Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Short note before I head out: we were supposed to get our phones back today. The repair guy made the same brilliant observation they all make; our line was not properly installed. So in order to fix it, he wants the name of the contractor working on our road so Verizon can sue him. These people are just too much. I'm think we may just do without phones for a while.

Anyway, I need to head home and finish up the homework.

Monday, August 30, 2004

I just contacted Verizon and they promise the phone lines will be working by 4:30pm tomorrow. I don't think they appreciate the amount of damage to our phone lines. They just weren't cut at one place; they were cut numerous places with sections dug completely out of the ground. Ah well; not my problem. I need to get the lines repaired first, then call a different number to have the interface box moved to the house. If they can get the phones in the cabin working, I may not bother right away. I'll just stick with the original plan and run my own line from the cabin to the house. Then if we decide to change it later, we will still have phones in the cabin. Besides, moving the interface box involves money we don't have and I already own the new phone line and a shovel.

Saturday, we finally swapped the generators around. I've been putting it off for quite a while because I've lost all confidence in the Northstar generator. But I installed it, fired it up, and it's working great. I dropped off the Yamaha at the shop to be gone over. That one will be put on the cabin and will be a backup to the one on the house. It will be nice to have phones and power in the cabin so we can finish packing things up, moving them over to the house, then do a deep clean and repair everything that needs fixing, like the bathroom sink drain that hasn't worked in over a year. We will have to keep things cleaned up and aired out in case we end up with company at some point. Swapping the generators turned out to be pretty easy; my cousin was over with his front-loader so the whole operation took about five minutes and just the two of us.

Saturday evening, I attended a contemporary church service for a class assignment. I was hoping to be anonymous, but I didn't realize that half my department, including my boss, went to church there. Ah well, I got something to write up, anyway. It was interesting and I may even go back with Debbie if we ever have an open Saturday.

Sunday was Sunday. I was pulling double duty on sound and special music. It's so fun running back and forth between the sound booth and the platform. I wasn't happy with how the special music went, but then I rarely am because I know all the places we make mistakes. Usually no one else notices. This was one of the unusual times. But it wasn't a disaster.

More good news Sunday on the youth front: we have yet another new believer. This is getting routine. Not!! Tomorrow starts the new school year so I'll be hanging around to "rally the troops," so to speak. I'm looking forward to this school year, especially once my school is over and I can hang around one day a week.

Ands that about it. Tonight will be homework (three short papers) and some reading, if there is time. Oh joy.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Another week of class down; only seven more to go. Not that I'm counting or anything.

This class hasn't been what I expected. The books are great, but we don't talk about the books in class. We don't seem to talk about much at all. I expect to have to do some serious mental gymnastics in a 400-level class but that isn't happening. I must be really smart.... I should finish up the reading tonight, along with the one-page review of it. Then I need to start cranking out the individual paper. Our PLT also has to figure out spiritual lessons from the movie The Truman Show. I watched it once and have a couple ideas. I need to watch it again to get some of the names right and type up a couple of ways to look at it. This movie surprised me in a couple ways. First, it stars Jim Carrey, but it is in the drama section of Blockbuster. Second, Jim Carrey actually pulls off a serious dramatic role while still being Jim Carrey. I would have never expected that from Fire Marshall Bill.

It looks like another busy weekend. I still have to call the phone company and get my phone lines hooked back up. While they are at it, I want them to move the interface box from the cabin to the house. I'm tired of walking 300 yards every time I want to use the phone. Our road is looking better and better. We had a real heavy rain last night that packed everything down nice. This will be a much easier winter than last year even if we get more snow.

I forgot to mention that we found out that "our" dog is a diabetic and requires daily insulin shots. It's only our dog when there are vet bills; otherwise it lives in my sister's kennel with their other two dogs because we just are not set up for a dog right now. I'm more focused on getting the power situation in some final form than I am on building fences and dog houses. There is time for that later.

Speaking of our power situation; our secondary generator started giving us fits last night. We have enough juice to last for a day or two tops, so I need to get the generators swapped around tomorrow. I'm not sure how I'm going to do that without a lot of help, but I'll figure something out. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I finally build some sort of ramp for loading and off-loading stuff from the back of my truck so I don't need five guys to come to my house every time I need generators swapped around. I just hope there isn't anything seriously wrong with the backup generator. I can't afford to replace that right now given that we just spent thousands of dollars on our road. If I could get some help, I could reduce the dependency on generators in the first place by getting the solar panels hooked up.

Anyway, have a great weekend. Mine looks to be busy. As usual.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Another short post. It seems like that is all I have time for these days. Anyway, only eight weeks to go and I am a free man. Well, almost free. I still have a lot of work to do, but I get to do it at home instead of in Grand Rapids.

The news is still all politics and likely to stay that way. Even the Olympics are taking a back seat to all the noise. None of it matters in the least to me; I won't vote for either of the major party morons in November. Debbie and I have tried to watch the Olympics, but NBC is doing its usual hack job. I understand that for the most part, anyone watching will be cheering for the American athletes, but sometimes the slant is ridiculous. "Oooo! It looks like the Chinese guy severed his spine on that fall! That will move the American team into medal contention..." And I sure wish our athletes would quit looking like their grandmother just died because they "only" get a silver medal. Our Women's Gymnastic Team is the most egregious example of this, but hardly the only one. Take a clue from the Russian team on what something called "sportsmanship" looks like, ladies.

