Sunday, July 31, 2005

Delicious Software!

As long as I'm on the topic of software, let me introduce you to Delicious Monster! I had heard a little bit about this software, but never really paid any mind. After reading the article that I linked to in my previous post, I decided to check out the Delicious Monster website. I downloaded the trial. I will be buying this software!!! Yes, this is Mac only software, but if you have a large collection of music, or of books, or of movies, or of all three, this software is a MUST HAVE. I simply typed in the title and it pulled up all the data on that title (or titles that are similar) and added it to the "shelf." At a glance I can see all my music, or all my books, or whatever. Not only that, but I'm going to be giving the barcode scanning capability an attempt later this week. Apparently I can simply hook up our digital camcorder to the computer and use it as a scanner. No typing required to enter my media into the database. HOW COOL IS THAT?!? I can also see what other people recommend by selecting, say, a book and hitting the "Similar" tab. It automatically links in to Amazon and pulls up data on purchases that other people who have bought that book have made.

This bit of software alone is worth the purchase of a Mac for anyone who has a large media library! I'm amazed!

Why Software Makers Should Produce for the Mac

Om Malik had an article a few months ago that made some very good arguments designed to show software makers why the Mac is a great choice for their releases. I'd add something else to his article. Mac users require less support. I've only called one software support line in over ten years of Mac use, and that was for software designed to get a Mac connected to a Windows server. Online FAQs? That same software, and Microsoft's Mac site. That's really about it. Of course, I've been to other Mac software sites, but never for support.

So, not only does a software creator get a lot of good press very quickly (assuming they create decent software) without any marketing, they also get to sell it with very little support required. Instead, however, software makers keep putting out Windows software first because that's where the most users are. They are forgetting, though, that that is also where most of the software makers are. Their products can't get nearly the same press coverage, nor can they get their product out there without an initial outlay of marketing cash. Thus, they start out with the costs of making, marketing, and supporting their products in a saturated market instead of cutting out the marketing and a significant amount of the support costs in a smaller and more receptive market. Perhaps that's why the Omni Group has stuck to a Mac only market for their products, to great success, no less.

Hurricane Recap

Jill's folks got an email from her Uncle David, who lives in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, today. The entire family stayed home for the recent hurricane. Boy did they pick a doozy to stay home for! Usually Jill's aunt and the kids go to stay with her family in Merida, but their daughter wanted to experience a hurricane, so they all stayed home this time. Home is about two blocks from the beach, so there's not much to protect their home.

Playa was on the dangerous north side of Hurricane Emily and very close to the eye of the storm, so they were battered. Their house is all concrete, inside and out, and was designed to withstand 300 mph winds. Still, most if not all of their windows were broken out by the storm, even though they had put up plywood. The storm simply removed the plywood and shattered the glass. David described previous storms as sounding like a freight train running through the house. This one sounded like a freight train and a jet airplane combined. The youngest kids slept through most of the storm, PTL, but Jill's aunt has vowed to never stay for another hurricane again.

The storm has now passed, and all are well in their family. Most of the trees around their home were destroyed. Fortunately there was no storm surge with Emily, so flooding wasn't an issue.

BTW, the link at the top of the page is David's business. If you're looking for a great vacation spot in the Caribbean, check it out. He set us up in a condo right on the beach a few years ago when went down for a family reunion.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

New Windows to be Pre-Infected?

I know this is a joke, but this is too funny to pass up! Thanks to CB on our Folding Team for the laugh!

Friday, July 29, 2005

$30 in iTunes, What To Get?

Thanks to a recent birthday, I've got $30 in my iTunes account, so, what should I get? I have found myself much more willing to experiment with gift cards and Pepsi tunes than with my own cash, so I'll take some recommendations and I'll create an iMix from the results.

