Friday, June 30, 2006

Supper Last Night

I really should mention supper last night. Karen did a sesame seed encrusted chicken breast and homemade cream of broccoli soup. However the highlight was a salad with homemade herbed croutons and Karen's own special salad dressing. It was so amazing, I had to take a picture of it. It was like something out of a cookbook!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I never thought I would see it

CNN published this article by James Dobson today...

Some Perspective on Illegal Immigration

An interesting article in today's Globe and Mail. While Mexico is quite vocal in fighting for rights for its citizens who have illegally entered the United States, those who enter Mexico illegally are subject to up to 2 years in prison.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Armenian Greetings

Each language has its own form of greeting. English is fairly informal, and the greeting has no particular meaning ("Hello"). On the other hand, Hebrew and Arabic both use "Peace" as a greeting. However a friend of mine pointed out today that the standard greeting in the Armenian language is "He is risen." to which the other person replies "He is risen indeed." Considering Armenia was the first country to nationally adopt Christianity, this is particularly interesting. However, most Armenians today would not realize the significance of their greeting.

Friday, June 23, 2006

In an age of blogging, why does the press do it?

In a previous era (2001), the press could pretty much print whatever they wanted. And that gave them great influence and power. They could make, or break, any politican they wanted. Fast forward to 2006, and the media now has thousands of watchdogs, ready to pounce when their reporting is not balanced or accurate.

Case in point, this article...

At the end the reporter says relations with Iran were strained by comments by Stephen Harper about an erroneous report that Iran was going to require non-Muslims to wear identifying colours (ala Hitler's Germany). The report was false (and yes, it was reported by the main stream media). But ever since then, the media (feeling a little peevish that Harper is not willing to feed their ambush journalism) is looking for something negative to say. They can't quote the polls, because the polls show Canadians like the changes Harper is making. They can't complain too much about Afghanistan, because 2/3 of Canadians support our role in Afghanistan. So the press keeps on trotting out this story about how Harper shot off his mouth about this false story from Iran. The only problem with this story about Harper shooting off his mouth is that it is wrong.

I heard the full interview on the radio. Harper was asked by a reporter about this story. He said that he would preface his comments by saying, "if it is true" and then went on to say it would be a terrible thing. But he was very careful in his comments not to condemn Iran on heresay, but made it perfectly clear that he didn't know whether the story was true or not.

But I guess that doesn't matter. A couple of days later a report quoted Harper without the cautionary preface, and said that an aide to Mr Harper said that there was a cautionary preface. Maybe the aide did say this, but it wasn't an aide putting a spin on the story to try to protect the PM. If the reporters were doing their job they would have reported the preface themselves. But I guess they still want to add their spin and pretend they are still the influential power they once were. Likewise for this article in the Globe and Mail. It's easier to say relations are strained than to accurately report was Harper actually said.


Today the Supreme Court decided unanimously that the Youth “Justice” Act does not allow for deterrence in a sentence. In doing so, they agreed that a 1 day sentence for a youth who put a billiard ball in a sock and beat a man to death, is appropriate.

Now I'm sure that there is a lot of legal thought behind this decision, but it's just plain wrong and demonstrates how poorly we are being served by this Supreme Court. Activist judges have no problem interpreting laws if it leads to a lack of righteousness, but can't lift a finger to protect Canadians.

Traditionally, a correctional system has three purposes. First, they are a punishment for the person who breaks the law. This satisfies the demands of Justice. Second, they are an opportunity for rehabilitation. This is for the benefit of the individual. And thirdly, seeing the punishment given to others, it is a deterrence. This benefits all society. A correctional system that only has rehabilitation in mind is warped and insufficient. A correctional system that denies the possibility of rehabilitation demonstrates a lack of mercy.

I've said it before and I will say it again. Canada has a legal system, but it does not have a justice system.

Say goodbye...

My neighbour across the street is moving. We haven't spent a lot of time together, but Param has been a good neighbour. Even more, he's been a real pillar in the Keralite community (the area of India along the south west coast). Some of the guys at work are Keralites and have talked about the way Param has opened up his house.

Param has a job opportunity in Texas, and said he wants to give it a try. If it doesn't work, he'll move his family back to Canada. Is it a form of courage, or merely a personality trait that makes a person willing to pack up and move to a different country. Karen and I have discussed moving the U.S. At times, but even when the opportunity is there we've been reticent about moving.

Wow, the big guns have come out!

Today's Ottawa Citizen reports that Premier Dalton McGuinty has really escalated the land dispute in Caledonia. Now, for the first time, he is asking the protestors to take down their barricades. The courage! The raw leadership!

