Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It boggles the imagination

The Liberal Party is having a convention to pick a new leader. You may wonder who the keynote speaker will be. The Liberals are famous for wrapping themselves in the flag, and portraying themselves as the guardians of Canadian values. They've raised American bashing to a fine art. So what Canadian icon have they chosen to rally the troops, set the tone and kick off the convention? Howard "The Scream" Dean. Yes, the American Democratic Party member who tried to get his party's nomination for President and who imploded with one amazing scream into the microphone. The irony is amazing.

On a slightly different topic, the darling of the Canadian Left, former American President Bill Clinton, recently declared that the situation in Afghanistan is different than that in Iraq, and that Canadian troops are needed in Afghanistan to help them rebuild and to prevent the Taliban from returning. But for some reason the Left isn't quoting him too much. I wonder why?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Static Code Analysis for Javascript

I'm a big believer in static code analysis. It is one of many tools that can assist in developing quality software. And while it's no panacea, in my opinion it's a tool set that's underutilised. Today I took some Javascript code I wrote at work and ran it through a couple of static analysis tools. is an online tool which produces some very nice output. Just cut and paste your code into the window, press the button and it analyses your code. There is also a downloadable version. doesn't have as nice an interface, but comes with a customizable batch script and configuration file. It would be better for production environments dealing with larger amounts of code.

Both tools highlighted a couple of coding mistakes I had made (specifically an operator which could have resulted in an implicit type conversion). Implicit type conversions are bad because while the program may continue to run, it means the programmer has likely lost track of which variable types he's using, which is always a bad situation.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

they can train the younger women...

When you share your thoughts and opinions, you run the danger of insulting and offending others. That's not my intention, but I must share an observation my wife had tonight.

The Bible says in Titus 2:3-5, "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."

Over the years, we've seen a lot of churches trying to do just this. And we have seen Christian women who are convicted about sharing in this manner, or learning in this manner. And that's great. We heartily encourage this (just as we heartily encourage the commands given to the men in Titus 2).

But now comes my wife's observation. In the Christian home schooling movement she has seen more of this happening, and seen this happening in a more consistent way, than she has ever seen happening in churches. The older women are encouraging the younger women "to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands". Although Karen and I would disagree with some of the ideas homeschooling folks have presented, they are really working hard to make this happen. Each night Karen is able to surf web sites filled with advice and encouragement to follow this pattern of life described in Titus 2. They talk about loving their husbands in a self-sacrificing way. They are concerned about Biblical submission (which is much different than what the world believes it is, and much different than what most churches are preaching). Children really are seen as a blessing. Family life is encouraged. And nobody thinks you weird if you have more than the national average of 1.3 children per couple. Homemaking is seen as something honorable and joyful, while the world (and all too often the church) is telling women to get out into the workforce so they can be self-fulfilled.

These Christian homeschooling mothers get together to encourage each other during the week, and phone each other, and use blogs and forums to communicate. They are training each other to be better wives, mothers and homemakers. This is something really positive she has seen among homeschoolers. And even if there are people who have a negative view on homeschooling, it must be acknowledged that this is a strength. We’d encourage local churches to look at what the homeschooling moms are doing, and to fulfill the mandate given in Titus 2. This mandate includes trying to live Titus 2, having a dramatically different attitude towards children than the world around us, and sacrificing ourselves for each other. In this regard, many churches are not living up to their mandate. And just as nature abhors a vacuum, if this is not being done in the local churches, the women who are convicted about this will seek support elsewhere.

I could continue on about the ways in which some local churches discourage homeschoolers and seek to drive them away. And in fact I could continue on about the way in which many homeschoolers have not given the local church its proper place of importance in their lives. But my wife raised an excellent point, and frankly one which local churches need to address.

