The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Monday, October 31, 2011

More Radio Chills for Late Halloween Night ... or Any Dark and Stormy Night

The talented team at Snap Judgment have done it again. Just in time for Halloween night, once all the little spooks have had their sugar fix and gone to bed, here are more stories to tingle the spine! Turn down the lights, lock the doors, grab your favorite ghoul or ghoulette, and listen carefully. http://snapjudgment.org/spooked-ii

If that is not enough for you, head on over to the NPR station WAMU in Washington D.C. and look up their program The Big Broadcast for October 30, 2011. Hurry now, it'll be gone with the week as there is a new broadcast every Sunday and they do not archive the shows. The Big Broadcast is old time radio and the shows are well worth a late night listen.

I became hooked on this sort of thing years ago as a teen when a local radio station in Washington, D.C., WMAL, broadcast a Halloween night show called Washington Revisited, in which host, narrator, and journalist John Alexander took you on a haunting tour of the various and sundry ghosts inhabiting the nation's capital. Complete with sound effects, this was a wonderful, spooky hour of radio that filled the mind with all sorts of interesting images in the dead of night. 

Happy Halloween. BWA HA HA!!!

Welcome Baby 7 Billion: 7 Billion People: Everybody Relax!



Today, Halloween, October 31, 2011, you're going to hear a lot about baby 7 billion. It will get scary. The Population Research Institute says, "Relax!" Here's why.

For me, I say, welcome aboard baby 7 billion, whoever and wherever you are. I hope your life has plenty of laughter, love, and joy, in spite of all the challenges and difficulties that will face you, both natural and human made. Welcome to life. Welcome to love. Welcome to joy, family, community, and faith. Welcome.

We're glad you're here.

Say, somebody should get you a copy of Michael and the New Baby as an arrival gift! Just sayin'.

Sorry, couldn't resist!

The perfect gift for baby 7 billion ... or ANY baby!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Afraid of Heights: Stairway to Heaven



Here some repairmen show you how a day's work is done. This is far more harrowing than anything we average mortals will do. Free climbing to over 1700 feet; it gives one pause, particularly if you are afraid of heights. This reminds me of all the sci-fi and fantasy movies I've seen and wondered, as the hero/heroine crosses some crazy spindly bridge with no railings, where is OSHA in all this? Are there no safety regs? And yet, OSHA clears this climb.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Continuing the Spooky: Aliens and Otherworldly Experiences

With Halloween hot on our heels, here is another Snap Judgment spooky episode, this time of an alien nature. Strange, extraterrestrial, and disturbing stories from the Twilight Zone side of our planet, brought to you by host Glynn Washington. Turn down the lights, lock the doors, put on your tin foil hats and listen in: http://snapjudgment.org/spaceman

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Radio Stories for Halloween

I have always enjoyed Halloween. I have never had real misgivings about the holiday (aside from such nonsense as TPing people's homes, throwing eggs, or smashing people's jack o' lanterns in the streets). Then again, I've drawn a line at my children dressing up as death or the shambling undead and going up to elderly peoples' homes trick or treating. Now, that's just not right. But all the rest I love. The jack o' lanterns (although now with a son in college and daughter in mid-teens I no longer feel the urge to carve them), the costumes, the kids hopefully coming to the door, their parents hovering close by, and the sharp, crispness of the evening air.

So, to give the holiday a little extra added spookiness, I direct you to the radio show called Snap Judgment and the episode entitled Spooked. Here are plenty of scary tales to make the night even spookier! Enjoy!

http://snapjudgment.org/spooked

Friday, October 21, 2011

Where Anxiety Takes Us

Author Peter L. Steinke has the following to say about anxiety:

When anxiety is high, resilience is low. Behaviors are extreme and rigid; thoughts are unclear and disjointed. Anxious people speak harsh words or cut themselves off from others through silence. To manage their threatening situation, people hurry to localize their anxiety. They blame and criticize. Yet it is one thing for a system [this can be any functioning group in which you are a part from family to nation] to be shattered by shocking events and another to be shackled by its own reactive tremors. Once a system fortifies its stability by its reactivity, it cannot get what it needs most: time and distance, calm and objectivity, clarity and imagination.