Microsoft vs. Google

There's been a lot of to-do over the lawsuit filed by Microsoft against Google. Apparently Google hired away one of MS's top engineers and MS is suing. I don't know squat about the lawsuit or the law in this matter, but I've got to wonder what MS is thinking? So they win and this Lee fellow has to go back to working for MS? How happy will he be about that? Seems to me that he could do a lot of damage at MS if they forced him to work for them. Or will they just force him into some sort of permanent unemployability state? That's a great way to treat your employees who are given the chance to get ahead. MS has made their point, but if they win, I think they'll lose.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Value of Life

So, if we believe it, what will we do about it?

Cell Phone Tower Locator

Want to know where the nearest cell phone tower is? Go here.

Joe is Right

What else can be said? The fact is, while trendy "Christian" stuff will fade into oblivion (I still don't have a WWJD bracelet, nor would I have any idea where to find one), there's an awful lot of old traditions that should have. Joe names seven of those traditions.

Up Late and On a Roll!

Nykola was up late last night (early this morning?) by central time standards writing up a few posts. The lady rocks! She starts with a quick look at the book Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism is Corrupting Our Future. Looks like a great critique on a significant issue in our world. Nykola rightly points out the link to AIDS in the US. She hasn't read the whole thing, so this is just a cursory glance with a lot of commentary that really hits it straight on.

If that wasn't enough, she started out the posting of the night by landing a hard left hook against the anarchists of the world. Again, rightly so. The fact is, if liberals think that African-Americans will continue to follow the Dem party, Nykola is evidence that they are losing ground on the social issues. That's not to say she espouses the values of the Right, but that political parties don't do a very good job of espousing the values of Americans, regardless of race.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Would Life Be Different for African-Americans If...

I finished reading chapter 10 in Ronald Heifetz' book Leadership Without Easy Answers tonight. I will admit that I hated the book after the first couple chapters, but then Heifetz seemed to let up on his personal philosophical leanings and got into some seriously great stuff. Chapter 10 deals with staying alive as a leader, the temptation of becoming a martyr, the co-dependency that can develop between a group and their leader. I couldn't help but think about Martin Luther King, Jr. on every page I read. In part that was due to the fact that Heifetz used King as an example in this chapter, but also because it seemed to describe the civil rights movement and King's assassination to a tee.

Heifetz points out that a movement that will require large scale adaptation and change often requires a charismatic leader at the beginning of the movement (Heifetz' entire book is about leading through "adaptive change"). The difficulty is that a charismatic leader must be very careful not to let a co-dependent relationship develop. Effective leadership through a major adaptive change (such as changing the nation's views on racial issues) requires that the people who are impacted by the change do a significant amount of the work. The clearest example of this from the book was a doctor walking a family through a cancer diagnosis. The doctor had to determine how much "distress" the family could withstand each time they met and very carefully help them come to terms with the fact that the person with cancer would likely die (it was a great real-life example that I won't get into here). In this case, the family that is impacted must take on the work necessary to prepare for death. The doctor cannot get the family papers ready or prepare memories for the children or prepare a co-worker to take over the business. The doctor can only give news, hold hands, cry, and fight like mad against the cancer. The real work of adapting to the impending change must be done by the family.

If a charismatic leader does not recognize the need for the group to do the work necessary to adapt to the impending change (regardless of whether the change is good or bad), then the group will continue to depend on the leader to do all the work for them. Heifetz pointed out that King had wanted a sabbatical in 1968 (the year he was killed). Several of his closest confidantes called the idea impossible (p. 249). King didn't take it. His request for it and the response he received, however, should have been a sign that the people were too dependent on King. He couldn't take the civil rights movement any further because the work that needed to be done could not be done by the leader...any leader. By that time, the movement had slowed down, riots had been occuring across the country for several summers, and King's voice was far from the only one that was being heard. The nation had not been prepared for adaptive change, yet it was forced to deal with it. Since it didn't deal with it in a way or time that some had wanted it to happen, the nation erupted. Sadly, it was the African-American communities that were the hardest hit, and rebuilding has been slow.