We still have no phone lines, so if you comment and I don't respond, I'm not ignoring you. I will get to it when I can. I'll be calling the phone company today or tomorrow to do a line repair. If we are lucky, we will have phones a couple weeks after that. They may have changed the name, but GTE/Verizon is still the worst phone company in the country. Although, from what I hear, SBC is trying to make it a race to the bottom.

Well, I've got to get back to it.

Friday, August 20, 2004

This is important. Entire article is here:

I consider that the most important issue for Christians in the origins debate regard the pastoral implications. To be sure, the topic of origins is indeed an important discussion in theology, but not so important as to become the central issue of faith. Three important relationships that the origins debate can affect involves those with (a) other Christians, (b) our children, and (c) non-Christians.

First, how are Christians with different views of origins going to relate to one another? Is one's orthodoxy and love for Jesus determined by how one conceives His method of creation? Is this issue important enough to cause division between Christians? Or is it only a difference between Christians that, in the light of St. Paul's admonishment in 1 Cor 11:18-19, we should be able to live with? Clearly, one's position on origins should never inhibit the passing or receiving of the communion cup. Unfortunately, Johnson's open and direct attack against Christian theologians and educators only inflames an already tense situation in the Body of Christ.

Second, what should our children be taught concerning origins? Imagine for a moment that the Lord did indeed use an evolutionary process in creation. What happens to the child who is taught Johnson's progressive creationism in a Christian school or a Church Sunday school, and then he or she sees the scientific data for evolution first hand in the paleontological museum at the university? I, like others, have seen this scenario actually unfold with the disastrous spiritual consequences.

Finally, what are Christians going to tell non-Christians about the origin of life? In 2 Cor 6:3, St. Paul admonishes us not to be a stumbling block to the on looking world. Again, assume that the Lord did indeed use an evolutionary process in creating the universe and life. Can one imagine how much of a stumbling block Johnson's progressive creationism is to those who see the scientific data for evolution daily? Many Christians like Johnson weld their anti-evolutionism to the Cross of Christ. But too often in the university environment such a conflation has non-believers disregard the Cross as they angrily mock scientific misunderstandings of the anti-evolutionists.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Well, I'm alive and well and running XP. At work at least; I still run Win2k at home. My laptop is probably capable of running XP and upgrading would likely solve some of the minor problems I have, but I'd just rather not. I'm not yet a fan of the interface; maybe after using it at work for a while I will be, but if I have to get used to something new, I would just as soon it be Zandros.

Anyway, political humor is making the usual rounds on the internet:

On a tour of Texas, the Pope took a couple of days off to visit the coastal area for some sightseeing. He was cruising along the sea wall on Galveston Isle in his Pope mobile when suddenly he notices a frantic commotion just off shore.

There was John Kerry struggling frantically to free himself from the jaws of a 25-foot shark. As the Pope watched, horrified, a speedboat came racing up with two men aboard. One of the men, President George W. Bush quickly fired a harpoon into the shark's side while Dick Cheney reached out and pulled the bleeding, semi-conscious John Kerry from the water. Then using (autographed Round Rock Express) baseball bats, the two heroes beat the shark to death and hauled it into the boat. Immediately the Pope shouted and summoned them to the beach. "I give you my blessings for your brave actions," he told them. "I heard that there was some bitter hatred between President Bush and John Kerry, but now I have seen with my own eyes that this is not true."

As the Pope drove off, President Bush asked Dick "Who was that?"

"It was the Pope," Dick replied. "He is in direct contact with God and has all of God's wisdom."

"Well," President Bush said, "he may have access to God's wisdom, but he doesn't know squat about shark fishing... how's the bait holding up?"

Not that I'm a big fan of Bush, but Kerry is the reason there are lawyer jokes....

Fred Reed has had several good columns and I haven't mentioned them. They are worth thinking about as we head into another horserace... er... election in November:

Pondering The Telescreen
Clueless In Baghdad
Loyalty To What?

I have a couple new blogs to put up. I'll probably take a few down as well. Some have become less interesting of late and a couple seem to be abandoned. In any case, as I get a chance to waste time that I should be doing other things, I'll keep hammering things into some semblence of order here. Once I've transfered the link pages here from www.rdfrost.com, that site will likely go away. It's only $10 a month, but that is about $9.99 more than we have right now.

Well, back to figuring out all the broken stuff on my PC.
My desktop PC at work is due to be upgraded to Windows XP, which means I get to reinstall all my applications. So much for any useful work this afternoon. I may post something later and will continue to mess with the template, links, etc. If I get lucky, the result will be a site that looks somewhat organized instead of slapped together.

Anyway, more later. I gotta abandon my workspace.

