Archive for August, 2005

Update

Friday, August 26th, 2005

Okay, here’s the 411. I have begun my preparation for teaching in the fall, hence the lack of writing on the ole blog. I am teaching two courses in computer science and we have ahd all day meetings the last two days. For the next two weeks, I will be preparing my courses.

Exciting news for today is that I got called on my office phone today by a student wanting to get into my class. I guess it’s official that I am a professor in the eyes of students. Good times to follow…

Spin

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

Gabriel showed me this short film. Very well done in my non-expert opinion.

Kung Fu Kick

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

I like martial arts. While it has been on my mind for some time to take lessons in some form, I had not really reached a point where I felt comfortable devoting that time to learning a new set of physical skills. It seems, however, that my subconscious was more than ready to begin its training. Funny story follows:

At about 3:30 am this morning, I awoke to my foot bleeding profusely. Initially confused, I soon realized what had happened. While sleeping, for some inexplicable reason, I kicked out the window that is next to my bed…who knows. The window is actually quite elevated above my mattress because of the air conditioner in the window. We’re talking a good four feet above my mattress. After stopping the bleeding and doing my work, I saw that I had to have really propped myself up to reach the window pane. Bizzare to the max!

I wish I could say I was dreaming about playing soccer or escaping from a burning building…any reason really would have sufficed. Alas, I have no recollection of what was going on prior to me waking up having dropkicked my window. Words are helpless here to describe how funny and odd this episode has been.

P.S. I’m fine, a couple scratches, nothing to be a baby about. Good protection on the mental front and all that…

Form-fitting…

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

That title, of course, refers to software development and not clothing. In my experience, programming, particularly on the web, the idea was to write something that would attract the most users possible. This creates a big, bulky app that typically does not serve the original purpose very effectively but does support lots of people using it. With the advent of relatively cheaper technology (hardware, compilers, interpreters, etc…) however, suddenly that big bulky software which needed lots of users to justify the cost does not seem so necessary. Situated Software is an article which tackles this cultural conditioning towards broad apps and shows that it should not be the de facto standard in software development. An enlightening read for the open mind…

Lesson Learning

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

Imagine that, something useful in the lesson! Who would have thunk it?

So, lately, it seems that a couple friends of mine have decided to make a consicous effort to reign in their weight and get healthy. I am a supporter of this goal to be sure, but I did find myself lacking in a higher conception of exercise. Mrs. Eddy talks about your “body of thought” and muscles being thought-forces, but I never really had a good idea on exercise. Sure, in sports, I was playing to glorify God, the brotherhood of the team, etc… Now that I am essentially done with playing competitive sports, I find I am not really motivated to exercise because I feel like it is for myself. Wanting to resolve things into thoughts, I have been looking for that elevated definition of exercise to support my friends’ efforts spiritually. Enter section five of this week’s lesson. From Science and Health, 393:8 -

Mind is the
9 master of the corporeal senses, and can conquer sickness,
sin, and death. Exercise this God-given authority. Take
possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action.
12 Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike
good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing
can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on
15 man.

Duh! I have grown up being told, “Know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free”, and I always thought, “Yeah, okay, easier said than done”. This passage was an ‘A ha!’ moment for me. Applying this passage to basketball, you cannot run an offense or defense without a having a basic skill set, like knowing how to shoot, pass, rebound, etc. Knowing these skills, in and of themselves, does not win basketball games. They must be combined into an offensive and defensive philosophy, given structure. The analogy, then, is that knowing the Truth is knowing how to pass, shoot, rebound. It’s all well and good knowing that God is All-in-all, but in and of itself doesn’t do too much towards realizing the Truth. Only when we put into practice what we are learning and give it a framework do these truths become demonstrable.
Yes, there are many healings where the person simply “knew a truth”, but that is not the healing that Jesus did. It is not enough to know; one must do. To a newbie, this is hard and not immediately clear what that implies. What I think the passage points out is that no matter the evidence before the material senses, the spiritual fact of being is harmony. Jesus, while on a ship at sea during a storm, slept. When woken up by the disciples, Jesus did not panic, as I’m sure many of us would; instead, he rebuked the storm, and peace, the peace Jesus knew was ever present spiritually, was realized by the material senses.

The first step towards this kind of dominance (see Gen 1:26) is taking possession of our bodies, governing our feelings and actions.

Back to basketball for a moment. Players talk of times when they are “in the zone”, where they can do no wrong, where their desires are realized. I myself have experienced this and it is beautiful. I stopped worrying about the future, what pass I had to make to keep the offense flowing or where I had to be standing on defense to prevent an opponent from driving, and was engrossed by the present. I imagine the feeling of being in the spiritual zone is incalcuable. We do not, however, go right to the zone. It starts with “glorious glimpses”, moments where our thoughts are aligned and nothing is impossible. Just as a jump shot becomes more consistent with practice, so do these glorious glimpses turn from moments to stretches to eternity. That sweet reward, and it is sweet, cannot be gained without bearing our cross.

I feel good about exercising now…

Rubies and Java

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

Alert to non-geek readers: This post probably will not contain too much information that you will find interesting. You may want to check out the new Strongbad email instead.

I have to say, I am loving lesscode. The posts there are quite perceptive and intruiging. One of the more recent posts talks about the evolution of Java, and how it is actually seeming to de-evolve from its original intentions. Knowing a couple developers who advocate Java as the end-all be-all language, I wonder how they would react to this post. The author seems to have a fairly knowledgable background:

My background: five years in scientific research (started in 1985 on complex systems modeling), followed by 15 years of software development. I’ve been through it all — FORTRAN, Pascal, C, Smalltalk, C++, VB, Java, ERP, J2EE, EAI, SOA, .NET, and finally (thankfully:-) Ruby and Rails.

It’s an exciting time to be sure…

UPDATE – Looking through the poster’s (Alex) personal website, I am finding this guy to be very interesting. A little obsessive and perhaps overly analytical, but he certainly suggests some interesting ideas. In particular, and Gabe should agree with Alex here, is Alex’s post on validation.

Rock On

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

Sculpture…a very cool art form that has to be precise or else the composition just won’t work. Seriously though, most sculpture is amatuer compared to this. Michaelangelo was weak sauce using a big chunk of rock…this takes skillz.

Outer Limits Experience

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

<geek> Not that anyone would pick up on this, and while most of the three people that read this already know what has occurred, I still feel I should mention that I have transferred my domain and moved my site to a new server. GoDaddy is handling my domain while Gabriel is allowing me to put my content on his server. So the last couple posts did happen when the timestamp says; the domain transfer just hadn’t happened in time for you to see them right away. </geek>

Welcome Aboard

Tuesday, August 9th, 2005

I finally did it…I joined Flikr. Here’s my portion of the site. The pictures are in no particular order; actually, they are in the order in which I uploaded them, but that in and of itself is meaningless.

Seriously though, Flikr rocks the house. Pretty sweet UI, very slick slideshow tool, and tons of users’ pictures to browse through. Using the tags makes it very easy to find pictures relating to a theme. All around a great site…and it’s free!

Father’s Love

Monday, August 8th, 2005

I have been playing with Flickr for the last hour, uploading some of my pictures, but mostly browsing others. I came across this one…hard to put into words what it makes me feel. Mostly that I miss my dad, the way I knew him before this past Christmas…I still love you, Dad