Wednesday, November 28, 2007

XP vs. Vista.

This story posted on the headlines at HotAir got my attention the other day. Researchers at Devil Mountain Software pitted Windows Vista (SP1 beta) head-to-head with Windows XP (SP3). The results:

"Vista, both with
and without SP1
, performed notably slower than XP with SP3 in the test,
taking over 80 seconds to complete the test, compared to the beta SP3-enhanced
XP's 35 seconds."

Naturally, Vista-haters everywhere are celebrating their vindication with hearty gusto, and "I told you so" is flying around the 'net. IT Blogwatch at Computerworld has a tech-blog round-up of the brouhaha.

There's a catch, however: the computer they tested the operating systems on had only 1GB of RAM. To my mind this takes unfair advantage of Vista's weak spot, which is its appetite for RAM. 1GB is the bare minimum needed to run Vista at all, with 2+ being recommended. I know, the testers tried it with 2GB RAM and got no appreciable boost in performance. Oh, the calamity!

I'm no shill for Vista or Microsoft. In fact, I think the marketing campaign for Vista has been a giant flop, not to mention the speedy release left the rest of the tech industry scrambling to ensure that every one's old hardware would work with the new system. As a result, users had to endure months with inoperable peripherals or go shell out more hard-earned cash for new, "Vista-ready" hardware and software. Or just buy new computers. Some programs and hardware still don't work, and probably will never work without 'net cobbled workarounds.

But I missed the whole XP boat. I'm a geek, but I am by no means cutting-edge. I stayed with Windows 98 because some of my older games were difficult to make run on XP and I saw no reason to spend the money to upgrade and open myself to all the worms that were crawling around a few years ago. So all the XP worship out there is alien to me and strikes me as a little silly. I have Vista now, because I decided it was time to buy a new PC, and since Vista was the new thing, and games for the next few years figure to make use increasingly of DirectX 10, I figured why not get Vista? It won't be long before Bill Gates forces all the XP lovers to commit OS adultery anyway.

So, I have Vista, and guess what? I like it. I don't care how much it looks like XP, or how much slower it is. As I said, my frame of reference was Win98SE. The security features bug me, but I understand that they were a problem on XP, too.

So flog Vista all you want, it's here to stay. Love XP? Keep using it until it coughs, rolls over, and dies. Or gets hit by a virus.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Interesting Discussion.

My post about sex sparked a discussion with The Critical Bookworm about legislating morality. Jim Sullivan makes some good points, none of which are easy to respond to or refute. I've tried my best, and you can read it here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving.

Today across America, before proceeding to celebrate gluttony, people will pause and reflect on what they are thankful for.

One thing I am thankful for is that I have a loving God who takes care of us in good times and bad, when we do right and wrong, and who gave Himself for our sake, so long as we turn to Him.

Happy Thanksgiving, and God Bless.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lunchtime Link.

I'm on lunch, skimming the blogs, and came across this excellent post at Conservative Propaganda. Enjoy!

The Price of Belief.

(via The Persecution Blog)

"In July 2007, an Iranian Christian couple was sentenced by the Justice Court of
Revolution to be whipped, two years after they were accused of attending a house
church. According to Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN), "The couple was
arrested on September 21, 2005, by government agents. They had gathered in a
house, in a town northwest of Tehran (gohar dasht) for their regular prayer and
devotional time.""

Amid the increasing hostility to Christianity in the U.S., it's hard for us to understand that there is real persecution going on in the world. As difficult as it is, we at least do not have to worry about being imprisoned or beaten for our beliefs. In some ways, this may be detrimental to our faith, as we get caught up in our own troubles and feelings of persecution, we forget about our brothers and sisters around the world who risk their lives every day just to spread the Gospel.

This couple in Iran was ordered to report regularly to the Court until their sentence was decided. The wife stopped going after being abused during one such instance. Following that, agents of the Court came into their home with a letter stating that their sentence of whipping would be carried out in their home immediately.

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is
the kingdom of heaven" [Matt 5:10]

Pray for this couple and all who face such persecution in the world. To learn more about how you can help persecuted Christians, visit The Voice of the Martyrs.

Link to image source.

Lieberman on National Security Politics.