At the bottom of the article is a short paragraph about Judge David Marshall, who wants to know why police have refused to obey his 3 month old court order to end the occupation. If evangelical Christians had occupied an abortion clinic, do you think the police would be waiting 3 months to obey a court ordered eviction? Can the judge start locking people up for contempt of court?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More on Caledonia

The Toronto Star is hardly the voice of Canadian conservativism, but it had this interesting article:

Again, let me make it clear that I am not judging whether the 6 Nations has a legal case, but only wondering whether the law is being enforced in the same manner as it would if my neighbours and I decided to dig up some city streets in protest.

Our mother Jesus...

Have a look at

It's hard to believe the Episcopal Church was ever part of the Protestant Reformation. Jesus is now our mother, and is not the only way to be saved.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


We went to the eye doctor today, and found out that Joel will need glasses. Thankfully our benefits package will cover this, but it won't cover the new glasses Bethany needs since they only pay for glasses once every 2 years.

Driving Around

Hannah was a little fussy after supper, so I decided to take her and the other children out in the van to Home Depot (the destination just being an excuse to get the children out of the house). A couple of drops of rain were lightly coming down, but presented no problem, right?

Interestingly enough I saw a double rainbow. The lower rainbow was the brightest, and had the red at the top of the bow. The upper rainbow was fainter, and had the red on the inside of the bow. The bow stretched across the sky and even extended down onto the road surface (from my vantage point). It would have been neat if I wasn't so worried about the rain. We sang some songs in the van, and Hannah kept her hands over her ears because of the noise of the rain.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. has elected a woman as their new "Presiding Bishop" (which is what most Anglicans refer to as the "Primate"). This is yet one more theological innovation for the ECUSA.

Interestingly enough, one Anglican commentator has pointed out that this not only puts them out of step with all except 3 of 38 Anglican provinces (i.e. only 3 accept female bishops - USA, Canada and New Zealand) but also means that any American bishops she consecrates will not be recognized as bishops in 35 of the Anglican provinces).

I don't pretend to understand all the ins and outs of Anglican canon law, but this would seem to be a major problem. Of course, I'm not sure the ECUSA sees it as a problem at all. With typical Western arrogance, they are ignoring the protests of Anglican bishops in Africa, Asia and South America. Never mind that the Anglican church is growing rapidly outside the Western world, and never mind that Anglican bishops outside the Western world have more earned Doctorate degrees than the bishops in the West. West knows best.

Father's Day

Since our Sundays are so busy, we celebrated Father's Day on Saturday. Karen made a breakfast in bed for me (which reminds me of making breakfast in bed for my Dad and spilling a whole glass of chocolate milk all over him. As kids, chocolate milk was about the best thing in the world, but I never stopped to consider whether my Dad actually likes chocolate milk!). Then Karen gave be leave to go out by myself for the day. So I ended up wandering around the new War Museum for about 6 hours. I was able to see a lot more of the exhibits, and had a quiet lunch there, but frankly I was lonely without my family.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Lotsa Thoughts

I took today as a vacation day so that I could spend more time with the children. Today was the last day of school, and we celebrated with a field trip. We went mini-putting. Frivolous? Perhaps. But in the public schools, being part of the "Ski Club" no longer means weekend trips, but three and four day ski trips during the school week.

We also went out to see if we could find me a jean jacket. I need a new light coat, but unfortunately it is too late in the season for Sears to carry them.

On the way home we were driving behind someone. I don't know his name, so I'll simply refer to him as "Moronicus". Moronicus was driving 60 kph on Carling Avenue in an 80 kph zone. To be fair, there was a reason; his cell phone. This lead me to somewhat of a moral dillema. Do I honk the horn to try to get him to go faster, knowing he'll probably cause an accident, or do I continue to listen to my two year old scream all the way home on this extended trip. I chose to listen to the screaming.

Signs, signs, signs. Today I saw a wack of signs paid for by various levels of government. The mall had 3 signs reminding people to wash their hands. Then I drove past a sign reminding us not to drink and drive. I was looking for a sign urging us not to become axe murderers, but I guess the "Anti-Axe Murder Coalition hasn't applied for funding yet.

Speaking of the mall, the security guards at the Carlingwood Mall are now wearing bullet proof vests. Makes me feel secure. Maybe if they handed them out to customers on the way in.

