Monday, August 27, 2007

Last Night

For those who are interested, the BBC's Last Night at the Proms will be on September 8th.

Medieval Feast

Every year for the beginning of the school year, Karen does a special meal for the kids. But tonight she completely outdid herself in putting on a medieval feast for all of us. With all of us dressed up in medieval costumes and the table set with King Daddy in the center, we ate off bread plates with our fingers. The menu consisted of:

First Course
Pandamayne/Butter/Herb Soup

Second Course
Honey Roasted Baked Chicken/Salat/Makrouns

Third Course
Pork Pie/A Potage of Roysons

Dessert Board
Gynger Brede/Gaufrette

For those who need some translation help, pandamayne is a type of homemade bread. Salat is a salad with veggies and fruit, makrouns are a type of noodles with cheese (though in medieval times it was made with pastry), the pork pie actually had chunks of spiced pork tenderloin, the potage of roysons was a raisin and apple porage, and for dessert ginger bread and almond cookies.

Now go ahead and say it. I have a fantastic wife.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Alpha Geek

Some of my e-friends (i.e. never met them in person but we communicate via the Internet) were kind enough to refer to me as the Alpha Geek. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, the Alpha Wolf in a pack is the one who leads. Among geeks, the Alpha Geek is the one who grasp of the technical (as well as ownership of cutting edge gizmos) marks him out as a leader. Coming from this couple (the husband in particular being quite geeky himself), this was quite an honour.

Well I'm happy to report that today I did something which is in keeping with my new status as Alpha Geek. I installed a new wireless router which uses the draft version of the 802.11n wireless protocol. Not only does this boost range and bring me WPA2 encryption (using a shared key with the AES encryption algorithm - presumably 256 bit) but I now have a theoretical connection of 300 Mbps between my two computers. Of course the point is moot since it's a 1Mbps DSL line to the Internet, but as Alpha Geek it does give me bragging rights.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Our TV is almost dead. There is a white band across the top of the screen and the power button is broken. It's over 14 years old, so its served its time. But the question is whether I should replace it or not. There is something appealing about living without TV, though I expect the children would find it not appealing but appalling. Karen says it's up to me, but the last time she said that we ended up with another child.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

OK, I'm Wiped

I didn't sleep real well last night, but I was at work for just after 7:30am and left at 4:45pm. Karen and I were able to spend some time chatting (which I highly recommend for a married couple!). I also finished a handout for an upcoming sermon, upgraded the security on my wireless network by adding a MAC address, played unsuccessfully with some firewall settings, looked through the latest Uplook magazine, played with Hannah, put the kids to bed, prayed for several friends, sent out a reminder about the upcoming C.S. Lewis Discussion Group, sent about half a dozen emails, edited the homepage for the OpenOffice Project Management application, updated my finances, read the latest quarterly financial report my broker sends to me, checked Facebook for updates, visited a couple of my favourite websites and blogs, and wrote this blog posting. But you'll notice one thing is missing. I didn't read my Bible today. I must do better tomorrow. Not more. Just better.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The kids are in the jacuzzi tub (wearing bathing suits) so I actually have a couple of minutes to do updates.

Hannah is very fastidious. If she's eating and gets anything on her fingers, she very carefully wipes them on the table. And when she's done eating, she cleans off her placemat by wiping it all on the floor. She's going to have a hard time when she picks a husband; not too many men will meet such high standards. But we still have a couple of decades before we cross that hurdle.

Today Bethany was feeling ill, so I took the younger two children to church (and Karen is there tonight by herself for the evening service). Hannah sat nicely through the Breaking of Bread, and stayed in the Sunday School. That makes 2 weeks in a row. Obviously we're due for a fall.

We went to the Garlic Festival at the Carp Farmers Market yesterday. Perhaps "Festival" is overstating it. Really it just had a lot of the farmers selling garlic. We bought some, as well as some range-fed beef from a local farmer. The Carp Farmers Market is very strict about only allowing locally grown produce. Karen bought some vegetables from a farmer whose farm the homeschool coop toured.

The new job is going well, although this week will be very busy (since we're trying to ship one release and get another release started). I'm working with lots of good people whom I've worked with before. I also have a great boss (in fact, I've been blessed with a number of great bosses over the years. I can't think of a bad one.).

Anyway, I think the jacuzzi is coming to an end, so that's it for the update.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Patent Application

For those who are interested, another one of my patent applications is now available on the web.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ratatouille and Rats

Yesterday I saw the movie Ratatouille with my older two children. The animation was incredibly well done, with an engaging story. Of course a Disney story needs a cast of cute characters, and in this movie the central character is a rat. The rat wants to be a great chef, and teams up with a garbage boy working in a kitchen. Needless to say, the rat is cute. That’s the Disney way.

But the night before, I was surfing the web and found a somewhat different story. It’s about some Christian missionaries in Romania, who are working with street children. The children are terribly abused, addicted to drugs, filthy and live underground in a sewer. I could say it’s an existence most of us could only dream about, but in fact we wouldn’t want to dream about it. One of the boys said to one of the missionaries, “Do you know the rats scream at night?” A bit different message than the Disney one.

I raise no objection to the Disney movie, provided we understand it is entertainment. It’s a moment of escapism, which isn’t bad provided we don’t try to live in that world non-stop. Reality is that this world is filled with suffering people. In church this morning I looked at my 3 year old, and gave thanks that she has a loving family, and plenty to eat and doesn’t have to live in a sewer. But it’s different for some 3 year olds.

At this point some people will say, “They ought to do something about that!” But my Dad always taught me that when I hear this question to ask “Who are the they?” Others will call upon governments to do something, as if governments have unlimited powers. But governments are only a reflection of our collective wills. And so if we want to do something, we as individuals need to take action. There are tons of needs. It’s not just street children in Romania. There are orphans in Africa, and street people in Canada. So what are we going to do about this?