Senator Joe Lieberman recently gave a speech at The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Joe Lieberman is a rarity these days, a liberal who is able to rise above politics where our national security is concerned. You may remember he lost the Primary Election in Connecticut because of his support for the Iraq War, and subsequently kept his seat by running as an Independent.

In his speech, he talked about Paul H Nitze and his service to Presidents from Roosevelt to Reagan, and the strength of past Democrats on national security (I disagree with him on Clinton however, but nevertheless), and the dramatic shift that has occurred in the Democratic Party with the rise of the far-left anti-war, anti-Bush movement. This movement, led by the likes of Markos "Screw Them" Moulitsas and his DailyKos blog has exercised an undue influence on the Democrats in Congress. The money quote:

"But there is something profoundly wrong—something that should trouble all
of us—when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how
the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about
the fact that Iran is murdering our troops."

He's right. National Security should not be subordinate to partisan politics. We are all Americans, regardless of our political stripes, and what our view of the government's role is. Anti-war activists decry those who question their patriotism; well I do question it, because their violent opposition, if brought to fruition, will only lead to defeat and more civilian deaths on our soil in another terrorist attack. I think the reasons for invading Iraq were a little hard to swallow, but I also think the deposing of Saddam Hussein was about 12 years overdue. I also don't think we were fully prepared or fully anticipated the nature of the fight after Saddam's regime was swept away. But I want us to win, and I agreed with critics of how we were conducting the war, and I welcomed the change in strategy. Such criticism is designed to ensure that we win. The radical Left only seems interested in defeat so that they can oust Bush and the Republicans.

This war is not like Vietnam, no matter how much the anti-war crowd wants it to be. We acted decisively in the interest of national security, not inserting ourselves into an already on-going civil war like we did back then. However, if we don't pursue victory, the outcome will almost surely be the same.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Call Me Frosty.

I guess this fits, since I was accused by my college roomate of being an eskimo, because I opened the window in the middle of winter.

You Are a Snowman

Friendly and fun, you enjoy bringing holiday cheer to everyone you know!

(h/t BigDadGib)

Let's Talk about Sex.

Yet another study strengthens the case for traditional families, but will our sex-obsessed society take notice?

Dr. Laura had it right in describing the rise of sex as a commodity. You cannot escape it, and it is permissible everywhere except, apparently, in a committed marriage. I read a 'Dear Abby" column in the paper yesterday in which a reader wrote a response to a question from a lonely husband: "I do all these nice things for my wife, and she still won't have sex with me! What can I do?"

The response? Stop pressuring your wife and being so selfish. The responder's husband also is guilty of planning numerous romantic dinners and occasions in the expectation that fun will ensue. Not so, says the responder: he should stop expecting and start merely hoping, but oh, keep up the romanticism. "Remember," she writes, "it's about what you are giving, not getting." Well, news flash - she's not giving, so he's not getting. What more does he have to give? The columnist agreed with the responder (of course).

But these days, sex outside of marriage is sacrosanct and not to be tampered with, under any circumstances. This article is astonishing in that it seems to take the men's side, yet refuses to condemn the culture of casual sex which led to the dilemma.

"And yes, sure, you can say a man doesn’t have sex if he doesn’t want a
child…but let’s discuss this as if we’re living in the real world, ‘kay?"

This is the weakest argument in the world, similar to the one used to justify giving birth control to pre-teens: "They're doing it anyway, shouldn't it be safe?" This view is defeatist, in that it assumes that we don't have the power to change society or impact our kids' development. Similar platitudes are used to advocate legalized drugs. Anyone who uses this argument has abandoned principles and ushered society to the dung heap. Sure, kids are going to have sex and people are going to do drugs, but we should not give up the fight to safeguard our principles and values.

Sex is a wonderful thing and a necessary part of marriage. It is also a profound expression of love, particularly for us guys. How many women complain that their man turns into a zombie afterwards? Ever consider that maybe we do because we've just given so much of ourselves, not just physically, but emotionally as well? I think the idea that men can have sex without emotion is a bunch of garbage, meant to blunt the empty feeling that results from casual sex. I think Dr. Laura is unique in advising couples to be each other's lovers as well as spouses. Most advice columnists and therapists give the authority to the woman to decide, and the man awaits her whim, often with the admonition that 'sex isn't that important to the relationship.' Then it must be okay for the man to look for sex elsewhere, isn't it? Give me a break!

