Friday, February 24, 2006

Free Online Graph Paper / Grid Paper PDFs

Dave sent me this link and said, "Some gamers and students will find this useful". I agree. Very cool. Hex paper... what every gamer needs! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

ABC News: Fast-Food Ice Dirtier Than Toilet Water

Jasmine Roberts never expected her award-winning middle school science project to get so much attention. But the project produced some disturbing results: 70 percent of the time, ice from fast food restaurants was dirtier than toilet water.
Yuck! But I really like the following quote - from her 18 year old brother:
Justus said when Jasmine told him her idea for this project, "I gave her a high five, then said, 'You're a strange little kid.' But I supported her all the way."

Monday, February 20, 2006

Worship - and Areosmith

So I'm watching the Areosmith You Gotta Move DVD, and various band members are talking at various times, and Steven Tyler is talking about being in the zone; and I realize that what he's talking about, that is close to what worship is like for me.

At one point (and I couldn't find it to quote it exactly) he was talking about being on stage and looking over at Joe Perry and just... seeing it on Joe's face. That he gets this look and Steven knows Joe is in the zone, and that its great. He also said he knows he was in the zone when the concert was over and he didn't even know time had passed. Thats the same for me. When you are worshipping and you look up and hours have passed, or the pastor is coming forward to do the sermon, or whatever, and you think "Wow... already. I thought we just started" and its been an hour, or two, or whatever... then you know you've been *there*.

Later Steven said the following:

... I read the review that "Whoops, Typlers back on drugs" or "That show was phenomenal." It doesn't matter. I know I was in the zone and I know I had a good time. And I think thats what transcends to the younger audience. Its very magical... when that happens. But I think all musicians live for it. And its very euphoric. And if those that get it play their cards right, they can ride that wave right into the shore; because the euphoric recall is life giving. Its happy, joyous and free. It transcends all bounderies. Its got no definition, yet it means everything. Its the greatest experience on earth. Its like watching your child be born. Its just something else.

That is so what worship is... only instead of just being an earthly thing, its a super-natural thing as well, because God is in the mix. It doesn't matter if people tell you that it was good or not. Because if you get it, if you were in the zone, if you were there; God was there. You could feel Him. You were speaking to Him and playing for Him - and He told you it was good. And it is very... magical for lack of a better term. Its super-natural. Its non-earthly.

And the euphoric recall is life giving; because He is life-giving. Once you've been there, its somewhere you want to go back to. Its something you live for. Feeling His presence that strong, and just playing for the joy of it - because He joys in it, and it makes Him, and you, happy.

"Its got no definition, yet it means everything." That is so it. It is so hard to explain to someone that hasn't been there. The cool thing, to me, is to hear people that do get it. And what's weird to me, is that the people that explain it best in public, aren't even Christians. Alex Van Halen, Steven Tyler. And yet, they've been somewhere that is a copy of "it". They've been in the secular zone... and being in worship is all that, and more. Because He is there.

Its weird the things that speak to me. That secular things speak to me louder than Christian things at times. But God speaks through all things...

As Steven said, "Its the greatest experience on earth. ... Its just something else."

Sunday, February 19, 2006


It's Sunday afternoon. I went to NCF today, after having not gone to church for a number of weeks... I don't know, 5 maybe? It was very cool. I'm starting to miss corporate worship. Its just one of the things I very much enjoy - if I'm in the band playing or in the congregation just participating. To me, its close to the same thing. A little different being in the band, because then I'm actually pounding on some form of hand drums, rather than my: chest, hands, hips, fronts of my legs, or whatever - but hey, really, that is just all different forms of instruments. So yeah, pretty close to the same thing. The coolest thing about it, is whether or not you really get into worship - and that has very little to do with being on stage, in the band, or whatever. One of my best times of worship was when I was in the congregation, and then some of my other really great - and really bad, times have been when I was on the stage. So, all it all, its just really a heart/God/focus thing, and doesn't have much to do with where I am... other than it seems almost always better when it is congreational rather than all by myself.

I have tomorrow off, so plenty of time to work then. You know you like you job when you find out you have a 3 day weekend and think, "Yes... now I can get some really cool stuff done" - because that means you can work from home without much interruption and do some stuff you've been meaning to get done at work, but were too busy to do because people are interrupting you or you have stuff you really SHOULD get done. But hey, no one can really fault you for what you do on your "time off", right? So - most of Monday with maybe very little to do but "fun work". Cool.

So anyhow, kind of tired, because up early, and everyone is napping - and I've got tomorrow to work and a little too tired to work now anyway, but not tired enough to take a nap - so I decided to read some blogs. So after reading Defective Yeti and sitting in here laughing silenty so hard (because I don't want to wake the kids up who are napping) that I've got tears just RUNNING down my face; I decided maybe I should blog for a bit. Which is mostly made up of me just sitting there thinking about things and writting them down...