This description of anxiety and its impact upon systems (i.e. groups) sent tremors of recognition through me. Since 9/11 we in the US have lived with high anxiety and reinforced it in oh so many ways, beginning with color coded threat alerts and spiraling into the longest running war we have ever been involved with. Take a look at the talking heads on the talk shows and commentaries and see it the above description does not fit their behavior to a tea. Take a look at the newest Congress members and see if their beliefs do not fit this pattern. We need to work on lowering our national anxiety levels so that we as a nation may once again have calm and objectivity, clarity and imagination. Our anxiety has pulled us far, far off center and in so many ways we are not behaving like ourselves. If this continues, I hate to think where we are heading. Steinke adds, "...a system that maintains its stability by reactivity alone will not be stable in the long run." He concludes that any system that continues down this high anxiety path will in time no longer be able to repair itself, plan for the future, and find new directions. Take a look at the dysfunctional Congress today and tell me Steinke does not have it right!

Peter L. Steinke. How Your Church Family Works. Page 47

Parents: You Too Can Be A Hero ... Even a Techno-Hero

Okay, first, if you have a child who will soon be the older sibling or is just now grappling with the job and is 3 years old or older, buying a copy of Michael and the New Baby will make YOU dear parents, grandparents, or guardians, a HERO. Your child's fears will be calmed and you both will have a story to enjoy over and over again. Not bad for a low, low price!



But, if you have older children, you know how hard it is to impress them, particularly in the realm of technology, which is their native world ... while for many of us it is an alien planet for of potential hostiles. Still, you can do it. I'll tell you how.

The stars aligned just so for me the other night. Our trusty old (and for computers it is ancient) tower in the family room has started to give up the ghost. Our daughter needed to print out a homework assignment, but the printer was attached to the tower. Never fear, I said (not knowing what was in store for me). I'll plug the printer into my laptop and the problem will be solved. UNFORTUNATELY, the printer's drivers (the programming on the disc that came with the computer) didn't include the Windows 7 operating system. It seemed my printer was now out of date. Well, I hate giving up on a functioning machine before its time. I wasn't raised that way (see how alien the world of modern technology is to me). So, here at long last is the secret, I went online and googled the following question, "Where can I find drivers online for an ________ (insert model here) printer?" The answer was in the first response. The company puts up updates online for just such occasions. I downloaded the drivers, loaded them up, and printed our daughter's homework. She was impressed. I was a techno-hero for the moment. It is amazing. You can type in fully formed, full sentence questions now and come up with cogent answers out of search engines. That's all you need to know. Good luck out there ... hero!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

This book is entirely appropriate for harried adults in this confused season (but NOT your children, NEVER your children). Right now in the stores you will find Halloween candy, costumes, and plastic skeletons snuggled up right against festive, artificial Christmas trees, ornaments, and Christmas wrap. What could be better under these circumstances than to curl up with a book subtitled "A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror."

I have heard the author speak. He describes himself as an author of "comic horror." Moore explains. He tried to write horror, took the results to a horror writer's convention, read before a crowd and they all laughed hysterically. That is when he realized he was a comic horror writer, and a darned good one too.

But enough of this, The Stupidest Angel takes place in the small town of Pine Cove, California. Townsfolk are running around readying themselves for the big day, full of holiday spirit ... or just spirits depending on the character. All except for young Joshua Barker. Little Josh has seen Santa killed with a shovel and buried in the woods. Josh wants Santa back from the dead. In comes the Archangel Raziel on a mission. He is to grant one child a holiday wish. He runs into Josh, Josh want dead Santa to rise again, and Raziel grants a general wish in the direction of the moldering Kris Kringle. Not the brightest, Raziel proclaims, (I paraphrase perhaps as I can't locate the passage at this moment and my time grows short) "Arise and feast" waving a hand in the general direction where Josh feels Santa is taking his dirt nap. It is also in the general direction of a small cemetery and the picturesque church, which is the site of the annual Lonely Hearts Club Christmas Bash. The dead obey. Chaos follows. It is a small book, 6" x 9" and 276 pages long, costing $14.95 in hard cover. You'll get through it quickly. If you are like me, you'll go eagerly looking for Moore's other books as well.