Max Lucado had a wonderful sermon series called "Pure Sex." It's about this wonderful gift we've been given, and how to use it according to God's will. You can find it on iTunes, and I highly recommend it.

So what does all this mean? We need to continue to combat the sexualization of our culture. Teach our kids that sex outside of marriage is wrong, and encourage them to wait, no matter what the world around them says. After all, can you really trust a world that says wanting casual sex with strangers is OK, yet wanting it from your spouse is selfishness?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fun with Statistics.

I'm running out the door for a while, but I wanted to fire this at you as a sort of lead-in for some upcoming posts. Watch the whole thing: it's fascinating (even if a little liberalism seeps in from time to time, the guy's Swedish after all).

Here's a follow up from this year:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

For Sale: Slightly Repainted Jag.

Cheap Jaguar for sale in the U.K., if you don't mind washing it first.

The story behind this little artistic beauty is the typical one of the woman scorned: husband buys fancy car, registers it in wife's name (probably for tax reasons), then uses said auto to cheat on the aforementioned wife. Can we say dumb?

Now, the aggrieved spouse is selling her tainted automobile, paint job included, for about $20,000, which is a steal if you're looking for a used luxury car. Naturally, if you don't want to have the paint removed, you can always go with a new model, which may also smell better.

Don't let the modest price tag get you down, either; financing is available for this little monument of wedded bliss.

The cheating husband would do well to follow the links and find new wheels; the ad states that the paint damage to the car is nothing compared to what she'll do to him. Hell hath no fury, eh?

Readers of this blog know I'm a car buff; they also know I take my marriage vows seriously. I'd never cheat on my dear wife, firstly because I love her, secondly because infidelity hurts more than your spouse. I'd never give my wife any reason to do something like this to such a fine piece of automotive machinery.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Believing in Blue: Colts 21, Chargers 23.

What a disgusting display. I don't care how close it was at the end or how great the comeback almost was, when you throw six interceptions, you don't deserve to win.

I could go into a big rant here about that, the coaching, special teams, and the missed field goal, but it just wouldn't be worth it. What I will say is that as much as the team talks about guys stepping up for injured players, don't be fooled: this is a different team without the offensive weapons. Some of the young guys are passable, but down the stretch you want to have your best available. As it is, our playoff picture is looking worse if we don't get back with it. This team is not used to losing and does not take it very well. Last year they translated that into one of the best playoff runs ever. Hopefully they can do that now.

One bright spot: you can't lay this one at the feet of the defense. They played a good game and made it possible for us to catch back up, despite the horrendous special teams play and Manning's turnovers. Quite a switch from past years.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day.

"The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh month..."

Those words describe the time of the signing of the Armistice between Germany and the Allied Powers in 1918, marking the end of what was called "The war to end all wars." In 1926, Congress marked the day by resolving that the President proclaim that the flag will be flown on all government buildings that day; in 1938, Congress recognized Armistice Day as a legal holiday, honoring veterans of the World War.

War came again.

In 1954, fresh from WWII and Korea, Congress amended the Act of 1938 to honor American veterans of all wars.

" On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those
who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to
preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task
of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in

All of us have been touched by a veteran in some way. In my case, it is through family. My paternal Grandfather's brother served in Patton's 3rd Army during WWII. My maternal Grandfather served in the Army Corps of Engineers in Korea. My brother-in-law is currently serving in Iraq.

I'm proud that these men, and all others like them, answered their county's call in her time of need. I'm grateful for what they did and are doing to ensure that I have the freedom to write, and you, the freedom to read.

God bless our veterans, past and present.

Link to image source.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Picture of the Day. (Updated)

I posted this picture last night before I went to bed. I was tired and thought it was funny, since I'm not a Mac fan, and the geeky side of me doesn't like their Mac/PC ads.

Having slept on it however, I realized that the picture is not really in keeping with the tone of this blog, and does not represent the message I want to send on a daily basis. I still think it's funny, but this is not the way to react to feelings of inadequacy. I apologize for appearig to advocate it.