[At this point I change my title from "Rambling... perhaps" because I didn't know what I was going to write about, to "Worship"]

So yeah, worship was really good. Jesse Ralph is always great... because he is just so real, and because he is a Passion style of worshipper. So it was great. I'm finally starting to realize, more than I ever did in the past, that there truely are all different kinds of worshippers. Or perhaps another way to say it, some people are born to worship and some are not. Well maybe all are born to worship - but some people get worship, and some do not. Anyway, Jesse is a great worshipper, and so a great worship leader. Worship today was great.

A few thoughts on worship, and worshippers - and hopefully not too crtical - a few thoughts on "yeah, I don't think it should be that way, but it is" or "Yeah, I don't really get that."

You shouldn't do too many new songs, because people can't worship if too many songs are new. Hate it for them. What a drag. People have to actually KNOW the words to songs or they can't worship. That is sad. Today was a great time of worship, and I think I knew 2 of the 6 songs. All in all, most worship songs are fairly repetative. So hey, if you didn't know the 2 sentences the first time the band sang them, you should know them by the 2nd or 3rd time they sing them. After all, if it is a good worship song, it is about pouring your heart out to God, or talking about how great He is. So they should be pretty easy. So your eyes follow along a bit, or you actually listen to the words a bit, repeating them, and pretty soon you heart is just pouring them out, and you don't really have to KNOW them. I mean, by the end of the song you do. So whats the big deal. At least that is how *I* think it should be. And how it is for me. So, even though I didn't know most the songs, it was great. And I think it is just sad that some people can never quite get into worship, because they don't "know the words". Missing the point I think.

Heaven isn't going to be just worshipping God, because hey, that would be boring. Again - someone's not getting it. Or someone doesn't know how to really worship, or understand what it is all about. I used to be kind of concerned about dying and going to heaven. "What am I going to do in Heaven? I heard it was all about worshipping God... ALL THE TIME." Then I got a true revelation about worship, and now I can't wait. I mean litterally... I can't wait. I've been in bible studies before and listened to people discussing death, or being afraid of death. And I'm like, "Yeah, I'm not worried about it at all." I'm truely not. Its going to rawk big time - so whats to be worried about? The only thing that concerns me about death is my family not being taken care of, or missing something with my (hopefully in the future at some time) grandkids. But I figure I'll go when God wants me to, and until then I'll take care of things and play with my (hopefully in the future at some time) grand kids. But anyway, I'm not afraid. Because I've experienced worship. And it has blown me away. And in heaven its going to be way beyond what I can imagine based upon my earthly experience. So what's not to look forward to? Whats to be afraid of? My only fear would be if we weren't worshipping all of the time... and I'm not worried about that at all - because God is all about Love and Worship. And this whole line of thought was brought on because I heard a pastor said something like, "Many people think heaven will be all about worship, but I don't think so; because there are very few of us that could worship all the time." And I heard a few people thought, "Man, I hope not, not if worship is like this." Again, to me, that is very sad. And it made me think about a few things about worship.

  • I never confuse worship here on earth with what it will be like in heaven. If worship here on earth is bad... its because we are on earth. We have politics, and emotions, and moods, and just stuff, interfering. But the best time of worship we've ever had on earth - yeah, heaven will be like that, but only better. So I have never once thought "Man, if worship in heaven is like this, its going to be a drag." - Because if I'm feeling bad about worship on earth, I never confuse *that* (whatever it is - because if you are feeling like that - it isn't really worship), with what it will be like in heaven.
  • I've realized that some people just don't "get" worship. If they did, they wouldn't make comments like the ones above. They would understand it... but they don't. And I don't think any amout of explaining is going to get them to understand it. As much as I think heaven will be all about worship... maybe that is true just for worshippers. Maybe my heaven isn't what other's heaven is. I don't know. But I'm willing to cut people slack and just be content in what I think heaven will be like - for me
  • Not everyone is a "worshipper". I used to believe everyone was. Deep inside. That they were all built that way. I used to believe that if you could just get people to experience worship - true worship - that they'd "get it". That they'd feel it, they'd get it, and they'd long for it, from that time on. I once had a person tell me that I really got worship. And that I needed to cut people slack. That not everyone got it the way I did, and that most people never would. For a long time I took that to me, "They don't get it now... but given the right exposure, they will." I'm starting to think they some people never will. And that isn't a bad thing, I don't think. I think it just is. But as a person who plays on worship teams - I think it takes some pressure off. I don't have to worry about "Why didn't they get it?", "Why weren't the people moved." I think some people will never be moved, get it, whatever. And it isn't because the team is doing something wrong. Some people just aren't "into" it. For some people, corporate worship is just something you do before the sermon. Its just singing some songs. And they are never going to feel God's presence in worship, like other people do. Its a drag - but I think its just the way it is.

