Archive for November 2005

What a (Long) Weekend!

November 27, 2005

Like a true American, I stuffed myself silly on Thanksgiving Thursday. On Friday, I went to the post office to fetch the CPU I got through ebay. Installed it that night, too. But, as usual with such things, the bios page told me that the speed was the same as before. Clearly, I had to set something in my ‘jumperless’ motherboard to make it understand that this CPU had more umph. Well, at least it worked. I slept on it.
The next morning, I fiddled a bit with the options and got this Linux box to recognize the new, improved speed. Neato! I’m zooming along, surfing the net for the better part of the day with no problems, always mindful of the warning that if I choose too fast a setting for the front side bus, it’ll crash on me eventually. But it’s reporting the speed correctly.
Hours later, I repair to the living room for dinner.
I return to a crashed computer.
The scream was heard for miles.
So I rebooted and poked around and – what’s this? Instead of the 512 Mbytes of memory that I know I have installed, I have, what? 96 Meg? Huh?
I sighed heavily, whimpered and whined like a puppy and, saint that she is, the Astrowife sent me to purchase more memory for my ‘free-and-made-of-spare-parts-machine’. An hour and a half later, it’s installed, and…
It doesn’t boot! Three short beeps, a long beep, and nothing. Oh wait – I know what that means. I had inadvertently knocked loose the graphics card, which sits uncomfortably close to the memory that I had just installed. I fixed that.

And the machine stays up for exactly three minutes before it freezes on me. PANIC!
And it won’t reboot. And it won’t reboot again. And it…
Reboots! Ok I can breathe again.
Until it freezes once more, and in frustration, I just pull the graphics card, re-seat it firmly, and…
Whew! Seems fine now. No more crashes, and it starts in the morning.

But the next morning, Sunday at 7:00 am, the AstroWife tries to boot her major, almost state-of-the-art, all-parts-factory-new 2.4 MHz Windoze2000 box, and IT WON’T BOOT!

This must be something in the air.

Well, at least her box tells me something – like “THERE’S NO HARD DRIVE HERE ANYMORE, DUMMY!” That’s interesting. It was there when we went to sleep…

After repeated attempts it does boot, temporarily, enough to be frustrating and get the AstroWife to lament that she’ll loose all her wonderful graphics. So I went to mass, and thought about it a bit, and I pull a single, solitary rabbit out of my hat. I attempt to repair the installation from the install disks, guessing at the choices that MicroSoft provides.

The first time, the process bar stalls. The second time, IT WORKS! The box stays up for her to burn CDs and back everything up. The data is saved. Better, she has waiting a brand new 120 Gig hard-drive (new, improved size, new, improved manufacturer) for me to install later this week.

Man, I didn’t realize how much we both have come to depend on these machines. Two of them, no less, in one household. Seems ridiculous, but there it is.

I Am Thankful

November 24, 2005

…today, for:
my wife. Today I had a memory of life as a bachelor at Thanksgiving. At that moment, I was immensely grateful for her presence, her grace and her help in getting through each day.

my job. This year I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of working on a mission that, God willing, will be news in about 9 and a half years. I’ll be somewhere else by then, I’m sure, but I will be proud to remember that I contributed to its success. Just yesterday I received news that my contract will be renewed for a year, and for that, I am thankful.

my country. There are solders who are fighting in my name at this very moment, and for them – to them – I am grateful. They are living in miserable conditions to defend my freedoms, and for that, I am thankful.

my brothers and my sister, all of whom are hard working, God fearing and wonderful to know. (And just in case any one of my brothers get too full of themselves, just remember that my sister is the best businessman of ’em all). I am thankful (is there a word beyond thankful?) for my parents, hale and hearty at about the age of 75 (well, my mom is 39) who have done more for their children than they (I) know.

the teachers, classmates and friends who have taught me so much. I remember them, and I am thankful.

my God and my Savior, Jesus Christ, who has made this for me (and for which, I am in awe).

Happy Thanksgiving.

This One Ticks Me Off

November 20, 2005

I hate (and resist) blogging on negative things, but this one gets me angry. Michelle is a neighbor of my office mate’s, and I don’t live too far away, so racist slurs in her direction hit much too close to home for my tastes.
She’s had to stop comments on her blog because of the vile responses she’s gotten in the past, but The Captain’s Quarters has an interesting set of responses to her post.

I hereby make the observation – the most racist opinions and attitudes are on the left side of the ‘net, and not on the right.

I dare anyone to refute this observation. In my corner, try this (from Eschaton comments section from the post at 1:29 on Sun. Nov. 20, 2005).

I Have A Few Opinions on "Bush Lied"…

November 15, 2005

Traceback

Of What Race Do You Belong?

November 12, 2005

Um… Race of Middle Earth, of course.
I have to admit, this came as a bit of a surprise, since I stand all of 5’0″ (and that’s not a typo). I think I like it!

Entish
Entish

To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

So Who You Callin’ A Virgin, Dude?

November 12, 2005

What he said.
(I don’t obsess much on this topic anymore. Used to, but hey, I’ve grown up. I’m this guy’s newest fan.)

Science and Faith

November 9, 2005

Lawrence Krauss writes in the NYT:

The apparent complexity of our universe has compelled some evangelists, and some school boards, to argue that the natural laws we have unraveled over the past four centuries cannot be enough on their own to explain the diversity of the phenomena we observe around us, including the remarkable diversity of life on earth.For very different reasons, but still without a shred of empirical evidence, a generation of theoretical physicists has speculated that the four dimensions of our experience may themselves be just a grand illusion – the tip of a cosmic iceberg.

Krauss continues on to speculate that the explanations (for life, the universe, & everything!) that science has given us may be telling us more about how the scientist is pre-disposed to see the world. Our brains work in such a way as to always try to find things that must forever be hidden in order to explain our existence and experience. In the extreme, he hints (but does not say) that we invent God as the final answer.
He also hints, but also does not say, that scientists always come to that point where they can explain no more, and make an identical leap to the next conclusion, the leap they cannot name, the leap of faith.
The Kansas board of education wants to permit Intelligent Design to be taught in the public schools. No, that’s not exactly correct. The Kansas board of education is responding to parents who want to prevent educators from claiming that evolution proves God does not exist. It does no such thing, of course, but poorly educated scientists (and even more poorly educated teachers) think it does. It’s not their ignorance of physics or biology that is the problem here; it’s their ignorance of metaphysics that’s leading them astray.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse for this.