Christopher Moore's Author's Warning sets the tone for the whole story: "If you're buying this book as a gift for your grandma or a kid, you should be aware that it contains cusswords as well as tasteful depictions of cannibalism and people in their forties having sex. Don't blame me. I told you."

He's not lying! 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Prescription Laughter 8, or 9, or Who Cares: Buster Keaton "Don't Bring Me Down"



The great Buster Keaton and ELO come together as never before ... and never again. If you really want some laughs that have withstood the test of time, find some old Buster Keaton movies and prepare to laugh. They are silent films, so subtitles will have to be read, but no matter. The movies are great, the stunts are wonderful, and Buster Keaton is amazingly funny! He won't bring you down. Enjoy!

Star Trek 45th Anniversary 2: Flotsam and Jetsam from the ST Universe

The original Star Trek series only lasted 3 years as a broadcast series on TV, from 1966 to 1969. Then, the series called by Gene Roddenberry (its creator) the "Wagon Train to the stars," guaranteed to be created on a shoe string budget, was gone. Sort of. Star Trek sailed off into the universe of syndication, which is where I caught up with it on a little black and white Sony TV (the only one in the house that could pick up the exotic UHF channels) and was hooked in my early teens. Of course, Star Trek went on to do far more than that, with spin off series and movies galore. Here are a few souvenirs from the Star Trek Universe.

Original series Enterprise hanging in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., c. 1980.
A friend handed me the manuscripts you see here. Star Trek II, dated 1977, caught my eye. I'd never heard of this, but it was a proposed second TV series with the original crew, except for Mr. Spock and Leonard Nimoy was busy trying to separate himself from his emotionless, logical character from the series. The writers described the series as follows:

"Our new episodes portray the second five-year mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise. following its first mission, the starship had returned and entered orbital drydocks in the naval yards high over San Francisco, where the vessel has been completely refit. Its basic countours, both interior and exterior, remain generally the same. The vessel functions in basically the same way. However, the details of the vessel such as instrumentation, read-out systems, and controls are vastly more sophisticated than in the original Enterprise.
To command this second five-year mission, Captain James T. Kirk has refused an Admiral's star and has managed to recruit many of the original crew. An exception to this is Mr. Spock, who has returned in high honor to Vulcan to head the Science Academy there. In fact, all of our original crew have found themselves to be very nearly legends in their own time. Few starships have every completed a five-year mission [phew, mortality rates are higher than I imagined. I thought it was only the red-shirted security guards who had such short life expectancies ... not whole starships and their crews!], and none but the U.S.S. Enterprise has returned with its original crew virtually intact. Perhaps the explanation for so many of the crew volunteering for a second five years was their seeking the relative anonymity of space. Or perhaps these men and women cannot find satisfaction in an ordinary life after so many years of the highest adventure experienced by humans."

The writers go on to state that courtesy of "M*A*S*H," more realistic language was now possible, censor's restrictions were relaxed, and better camera work and special effects were available to make the series outshine the original show. However, this series was not to be. Instead, it was revamped into Star Trek: The Motion Picture ... and you can see that when you watch it.


The much longer running first follow up to Star Trek.

The rest of the ST flotsam and jetsam is self-explanatory. Quite intriguing is the Star Trek Timeline. Here's what was to have happened in the early 2000s.
  • 2001--New millennium is heralded by formation of United Earth (governed by a revised and strengthened United Nations) and UESPA (United Earth Space Probe Agency). 
  • 2002--Nomad probe launched into deep space. 
  • 2002--Terra's United Nations Scientific Council released a 15-year project estimating offworld and space-oriented industry to grow at an exponential rate. 
  • 2003--The United Space Initiative is signed in New York, on Terra. This landmark agreement will focus and accelerate Human exploration of the Sol System for the benefit of all Humanity. 
  • 2003--Using solar sails, Alpha Centaurians begin a concerted effort to explore their stellar system. 
  • 2004--Farside Moonbase begins operations on Luna. 
Page one from the ST Universe's history...
And on it goes. Sigh! By 2012, we were to be on Mars and by 2014 exploring the asteroid belt. If only!