No one had stopped to think through the ramifications of forcing change when the nation wasn't ready for it. There are, still today, many cries for "Justice Now" without a serious consideration of how a major change in the life of a group (whether it is a social club, a church, a city or the nation) would impact the dynamics of the group. We have become an "immediate" culture. We want what we want and we want it NOW! Major change cannot occur that way. It must occur slowly. People can only handle a certain amount of stress/distress in their lives at any one time. If there is too much, then there is a significant risk of an explosion. A wise leader understands how to use pressure to create just enough stress in order for change to move forward, but that same wise leader also knows when enough is enough. King had demonstrated such wisdom in Selma, Alabama. He was able to pull back just long enough to make Selma a turning point for the nation. There will be another time to move forward; forward movement doesn't have to be constantly occuring. Sometimes sitting still for just a while will allow the next step to be much more effective.

Would life be different for the African-American community if there had been a willingness to keep the civil rights movement in balance with the nation's ability to process it? I honestly think so. We'll never know for sure, though.

Old School Education

One of my teammates for Team Mac OS X has posted an actual eighth grade final exam in our forum boards. The exam comes from Salinas, KS in 1895. How'd ya like to take this for a final exam in eighth grade?!? I suppose you youth workers out there are going to be printing this one out for your kids, eh?

Map To My House

Now that Microsoft and Google have both putting out their satellite mapping software, how do they compare? Well, my street address is 1234 (seriously, that's the truth!). In Google, I have to enter 1268 or 1270 in order to get it pinpoint perfect. In Microsoft, well, I'm really not sure. The zoom function didn't really work very well. As I was zooming in one screen at a time, it became obvious that the tag for my house was on the wrong side of the street and was further west than Google's had been. I wasn't really sure how to get the tag to move across the street. When I tried it again later, the satellite image disappeared into more of a Mapquest sort of look. When I tried 1275, I got closer, but the tag was still on the wrong side of the street. Does Redmond (home of Microsoft) not have even-numbered addresses on one side of the street and odd-numbered addresses on the other? I will say, though, that the Mapquest look was better. The satellite image was older and didn't show the massive re-routing of the major road behind our house (it used to be several blocks north, now the house behind us faces it). Oh, and the zoom function worked much better the second time around. The Google satellite image showed the re-routed street, but it also showed a lot of vehicles at our house. That means the picture was from two years ago, before the business that previously occupied our house had moved out.

In the end, I'd have to send someone to Google for the better aerial view of our house. I'd guess that Microsoft will catch up quickly, but it's not quite there yet. Scoble says that the MSN crew are currently updating their images, so that will be a big help. Right now they're behind, though.

Buying Air Time

Rudy pointed out an article that shows that J-Lo and company really aren't as talented as top 40 radio wants us to believe. I know this isn't a big shocker, after all, who really believes there's talent in them thar stations? Still, the New York Attorney General is raking in some big bucks for his state thanks to his investigation into Sony, with more investigations underway or yet to come.

McLaren re: DA Carson

Brian McLaren has posted a comment in the Reviews section of DA Carson's book at Carson's book, Becoming Conversant on Emergent is apparently quite critical of McLaren and others who are a part of Emergent. McLaren takes the opportunity to clear up some previous reviewers' comments and to state that Carson has expressed a willingness to sit down with McLaren and others in an effort to clarify some apparent misunderstandings.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Is There a Worse Gov't Anywhere?

If I ever start thinking that Rockford is bad, I'll come back to this post and remind myself, "It could be worse, it could be San Diego!"

U of CO Servers Hacked

Normally this would be my "Why do people use Windows?!?" rant, but no one is saying what type of servers were hacked at the University of Colorado. Instead this is my "HEY, I'M A STUDENT THERE, GET OUTTA MY RECORDS!" post.

Ok, not really, I'm through CU-Denver, and this occured at CU-Boulder. I've never used the Health Center (I haven't even visited the state since I started school there), nor am I in the architecture program. All in all, I'm really not worried...yet.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Jordon's Quote

I agree with this, though I'm sure people will misunderstand it.

