Saturday, April 29, 2006

The answer to all evils...

We now know the answer to all evils. Public schools. It seems no matter what the issue, our government believes indoctrinating children in the public schools is the answer. Most recently, legislation has been proposed in Ontario requiring schools to teach about organ donation. Now I have nothing against organ donation, but what concepts from literature, mathematics or history are we going to chop out to make time for organ donation? Likewise schools have recently been tapped as the answer to youth obseity. And getting the schools to teach sex education will surely end problems with teen pregnancy. And... well you get the idea. Lots of ideas that may (or may not) have value, but all of them replacing education in our schools, and lots of families just assuming that the State should take care of everything. Hey parents, it's time to tell your MPP and local school board officials that your kids are in school for a good education, not to be socially engineered by the State.

Reality Check for the Media

The media is having a fit because the government is blocking them from broadcasting pictures of coffins coming back from Afghanistan and relatives of the dead soldiers weeping. The media is taking a brave stand that Canadians need to know the cost of this war. Well, maybe not so brave...

The fearless media want to pretend they are accomplishing something by putting some camera crews on the ground in CFB Trenton. But what they don't want to do is to actual show some courage and go to Afghanistan to do the filming. The government has made it clear that they are welcome to film the coffins being loaded into the planes. But going to Afghanistan would involve some risk. Even more risk would be required if they were to embed with military units in the field, report from the field and share the risk. But today's Canadian press would much rather try to stir up stories against the government here in Canada than they would try to follow the best traditions of journalism and find out what it really happening in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A Big Change

On March 31st I said there was a big change coming, but I would have to wait until the next week to tell about it. It turns out that the change has taken much longer than expected. In short, I'm getting a new job. My position has been getting phased out slowly, so I've been looking around for another job within Alcatel. I was given a verbal offer, but it took a while for the formal offer to come through, and then finally the offer was rescinded. They were unable to complete the offer. This put me in a difficult situation since I've transitioned many of my responsibilities to another Manager. Well today I received a verbal offer on another position within Alcatel. I think this one will be formalized rather quickly, because there is nobody to else to transition out of the job I'm moving into. I'll post more when the offer is formalized, and when I understand the full scope of what I'll be responsible for.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Yesterday was the annual Rideau Valley Home Educators Association conference. I don't know how many people attended this year, but typically there are 300-400 attendees. On Friday night there was a kick-off and a youth career night. The speaker was interesting (and I bought his book) and there was lots of good stuff in the vendor hall. I ended up buying "The Republic" by Plato and a couple of other books. Karen's mother was kind enough to babysit for us, so we were able to enjoy the whole conference together (which hasn't happened for a while).

Friday, April 21, 2006

Scott Crossfield

Scott Crossfield died the other day in a plane crash. He would be best known to those who read "The Right Stuff". He was a test pilot who flew 30 missions in the X-15 rocket plane. He was in his 80's and was the pilot and sole occupant of the light plane he was flying. In a way, it's poetic that he died at the controls.

A man of leisure and a day of leisure

I took today off work. It was a beautiful day and I decided to... get caught up on some things that needed to get done. I went to Home Depot and got some supplies I need to fix the fence and the floor in our kitchen. I got four boards painted, and two of them in place across the back of the fence. I also went shopping at Walmart and Staples, picked up some mail from the home school association's postal box, took Bethany to get her glasses fixed and got my hair cut. I updated our finances, and ordered some CD's and DVD's from "Stand to Reason". I only got half the items complete from my list, but I do feel that I accomplished something.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

Hannah has been sick for the past day or so. Last night she was up until 3:00am. Her diaper needed to be changed several times, she barfed on her sheets and she barfed on me. Then she was up at 6:00am and has had more diaper problems and barfed again. The big family dinner we had planned to host was cancelled. And our participation at the annual Easter Conference was curtailed. This morning we didn't get out to church to hear the special speaker from the conference.

However, Christ is risen. And while I certainly haven't enjoyed the experiences over the past 24 hours, ultimately the reality of the resurrection of Christ overshadows the ups and downs of life.

