First Post… Again

I've switched web hosts. This might not mean much to some, but it means a better, easier experience for me. What it does mean though, is that I had the opportunity to switch from one blogging program to another. However they are two entirely different beasts, and I'm manually moving most of my old posts to this new system.

So there will be a small transition phase. I'll get the bulk of the comments over to this system too.

I still have my GodBlog, my regular blog, my dad's blog will be back shortly and very soon I'll be launching my archive of how-to documents that I've created in the course of my work. Check it all out!

Yet another use for Gmail – file recovery

I recently discovered another use for Gmail's 'convert to html' feature.

For those of you who weren't aware, Word and PDF files that you receive in Gmail can be opened in-browser as html files. What this means for you and me is a simple way to open some of these common file-types without needing to download the file and fire up the correct program - simply click 'Open as HTML' and you've got your file, ready to read in seconds using Google's conversion.

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WHAT!? Who named that child?

I was doing that narcissistic thing where you look up your name on search engines... come on... you've done it... everyone does (and you're not blind and you don't have hairy palms like all the naysayers predicted)... Where was I?

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Please don't take this the wrong way.

I am not an atheist! I say this because I am about to link to an article that makes a few excellent points about common Christian arguments. Before I give you the link I want to stress that I am not saying that I am an atheist, or that there are no reasonable arguments for Christianity - only that some don't hold up to scrutiny, and you must know what won't be convincing to me if you use it as an argument.

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I love the Opera!

OK, that's a bit misleading, as I don't in fact love opera as entertainment. I don't even love it as a web browser. I am however giving it a shot as my default browser. I had been using Firefox, and whilst I appreciated the ability to customise it to the nth degree I was finding it slower and slower for my usual browsing.

So I switched. I may go back, but I like the speed.

And speaking of great movies

I saw Kung-Fu Hussle on the weekend. It was tops.

It was a lot of good fun. Don't see it expecting your life to be changed, see it to laugh. See it to watch groups of people fighting in totally improbable ways. Watch it to pick out the references to other movies. I think the eastern superhero is growing on me.

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Psycho: An unfinished book review

I have just started reading Psycho by Robert Bloch. Actually, I think I may have read it before, but it's hard to tell. Of course I've seen the movie, which confuses the issue further, but I can't help feeling like I've compared it to the movie before. Please understand, it's not that I remember reading it, just comparing it to the movie...

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An Analogy

Imagine you are a horny young teenager who is told by a close and trusted friend that you have caught the eye of a beautiful supermodel. They say that the supermodel wants to be your friend, nay - your lover. All you have to do is read a few letters that the supermodel has sent you, and write back. You read the first letter, and it says:
Dear Lover, I love you and want to be with you. Sincerely, Cutie McHottie.
It doesn't occur to you at this time to question that Ms. McHottie doesn't use your name.

Your friend says to you that although this stranger loves you, she can't be with you right now. But if you write back, you'll soon fall in love with her - and one day you'll get to meet her and be married. You ask him how he knows this - and he says it's cause a friend gave him a letter from his very own supermodel girlfriend, and that he's waiting for the same thing with her.

"Right," you say, "I can't wait! But I will, because she's a supermodel, and that's gonna be worth it!"

You write back. You say things that you really mean, like 'I love you'. Your friend keeps handing you letters in reply that excite and amaze you. You and your friend talk about your supermodel girlfriends excitedly, sharing how you think they look - it's funny, cause they seem so similar, but they're also different.

One day you notice that the letters don't seem so personal. They still say very personal things, but you wonder why she didn't answer that question you asked in the last letter. You don't think much of it however and keep writing. But it gets more obvious. You ask her what color her hair is, but her reply only contains talk of how much she wants to be with you. You ask what food she eats, and she tells you that she loves you. It's not as though she's avoiding the question, more like she's just not reading it in the first place.

You ask your mate what he thinks. He pulls out his stack of letters, and starts leafing through them, "The answer will be in here," he says.

Confused, you grab his letters and read. His first letter is the same as yours! And every subsequent letter!

"What?" you ask.

"Sure," he says, "I copied them for you, just like my mate copied them for me - still, they're meant for you. Just cause thy aren't addressed to us specifically doesn't mean they aren't for us."

You're a little dumbfounded. But you trust this guy. He's intelligent and clever - he wouldn't be suckered in by something that wasn't perfectly sensible. So these letters, and their method of delivery must be perfectly sensible. Besides, who are you to question your perfect girlfriend?

So this goes on for some years, with an occasional doubt that you might be being taken for a sucker. When you wonder these things, you go back to the letters and they make you feel better - you know you will be with her one day.

It bothers you a little that you mates seem to get more than letters from their supermodel girlfriends. They say things like "She keeps sending me gifts", and you wonder what you're doing wrong. Then you notice that their gifts are ordinary things like garden flowers and better jobs. "Sexy O'Sweet pulled some strings at work," says you friend, "No one told me that, but I know."

So you start looking for things that you can say came from your girlfriend. And you find them, but they seem small and insignificant.

One day you get really lonely. You need a friend, and your mates are tied up with their own lives. Besides, if you talk to them you know that they'll make you talk about your girlfriend all day, or worse - their girlfriend. So you write to her. You ask her to show herself, to come today, to send a new letter you haven't read before or a box of chocolates - anything with a return address. You wait a while, and receiving nothing, return to your box of letters. But now they seem less real, less personal. Their cheerful tone and hopeful promises seem empty and hollow. Surely what you want is simple enough?

You get to thinking. "What if this has been a lie all along?" What if your mate and his mate and his mate's mate were all tricked? Not intentionally, but just victims of a desire to be loved, and feel important. Maybe they're propping themselves up with the same sorts of things you've been telling yourself - "she'll show herself some day".

Worse - what if it is all true, and you're a dud who's girlfriend doesn't care enough to write a new letter? Don't your friends have legitimate reasons to think that this is all true? It must just be you. They must have their own proof.

You hold on for a while longer to the hope, but your heart isn't in the relationship like it was. You write less. You make different friends - friends who don't make you feel bad for not writing 'cause they never received letters of their own. You still talk about your girlfriend a bit with your old friends, but you wonder as you talk if you really mean it any more.

Eventually, you stop writing. You put away your box and put her out of your mind. It's easier, because you have less to worry about. You aren't thinking "Will this offend her" and you have more time 'cause you aren't writing to her daily. Worst of all - you don't feel significantly different. You thought your world would end and it didn't - and you wonder what conclusions you could draw from that.

In the end, your life is simpler. You still wish occasionally that she might notice, and send a letter. But you aren't going to go back to your box. This time you want real, personal communication - not hand-me-downs. One letter would be enough, but you know it won't happen. And day-to-day you put her out of your mind.

This is my analogy. It isn't perfect, but I feel it captures my feelings very well. I hope it makes sense for you. Now if you came from there, you can return to my testimony.

Testimony

A quick intro to where I currently stand on spiritual matters. Read this before my other posts.

I was born and raised in a Christian home. My father was a pastor so I know a measure of the bible, and some theology too. I'm not an expert, but I know what the bible says and I studied it for years as a part of my daily life.

Being a Christian was a part of who I was. I felt there was no other way I could be. I had never officially had that repentant 'moment' that other people say they had - that day that they say they turned their life over to God - as I always felt I was God's child right from the moment I was born. Of course there were times when it seemed hard to follow, or I rebelled, but never for long, and I always returned to God. In those times, I never truly doubted I would return, and I always accepted that it was my sin and my choice that had led me off the 'path'.

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