Congrats to Jeremy

Yup, Jeremy made a list he didn't know existed. Does it really get any better than that? (I hope so!) Seriously, though, big congrats to Jeremy. Someday I hope that someone can figure out what it means to be an emerging church leader, maybe they'll let you know! ;-)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Big Announcement at Microsoft

I first saw Scoble declare an announcement is coming tomorrow morning (and make sure you read the comments!). CNET is spreading a rumor. Any predictions? I think that Microsoft is going to announce that Longhorn is having a name change, as CNET says...and Vista will be released in 2010.

Just kidding!

Leading With Authority

From Ronald Heifetz book Leadership Without Easy Answers:

Authority constrains leadership because in times of distress people expect too much. They form inappropriate dependencies that isolate their authorities behind a mask of knowing. And then everyone rationalizes the dependency. As some senators put it during the Vietnam era, democracy is awkward in an age of crisis. And in our itme of global change, everything ends up feeling like a crisis, even when it is not. As a result, doubt, the exchange of ideas, weighing contrary values, collaborative work, the testing of vision against competing views, changing one's mind, seem like unaffordable luxuries. Raise hard questions and one risks getting cut down, even if the questions are important for moving forward on the problem. Thus, the need for leadership from people in authority becomes ever more critical during periods of disequilibrium, when people's urgency for answers increases. Yet that role is played badly if authorities reinforce dependency and delude themselves into thinking that they have to have the answers when they do not. Feeling pressured to know, they will surely come up with an answer, even if poorly tested, misleading, and wrong. (p. 180)

I so wish I had been up on my reading for school a week ago.

Is This For Real?

The NY Times is saying this is true. Still, it's pretty hard to believe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Theology Quiz

In spite of claims to the contrary, I really am not that scary.

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan




Reformed Evangelical




Neo orthodox


Roman Catholic




Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Terrell Owens and Jesus

Jeremy has a great post on Terrell Owens' arrogance. Where does the NFL find these people, anyway? The NBA?

Driven by Mac OS X

A Volkswagon Touareg is the first fully automated, no-driver-needed, check out the Mac at the wheel automobile. I can see it now. Hop in the passenger seat and tell my Mac to take me to work while I sit reading the paper. Very Cool!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Honoring Samuel Colt

Today would be the birthday of Samuel Colt, the gun guy. Ironically, tonight at dinner Nathan was saying the prayer. He ran through the list of "Thank You's" and ended a bit differently than usual.

"And please, God, don't let people fight with guns."


Originally posted at The Dad's Group.

More Mac Coolness

The MacDevCenter at O'Reilly introduced me to a feature that I hadn't seen anything about. Preview has long been the .pdf viewer in Mac OS X. It is much lighter and faster than Adobe Reader. I haven't used Adobe Reader on my Mac in years, and I have no plans to start. Preview is just sooo much faster. Well, it turns out that Tiger has introduced a new feature to Preview. Image Editing.

"Image Editing in a .pdf reader?!?," you ask in an astonished tone of voice.

Yes, it is true. Preview has always been an image viewer as well as a .pdf reader, but I've always just moved pics into iPhoto and worked with them there. Now that Preview has some image editing capabilities (I'm still astonished, just as you are!), that isn't necessary for pics that I don't want to keep long term.


Will Bill Gates Leave Microsoft?

Seems like everyone else is. Naw, Google couldn't afford Mr. Gates.

Here's an additional question: Who would Microsoft miss more: Bill Gates or Robert Scoble? Seriously! I know Scoble would say that Gates would be missed more, he's that type of a guy. Gates may even reciprocate, I don't know. Scoble has done a ton to put a face to Microsoft via his blog. I doubt anyone agrees with everything he says (especially his family!), but he has a ton of readers who wouldn't otherwise touch Microsoft with a ten foot pole. If Google lured Scoble away from Microsoft, I think that would be huge. I'd also be shocked if Google hasn't tried already (or isn't trying right now).

Should I write a book?