For each of us, the reality of the resurrection must mean something. If Christ did indeed rise from the dead, then this is not only the most important event in history, but is also an event which requires a response in each individual’s life. If He did rise from the dead, it is up to each of us to find out what God expects of us.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


On March 31st, I said I had a surprise coming up. The surprise is still pending. Stay tuned.

I'm current reading "American General" by Tommy Franks. Franks is the 4 star general who commanded the American forces liberating Iraq in 2003. A couple of points were made clear. The King of Jordan and the President of Egypt both told the Americans that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (specifically biological agents) and that he was crazy enough to use them. The Americans also found a unit equiped with new chemical warfare suits and atropine injectors. At least one unit was fully equiped to fight in the presence of nerve gas. You can say that there was a failure of Intelligence, but to assert that the Americans knew there were no WMDs and just invaded Iraq for oil is plain wrong. Or perhaps I should phrase it more clearly... such a view displays paranoia or an anti-American prejudice.

Our Easter Conference is this weekend. Hopefully we can make it out to a lot of the sessions.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Will Science Save Us?

I'm a born-again Christian. That's a loaded term. It doesn't mean I wrap myself in the American flag before I go to sleep at night. It doesn't mean I tithe 10% of my income to some insane TV preachers. I'm just an average person who takes the Bible seriously when it says I'm a sinner and that Jesus Christ is the Saviour.

Some people might pre-judge me because I'm a Christian. Christians are anti-scientific and illogical. Faith is a crutch for those who can't handle the real world. All that has been said and more, although not typically by those who really know me (I have degrees in Genetics and Computer Science, and know more about evolutionary theory than 99% of those who call themselves evolutionists).

Our society still maintains a 1950's reverence for science. Science is always right, as opposed to faith which is usually wrong. After all, sensible people are scientific, and crackpots are religious. And when the world's problems get bad enough, the scientific community will solve our problems for us. Right?

Dead wrong. Have a look at this link. Read it carefully. The man is a respected scientist and received extensive applause from other respected scientists. Read it if you dare. Then tell me that Christianity is for the crackpots, the weak and the illogical. I have no beef with thousands of scientists who have good careers and make wonderful discoveries. But I have a beef with those who would put science on a pedestal, and would look down on Christians.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Another neat exhibit

I just remembered another neat exhibit at the Museum of Science and Technology. There was a laser keyboard for a computer. A laser displayed the keyboard, and some sort of photo sensor detected where your fingers were typing. Now this is never going to replace mechanical keyboards, so why is it so interesting? Well there are two applications from science fiction novels that I remember. First, I remember a story where a guy is a prisoner, but has a computer built into a small pendant he is wearing. The pendant uses a laser to display the keyboard and a holograph to display the screen. Second, one of the stories we often come across is a spaceship that takes a multi-generation journey to a different star. One of the difficulties is designing a spaceship that will last for several generations. Now a regular keyboard might only last for 5 years, but perhaps a laser keyboard would last for several generations. Anyway, it was neat.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

It isn't so bad...

OK, being 40 isn't so bad. You get to sleep in while your wife gets up with the baby, you come downstairs to presents, coffee is ready for you, everyone asks what you want to do today, and you get to pick whatever you want for supper. I think being 40 is going to be great. I can't wait for tomorrow 8-)

Yesterday's visit to the Museum of Science and Technology was really good. The kids had fun and Hannah was great. Joel went through the "Connections" tunnel himself, which was good because I've been looking for him to develop additional courage. Some of my favourites were:

  • a huge map of the world that changes between daylight and night. At night you can see all the cities from the lights. It's one thing to tell your children that most of the people in Egypt live along the Nile River, but at night you can actually see it.
  • a heart rate exhibit where you put your hands on two paddles and it tells you your heart rate. Not that this is particularly stunning, but I tried mentally exciting myself and calming myself, and I could make my heart rate change by 15 beats a minute (with no change in my physical activity.