So, instead of a picture, you now get a link, with suitable Content Warning.

R.I.P. Norman Mailer

American journalist and novelist Norman Mailer died of renal failure in New York City today. I'm still trying to sort my impressions about this news.

I first discovered Mailer while I was a freshman in college. I had read about The Armies of the Night in a magazine article, and being young and flushed with idealism and liberalism, I bought a copy at a second-hand bookstore and immersed myself in a world that I had only seen in The Wonder Years. Needless to say, it was a side of that world that I had never known, but I was drawn in by Mailer's unique writing style, even if I didn't fully comprehend the politics behind the narrative. I've since grown out of my youthful liberalism.

I moved on to The American Dream, a dark portrait of our country that I still haven't figured out. What mattered was that Mailer wielded words the way Monet or Picasso wielded a brush, sometimes with similarly striking results. While in Italy, I read some of Ancient Evenings. I tried to read Of a Fire on the Moon during the summer I spent reading about the space program, but the contrast with the no-nonsense technical histories stymied me and I had to put it down. Likewise, I've never been able to get very far into The Prisoner of Sex, which is a pity, because I believe that in this instance, Mailer and I are in agreement. He seems not to be a fan of the feminists (nor they of him), but alas, here his unique style defeats me.

Possibly my favorite Mailer book is Oswald's Ghost, a remarkable look into the life and mind of a killer. Rather than examine bullet theories and grassy knolls, Mailer delves into Lee Harvey Oswald's history to make the case that he did indeed kill Kennedy and acted alone.

In his historical romances about WWII, Herman Wouk writes of Churchill complimenting Rommel with the words, "Across the gulf of war, I salute a great general." Norman Mailer at once entertained me with his narratives, enthralled me with his style, and disgusted me with his politics. He probably would have been amused by that, and appreciated it. Across the gulf of ideology, I salute a great writer.

Link to image source.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tagged by the SEO Monster.

I'm not usually into going along with memes, but since I got tagged a while back, I've been thinking it would be a poor sport of me to ignore it. I've picked three posts from my blog and added them to the list. Take a few minutes and peruse all the links; after all, the purpose of these things is to build traffic.

~Start tag~

This is based on the SEO theory that links to posts inside your blog are more important than links to your home page. I have selected three posts I want to promote along with my site’s name. You should do the same thing. Keep it simple and spread our good work around to both share and build some ratings! Pick three posts that you feel are your best or those you simply want to promote. Your site name is listed with your 3 selected posts beneath. Once you have your post up: Add the sites and post links of the folks you tagged onto your post. Try to add the site and post links to anyone involved to maximize the effectiveness. Tag a minimum of 5 people! Try your best not to double tag people so it will spread better! Please actually read the posts from everyone so you can see some really good work from our beloved blogging friends! Make your title a little different from mine to avoid repetitive titles. Please try maintain some friendly updates to your post too.

Revellian dot com
SEO Keywords For Beginners
Content: The Kings Illegitimate Stepchild
Tales of Blogger-X Illusion

Mariuca - Wishing On A Falling Star
Love In Disarray
In Love With A Dream
The Good Client

Mariuca’s Perfume Gallery
Perfume Shopping Spree
Defining Beauty
In Full Splendour

First Time Dad
Homer Kidnapped
Something Ends
Good Night Sweetheart! Hello Basil!

Speedcat Hollydale Page
Rocket Boy in Hawaii - DC9
Speedcat’s Death Ride into Terror!
The Boy Inside All Men

R Playground
Shy Blogger
Soul Music

LadyJava’s Lounge
Are you a Genius??, The secret to a happy marriage, I’ve got a twitch in my eye

Rooms of My Heart
Let’s Celebrate with Us, Join Tribute to Dads Project, 8 things that make who I am now

Being Woman - The Joy of Being One
A Handbag Lunatic, A Real Deal, What makes you fat?

Make Money Online
Share Uploaded Files and Earn, Fight Back against computer-security threats, Earn Money 3 Ways with Shareapic Program

Cat Tales
Sunday was Bathday, Someone got locked in!, When she’s sleeping….