If I were to write a book, I think it would deal with the subject of post-modern leaders in modern churches. It seems to me that if a church were the other way around (post modern church with a modern leader), life would be much easier for everyone. But being a post-modern leader in a church that is overwhelmingly modern is a very difficult place to be. I actually have a title for it in my mind, but I don't dare put that in print. ;-)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Macintel Is Coming...Fast!

AppleInsider is reporting that the Macs running on Intel processors are SCREAMING. Looking good for Mac users, especially if, as the article implies, this is a unit that comes in under a thousand dollars.

The Eschatalogy Quiz

The second quiz that Marla has pointed me to. I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read the second to last question, "The New Scofield Bible is an outstanding theological work of supreme importance." Guess that's what happens when we don't let the Bible speak for itself, eh? This one was definitely interesting. Glad it didn't rank me as a "post-millenialist," that would have been embarassing given that that is the one position I detest. I learned something totally new. Guess I'll have to go read more about this Moltmann guy...

You scored as Moltmannian Eschatology. Jürgen Moltmann is one of the key eschatological thinkers of the 20th Century. Eschatology is not only about heaven and hell, but God's plan to make all things new. This should spur us on to political and social action in the present.

Moltmannian Eschatology








Left Behind






What's your eschatology?
created with

I'm an American, mostly

Marla pointed me to the "How American Are You? quiz. I beat her by a point! I'm actually shocked!! I think my dislike of the UN put me over the edge...probably gave me 20 bonus points, or something. That and the beer question. How does a tee-totaler like me answer that?!? I'm sure the computer really wanted to say, "Dude, you are SOOO confused!" Anyway, here's the result:

You Are 70% American
Most times you are proud to be an American.
Though sometimes the good ole US of A makes you cringe
Still, you know there's no place better suited to be your home.
You love your freedom and no one's going to take it away from you!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Dell CIO Moves to HP

CNET's article on the package that HP is giving to former Dell CIO (Chief Information Officer) has just a bit of wit to it.

Mott also gets $1 million from HP to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area, which should buy him a nice cozy two-bedroom house in a fairly decent neighborhood.

Yup, for a million bucks, he'll just barely be able to afford the San Fran lifestyle. Why don't I live in San Fran?!?

Nathan's New Friend

Nathan announced this morning that he has a clown. We think this is an imaginary friend, but I'm really not sure. His clown's name is Josh Groban Peter. He wears funny clothes.

If I had been drinking some OJ when he told me that, my nose would have hurt for a week!

Originally posted at The Dad's Group.

Church Web Sites

Northminster Pres. Church has a list of big church web sites and they are spending some time looking at those sites. It will be interesting to follow this site for a while as they add new critiques each week.

Emerging Church and Modern Reformation

Andrew has an excellent, must-read post on the emerging church. This is one of those posts that I wish would be read by everyone in my church. It might settle some folks down. It really is too bad that people get all bent out of shape over irrelevant issues, but that's what's happening.

The article is prompted by the newest issue of Modern Reformation which focuses on EmergentVillage. His look at the Anabaptist vs. Calvinist debate and its relevance to the emerging church is important. I have found that the hard-core Calvinists are those that are reacting most severely. This helps me understand. Thanks Andrew. Looking forward to a pic of the mullet. ;-)


Keith's passion is to return to Africa to continue his missionary work. His post this morning focused on the issue of malaria. Very powerful.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Church and the Web

Again, I have to ask, "How do we measure up?" Check out this link.

Modest vs. Frumpy

The Intellectuelles are at it again. Marla has posted a bit on modesty and sexuality. It's a great post, and the comments are outstanding. It's garnering a lot of attention and reaction. Definitely a place on the web to be hanging out, it seems.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Role of Pastors

Check out this post at The Dying Church.

Wi-Fi Still Not Secured?

Hat tip to Sven for this article.

A man in St. Petersburg, Fla was arrested for accessing someone else's wireless network without permission. Now, it might seem like common sense to a few people out there, but if you don't want strangers accessing your wireless network, why don't you secure it? If you do want to let people access your wireless network, then don't complain if you're accused of dealing in child pornography some day. It really is that simple. I think it took me all of a couple seconds to include a password requirement on our wireless network. It just isn't hard to do.

