Monday, August 29, 2005

Perhaps I Should Elaborate...

... about the chocolate factory. When I said I went a bit overboard, what I meant was that we spent about $70 on chocolate today. OK, it feels better to get that off my chest.

Busy Long Weekend Before the Long Weekend

I took today off to make the two day weekend into a three day weekend (before next weekend when I'll be making a three day weekend into a four day weekend).

On Saturday we had some friends over for supper. Jamie and Darla were in town and came by with their three children. What was really nice was that Jamie and I had a chance to sit on some Adirondack chairs on my front porch and chat for a couple of hours on a very nice evening. At this point in life, when all is so busy and there are young children to look after, this sort of visit almost never happens.

On Sunday I was speaking in Winchester. There is a really nice group of folks there. My topic was the Problem of Suffering. It was a follow on message to one I had preached there a couple of months ago entitled, "The Fall Explains it All". Anyway, the message was really well received.

Sunday night was our annual church corn roast. It's always a really great time. There were a number of visitors, which is also nice. Hannah was pretty good, and Bethany and Joel are at the point where they don't need us to watch them.

Today we went to the chocolate factory in Smiths Falls. This is the first time I have been there. I did go a bit overboard in the chocolate shop, and bought a case of Oh Henry bars and a case of Hershey's Special Dark bars (and a few other things).

Friday, August 19, 2005

Rocking Babies

Rocking babies is great. They are warm and cuddly and you can hold them close and solve all of their problems just by picking them up and sitting in a rocking chair. Holding each of my children and rocking them have been very special times for me. However there are two downsides to rocking children. First, they often want to be rocked at a time of the night when you would prefer to be asleep. Second, while rocking them you will often get an itch which you cannot scratch unless you move in such a way as to wake the baby.


The two patents I have filed have finally appeared on the U.S. Patent Office website. So I can now mention them. They are:

20050171797 - Intelligent Access Control and Warning System for Operations Management Personnel

20050154977 - Combined Alarm Log File Reporting Using XML Alarm Token Tagging

I met with the Patent Lawyer last week, and my third idea should be filed soon (and will appear about 18 months later). When it appears, I can talk about it.

Another idea is being considered by Alcatel. They have turned down about half a dozen of my ideas so far. Still, I'm quite happy about the ones they have granted.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Beds, Cars and Friends

The other night, Karen and I were discussing how we could cut back on spending. We didn’t come to any conclusions, but turned out the light, rolled over and felt the bed collapse. It turns out that the metal frame fell apart. So, we put the box-spring and mattress on the floor and planned to spend some more to buy a new bed.

However… today I was out with my team at work for our “Supper Outing”. I parked my Sentra at Boston Pizza, ate, and when I came out and went to drive away, my car made an odd sound. I got out, looked around and under it and didn’t see anything. I got back in, moved a couple of inches and one of the tires gave out. The CAA guy confirmed that one of the front coils broke and punctured the tire. I said to the guy that this was great. After all, if it had happened when I was drive 100 km/h on the highway, I’d probably be dead now. So, there was something to be thankful for. The actual coil and tire are covered under my extended warrantee, and they even gave me a rental car. However I will have to pay for the matching front tire, which will be another $200.

Last night I got an email from a friend from California, who told me he is in town for a couple of weeks. We met at church last night and came back home for some of the great Cherry Cobbler Karen had made for dessert. Dave’s a great guy. The last time he was in town he volunteered to help out with the Nursing Home Outreach. Perhaps the most unique thing about Dave is his family. Two weeks ago he and his wife were blessed with their 11th child. I find this somewhat unimaginable, but he admits that when they had 4 children they could never imagine having 11. Anyway, this is their conviction and they both work very hard to give their children the best they can. Oh, and they homeschool all their children. Amazing. Of course the older ones help with the younger ones, and their church gives them a lot of support.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Current Books and Music

I finished reading this month’s “First Things”. There was an interesting article on anti-Semitism as well as an article on the Death Penalty (which I disagreed with). I find that it sharpens my debating skills when I read well-written articles, including articles I disagree with. In the same line, I have read books by charismatics and KJV-only folks. However there is lots of material in First Things that I do agree with, because it often represents logical thinking taken to its natural conclusions. But it certainly does have a Roman Catholic bias. I wish someone in the evangelical and dispensational crowd was thinking about these issues and writing about them.

I took a CD of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals out of the library. I had always enjoyed the song “Memory” from “Cats”, but listening to it again I realized what a sad song it is.

Currently I am reading a book called “Truth Decay”. It is a fairly comprehensive philosophical treatise dealing with Truth from a Christian point of view. Frankly, it is not an easy book to read. I suspect I would have to read it 3 or 4 times to really grasp it, but there are 8 other books piled up on my bookshelf waiting for me.

On the lighter side, I am almost finished the second book of Bill Clinton’s autobiography. My opinion is that he is a slippery one! For example, he talks about riding in a C-17 transport jet and mentions that he had to fight hard to keep it in the budget. But who was he fighting? Were the Republicans trying to cut the best military transport in the world out of the American budget in the hopes of spending more on social programs? Every once in a while he slips up like this.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Long Weekend

My parents visited for the long weekend. As usual, they were incredibly helpful. One very nice thing they did was babysit for us on Saturday while Karen and I went out for lunch. We went to Ella's, which is one of the best restaurants in Kanata. What was particularly nice was that we had the restaurant all to ourselves.

Other events of the weekend include Joel learning to ride his bike without training wheels, Bethany's bike getting a coat of paint and my Dad sealing the driveway.

Interesting Article

There is an interesting article about the Saudi Royal family at