Life with the Two Crazy Dogs
35W Bridge Collapsed Survivor, 10 Questions, Traffic Violation - Bite Me!

Attitude, the Ultimate Power
Cookies Happiness is a Decision; Choose to be Happy Happiness Vs. Human Nature

Terri Terri Quite Contrary - Just How Immature Are We?, Finding a Voice, So Much More to See than the Game

Amel's Realm - In Memoriam, On Trust and Relationship, Marriage Review

Choc Mint Girl
Failure in Every Success
Feel Like Singing?
Warm Wishes to Dad

Back Home Again
They Shall Become One Flesh
The First Year
Archaeology in the Holy Land


~End Tag~

Here goes. Tag, you're it:

1. Devilish Girl
2. BigDadGib
3. Shiny Sink
4. Mental Poo
5. Heh, can't think of any others...if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Diggity Digg.

I've been working tonight trying to get a Digg button attached to each of my posts. I've found code for various types, but what I really want is the new style button that shows how many times a story has been dugg.

As you can see, I've managed to get it working, but it's still not to my satisfaction. For one thing, the lawnmower post is showing digg information for the Sam Hornish post. The Digg button also seems to look a little...hinky.

So, if anyone out there knows a good way to get the button I want working, please leave a comment with your suggestions!

Update: Well, I found a different set of instructions, and got the look I wanted, but now I'm not sure I like it. I may go back to including a simple digg graphic in the footer of each post. Opinions?

Dumb Move of the Day.

It's official. Sam Hornish Jr. is switching to NASCAR. After failing to qualify for six NASCAR races this year, why not go for the big bucks and try it full time?

I really don't understand this at all. I know that the earnings potential is greater in NASCAR, and open-wheel racing in this country is in perpetual Limbo, but consider the history:

1) Hornish is the most successful and consistent active driver in IndyCar Racing, with the best team. He could win the Indy 500 and the IRL championship as many times as he wants.

2) All of his previous closed-wheel (or tin-top, for you Brits) excursions have been spectacular flops (see picture above). Did I mention the six failed qualifying attempts?

Hornish is optimistic about the move, and feels that he can do well (provided he makes the field, eh?).
""I am a much better racer than I am a qualifier, and if I can just get in, I
feel confident I can figure it out.""

Uh, Sammy? Look at the picture again, please. Getting in is easier said than done, too, as you well know by now. Never fear, though, the NASCAR rules favor in this regard: Penske can use his owner points earned by Kurt Busch to guarantee Hornish at least five starts. Naturally, that should be enough to get started with. Again, the optimism:
""People always ask me why Montoya has been so successful, and the easy thing to
say is because he had the points," Hornish said. "He had those first five races
and he was automatically guaranteed to get that seat time.""

But Montoya is something that Hornish is not: a true racer in the old style, like Tony Stewart; these guys can drive fast in anything, much like drivers of the '60s. Men like A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, Jim Clark, and Mario Andretti could race, and win, in anything.

Maybe with some extended seat time he'll get the hang of it, or he could get lucky(car number 77, you see). But I just can't see how this is a good move right now.

One good thing, though, is that now there's a seat open on the top open-wheel team. Prospects will be circling like sharks, so here's my suggestion: give the media a real story and give this deserving driver a chance.

(h/t Jalopnik)

Link to image source.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

You've Never Done Laps Like This Before.

Where can I get it?

Alas, it's only a concept in CG. Still the thought of wrapping my leather-clad hands around the F1-style steering wheel, listening to the roar of the motor as I set out to fight the suburban man's battle turns me on.

Schools Gone Wild.

"It states: "Displays of affection should not occur on the school campus at any
time. It is in poor taste, reflects poor judgment, and brings discredit to the
school and to the persons involved.""

The vagueness of the policy makes it a stretch to think that detention for a hug is an appropriate punishment. Especially since the 'incident' occurred at a football game. It's not an isolated occurrence, either.

""It was made to be something ugly and it wasn't," Muir said.
She says the
hug wasn't meant to be sexual. She says her daughter was consoling a male friend
who recently lost a parent."

