise the Lord for Dr. Graham!

One more reason NOT to watch the NBA

Can you believe this? I say throw Ron Artest out and don't EVER let him return to the NBA. Quentin Richarson of the Suns was right, there are going to be some big time lawsuits here, and Artest deserves everyone he gets. Too bad there's no NHL hockey to watch, there they only beat up on the players.

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Jesus Creed

Following a trail that began with Rudy, then Jordon, and ending with Brian, here is The Jesus Creed. It strikes me as a modern expression of The Faith. I haven't delved into it deeply, but it has an interesting wording to it.

Going Wireless

So, yesterday at work I got sick of what seemed like a slow connection to our server. I fired up my wireless card and suddenly everything perked up. It seems that our hub, being many years old, is only a 10mbps hub, so it's slowing down everything. Since we'll be moving soon, I had ordered all of our new computers with wireless cards. We were lacking a good hardware firewall as we set up our network, so our consultant fired up our wireless router. Yesterday, I decided to take advantage of it, and BAMMO, things picked up noticeably! I then went around and fired up everyone else's wireless networking cards and people are VERY happy. Now if we had a 100mbps hub, this wouldn't be an issue ;) .

Thursday, November 18, 2004

MidTown District

So back in August we moved into the MidTown District. This is the part of the city that's almost downtown. With SwedishAmerican Hospital on the north and Broadway on the south, this neighborhood is a huge hodgepodge of people. Lots of families like ours, well, families kind of like ours...there aren't really too many families like ours anywhere. Our block has Asians, Hispanics, Blacks and Whites. Folks who have lived here for over 40 years and folks who have just moved in. I guess it's a lot like our old neighborhood, but more racial diversity (add the Hispanics and Asians for that!).

The reputation of the neighborhood is that of, um, businesswomen...that work the night shift. While there is far too much of that, the neighborhood actually offers far more than that, and it's a lot of good stuff, too. Jill and I are able to walk to work (both her office and mine), walk to the bank, walk to good restaurants, and walk to the world's best hardware store. We're a block from a major hospital and two blocks from one of the city's junior high schools. When I need a saw blade sharpened, its three blocks. Needless to say, just about everything we need is right here. Outside of church and visiting family, we just don't leave the neighborhood for very much.

All that is to say this, the City of Rockford is trying to improve the neighborhood. I think they feel like they owe it to the neighborhood since they spent six million dollars rerouting a street that the hospital should have paid for. Now the City and the hospital are trying to make up for the shaft by building homes for low income families. I'm not opposed to that at all, its what we do. My issue is that these are the same people who want my company to do market rate housing. Ummm, yeah, that's hypocrisy.

Big Time Kudos to My Wife!

The weather has been very weird lately. Wildly varying temperatures ranging from the mid 20's to 60 degrees with rain off and on. The result? I've got a major head cold going here. I'm completely stuffed up, sore throat, headaches, the whole nine yards...even thought about not going in to work today. On top of that, Nathan's been suffering from something as well. His temp was running well over 100 yesterday and today (though he's been fine since he vomited all over himself this afternoon). Jill's been a big time trooper! Many, many thanks to her for being the world's greatest wife and mom!


My internet friend and bro in Christ, Sven, has given me a link from his much more popular site. Check out his Phatlinx. He even thinks I've got something to say! Sorry, Sven, no gadget reviews here though, just not enough time in the day!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

So Who's in Class Today?

Apparently a school in Texas is using RFID tags to track students. So what happens when Johnny carries Georgie's tag to school and passes it off so Johnny appears to be in school (but isn't).

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Where I Fall

Where I Fall
Originally uploaded by A Bob's Life in Pictures.
This is the result of my political quiz. I took it at the Advocates site. I'm a little southwest of center, but I'm still considered a "Centrist." That part wasn't much of a surprise, but I expected to be a little east of center. Maybe I'll try it again sometime.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Open Theism & Moral Government Theology

Ok, so what, exactly, is the difference between these two (besides the fact that they're both wrong)? Anyone?

Something to think about

I came across Brian McLaren's web site. I've been seeing his name a lot in the "emergent church" sites I've been reading. There's some pretty serious thought put into Brian's site, so I would like to recommend it for some of those "deep thinking" evenings.

Clean Out

I took some time to go through and clean out a ton of old disks and books at work today. We seem to store up lots of stuff, especially when it comes to computer stuff. We got disks of MS Works with every computer that we just ordered, so if you know someone who wants some, let me know. Also had a bunch of Norton Anti-Virus disks we didn't need (with a six month trial). I finally tossed the Office 97 disks and a bunch of printer driver disks (that stuff is all available on the web now). I'm getting everyone pointed to the right server, now we just have to get people to start using the server correctly! That'll take some time and patience!