Something happened to me that hasn't happened for a long time. I got a phone call at work from a recruiter. This guy was in the SE U.S. and was looking for a Senior Software Development Manager in Ottawa. I used to get these calls every week, before the bubble burst. It's been over 4 years since I got one of these calls. I wasn't interested, but it would be nice if the hi-tech economy is coming back. OCRI says that total hi-tech employment in the area is at about 70,000 and is only 800 short of where it was when the bubble burst. If that is so, it is a quiet recovery. The largest hi-tech companies are still half the size they were in 2001, and there is no wage inflation (i.e. I haven't seen a raise in 5 years). On the other hand, I think it is believable. At one point after the bubble burst, I only had one friend who was still working. Now almost all my friends are working again.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I guess you could say advertising is a necessary evil, although it tends to be more evil than necessary. Case in point today. I was listening to the radio and an ad for a car dealer came on. "If we can't get you bank financing, we'll finance it ourselves. O.A.C."

Of course, O.A.C. stands for "On Approved Credit". So if the bank won't finance you, they will finance you provided you are a good credit risk. But if you are a good credit risk, the bank will probably finance you! So the only conclusions I can come to are (a) this is a scam and they don't actually finance anyone, or (b) they deal with a private lending agency that specializes in high risk credit (probably run by a guy named "Rocko" who handles collections personally).

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I'm still wrestling with the wireless network adaptor for my new computer. Tonight I searched the Internet for information, and send an email to Linksys. Hopefully something will come up.

Bethany jumped into Hannah's room tonight, and Hannah decided to scream... so loud I was deaf in my left ear for about 5 minutes. I haven't had an experience like that since that unfortunate incident with a 410 shotgun.

On CFRA radio this morning they were interviewing "an expert on immigration" from the University of Toronto. He said that some Muslim schools in Canada are teaching curriculum that is unacceptable in Canada (hatred, etc), and that is why all curriculum used by all faith groups in their schools must be centrally monitored. He went on to say religion is hard to control, but this would be a first step. Nothing like punishing the innocent with the guilty! But of course his antipathy towards religion obviously goes a bit deeper. Get it straight guy... it wasn't fundamentalist Christians who destroyed the World Trade Center.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Interesting Article from Ottawa Citizen

John Robson had this interesting article in the Ottawa Citizen. His style is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but he is serious about the point he is making:

Friday, June 09, 2006

Standoff in New Caledonia

Interesting news report at about the standoff at New Caledonia.

Two factors are disturbing. First, the possibility that police officers stood around while the assault ws happening.

Second is the statement, "The most recent incident took place on June 4, when two OPP officers who were apparently new to the Caledonia standoff drove into an area that police had agreed not to enter." So apparently there is a place in Ontario where the police have decided they have no authority and no obligation to enforce the laws of Ontario. Don't get me wrong; maybe the protestors have a valid case, and maybe they don't. I expect the police to act respectfully to all parties. But the police do not have the option of abdicating their responsibility.

Let me give an illustration. What would happen if I decide the police do not have the right to set foot on my land. I can assault people on my land, steal or do whatever I want. And then I issue an ultimatum to the police that if they dare to set foot on my land I will become violent and several hundred of my friends will show up to become violent. A judge tells me to stop blocking the traffic that runs down the street in front of my house, but I don't bother complying. Do the police have the option of just letting me be, so as not to provoke me? Will the Attorney General of the province ignore a court order? Not a chance. The tactical squad will be there within 30 minutes and snipers will be on the roofs. So why is it different for natives? Again, this has nothing to do with the strength or weakness of their case. It simply a matter of law.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Strategy Page

The Strategy Page is one of my favourite web sites. Have a look at this amazing picture of a B-52 doing a low flyby on an American carrier:

Interestingly, yesterday they predicted al-Zarqawi would be betrayed by some of his own followers for his increasingly violent statements about his fellow Muslims. And this morning came the news that he was finally killed.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Work

Across the street from where I work is the Brookstreet Hotel. It’s one of the finest hotels in Ottawa. It is also the location for the 2006 meeting of the Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group annually invites 130 people to their conference. The sessions are private, and all attendees are sworn to secrecy. Those who believe in conspiracy theories think the Bilderberg Group runs the world. Those who are naïve think 130 of the most influential politicians and financial figures just get together to share a few drinks and tell stories.

The whole hotel is booked. Barricades are up, police are on hand, private security is visible and the press are staked out. And it’s all on the road I have to drive down to get to work. Thankfully the protestors haven’t showed up yet (anti-free trader, anarchists, socialists, communists, Marxist-Leninists, and other nut bars). Things really get going tomorrow. I hope nobody decides my car needs to get torched for the greater good of The Cause.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New Job

I've been on my new job for a little over a month. I'm learning a lot each day. Today I sat in on a meeting of hardware managers, and in 1.5 hours doubled my knowledge of hardware design issues (which admittedly wasn't difficult since by training I'm a software guy).

