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Archive for October, 2011


Raising Saltwater Aquaria – The Building Blocks – Part 1

We have been raising clown fish for a couple of years now, in that time there is a great deal of information that we have learned. There is always more to learn, I’m no marine biologist. But we have raised a good number of hatches to maturity, along the way we have had some serious heartbreaks. Losing an entire hatch in the period of a couple of hours, can break your spirit and make you want to give up, we have been unable to raise any tomato clowns, despite repeated attempts.

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Finishing the new changes

Still doing some work around here, the site has been moved to a new host. I’ve updated the software along with adding some new plugins, debating if I want a tag cloud and other pieces on the site.

Comments should be working now, and everything is much faster on my end. I didn’t realize how slow the old site was until I got this one in place, and started actually updating things. I’m hoping to have all the changes wrapped up this week and to start actively posting again next week. I’m even going to hook twitter up with an account built just for the site.

I’m also going to spend a little time on the theme today, it has a ton of options that I have yet to play with…




About Steve…

It’s been almost two weeks since Steve Jobs passed away, and the outpouring of sympathy seems to finally be ebbing. I’ve been holding off commenting for a while, until things calmed down a little. But now seems like a good time to give some thoughts on Apple, our culture and icons.

For all intents and purposes, I’m an admitted Apple geek. I started with a newton, and have since owned a good number of Apple products, I’m writing this on an iPad in fact. In my backpack is my MacBook pro sitting next to me. So yeah, I’ve got the bug.

But the thing about Apple is that they scare me, they represent a new breed of individual who’s concepts of right and wrong overshadow any need for true freedom, google and Facebook in the same way seem to care little privacy and more about the experience. I’ve known people who worked for Steve, and I’ve heard all kinds of things about him. I was always struck by his genius and his drive for perfection, he really cared about the details. Apple has created some great products, but they can be quirky and stubborn, how long did it take them to fix the cut and paste stuff on the iPhone? That was an obvious one even I could have called.

This generation seems to be without hero’s, and it seems to me a sad commentary that so many have placed so much faith in who was no doubt a genius, but also a flawed human being. I would never consider Apples treatment of Adobe a good thing, and I think Steve tarnished his image with his petulant treatment of anyone who disagreed with him.

Where this gets weird is that all most people knew about Jobs was his carefully crafted image, and that more than anything else speaks to the how shallow our culture has become. We live in an age where polish and shine, matter more than substance and character.

I liked Steve, I thought he was brilliant, he will be missed. I will always be an apple person. But Steve was in the end less than the hype, and less than someone I would call a hero.


Now this is cool

I’ve had this little app on my iPad for a while now, it allows me to post from anywhere, and since my iPad is my constant companion. I can update the site more often with little things!!

They seemed to have fixed some of the major glitches, and it seems fully functional, so expect updates more often, I’ll even add a nonsense category :)

So I’m working a release schedule, writing documentation and listening the Beatles!!!



A little sweeping up around here…

It’s finally fall, the leaves are turning, the air is crisp. The car was covered in ice this morning, and I got to wear my favorite wool jacket (it’s the little things that count). I’ve been thinking about the blog for some time, it’s really unfinished and needs some TLC. So I’m committing to writing once a week at the least, updating the site and getting everything where it needs to be. Devin Rose was going to comment on my review of his book, but comments aren’t working, not sure why since they seem to be turned on.

So I’ll spend some time this week monkeying with everything, there is a new WordPress version out (when isn’t there anymore), I’ll install that, upgrade the other pieces and hook this up to twitter and Facebook. I’m also going to add a section about clownfish and raising marine aquatics, because it’s something I love to do and I have a lot of information that could be helpful to others who are breeding marine animals.

I’m also going to add a section for people who have questions about the Catholic faith, but are not sure where to turn. For us it seemed like a long painful process, Michelle told me yesterday how mad I made her at times when I wouldn’t take any of our Protestant beliefs on faith anymore. I never realized that I frustrated her so much, especially while attending the reformed church. The more I dug into the actual theology of the elect and the reprobate, the more frustrated she got. She was willing to take it on faith, I was not and followed it all the way to its dark conclusion. It’s what drove us from the church. I suppose that’s a story I need to share in detail, I’m not an apologist or theologian. But I have over the years been involved with most of the main Protestant faiths, the experience led us finally to Rome. I also need to explain to my family just why I actually converted, because I am miles apart now from where everyone else is, and I have yet to really testify why.

The only kink in my plan is school, I don’t know why, but logic is the hardest things I have ever done. I get the principles, I get the point, but doing a 6-9pm class every wednesday night is murdering my brain! And I find the homework so tedious, the book is way too wordy. So in frustration I hired a tutor, I’m hoping he can help clear the confusion.

Cheers for now… More to come..


If Protestanism is True

I just finished reading Devin Roses “If Protestantism is True” (amazon link to the Kindle book), the book accomplishes a task that in many ways has been missing from discussions about the Catholic faith. There are a number of books that attempt to take on the objections that Protestants bring up about Catholicism, I have a good number of them myself. But very few actually helped me with my conversion process, and while Devin’s book is certainly a blessing. It could have saved me time and heart ache while converting to Catholicism, for anyone looking at the Catholic church coming from a Protestant background, Devin’s book a must read.