Promoting a Church Via Google posted this little bit on a church that is using Google AdWords to promote their church. The results are pretty cool. Hey, are we doing that?!

Mac Stamp Making Software

A while back I posted on how I think the Mac has some very cool software. Tonight my wife introduced me to something that BLEW ME AWAY!!! Did you know that you can print your very own, totally legitimate US Postage stamps straight from iPhoto?!?!? That's right, PhotoStamps for Mac allows you to create your very own, personalized stamps right from iPhoto. No more running to the Post Office to buy generic stamps. Of course, you can create your own stamps with a Windows computer, but you have to do the whole thing online through their system. PhotoStamps for Mac allows you to do everything you need without jumping through someone's internet hoops. VERY COOL!!!

Fear Not

My Daily Dig from Bruderhof came yesterday. Read the entire article here.

“'Dozens dead, hundreds injured' scream the headlines all over the world. But it seems to me that amid all the tumult, we are missing the most important thing. If 9/11 really changed us (as so many people claim) then why are we once again seeking protection in heightened security and military might? If we have really seen enough bloodshed and violence, then why aren’t we turning to God for help?

"Biblical history shows us that whenever we think we have the answers and try to take world events into our hands, God withdraws from us. It was only when the children of Israel realized that their own strength had come to an end, and cried out to God, that he intervened and helped them. If God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, how much more will he help us today?

"Anyone who is familiar with the Gospels knows that this message shines from every page: 'Fear not; I am with you to the end of the age.' If we claim to be followers of Jesus, shouldn’t it shine through our lives as well?"
- Johann Christoph Arnold

DA Carson and The Little Prince

Will was reading The Little Prince to his little princess when he thought of DA Carson. Carson has recently published a book on Emergent that has been pretty widely praised and criticized (depending on the critics' view of Emergent before reading it). Will only addresses one specific quote by Carson, its not a critique or anything along those lines. He's simply addressing one quote, but he does it very well. I was reminded by this post that a child-like faith is important too.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Eastbound UP

Eastbound UP
Originally uploaded by A Bob's Life in Pictures.
We caught some great train action today! Here's an eastbound UP running the diamonds in Rochelle, IL. We visited the Railroad Park in Rochelle, one of the few spots in the country where two major railroads have double track mainlines that cross each other at grade. The UP line runs from Chicago's Proviso Yard to San Francisco, CA. The BNSF line runs from Chicago to Savanna, IL where it meets up with the BNSF's major north-south line. Almost any UP or BNSF train that leaves Chicago to go west will travel on these lines, and cross at the Railroad Park in Rochelle. Since it was Saturday, things were a bit slower. We only caught one BNSF train while we were there (carrying autos), but we caught probably ten UP's, mostly coal and stacker trains (intermodal). The UP has a major intermodal yard just west of Rochelle, so the stackers are very popular on the UP line here. A typical day will see about 120 trains cross these diamonds.

At 11:30 we went into the business district where there were sidewalk sales. Several places were offering up free food, so we chowed down on hot dogs before going back and catching a couple more trains.

You can see a full set of pictures at my web site.

Originally posted at The Dad's Group.

The Train Park

We woke up this morning and decided that we needed to do something fun as a family. Once everyone is dressed and ready to go, we're heading down to the Train Park in Rochelle, Illinois. Look for pics later! This place is so hot that has a webcam set up on the shelter! You can access it with a free registration at their site.

Originally Posted at The Dad's Group.

One More Reason To Go To CCDA

I found out that Glen will be leading a workshop on Policy Governance at the CCDA in November. In my first week on the job at RAAHC, I've learned that I really need this training. Yet one more reason to go. I was already thinking about it since there are quite a few bloggers that will be hanging out there as well.