On a related issue, I'm really grateful for the benefits program at work. In the last month we've had 3 dentist visits, 1 prescription, 1 eye exam and a new pair of glasses for me. All this would have come out to about $800 without the benefits program. Interestingly, our company President told us it costs about 16% of salary to offer a comprehensive benefits program in Canada, but about 35% in the United States (due to additional medical costs).

Monday, June 05, 2006

Online Ministry

For those who are interested, Believers Chapel in Dallas Texas has hundreds of messages online in .mp3 format. For years they operated a cassette tape ministry, but have now gone hi-tech. The link is at About a week ago I listened to the 4 messages on Developing a Christian Mind by James Montgomery Boice, and I thought it was excellent. That link is at

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Home Grown Terrorism

Police in Ontario conducted a series of raids on terrorists in the Toronto area last night. Recovered was 3 tons of Ammonium Nitrate (only 1 ton was used in the Oklahoma City bombing). I can just see the extreme left making their defense now... these were extremely zealous farmers innocently caught up in Stephen Harper's attempt to turn Canada over to George Bush.

Interestingly enough, initial reports say all the suspects are Canadian citizens or Canadian residents. Apparently they are angered by the way Muslims are being treated. Of course, Muslims are extremely well treated in Canada (freedom of religion, Islamic communities, Islamic schools, Hallal food, etc). Much better treated than Christians in Saudi Arabia or Jews in Iran. But I guess that doesn't mean anything. They are upset, and ready to kill.

Time to wake up. There are people living in our own country who do not like us very much.

More on Books

OK, I finished John Glenn's autobiography. I WILL NOT start a new book until I've polished off two or three of the books I have on the go.

And I will not buy any more books until I've polished off a few (not even Ronald Reagan's book on abortion, which apparently refutes all the arguments his family put forth about supporting Stem Cell research).

School Year

Does anyone know if PD days (taken by the teachers) are included in the number of days children are required to be in school each year? The reason why I ask is that the Ontario government has just increased the number of PD days to 6 each year. We homeschool for the mandatory 180 days each year and we don't count sick days in that.

Another master stroke was handing majority control of the College of Teachers (responsible for setting professional standards and investigating disciplinary issues) over the teachers union. Yes, that's right, disciplinary issues will now be policed by a nice impartial group like the teachers union.

Education in India

I had a discussion with a friend from India yesterday, and we ended up comparing post-secondary education in India and Canada. I knew IIT was the top school in India for engineering and computer science, but I didn't realize they have 5 campus's and they are each separately rated. So it is possible to attend the lowest rated of the IIT campus's (which is still prestigous).

Also, I wasn't aware of the difference between the top rated and bottom rated schools in India. I did my computer science at Laurentian University, which is not considered a top rated school in Canada. Still, my program compared favourably with the programs at higher rated schools (based on courses available, quality of instruction, etc.). In fact, the personal interaction with the professors in a smaller school is a definite plus. However my friend told me some of the lower rated schools in India teach computer science but don't actually have computers.

He also said that the schools in India have less strong ties to the Alumni than schools in Canada (perhaps a "tie" with my previous schools means giving them the right to beg for money, but I digress). However he also used an interesting expression, "cooperate to dominate", which is a good way of summarizing the power of an alumni network.

Incidently, he was impressed at the amount of free play time children in Canada get, since he knows it is important for developing the mind.

By the way, I hope I haven't presented a negative picture of education in India. The fact is the schools that don't have computers could end up with computers in a short period of time, and would end up churning out quite acceptable programmers. The programmers I've known who have been trained in India have comparable programming skills to those programmers trained in North America. Cultural issues are probably more significant than actual programming skills.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

So much to read, and so little time

I'm currently re-reading "Mere Christianity" in preparation for a course I hope to teach next Fall. Likewise I've started reading "Thinking Like a Christian" which is a curriculum for teaching a Christian worldview. Also on the go are Plato's "Republic", John Glenn's autobiography and Winston Churchhill's "History of the English Speaking Peoples". I'm about half way through Dembski's "Intelligent Design" and John Piper's "Desiring God". The problem is that I start a book and get part way through it when some other book seems so appealing.

On a different note, I listened to the 10 messages in Stand to Reason's "Guard the Treasure - Masters Series in Christian Thought 2006". Very interesting. I also have the 2 DVD set "Tactics for Defending the Faith", but I so seldom get time in front of the TV that it may be a while before I finish them.