Well... that's probably enough about worship for today. Most of that came from the past few weeks. Not from anything really today. Today was just a good day of singing my heart out to God - singing with some people I know and love, grinning at Jesse Ralph being Jesse Ralph, and just basically enjoying being in God's presense with His people - all pouring our hearts out to Him.

And I've been missing that about my worship with Him. How easy it is. How... light. To use a geek term... my worship with him is a light-weight interface. There is nothing heavy, complicated, or complex about it. And that is what I love about it. There are no requirements, no constraints. Its just --- Here I Am. Open you heart and pour it out. And *that* - is very easy to do.

Valentines Day Dinner

Because Michael made dinner for Jaime on Tues, and we were upstairs, I wanted until Thur to make dinner for Tina. Four courses!

Shirmp cocktail stuffed avacados, medium shrimp and celery with cream cheese

Lobster Bisque with Crab Meat

Snow Crab Cakes with a citrus cream sauce
Asparagrus with a lemon cheese sauce
Pine nut couscous

Chocholate covered strawberries, chocholate creme, and miniature pastries.

Yum. :)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Linked from - - How to fix your monitor if some idiot puts a magnet on it

Well that was pretty cool. And pretty funny since I believe the person who forwarded this to me had it hapepn to him, from one of his kids. :)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Its been busy

Just a quick update on how things are going. I've been swamped with work lately. Was in DC the week before last, which was a really good trip. (Lots of good ethnic food and good work), then last week was the "ok... we're back now, lets get caught up" week. Tons of stuff going on at work, with possible new implementations (new projects), the possibility that I might be leading up something new, and just tons of new features being requested to go into things. Which is all good. Its nice when people want to use your stuff! So I've been coding, designing, consulting, attending many meetings, etc. Its been kind of crazy, but it goes in cycles like that.

So the weekends have pretty much been just vegging. Hoping this week to get up to NCF. Haven't been to church in... 4 weeks maybe? Didn't go the week before the trip, then of course during the trip, and now been back for a few weeks but just too much going on. Weird when you are involved in a service every week for years, and then not to go for a month. I'm starting to miss playing, but also just corporate worship in general.

Anyhow - for those that were wondering if I dropped off the face of the earth or something (other than the occasional posting to some article or something), that is what is going on with me. And things don't look like they'll be slowing down anytime soon. But hey... that's why God made me the type of person to get up at 4:00 in the morning and start working. :)


Canadian IT Operators Discover Beauty In Spam - Yahoo! News

Building on the idea that people are naturally attuned to sound, the Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has created software that translates network and server activity into music. And, their IT department operators can interpret the music to detect problems in the system.
Pretty cool idea. We have users who look at network traffic graphically (rather than looking at textual statistics, etc.), so this would just add another "sense" to the mix. You see it, and hear it. Cool.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Verizon Business Enhances Voice-Over-IP Suite of Services

Verizon Business is expanding its patented Sheriff anti-fraud expert system to help protect Verizon Business Managed IP Telephony customers from illegitimate use of their IP PBX phone systems. Available only from Verizon Business, Sheriff's round-the-clock proactive monitoring enables early detection and customer notification of suspect or fraudulent calling. Verizon Business now safeguards all Managed IP PBX customers with Sheriff and its experienced Fraud Control Team, while also offering a custom version that lets customers specifically tailor Sheriff to recognize and report irregular activities targeted at a customer's particular business.
Yup, that's the Sheriff system I work on. :)

Friday, February 03, 2006

You're Still Paying for the Spanish-American War: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Once a tax, always a tax.

The 1984 Apple Commerical

Some cool behaind the scense info on the commerical. To actually display the commerical you have to allow popups and it appearently takes a while to download (I'm still downloading from the 60 second commerical link as I write this). The page itself takes a bit to come up, because of the images on it - but not too long.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

"Joke" Conversation Thread in which the :-) Was Invented

The contents of the 'joke' thread on the CMU CS general bboard that led to Scott Fahlman's invention of the smiley are below. This was retrieved from the spice vax oct-82 backup tape by Jeff Baird on September 10, 2002.
This article, or rather BB contents is so cool (geek cool) on a number of levels:
  • It was recorded on a VAX,
  • It shows the origination of :-), and
  • Its just kind of cool to read geeky conversations. :-)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Too much money to tax - The Other Side - Breaking News 24/7 -

MICROSOFT founder Bill Gates, the world's richest man, said today the tax office in the US has to store his financial data on a special computer because his fortune is so vast.
Gee... what a problem to have!