Friday, August 13, 2004

This is a test to see if some changes I've made make new posts look weird. I've moved the "Books I've Been Reading" list into Blogger, but I don't know if I care for how it is stored. I put a date on it from the ancient past so it wouldn't show in the normal weekly archives. But that makes it hard to get to through the normal edit screen. Ahhhhh. I need to turn on quick edit. That's the ticket.

Anyway, just a reminder in case you didn't notice: Friday the 13th is on a Friday this month.

And it doesn't look like the changes broke anything. For those that post things, there is now a title field. Ignore it and it works like before. Put something there and it will replace the day/date that normally shows.
Another week of college completed and I was able to get my homework done. We got some great news in class: the instructor eliminated a lot of the Mickey Mouse stuff from the class, cut back on the amount of writing (one-page summary of each book instead of 4-5 page critical analysis), and simplified some of the learning team assignments. We should be able to hammer out the learning team stuff in one meeting. I'm going to attempt to complete all the reading assignments and book summaries this week. Then it's just sit-back-and-coast for the last three weeks.

We got hit with a big financial shock yesterday. I've had a guy out working on our road for about a week. The plan was to cut some trees and widen out the road a little. Yesterday, there were a half-dozen trucks and a whole crew out building a highway to my house, and wanting $3,000 by today. I don't have $3,000 just sitting around waiting for someone to ask for it. I have no idea where this money is going to come from. Anyone want to make some donations? I will definitely be hitting up the other land owners for cash.

Because of the work on the road, we still have no phone lines. One thing that will help with the cash situation is getting our phone lines back so I can start selling off stuff. I have an entire garage full of things I don't use. I will definitely be unloading a bunch of it. I will also be able to transfer a lot of the documents and link pages from the old web site to here. Speaking of this blog, if things look weird from time to time, I'm experimenting with the template. I'm trying to add a search capability, but for some reason, the text for the radio buttons aren't showing. I need to play with that. I also cut down on the number of days that show on the main page from seven to four. The posts are still available in the archive on the right side of the screen. I may be changing that as well. Right now, each week is in a separate archive; I may change that to each month again to shorten up the list so it isn't so cumbersome. I set it up as weekly because that was what I had on the old one, but it really doesn't work well. So expect great things in the near future. Or, at least "things".

Well, I need to look like I'm working.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Just a short note before I take off for the day. I have to head over to the pastor's house to do hedgehog duty. They are out of town with about half of the rest of the church on a white-water rafting trip. We didn't go mainly because I have school. I will be so glad to get my life back...

Anyway, last night was homework until Debbie got up around 11pm and found me sleeping face-down in my keyboard. I didn't get a lot of writting done last night which means a late night tonight and an early morning tomorrow. At least it isn't my turn to drive to Grand Rapids.

That's it. Later.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I have a meeting with my boss in about five minutes, so this will be short.

Homework continues to consume my life. I got in over 100 pages of reading last night. Tonight I have to do the hard part: write a critique of it. At least I have a few extra hours Thursday morning; I don't have to meet with my study group, so I won't roll out of town until one or two in the afternoon. That will give me several hours in the AM to refine what I write tonight and tomorrow night.

I'm not seeing anything worthwhile in the news. Iraq continues down the road predicted by many. Kerry continues to alienate much of the swing vote and Bush fails to capitalize. One wonders if he really wants to be president a second term. I'm tired of the talking heads who have seemed to invade even the Internet.

Well, I must not keep the boss man waiting...

Monday, August 09, 2004

Great. The first time I post in over a week, and Blogger eats my post. That will teach me to not cut-and-paste what I type before hitting the publish button.

Anyway, the highlights. It's been crazy busy at home, work, church, and school. I think I messed up my GPA with the class that ended Thursday. I just didn't have the time to put in my best effort and I hate that. The problem is that I had this instructor for two other classes, so he knows what I can do.

Tuesday, I went with the teens to Michigan's Adventure. We felt like pigs on a spit by the time we left. It was just smoking hot. I should have been doing homework, but I'll take a chance to be with the kids over school anytime. It is, after all, the reason I'm even bothering to do this in the first place.

Saturday was the Wiklanski (Debbie's side of the family) reunion. Beautiful weather and a great time.

Well, that's about all I have time for.
Wow. It's been over a week since I've posted anything.

It's been crazy at work, at home, at church, and at college. We just finished up another class on Thursday. That makes only two to go! WooHoo!!! The next class looks tough For class one, I have to read a 200-page book and write a 6-8 page critique, plus write another 4-6 page paper. All that before we even step into the classroom the first day. The next couple months look to be tough, so you may not see much of me here. Hopefully, others will pick up the slack.

I think I messed up my GPA with the last class. There was just too much going on and I didn't have the time I would have liked to polish my papers. We'll see. I hate not doing my best effort for a class. Maybe the instructor will take pity on me... (yea, right)

Tuesday (August 3) we took the teens down to Michigan's Adventure. Everyone felt like a pig on a spit by the time we got out of there. It was smoking hot. But it was fun and I got to spend a lot of time with some of the new people, getting to know them and finding out where they are spiritually. Even though I should have stayed home and worked on homework, I'm glad I went. I'll take ministry over homework any day.

That's all I have time for right now. I'm only on page 86 of my homework, so I have to kick some butt on this.