PBS Looks at Emergent

Andrew points to a PBS look at Emergent Village. He's also got some great comments on what Emergent is and is not.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Lotsa Links

My first two days at my new job have been crazy. We have classes in the evenings of the first two Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so my first two days included those classes. Throw in an early morning board meeting, and I've had nearly 24 hours of work in the last two days. We'll make up for it on Friday, though. However, since I've been extraordinarily busy lately, I'm just going to give you a bunch of links that I've found interesting lately.

Faith Related
How the Gospel helps the poor in a practical way (Dude, Rudy is deep!)
How to make your Vacation Bible School worth having. I remember those!
Emergent is the new Willow Creek
Follow the link on this page to a very interesting chart by Robert Webber

Non-Profit/Leadership Related
What role does your Board of Directors play in your organization
Fixing old problems

Technology Related
How good is your corporate website
Patent laws are crazy. Now Microsoft has patented music appreciation
Wanna know why computer security in the Windows community continues to be poor

Where Have YOU Been?

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C. /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

I wasn't totally sure about Montana. I know that my family crossed the western border of S. Dakota when we visited just so we could say we'd been to the next state. I'm pretty sure we were on the Montana side of the line, as opposed to the Wyoming side, but Wyoming is a "for sure been to" state regardless, so Montana got the "Bad Memory Vote." Guess I need to get out west a little more, eh?

Thanks to Mike Todd for the distraction.

Monday, July 04, 2005

A Little House History

We spent the evening at my parents house and arrived home just as the local Fourth of July Parade was ending. Since we live two blocks from the start of the parade route, our block is always full of cars belonging to people watching and taking part in the parade. Many people were walking down the street on the way back to their cars as we pulled onto the street. A couple of elderly ladies were in front of our neighbors house, but since I was pulling into our drive, I didn't pay too much attention. As we pulled into the garage, Jill commented that she thought one of the ladies was from our church. She was right. The lady with her was her sister and they had been looking at our house as they walked by. We stopped them and started talking. They told us that they thought that their grandma had lived in the upstairs of our house back in the 1920's. Since they weren't sure, we invited them in. We took them to the front stairs, which still has the original wallpaper most of the way up. Sure enough, ours was the house. We talked for a while and walked through the first floor and looked at the back stairway because that was the stairway that they had used the most often, and their grandma had had a cat that used to sleep out on the back porch all the time. We had a wonderful conversation and were very grateful that we had taken the time to call our friend's name as she walked by.

What is the Word of God?

A week ago I asked a couple questions related to this. I have found a brief paragraph at Relational Christianity that deals with this exact question. My thoughts were very similar to the author's thoughts, so it was nice to see someone else thinking the exact same thing.

Tension Points in Emerging Church

The Tall Skinny Kiwi has an excellent post of a baker's dozen tension points between the emerging church and the established church. This is a must-read. I love Andrew's blog. He resonates with me probably a bit more than any of the bloggers that I read daily. A great combination of personal, trivial, and not-so-trivial posts. He really gets me thinking about the life of the Body. This post does that once again.

Speaking In Tongues In NBA Style!

Yet another spoof that you can see becoming reality someday soon. As the NBA gets more international, the names become a bit more obscure over time. So, what's one to do when a pentacostal preacher slaps you on the forehead expecting you to speak in tongues? Start spouting off the names of various NBA players, of course!

Mac Software Rocks!

Microsoft's blogging evangelist, Robert Scoble, posts a list of Windows software that inspires him. He does this in response to an article by Chris Pirillo in which Chris claims that Windows software is uninspiring and boring. After reading the article, though, I'm not sure that Scoble gets it. There's some good software for Windows, but there is also a general feeling that Apple is pulling in a lot of developers who are creating small, lesser known pieces of software that really ROCK. The problem with Scoble's reply is that there aren't very many home users who are going to drop a couple thousand dollars for AutoCAD (which is on his list). At the same time, I was in a work environment where a couple thousand dollars was spent on some Windows software that, while it was effective, was some of the ugliest software I have seen since Windows 3.1. Both of these are extreme cases. The vast majority of all software fits somewhere in between. But Apple has become very successful at getting some awesome software on the Mac platform. Even Microsoft's own Office suite has been touted as being better on the Mac than on Windows (the Project Center, a Mac only feature of Office, is an incredible addition to the suite and puts the Mac version far ahead, IMHO). Looking at the software from the Omni Group is another example that neither Chris nor Robert considers, and they are a Mac-only software company. The result? Pirillo is right. There is some great software out there for Windows, but there's also a ton of losers. The Mac isn't plagued with nearly the percentage of losers. In general, software on Windows is a yawner, software on the Mac ROCKS!

