Cruel Logic

While y’all wait for me to complete a new post on evanescent’s carrot & stick article, here’s a link to whet your appetite. (HT: Gene Cook, TNM #864)

Good Things

Without belaboring my obvious recent absence from the blogosphere, I’ll just provide a number of links that you might find interesting:

RiffTrax: Don’t you miss MST3K? Years ago, Forester had the idea to make his own MST3K-type spoofs, but the original MST3K guys ended up beating him to the punch. Now, for only $5.98, I’ll be able to watch the Star Wars Episode I and II DVDs that came packaged with Revenge of the Sith!

MythTV: One reason I’ve never plumped for a TiVo or other type of DVR is that I would rather buy a device, than buy a device AND pay a subscription fee. Turns out you can take any old Intel box, add a special card for converting cable signals into digital video, install Linux, and (voila!) MythTV turns your computer into an open-source DVR. Program information is free over the web (for instance, from zap2it), and the bigger the hard-drive, the more it can store (about 1 GB/hour of non-HD television).

Finale Notepad: As a musician, I’ve occasionally had the need to jot something simple down. For instance, when I got married, one of the hymns that I wanted as part of the service was not in the hymnal of the church we were using. I managed to enter and print the hymn as a leaflet inserted in the bulletin, using a 30-day evaluation copy of some software or other, but I wish there had been (or I had known about?) Finale’s Notepad back then! As the name implies, Notepad is a lightweight, free music composition software. I say lightweight because it is a limited version of Finale’s full software, but the limitations are surprisingly unrestrictive. You can have up to 8 staves, you can enter lyrics, you can have all manner of special notations (tuplets, slurs and ties, fermatas, repeats,…), you can perform transposition, there is MIDI playback, you can save and print — I really think Finale has gone overboard in their free offering, such that I might never have a need to pay for anything better!

On a more serious (and less geeky) note,

The PCA: Following the OPC (my church‘s previous denomination), my denomination has produced a report about Frank Valenti. The PCA report is smaller than the OPC’s report, probably because it narrowed its focus on standards rather than scripture. The report has not yet been adopted by GA, but it concludes quite clearly that all of the following hallmarks of FV are contrary to the Westminster Standards: monocovenantalism, temporary “covenantal” election, denial of ICAO, denial of merit, imputation subsumed in union, baptismal regeneration, saving graces without perseverance, and final justification partly based on works.

Good Grief: My sister recently wrote a very personal, very touching post about our sister that we both lost. If you have ever lost anyone, I think her post will be edifying for you.

Raising Arizona

Still not really back yet, but I thought maybe it could be more interesting to pose this question to Forester here, inviting others to discuss as well, rather than just sending him an email. T got me the DVD of Raising Arizona for my birthday, and we re-watched it for the first time in many years. Since I know Forester is also a Coen Bros. fan, and likes Raising Arizona specifically (although probably not as much as Barton Fink), I wanted to hear his (or your) take on the following question that T & I couldn’t come to a satisfactory answer on. What is the ‘lone biker of the apocalypse‘? With the same road-runner tattoo (although over his heart, not on his arm), the bronzed baby shoes, the “Mama didn’t love me” tattoo, is he (in some secular sense) H.I.’s original sin, his carnal nature? Or does Smalls represent righteous justice and unavoidable consequences? And what is the message of the movie, in terms of the fact that H.I. was able to destroy whatever is represented by Leonard Smalls?

Da Vinci Blowed

We went to a great talk tonight; our church sponsored a lecture and Q&A about The DaVinci Code, by Mark Strauss (professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary, and author of Truth & Error in The Da Vinci Code) Continue reading

Top 5

Inspired by my baby sis… Continue reading

Day Without a Cohesive Message

I don't know if the "organizers" of today's "Day Without an Immigrant" activities knowingly borrowed their title from the movie "A Day Without a Mexican" (see also the short film by the same director, especially the user comment at IMDB), but it appears that they do share the same self-defeating premise. Continue reading