End of the Year

It's Jill's busy season at work. That meant that I got to stay home with the boys tonight while she put in a little extra time. We did some pretty good roughhousing tonight. It's been a while since we've taken the time to do as much of that as we did this evening. We played with the Thomas the Tank Engine trains, which is expected, but we also had lots of "Monkey Piles," with everyone piling on top of each other.

Probably the most amazing feat of the evening was when Isaac decided he wanted something off of the countertop in the kitchen. The boy nearly pulled himself all the way up!! He's barely tall enough to reach the counter, so I was shocked when I turned around and he was almost all the way up!

FHA Software

I was installing some FHA software this afternoon. It's actually made by another company, but it's for FHA-funded projects. I got it all installed and it ran fine. I then switched the computer's user over and it wouldn't run. Can you believe that they DESIGNED the software to require Administrator's privileges in order to run? Nothing like opening a computer up to Hack Attacks by requiring that anyone who uses the computer have administrator's privileges. I don't even run our Mac at home like that! I finally copied the software folder into the Shared folder and it somehow ran under both the Administrator and the other user. I was afraid I'd have to change the user over to having Administrator rights, and it was the computer I'm most fearful of giving that privilege to.

Good Story

My friend Sven has a couple of good stories about his kids last night and today. Of course, you have to feel for the kids, being dressed in Steelers get up and all. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Bears Win

In spite of the officials best efforts, the Bears WON! That's three in a row! David Terrell even caught an important pass. Too bad he hadn't done that earlier in the game, it might have ended in regulation.

Google search

I did a Google search last night on "A Bob's Life", and I've got three of the top ten sites. I'm kind of surprised, since I've only had any internet presence at all since August, and most of that was my Moblog. Kewl!

Bears Today

I'm sitting here watching the Bears against the Titans. I don't know who will win, but I've just got to say that the officiating STINKS!!! They've called a clear interception by Urlacher an incomplete pass. That terrible call allowed the Titans to kick a field goal. Supposedly the Bears couldn't review the call because of the timing of the whistle, though the replay found the whistle occured very late in the play.

The Bears were able to appeal a call on a Titans interception where the interceptor obviously went down due to the Bears receiver, but the officials didn't rule him down. They overturned the call (like I said, it was obvious), so the ball was called down on the 4 instead of the 30 something.

Then, on the Titans second touchdown play, a Bears lineman was TACKLED right in front of the quarterback. Maybe I'm missing something, but I didn't think that offensive linemen were allowed to tackle when they were blocking. Must've been a rule change this year .

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Jobs vs. Gates

Quick note, I put lots of links in here, go ahead and follow them, I think its worth it.

Tonight we went out to see The Incredibles. Definitely not for small children, lots of cartoon violence, but Jill and I enjoyed it. When I got home, Newsfire was ready with the latest Steve Jobs versus Bill Gates article in the business section. Very interesting. It seems that Gates, who generally succeeds because of corporate client success, has the idea that Microsoft can succeed in the music business too. The plan is to overtake Apple's huge lead due to the iPod. So, here are the statements:

"Over time, proprietary standards always lose because industry standards always win because you get more for less," said Michael A. George, the general manager of Dell's consumer business.

My Response: And Windows isn't proprietary? The answer to that is "Yes, it is." So why, Mr. George, have you tied your company's success to an obvious (in your eyes) failure? Are you planning to let your company die a slow death? Fact is, Microsoft succeeds with a proprietary operating system. They shun many standards or try to force their products to be adopted as the industry standard. If you are going to argue that Microsoft has created the standard on the PC, then why are you trying to compete against that same definition of "standard" in the portable music business? Looking to lose there? Find a consistent definition and stick with it. One of these interpretations works, and one doesn't. My guess is, based on the facts, that your music player (and the definition of "standard" that's its tied to) is the failure.

Next quote:
"It's a classic one," Mr. Gates said. "Apple has always been a hardware company. I think Apple will do things the Apple way, and Microsoft will do things the Microsoft way. I'd say the long-term factors all favor our approach."

My Response: And how many of your approaches actually make you money? I'd guess, not basing this on any data, that the approaches where you make money are in the corporate world. I'd be surprised if you make much in any money apart from what corporate America uses (i.e. Windows and Office). Even Microsoft's invasion of the home is based more on what people use at work than what they want to use. The sad thing is that Apple's original Macintosh ad was far too true, only Microsoft has taken IBM's place.