What If The Christian Right Is In The Middle?

USA Today has an interesting look at the movement among evangelical groups to join forces with traditionally liberal causes. Specifically, in the areas of the environment and international justice issues. This does not mean that the "Christian Right" is giving any ground on traditional battleground issues, such as abortion or gay marriage, but it does serve notice to the politicians that there are some issues that have universal support. I found it interesting that a broad coalition of religious groups have been meeting weekly for a number of years now, since working together on the Religious Freedom Act. Early in their time together, the liberal religious leaders provided the group with access to the Clinton White House, but now the conservative leaders are returning the favor with the Bush White House. Madeline Albright's comment about the divide not being a straight line seemed to sum it up quite well.

Combine all of this with the report in the Scotsman News that religious groups in the US have given more money toward poverty relief than the governments of Britain and France, and the stereotypical image of religion in the US gets shattered quite quickly. Seems that a nation that has a strong economy and lower taxes also is able to encourage its people to give money to good causes. If the combined total of private giving to battle poverty in the Developing World is added up, the US total is more than FOURTEEN times greater than the European total. That does not include the money that immigrants send home to help their families (which is a larger number yet!), that is just looking at private donations. Go a step further and figure in Bush's commitment to increase US aid to Africa more than seven times over in the next five years, and that is a great deal of money being used to combat poverty.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Faith Is A Crutch

They say faith is a Crutch, and I have to agree. What they don't tell you is that everyone needs a Crutch. Today we attended the funeral of a three year old girl who has grown up with Nathan. People were sobbing just looking at the program. In that room with hundreds of people, there was no one strong enough to not need a Crutch. How do people survive tragedy without a Crutch? I don't think many do. Their heart might keep beating, but without a Crutch, they do not Live. It was a terrible morning, but it was also a reminder that God hates death. He never wanted death to exist. Humans chose to die, and here we are, we die. Today we needed a Crutch.

Originally posted at The Dad's Group.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Podcasting Takes Off

Earlier this week Apple released iTunes 4.9 with the ability to download Podcasts quickly and easily. It seems that the Podcasting world wasn't ready yet. Scoble's right. Anyone with a computer and a microphone can create a Podcast, so there's a ton of them out there. I started searching through the offerings yesterday via iTunes. There are a ton of churches that are releasing their services via Podcasting. I must confess that the couple I listened to briefly were not worth recording. A hint to the world...if you're going to Podcast, make sure you actually sound like you're on the radio. Be enthusiastic. Be happy. I don't want to hear you drone on, and no one else does either. If you're going to drone, you'd better have some incredible material, like how to have a million dollars deposited into your bank account guaranteed! If its not that good, don't drone!

I'll also go out on a limb and say that I think this is a bit more of a fad than blogging. I'm really not interested in reruns of NPR shows, or any other radio shows out there. I don't watch TV reruns, why would I want radio reruns?!? When will I have time to listen to them anyway? By the time I listen to them, they'll be OLD news anyway. I didn't subscribe to any Podcasts yesterday. All the servers that are going down due to demand will find themselves with plenty of bandwidth in the not-so-distant future. There will be people who will really get into this, but I'd guess that for most people, they're just experimenting and will go away after a while.

Blame and Shame

Darrell posted an email newsletter he received recently. It is an awesome take on blaming and shaming people. It is also a good reminder of our need to treat one another with love and respect. This is the type of servant leadership that Jesus modeled for us, but we are so reluctant to adopt in our own lives.