Monday, January 30, 2006

In Memorium (Vechnaya Pamyat')

I'm in mourning for a good man - my dad. Maybe he wasn't always good; he screwed up like we all do, but he repented of the bad and did what he could in later years to make up for it.
I was talking to him via video conference, and my baby boy was being fussy and we couldn't carry on a normal conversation, so I said I'd call back later, maybe tomorrow.
Turned out that he went outside to do some yard work and immediately had a heart attack. Later was too late.
I'm glad I had time to make a video connection and show him my family halfway around the world. Glad that my kids got to see him and wave at him and say hello. Most of all, I'm glad I had a chance to hash out the important stuff with him and say what I thought, and to listen. I just feel that I could've said I love you a little louder and more clearly.
Now he's in God's hands. I pray for His mercy on my father, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. God rest his soul, and keep in in eternal memory (which in the end, is only in God).

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Da Vinci propaganda

Just saw a brief BBC report on "The Da Vinci Code". It purported to report on a series of lectures being held in Ireland regarding an investigation into the truth of the religious claims of the book.
What I found interesting was the BBC's deliberate evasion of any result. The camera showed scenes from the lecture in progress, but not one conclusion was reported (about the truth of the claims) and the questions to attendees also avoided the issue, sticking to "Was it interesting?" "Did it make you want to read the book?" sort of thing.
It's clear there are two forces at work here. People that find the claims to be highly dubious (Mainly those that value their faith and don't want it smeared) and people that want to believe them (Those that want to debunk Christianity). The news (that supposedly reports the truth impartially) is walking a tightrope for business purposes trying to offend none by pretending to report on a topic while actually saying nothing. The business includes the sale of the upcoming movie. The end result is that interest is raised in the sensational (so people will go see it) without any real public report of investigation of the claims, which will lean people towards skepticism not of the film, but of Christianity. It's a stacked deck.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Chill Continues

The cold weather continues to seep in. Do you guys in the US know what -25 F means? When experienced winter drivers who keep their batteries at home at night can't start their cars, you know it's cold.
It's about 0 (F) on the enclosed balcony. Windows are heavily frosted over. I go out in triple layers - long johns, jogging pants and then regular pants, and my rabbit fur hat with the ears is no joke here - PETA would stand no chance here. Anyone who thought of throwing paint on a fur coat would be taken outside and beaten up, and no one would worry about police or law suits. A woolen cap just doesn't cut it at these temperatures. Any wind at all cuts into your face. The conditions are Arctic.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Biggest Chill

This is definitely the coldest weather I've ever experienced. -25 degrees F (-30-35 C)
It is really cool, both literally and figuratively, especially when I can look outside (at a solid sheet of frost on the window) from a warm inside. After 10 minutes or so, you start to notice the cold, despite triple layers of everything. After 15 minutes, you are definitely cooled off. Anyway, it's the kind of cold you can boast about later.
It's the Baptism of Christ (by John the Baptist, aka the Forerunner) and the direct statement by God that Jesus was His Son (the only way you can find out that which science can't prove is via revelation). A lot of people are going to jump into a hole in the ice for a brief swim (a few moments, in most cases), but this year I'll pass. Way too cold. Brrrrr!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A bribe, by any other name

Had to get a letter from my bank. Didn't expect it to be for free.
I was told it would take 2-3 weeks to put the letter together for a $2 fee. But if I were willing to buy a silver commemorative coin for $11, I could get the letter next day! And I could return it to the bank later for $9, or make a gift of it, or pass it on to my children...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The technological tightrope

Frustration city - since I learned about the various telephone-through-the-internet possibilities, I've been really excited - went out and bought a webcam after experiencing video from a friend online.

But compatibility issues plague the use of this stuff. The computer has frozen from the amount of CP brain this stuff uses, problems getting the messenger program to acknowledge my camera, etc.

The obvious plus for me (assuming I get it all to work) is communication with family and friends which has become quite spotty over the years and is exacerbated by my location.

The minus is the unknown factor of just how invasive these programs are.
Plus the potential danger of having other people later retrieve information that you thought you had carefully deleted.

Trying to walk the tightrope - use the technology to say what I want to say while not having ill-wishers use it to screw me later...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Dan Brown Code

Dan Brown is an idiot.

That is to say, he is a clever writer, from a modern financial perspective.
But from a truth perspective, he's an idiot.

Aimed at a market that wants to believe those Christians are wrong, and their teachings just a cover-up for a slimy conspiracy, The Da Vinci Code is pure sensationalist crap.

It's unfortunate that a film is being released soon to further exploit this market.

Why does it matter? Well, mainly because millions of people too lazy/tired/uninterested in (etc.) to do even elementary research will believe what he says at the beginning of his book, to wit that much of what he writes is fact, which makes Christians, not only Catholics but all mainstream denominations out to be idiots.

Well, for another take on the book/film, check this out.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Babar in Gitmo

You know the children's book series "Babar, King of the Elephants"?
Well what if our hero Babar fell into U.S. hands as a "terror suspect"?
Maybe like this:

If you spin him fast enough, you can make him talk!