It's frightening to think that those who are entrusted with the education of our youth have such poor judgement. There have always been rules against "PDAs" at schools; such rules were designed to prevent excited teenagers from playing tonsil-hockey in the halls and encouraging appropriate behavior. Now the goal is different:

"In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled schools could be held liable by ignoring
claims of sexual harassment. Some say the ruling puts schools between
a rock and a hard place. By not identifying all suspect behavior, they risk

Time was when harassment was dealt with by either a slap across the face or the intervention of a gentleman. Some guys wolf-whistled a girl in my high school band class once, and the director went ballistic. In the '70s, a teacher actually slammed a football player against the wall for inappropriately grabbing a girl. Unfortunately, the sexualization of our culture means that such actions are either acceptable or grounds for a lawsuit.

Fear of liability has neutered school officials and robbed them of the capacity to judge for themselves.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Election Day. (Update): Ballard Wins!

Indiana voters went to the polls today, full of fire over property taxes and crime. Here in Indianapolis, the mayoral race is turning into a nail biter as Republican challenger Greg Ballard holds a slim lead over incumbent Democrat Bart Peterson. In the City-County Council races, the Republicans likewise leading in the four at-large seats, enough to give them the majority.

I'll be up watching the returns and will post updates here from time to time. Hoosier Access is live blogging the entire election. My focus is on the mayoral race here in Indy, because typically as goes the mayoral election, so goes the council. Here's the current numbers:

Bart Peterson (D) - 47.17%
Greg Ballard (R) - 50.51%
Fred Peterson (L)- 2.28%

Bear in mind, I heard radio reports earlier today about some problems with voting machines which could mean a block of votes that have to be hand counted. So there may not be a definitive result tonight. The good news is, that the polls opened without event, unlike the fiasco in the May primaries.

Update (9:51pm): Ballard's lead slipped for a while, but he seems to be building again.

Update (9:57pm): The Indianapolis Star's graphic shows that the Republicans have locked up 10 seats on the CCC to the Dems' 6. That includes 4 Dems who were running unopposed. Rather than constantly re-type numbers, I'm just going to change the ones above with each update.

Update (10:16pm): 100 precincts left to go, and Ballard still going strong. Considering that he had no money and didn't run a TV ad until 4 days before the election, this is a colossal upset in the making. The question is which precincts have yet to report. The Star still shows 10 seats on the CCC for the Good Guys; Hoosier Access shows 12. The at-large seats are too close to call, with the Republicans holding a slim (very slim) lead.

Update (10:34): Victory! Peterson concedes to Ballard. The Star calls it the biggest upset in local politics since 1967. This should also indicate good news ahead for the City-County Council races. The Democrats have been an absolute disaster in charge; hopefully the Republicans can provide some responsible leadership.

Helicopter Parents.

If you supervise teenagers, as I do on occasion, then you've surely run into this creature. Mom or Dad will call in for the kid when he doesn't feel like working, or will call in righteous indignation when Junior is written up for failing to do his job properly. My favorite is, "Sissy isn't coming to work today or tomorrow because we have important family activities planned."

The phenomenon has really drawn attention at college campuses. Professors dread the harangue of the indignant parent who demands that their chick and child receive a better grade from Dr. Scrooge. It doesn't matter that Buffy never came to class; that's not her fault! The class is too early, she has important extra-curricular activities, etc.

A new study even lauds such behavior as helping the kids get more out of the college experience. I always thought the college experience was to be independent and get away from home.

"Though excessive contact with parents might inhibit learning and development,
students in frequent contact with their parents are more satisfied with their
college experience, according to the new survey."

Notice how the effect on grades is secondary to satisfaction with the college experience. I find myself now in sympathy with my Roman History professor who refused to end any class session even a minute early because we were paying for it. If you're going to spend $20,000 a year on an education, shouldn't good grades be a priority over "the college experience?" These parent's are harming more than the kids' grades, however:

"we should tell them by words and deeds that it's OK to fail."

That's exactly what these kids are not learning. By having Mommy and Daddy ride to the rescue in any situation, they will not know how to deal with adversity on their own until it's too late. One cannot learn from one's mistakes unless one is allowed to face the consequences. Sooner or later these kids will have to deal with the real world in which things will be demanded of them, which no one can smooth over for them. Parents need to sever the cord and let their kids stumble on their own once in a while. That's how you mold children into adults.

