Monthly Archives: April 2004

Spam-no-more

I’ve just installed the MT-Blacklist|http://www.jayallen.org/projects/mt-blacklist/ plugin in our MovableType|http://www.movabletype.org/ installation. This should prevent those lovely ads for Cialis, Viagra, etc, from showing up in the comments of blogs hosted on MovableType at prwdot.org. You shouldn’t notice anything different with this new feature, unless you happen to be a spammer. Then, you will notice that your spamalicous comments are DENIED!!! Whoo-hoo!

TV vs. Logic

There is nothing good on TV tonight. Don’t bother searching all 600 channels, I’ve done it for you. Believe me.

Never fear, however. I have found you something better to do. A logic puzzle! These were a favorite of mine in school and I found this one on the web a couple nights ago. It took me about half an hour to solve…but that half hour was between 11:45pm and 12:15am… so you might finish it quicker. Good Luck!

(oh. I’ll post the answer if there is a public outcry for it…)


There are 5 houses in 5 different colours, all in a row. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage. The question is:

‘Who owns the fish?’

Hints:

The Brit lives in the red house.

The Swede keeps dogs as pets.

The Dane drinks tea.

The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.

The green homeowner drinks coffee.

The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.

The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.

The man living in the center house drinksmilk.

The Norwegian lives in the first house.

The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.

The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.

The owner who smokes Bluemaster drinks beer.

The German smokes Prince.

The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

The man who smokes Blend has a neighbour who drinks water.

Crisis

Sometimes it is good to be a follower. Jennifer read a book and said it was good. So now, months later, I have finally read it.

WithThe Quarterlife Crisis, Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner have written a thought provoking book about “The unique challenges of life in your twenties.” They pose the idea that although the ‘midlife crisis’ is well known and accepted in our society there is also a panic crisis that affects people in their 20’s.

It was interesting to read about the causes and effects of this crisis through the stories of college grads who are dealing with post-grad life. These stories give a thorough look at how twentysomethings adjust to life on their own after college. Thier struggles and eventual epiphanies bring to life the sometimes not so easy job of being in your twenties.

I found this book to be interesting in the theoretical sense. As a twentysomething myself I found myself comiserating with many of the ‘case studies’. However, the authors asked alot of questions, but did little in the way of answering them. I also thought that the authors (young, female) could have done a little more to make their book a bit more professional. The language and ‘voice’ of the narrative was often juvenile.

Even with some reservations I would still reccomend reading The Quarterlife Crisis to anyone in their twenties or quickly approaching. It offers another view of the life of a college grad; in sharp contrast to what we see on tv and in the movies.

Let me know what you think about it.

Congratulations Tom!

We would like to congratulate Thomas Lowe for his completion of the Boston Marathon|http://www.bostonmarathon.org/ today! His net time was 4 hours, 8 minutes, 43 seconds, which was excellent considering the humidity, temperatures in the mid-80’s, and the grueling terrain of the 26.2 mile course.

Becky and I had a great time spectating. We got off at the end of the Green Line’s B branch, at the Boston College stop. From there we walked up Commonwealth Ave., to the top of Heartbreak Hill, and then part of the way down the hill. We walked back up to the top of the hill and hung around the “Top of the Hill” line, where all of the news media were parked. It was great fun to cheer on everyone as they reached the top of the last major hill on the course. One guy near us I dubbed “Mister Top-of-the-Hill,” after the creative cheers he came up with for most every runner who went past. For example, to the man with his jersey unzipped all the way down to the waist he called “Come on, Plunging Neckline!” Another runner had an “FBI” t-shirt on, and MTOTH called out “Come on, FBI! Al-Qaeda is just ahead of you!”

We did manage to make visual contact with Tom, after walking back closer to the BC T stop. We saw him just down the hill from the 21 mile marker, gave him some cheers, and got a reaction. Hopefully it helped to motivate him for the five miles he had left to go.

Due to the laboriously slow, error-ridden Green Line (the train we were on was actually “rebooted” once while we were waiting, and before they finally decided to take it out of service), we weren’t able to make it down to the Finish line before Tom arrived. But all in all, it was a very enjoyable experience, and I definitely think it would be fun to attend even if we didn’t know anyone participating.

Just for fun, there is an athlete result search form here|http://www.bostonmarathon.org/cfm_Public/2004/pg_RaceAdvanced2004.cfm. You can type in a city and state, for example, to see if anyone from your home town was participating in the race, and see what their results were. Or you can search by name, age, citizenship, or even their exact ‘Bib Number’ if you have it. Nobody from Mount Vernon, Ohio was participating, but there were two participants from Townsend, Massachusetts. For Jenn, there was one runner from River Vale, NJ. For Michelle, there were 17 runners from Saskatchewan (one from Moose Jaw, which I think is near your seminary). Play along at home – see if you can find a long-lost friend who ran in the marathon!

One last thing – as I have previously mentioned, the digital camera is out of service at the moment. I’ll be sending it in to Canon for repairs, but today we used Becky’s standard 35mm camera to take photos. I hope to have those developed this week, and I should be able to have the photo lab digitize them for me so that they can go up in our online gallery.

Canoes to Cameras

Saturday was the Townsend Canoe Race, in which Becky and Ken participated as a mixed pair. They placed fourth in the mixed pairs category, and I was happy to be there to cheer them on.