Disclaimer: I'll avoid making the disclaimer in the text since it waters down the focus of my posting. But it is important to make this disclaimer. I have never claimed homeschooling is a panacea. There are lots of homeschoolers whom you would not want to pattern your life after. Yes I know some women honestly need to be in the paid workforce to make ends meet. Some couples cannot have children, or can only have one child. There may be reasons why a couple chooses to not home school their children. And yes there are churches and individuals who are deeply burdened about Titus 2. If you fall into one of these categories, God bless you as you seek to serve Him, live for Him and raise your family for him! The purpose of this posting is not to tear you down, but to build many people up.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I was up early this morning and started putting up the new Christmas lights. I ended up at the Home Hardware store because I didn't have quite enough. Anyway, the lights along the front of the house are up. I used the new LEM lights, which are not as bright but which cost about 45 cents to run through the Christmas season. In fact, with the exception of the bathrooms which require some fancy bulbs, we have energy efficient bulbs in all the fixtures in the house. This year I'm going to add some to the pine tree out front.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Politics, Politics, Sinks and Good Times

We just finished the Municipal elections. Hi-Tech millionaire Larry O’Brien won a landslide victory with 47% of the vote, against former city councilor Alex Munter (36%) and incumbent mayor Bob Chiarelli (15%). In my opinion Chiarelli lost because he attempted to ram his ideas for Light Rail down our throats. It started with the O-Train, which was a trial. Having fallen below the minimum ridership targets, city hall declared it a success. The plans for Light Rail focused on a north-south route, even though most commuters go east-west. Rather than diesel, electric trains where chosen, though curiously enough none of the drawings presented by city hall had ugly overhead wires draped all over the city. When taxpayers asked for details of the bids and details of the final contract with the chosen bidder, we were told that the contract was secret and the bidder would not allow the details to be made public. Then Chiarelli’s plans fell apart when the Federal Government said they wanted to review the contract before giving over their $200 million contribution. And then came the election. I think Light Rail is a good idea, and hopefully this time we’ll get a chance to do it right.

Garth Turner, political maverick and gadfly, said he was going to have a press conference today in which he would make some disturbing revelations. He said a lot of people wouldn’t be happy with him after today. And in the end he announced almost nothing. He did a great job of hyping his press conference, but nobody will ever listen to him again.

Our kitchen sink was plugged. I was going to call a plumber, but decided to try to fix it myself. I partially disassembled the plumbing, removed 4 popsicle sticks from the drain, put it back together and tested it to make sure there were no leaks. Success! Incidentally, the children are now forbidden to place half eaten popsicles in the kitchen sink.

It’s too soon to say the good times have returned in Kanata’s hi-tech community, but things are definitely getting better. We began to see evidence when they started putting light bulbs in the fixtures again. Then we heard hi-tech employment is back to the levels we were at when the bubble burst. Today we got some new flat panel monitors (replacing a lot of old junk) and some new coffee machines at work that grind beans and make coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and hot chocolate.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Yesterday was a challenge. Karen and Bethany were not feeling well, so we left church after the first meeting. Hannah fell asleep on the couch, and as a result didn't have her regular nap and melted down at supper (she ended up sitting on the floor under the table with Bethany under the table feeding her apple slices). I was wrestling with all three children on the bed, pushed Bethany down with my leg and caused her and Joel to have their heads collide (with a sickening "pop" sound). Bethany was OK, but Joel was a bit shook up (and he was OK by supper). So it was a challenge.

I figured out my issue with OpenOffice Draw. When you group a number of lines together, you can change the colours of the lines but they do not form a polygon. To create a polygon you must use the specific tool designed for this purpose (and when you do the fill works fine).

Karen did a lot of cleaning in the basement today, and I patched some holes in the wall. Hopefully I can do a bit of painting tonight.

We got out on a date on Friday night. We went to Barolo Italian Buffet for supper, and then to the Zavida Coffee House for a quiet coffee. It is rare (and precious) for us to be able to get that much time to talk. At times like these it is nice to be able to draw away from the day-to-day issues (how are we going to get Hannah to eat something other than pasta), and to share some hopes and dreams.

I took Friday and Monday (today) off work to spend a little extra time with my family (and to get the November issue of the newsletter for the local homeschool association together). I also had some time to work on the 5th sermon in my series on basic theology, dealing with principles of Biblical Interpretation.