Update: I suppose there are alternatives to being a helicopter parent. Sheesh.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Update 11/05: The child that survived the accident is now in the hands of the Lord. Continue your prayers for this man and his family. The donation information has changed; see below.

Originally posted on 10/22/2007:

I can't imagine anything more horrible. Follow the link in Michelle's post and read the whole article; take a box of tissue because you will cry.

Pray for this brave man and his family. If you have the means, you can help financially by giving to the Ashley and Logan Johnson Memorial Fund at any Bank of America.

Amazing Grace.

My favorite hymn. We sang it in church this week, and I always enjoy it. It's so simple, yet right to the point about how wonderful God's Grace is. It's hard for us to understand sometimes just how much it means, but little incidents in our lives can wake us up.

"I'm tired of fixing or replacing everything she destroys. I'm tired of her
doing the same thing over and over and over without learning to be better. I'm
tired.And then I'm reminded: what if God felt the same about me? What if He
said, "That's it Tim. I've had it. You're obviously never going to get it right.
Time to get rid of you.""

Isn't it wonderful that we have a God that is so much better than we are, with so much more patience and love? Amazing.

A New Experiment.

I've decided to try something new here at Back Home Again. Every day I see posts in discussion groups about making money with a blog, so I've decided to give it a try. There are many ways to earn, but since I don't like clutter on my blog, paid posts are the way to go.

One such service is bloggerwave. It's a paid post service based in Europe that connects bloggers with opportunities from advertisers. The advertisers pay for ads, the bloggers provide. What's great about this service is that you can take whatever opportunity you wish, so you don't have to worry about endorsing something you don't like or approve of. That's the danger with embedded ads; I can't tell you how many times I've visited a site in which the ads were directly opposed to the content of the site. Paid post services leave some power to the blogger, which is how it should be.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Believing in Blue: Colts 20, Pats 24.

Well, it was certainly a good, though frustrating game. I didn't like the way our offense wilted in the second half. The defense put up a mighty fight, but against a team as good as the Patriots, you can't afford to be one-sided. So, I'll admit, I predicted wrong.

But it's only one game, even if it means the road to the Super Bowl will probably go through Foxboro. I doubt New England can go undefeated; they looked average against a good team today, and will surely play good teams as the year goes on. Remember also, that Miami has an eerie habit of defending the '72 Dolphins' record. As they say, it's the NFL, anything can happen.

Anyone got any ketchup?

Home Improvement.

I've been Stumbling while I wait for the Showdown. I don't know what they're saying, but this is cool:

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Fall Space Day.

I took my oldest son to Purdue University today for their annual Fall Space Day. It's a day for kids in grades 3-8 to meet a real astronaut and do activities that teach them about some of the problems and principles of spaceflight. It's a long day, but the kids enjoy it. As a parent, I enjoy watching my son work with the other kids on the various activities. All of them involve some sort of challenge to overcome, such as designing a capsule to protect an egg 'astronaut.' The capsule is then dropped from a second story window to determine its effectiveness. Suffice it to say, I would not want to be an astronaut on this day!

Today my son got to make a rocket from a drinking straw, design a structure to protect a potato chip 'astronaut' from a meteor impact, and launch styrofoam and toothpick satellite components using balloon rockets. The last activity was interesting because the kids had to 'pay' for their components and rockets, as well as each launch. The winning group was the one that got all their components into orbit for the least amount of money.

The kids also get their picture taken with the astronaut speaker, and a goody bag with the astronaut's autograph. A good day, a good father-son outing.

Emergency Rule.

The big news story of the day is President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule in Pakistan in an effort to stay in power. He's fired the Chief Justice and surrounded the Supreme Court with the military. His claim is that it's for the good of the country.

""Extremists are roaming around freely in the country, and they are not scared
of law-enforcement agencies," the president said."

This presents a Catch-22 for the United States. On the one hand, Musharraf has been a fairly reliable ally in the war on terror. By contrast, the opposition is increasingly Islamist and anti-American. The sticking point is that Pakistan is a nuclear power. Americans naturally wish for free elections and do not like cozying up with dictators, but you have to consider having a nuclear arsenal in the hands of a jihadist government would be far worse. In this light, the U.S. response is predictable.