I have some photos from the event|http://gallery.prwdot.org/canoe_race_2004, but you may notice that they seem to end abruptly. That’s because my camera succumbed to the apparently-infamous E18 error|http://www.google.com/search?q=e18+error&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8. This error, which I’ve found is widespread among lower-end Canon digital cameras, is caused when something gets in the way of the lens when it is retracting or extending from the camera body. The first time I noticed this error was during Jeremy and Angela’s wedding. Thankfully, it didn’t stop me from taking all of the photos I wanted to take at that event. It has been popping up now and again in the past month, and finally this Saturday it seems that my camera has a permanent E18 error. No amount of “whacking” as recommended by the websites I’ve found, nor any amount of changing the batteries, putting in a new CF card, or any other remedy seems to work. My next step is to contact Canon and to attempt to have them replace or repair the camera, as it is still covered under a 1-year warranty. Hopefully they’ll be able to replace it at no cost, or even a negligible repair fee. We really can’t afford to buy another new camera at this point.

Since my camera will be out of commission for a while, we’ll be bringing Becky’s Canon SureShot back into service for the photographing of Monday’s Boston Marathon|http://www.baa.org/BostonMarathon/. Becky and I will be going in to try and catch a glimpse of her uncle Tom running the race, and to take in the general spectacle. Since we’re doing traditional film, this means the usual photo upload will be a bit delayed, so please bear with us.

Oh yeah – and Monday is the first day of my “unstructured time off” – the first time I’ve taken a week off of work with no particular plans to travel anywhere or do anything. Just going to hang out with Becky and relax. It should be nice. 🙂

Hope everyone else’s Sunday is as beautiful as ours! Sunny and 61 here in Beverly.

Mutiny!

On the recommendation of a friend I checked out “Batavia’s Graveyard (The true story of the mad heretic who led history’s bloodiest mutiny”)|http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0609807161/qid=1082132840/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-1737192-3980660?v=glance&s=books

The verbose title should be a warning for the story that is to follow. Mike Dash explores the true and harrowing tale of shipwreck, mutiny, and massacre that took place off the Western Coast of Austrailia in 1629. The story is by all means exciting, enthralling and macabre. I found myself longing to find out what would happen. Dash gives such detailed histories of the main players that it is statisfying to read the Epilogue that attempts to follow up with them at the end of the story.

Although I found the combining of Dutch history and the story of the ship “Batavia” very cumbersome to read I appreciated the history lesson. In most good American public school history classes the early 17th century is dedicated to the voyage and plight of the Pilgrims and puritan settlers in Massachusetts. There is passing mention of the Dutch and English East India Companies, but only in reference to the slave, rum and molassas trades.

Mike Dash fills in the blanks for those of us on this side of the pond. Detailed accounts and descriptions of the Dutch spice trade in the East Indies and the voyages of many of their “Indiamen” ships. The historian in me loves the facts and dates and such and the detail that Dash goes into to really gives the whole story.

Long story short, It was an interesting story, lots of history and my new favorite Dutch word… predikant–preacher.

Belief Quizzes

Inspired by Will|http://pulchersentio.prwdot.org/ et al, I took some of the Spiritual Quizzes over at BeliefNet|http://www.beliefnet.com/, going from a sort of top level quiz down:

What’s Your Spiritual Type?| http://www.BeliefNet.com/section/quiz/index.asp?sectionID=&surveyID=27

In this quiz, a score of 0 marks you as a skeptic, and a score of 100 marks you as an unmoveable, confident believer. I scored in the high end of the range 80 – 89, or “Confident Believer – You have little doubt you’ve found the right path”

Belief-o-Matic (What is your faith?)|http://beliefnet.com/story/76/story_7665_1.html

My “matches” that were above 80%: 1. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (100%) 2. Orthodox Quaker (98%) 3. Eastern Orthodox (93%) 4. Roman Catholic (93%) 5. Seventh Day Adventist (88%) 6. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (84%)

Not terribly surprising.

What kind of Christian are you?| http://www.BeliefNet.com/section/quiz/index.asp?sectionID=&surveyID=83

In this quiz, a “0” indicates that you’re a secularist, or someone with minimal belief in the bible, while a “400” indicates that you’re a bible-thumping lunatic. I scored in the high end of the range 330 – 400, or, “You are a Jerry Falwell Christian (a.k.a “Historicist”).” Eek! I really don’t identify with Jerry Falwell, so frankly I find that analysis scary. But then again, I’m only similar to him in terms of my answers to the questions that the quiz asked, and the degree to which my true beliefs matched up with the available options. And it’s just a quiz. Still… blech.

By the way, I’ve started a new ‘Category’ in our blog called ‘Quizzes’ – you can access it via the ‘Archives’ link in the top left corner of our page. I went back and changed the category of previous quizzes, so you can now find the results all in one place. Hooray!

MoRSS

I’ve added a new XML feed for your consumption:

RSS 2.0 “Latest Comments” Feed|http://prwdot.org/blog_comments.xml

This feed will be updated with the last 20 comments on any of the entries in our blog, and will provide links back to the entries that were commented on.

I’ve also added some feeds for compatability:

Atom-enabled feed|http://prwdot.org/blog_atom.xml RSS 1.0|http://prwdot.org/blog.rss

Use ’em if you need ’em.

Speaking of RSS readers, I know that at least one person (Michelle|http://mikao.blogspot.com/, I think) is watching our feed via the BlogLines|http://www.bloglines.com/ web-based RSS reader. And there’s someone watching us with FeedReader|http://www.feedreader.com/, coming from a Wisconsin-based ISP… no idea who that is.

Personally, I use SharpReader|http://www.sharpreader.net/ at work, and NetNewsWire|http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/ at home.