The saddest part about this whole article is that it assumes that Apple vs. Microsoft has always been Jobs vs. Gates. Steve Jobs wasn't at Apple for over ten years, and those were the years when Windows overtook the Macintosh (in popularity, not ease of use).

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Geek lunch

I had lunch with a couple geeks. One is a Microsoft geek, the other is a "let's try what looks interesting" geek. It was pretty fun. The MS geek couldn't believe it when he found out the LTWLI geek was using Mozilla. He knew that I had installed Firefox on all of our office computers. I don't think he's used anything but Internet Exploder. It's really too bad, since he could give his clients something more reliable, less vulnerable, and, well, BETTER! He's currently prepping our server for installation. He secretly (well, not so secretly since he told us this) wishes that he could play around with other operating systems. He had bought a Linux distro a while back and was working on installing it when he realized that Microsoft pays his bills, he didn't know all there was to know about it, so why try to learn something else? Ah yes, tied to MS for the money. I don't really blame him. He's far from alone in that (right Sven?). I think there's more money in supporting Microsoft than in supporting GM, Ford, and Chrysler combined. OK, maybe not, but I'd bet its not that far off.

The LTWLI geek also admitted to using Open Office. Now that left him alone. When I tried OO last year, it was really not that good. I found it clunky to use and a bit of a pain. It did open everything I threw at it from MS Office, it just wasn't as smooth for the operator. Maybe it has or will catch up, but my experience wasn't that good with it. Anyway, it was a fun lunch, and yes, we did talk about things other than computers, like politics, roofs, parents and assorted other aspects of life. It was a good lunch.

Back to School

Yup, I've been accepted as a non-degree student at the University of Colorado at Denver. I know, I can't move from Rockford for 5 years due to our house agreement. It'll be an online program, so it works out great. I'm going to try one class in the spring and we'll go from there. If it looks good, as I expect it will, I'll apply for a program admission and then be going for a degree.

A topic for Sven

One result of our recent Sunday school teacher has been renewed interest in discussing Calvinism. OK, not by very many people in the class who were burned out of that discussion a couple years ago, but by a few people. I realized last week that the whole discussion about God's will hinges on how a person defines "will." The two ways to look at it are: 1) what God wants or desires; or 2) what God allows. Which of those definitions you use will have a serious affect on how you view Calvinism. I tend to use the first definition, but I realized that our class' resident Calvinist tends to use the second. That's why I've never been totally bitten by the Calvinist bug. To say that cancer is God's will sounds pretty pathetic if you are using the first definition. It's a slight bit more palatable if you use the second. Perhaps it's mostly semantics, but it makes a huge difference in people's ears. Maybe Calvinists need to find a new word instead of "will." Most people unfamiliar with their thinking recoil at how "will" gets used, and for good reason.


We've had a great teacher in our Sunday school class the last couple of weeks. Keith has been talking about looking at things differently. A lot of the initial ideas have sprung from a book entitled God of War. No, it's not anything to do with Iraq. It has to do with spiritual warfare. Another book that inspired a lot of his thought was the Chronological Bible. This is a Bible that rearranges the order of the books into the order in which things happened. So, for example, when you get to the life of David, you'll be reading along from 1st Samuel and there will be a Psalm interjected that David wrote during that event in his life. It sounds very interesting and has made our Christmas list as a result.

While Keith has worked very hard to keep the discussion on track, there are way too many rabbit trails to take. The result, of course, is that he'll have to finish this week, but he will have covered about a tenth of what he wanted to cover. Great stuff, and I'm sure he'll be back as soon as our schedule fits him in.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Computer purchase

So I'm sending Jill's aunt off with a recommendation for a Gateway and a disk to install Adaware, Spybot, and Firefox. While I love using Firefox, I'm very glad that I don't even need the other two. Jill's aunt thought our computer was different, and was glad that I could do everything she needed. I think she was surprised that a Mac can surf the internet and send emails with attachments (though I wasn't surprised that her current Windows computer can't send attachments, and I wasn't surprised that they've had pr0n pop up on their computer, it is Windows, after all!). They decided that they wanted a desktop, but they didn't want a Mac. Too bad, that means that they get to buy annual subscriptions to anti-virus software, and scan their computer for viruses every day and malware every week (at least). They could have gotten a computer like mine (with a combo drive instead of the superdrive that I have) for less money than they are about to spend, and they get to pay for AV on top of it. All they'll do is surf the net, do word processing, and the most basic of computer things. Oh well, it's not my money.

Still talking Politics?