"US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the declaration of
emergency rule was "highly regrettable" and called upon Pakistan to have
free and fair elections."

One thing not reported however, is that neither side is friendly to the Christians in Pakistan. Persecution tends to increase in times of political upheaval, so keep the Pakistani Brothers and Sisters in your prayers.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Gaming Addiction.

(OK, I've been on a tear tonight. Last post of the day, I promise.)

I listen to the PC Gamer Podcast and was intrigued a few months ago to hear the staff go on about the game Peggle. It's supposed to be great as well as massively addictive. I don't know, I haven't played it yet. I guess if you're interested you could try it out or, like me, just watch this (Language Content Warning):

Believing in Blue: Game of the Year

I know I got off-track keeping up with the Colts' season. Here's a brief rundown since the last update:

Indy 30 - Houston 24
Indy 38 - Denver 20
Indy 33 - Tampa 14
Indy 29 - Jacksonville 7
Indy 31 - Carolina 7

The Colts are playing well, though they are still starting slow each game. I'm glad to see that the defense is no longer seeming to lag a little late in the games the way they did the first couple of weeks.

Now the game everyone has been waiting for is nearly here, and the hated Patriots come to town with their 8-0 record. I think this game will live up to its hype, but the Colts will prevail, though not by a large margin. For all the talk about the Pats' offense, they haven't played any good teams yet, and their defense is pretty much the same as it has been. The other reason the Colts will win? Propaganda like this cannot fail to inspire.

A Manly Stance on Health Care.

One of the sites I enjoy while surfing on Blog Explosion is Arthur's Hall of Viking Manliness. It's refreshing and always to the point.

Read their latest on the health care crisis in America. Nail. On. The. Head.

His language isn't always appropriate for Sunday School, but it's nothing we haven't heard on TV, so observe your mild content warning.

Dilemma for the Modern Man.

I came across this post while surfing on Blog Explosion. I agreed with most of it, because the author feels as I do, that kids should be raised by two parents who are married. However, I was saddened by the thought that single men today might actually be considering giving up the joys of marriage and fatherhood out of fear of divorce.

I agree that marriage and having kids is not something to be done lightly, but at the same time, if you wait until conditions are perfect, you'll never get there. You cannot perform Due Diligence on a prospective spouse and be 100% sure that the marriage will work. Marriage is a life-long process that is rarely perfect. There are bumps in the road, and it takes a team effort to keep the car on course.

But, both of you can and should talk about marriage and what it means to you before you tie the knot. Better yet, speak to your pastor or a Christian counselor who can help you understand what God wants from a man and woman who have committed their lives to each other. If you cannot do those things, then I'd recommend you at least read Dr. Laura. She's wonderful.

As I said in the comment to the post, and here before, the state of affairs today which would drive men away from marriage is due to the rise of radical feminism. All is not lost, however. There are many women who still believe that men have value, and understand that we each have a role.

Diplomacy Needed; Diplomats Chicken Out.

Michael Yon's latest dispatch is sure to give the MSM palpitations. Sheik Omar Jabouri boldly proclaims that Al-Qaeda Iraq is defeated; a little premature perhaps, but events are definitely moving in that direction. Clearly, AQI's strategy of fomenting a sectarian civil war is failing. Tribal leaders, like Sheik Jabouri, are turning from AQI and are working with American forces to root out the terrorists. Now, pay attention:

"In fact, more and more meetings in Iraq are turning to day-to-day business, and
less time is required on military and security topics like targeting and
addressing intelligence-type matters, which until recently monopolized most
meetings across Iraq."

This means two things: 1) that the military is succeeding in its mission. 2) with the emphasis turning to non-military matters, more diplomats are needed to help work through these issues.

They're not exactly lining up in droves.

""It's one thing if someone believes in what's going on over there and
volunteers, but it's another thing to send someone over there on a forced
assignment," Croddy said. "I'm sorry, but basically that's a potential death
sentence and you know it. ... Who will raise our children if we are dead or
seriously wounded?""

Indeed. Probably the same people who will raise the children of the nearly 4,000 brave men and women who have already given their lives. They already know the meaning of bravery and sacrifice.