Devin takes on the core issues with the Protestant churches, the largest of which is the canon of scripture and the Protestant belief in Sola Scriptura. In this respect the author does a good job in laying out just how hollow and circular the whole Sola Scriptura concept really is. What I liked so much about his approach is just how balanced and condensed the information is, it’s not a deeply theological or apologetical book, but it is approachable and well laid out.

My only real issues are that sometimes Devin’s polemic wears a little thin, the title of book gets used more than it should and seems to missing from some areas and used more heavily in others. I also felt that the section on Catholic Doctrine regarding the ‘Rules’ of the church, was pretty weak. A year ago I would have dismissed it out of hand as another failed attempt to explain how the church is actually different than the Pharisees and Scribes.

I tend to be very critical of Apologists, I was taught that when you argue a point about theology, being irenic was a vastly better way to approach the issue. I tend to lump Apologist into three types:

1. Polemics like Calvin, who go to war over every little issue.
2. Irenic, those who take the time to understand the other sides position and explain it with clarity.
3. Polishers, those can’t seem to admit any doubt about their statements, everything is simple and rosy in their explanations.

Of the three types, I vastly prefer option 2, I find that I learn more, and that their approach is more charitable. Jimmy Akin falls squarely into this category, and now Devin Rose. Just to be clear, types one and three are not wrong or bad per se. You need some polemics to make your case, and you need to be careful with how you present your argument. But in my opinion most apologists don’t even get close to being Irenic, and in their zeal to present their case lose site of how information can impact the reader.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough, it’s only $2.99 on Amazon and worth every penny.



When in Rome (or Vegas)….

It’s been a busy time since I last posted, Michelle and I took a trip to Vegas on business. I enjoyed the conference while there (it was all geek technical stuff), but to be honest, we pretty must despised Vegas by the end. Too much smoke, alcohol and people who really find something better to do with their time. We ate at some great places, watched Phantom of the Opera (which was a good show), but the only shop we could afford to buy anything from was the Apple store (and that was for an adapter), everything else was so flipping high end it was just ludicrous. I mean who can afford a $5000 purse in this economy? and the bigger question is who actually needs one?

We enjoyed parts of our trip, but quickly soured on how agressive the casino’s have become on keeping people there. We got pulled aside more than once to invest money so we would return the following year, I know Vegas is hurting and that unemployment is at %15, but that wasn’t helping. There are some interesting sites, but they get spoiled by the constant ding ding ding of the slot machines, and women too old to wear revealing clothes… my eyes still hurt…

I guess we are just getting older, and most likely more conservative in our advancing years 😉

I’ve been super busy with School, I had a logic test the week we got back from the trip, studied until I was sick of studying, and figured I would just scrape by. But I nailed an 86!!, and on the next day test she gave a bonus points test, which I had one night to study for, on that I got a 9 out of 10!!. There another test this coming Wednesday, and so the kitchen table is covered with truth tables, logic problems and lots of notes with all kinds of charts. I’m not sure why, but I love Philosophy and Theology, they make sense to my brain, but converting that to Logic is a constant struggle. It forces to me to doubt if this is even the right direction for me, at least once a week. I will finish this class, and I *WILL* pass, but it’s been the hardest thing I have done in a long time.

I was able to Lector again last weekend, which is always a blessing. I take it very seriously, spend time studying and pronouncing the text, and make sure that I honor the gift of being able to serve. I’m actually pretty loud, partly because over the years I have done countless presentation and impromptu speeches as part of my Job. At every Mass, after I partake of the Eucharist, I sit down and say a little prayer thanking God for his mercy and grace, and allowing a sinner like me to partake in such in an important event in our Christian faith. It’s doubly so when I can actually help in any with bringing the liturgy to others.

Summer has finally ended, the house is filled with sticky fly’s, which seem to invade Idaho every time this year. I spent 30 minutes yesterday and took out as many as I could with prejudice, to the point I tore up the fly swatter (take that!! AHA!!!, Again, Again… Touche…). As I right this my next victim is crawling on my monitor, unaware of how fast I can swing that fly swatter… lkKHJYsdfsdfg dhg .. Got him!!!

Right before we left on our trip, we bought a Peppermint shrimp that was pregnant. We’ve raised clownfish, but never shrimp. So I assembled a tank (I keep lots of spares), and let her gestate. The day before we left the tank was filled with baby peppermints, they are on week three and we’ve had some losses which is normal when you raise marine animals. But there is still a good number in there and they seem to be growing, so hopefully by next week, they’ll have moved past the morph stage and settled down. That’s the critical time for peppermints, and if we can get there, then we can finish raising them. They are actually pretty easy to raise, just tedious. The hard part is growing out enough brine shrimp, but I think we have that licked as well.

Finally I’ve been reading St. Theresa Avila and the Interior Castle, it has so much depth and clarity that it has changed the way I look at who I am. I’m still digging through it but boy is it good, Father Chase recommended it as something that would help me come to grips with my pain, and it’s working. If you hurt for no reason, pain can be unbearable. But if you give your pain a purpose, I find at least, that it’s more than tolerable. It doesn’t make my hurting any less, but it gives it meaning and direction and I can use it for the good of others, how much more can I ask for than that.

As the weather gets colder, I’m looking forward to a wet fall, and cold winter. My project at work will make it’s first huge milestone at the end of the month, which will take off a ton of pressure and give me some time to re-focus, on the next stressful task. :)