So now the debate is about the mechanics of winning an election. It seems that the election was determined by Evangelical Christians. Ummm...yeah, right. Sorry, but I'm not convinced that over half of those who voted are Evangelicals. Actually, I highly doubt it. I also doubt that all of the Evangelicals voted for Bush. I'd guess that there were a whole bunch of folks out there that have no fear of God at all, and they still voted for Bush. Democrats need to get over this "blame the Christians" mentality and start producing candidates worthy of our votes. quit threatening to leave the US and start getting to know some folks who listen to non-NPR radio stations and watch more than just PBS and the History Channel. In all the effort to elect an intellectual, keep in mind that Nixon was an intellectual, and Richard Daley is not. Remember, Nero blamed the Christians too.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Computer Websites

Jill's aunt is looking for a computer and I've been asked to help her find one. Apparently she can't use a Mac because someone told her she can't. Too bad, since they're less money for more computer. Oh well...so I started looking around. I went to CDW since they did so well for me with work computers and was looking in the $1000 range. Then I went to Dell. Now, I read recently that Dell ranked at the top of online computer stores. The first poster over at MacDailyNews wanted to know what the respondents had been smoking. While I wouldn't quite put it that way, I have to wonder what people are thinking when they get mediocre pricing and a TERRIBLY SLOW website. It got so slow that I went over to CNet to test my bandwidth and make sure everything was ok! The time to load a page was literally measured in minutes, and that's on DSL! My bandwidth check came in at over 700 kbps, so I know it was their site. What an awful experience! That survey must have been taken of people who bought Dell's, because no one in their right mind would have rated that site that high! Pathetic.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Ads are a part of life?

It seems that the whole technology sector is divided into three groups, the security group (in large part due to Microsoft's shoddy Windows operating system), the "get the message out" group, and the "turn off the tv" group. In other words, some people are just trying to keep your computers safe (I say "your computers" because I have a Mac and don't need Adaware, Spybot, anti-virus, etc.). Some people are trying to invade your life with advertising, and some are trying to get rid of audio and visual pollution. I think if I had to buy a product, it'd be the TV-B-Gone! There are some restaurants that I simply hate eating at because of what I have seen on the nearby TV (can you say Ruby Tuesdays?). The idea of injecting ads into video games is fine by me, I don't play them anyway. The sad thing is that advertisers have long used the arguement that we'd have to pay for tv (or internet, or whatever) without advertising. It seems that some of the new advertising won't be saving anyone any money. It'll just be there for manipulation.

November Third

Yesterday was Nathan's third birthday! We got home and took him up to the Railroad Station Beef-A-Roo. That's gotta be the best fast food place anywhere. Anyway, it was our first visit to that particular location, so we walked all around the restaurant looking at all of the train pictures and even a couple of model trains. Too bad the G-scale didn't work and go all around the restaurant. I was disappointed by that. Oh well, we had a great time. Now if only they'll open a Railroad Station in the MidTown District...

NHL--No Hockey Lately

Did anyone even know that the NHL was having a lockout? Oh yeah, Sven might have missed it. Anyone else?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day

It's finally here, the day the world's been waiting for. Why is our election cycle so long?!? Anyway, Rudy pointed to a very interesting article (or blog, I don't remember which) on our election from the standpoint of Iraqis. There was a huge article over here that probably had the biggest impact on my thinking about the election. I don't agree with or believe everything they guy wrote, but it was an interesting article. Anyway, I'm far from being a Bush fan, but no one has been able to convince me that anything about Kerry is good in any way. The guy scares me. So, today will be a vote against Kerry, not a vote for Bush.

On another note, there's been a ton of talk about electronic voting. There's another idea that's scary. I don't mind so much if there is a paper trail, but with no paper trail, I honestly question whether I'd vote. Here in Rockford we have electronic scanning so that the counts go fast, but we do the voting on paper. I trust that system. It's pretty easy to do and they are very good about saying that if you make a mistake to tear up your ballot thoroughly and get a new one. That's how it ought to be done!

Finally, our church is doing something VERY cool. Anyone can drop off their small kids between 10:30 and noon for "voting childcare." Jill and I will take our boys with us, as we believe that its important for them to see us vote, but I can imagine a mom with six kids not wanting to take all of them, so I think its a great idea. Besides, I think our church is a voting location, so people who are just coming to vote can take advantage of it and get to see a little bit of our church's love for kids. If that brings one or two families, or lots more than that, who wouldn't have otherwise come, that's yet another cool thing.

Anyway, get out and vote today. If you don't vote, don't complain (and if you do, don't complain much, because you obviously didn't convince enough people!)!