Well, hope you enjoy exploring these artifacts of Star Trek. Happy 45th everyone. Live long and prosper!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser NASA CCDev Accomplishments Video



A teeny-tiny space shuttle crew delivery vehicle looks like it may be in the works from the Sierra Nevada group. It seems we now have a race between this organization and Space X. The Space X Dragon ship is more ambitious than the SN Dream Chaser, with ambitions to extend their flight far beyond low earth orbit. Who will be first? Will either private company succeed? Only time will tell.

For more information on the Dream Chaser, see the Universe Today article,   http://www.universetoday.com/89838/sierra-nevadas-dream-chaser-to-conduct-drop-test-next-summer/

For a little history about where the Dream Chaser design came from, see this short NASA video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhAYlWdEC64 It seems some old ideas from NASA are getting new life via these private firms. Bigelo is using an old NASA idea for inflatable space stations to create their inflatable space hotel. Do you suppose the Dream Chaser will ferry hotel guests up to their inflated suites in space?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quiet Reflections for a Quiet Evening: A Small Miracle Revealed

The house is still. The moon strolls through the cloudy sky, tracing each with silver. The family sleeps, all except me. Even our rambunctious beagle has gone to bed. The TV is off. All is still. It gives me a chance to reflect. And to write to you, reader, whoever and wherever you are. I hope you have peace tonight.

I am in my last year in seminary, about to sign up for my final class. There is a strange symmetry here. When I began, it was 20 years since my first Master's degree. I decided to take it slow. One class that semester only. Now, I'm ending this journey through seminary with one class for my last semester.

In that first class, Spiritual Formation, the very first day a revelatory event occurred. It started off simple enough. Each person in class was asked to tell a little something of their history. We were to disclose a little of what brought us to seminary. How did we come to this place? What was that journey? And the stories began to unfold. Each and every one was a story of struggle and pain, in some part of life. Tears were shed by some, voices cracked for others. The professor had framed the moment in such a way we came to trust one another enough to share our pain. And when we did ... there was a small miracle in the moment for me.

A dark pearl of self-judgmental guilt began to loosen in my heart. With each story, I became more aware of how alike we all were. I came to understand all those little things I was blaming myself for were simply part of being a normal, flawed human being. I discovered in the testimony that I was not doing as God wants us all to do. As we discussed this week in Boundaries class, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. To love those neighbors we must first love ourselves. To love ourselves we have to cut ourselves slack as we would others. We have to rid ourselves of that hectoring voice within that drives us mercilessly. We have to silence that slave driver who forces us to work longer and harder than we should. We have to be able to tell ourselves to relax and rest just as we would tell an overworked and exhausted friend to come and rest for a while in the cool of the evening.

On that day, I did those things. I became my own friend. When I did, that dark pearl of accumulated guilt over transgressions ridiculously small except in the eyes of my inner judge evaporated and the judge fell silent. I was free. Human witnesses shared in trust had set me free. I learned then and know very well now that God intends us all for community. When we share together we are at our best. If you carry your own dark pearl of the heart, find others you can trust. Share your experiences with each other in honesty and love. See how much you have in common. Seek freedom and learn to love yourself and others.

It's been a wonderful journey, this trip through seminary. My faith has blossomed and my spirit grown. It's worth reflecting on.

It's a dark night. A train cries out lonely in the dark. The house is silent, the family sleeping. But now, reflecting on this miracle, it's a night filled with light. God is close. Peace is here in this moment now.

Thank you reader for stopping by. I wish you peace and freedom; I wish you community and love; I wish you the blessings God has for you tonight.

A Modest Proposal for Congress: Make Unproductive Quibbling Expensive

Do you get paid to do nothing? Does sitting on your hands while major projects remain undone get you a fat paycheck at the end of the week? I didn't think so. Me neither. But apparently our Congress people and Senators do. So, I have a modest proposal to "encourage" these civil servants, whose salaries we pay, to get back to work. But first a few figures:

Congress persons and senators receive $174,000 a year, whether they do their jobs or not, whether they declare their primary job to be trying to make the current president a one term president or they roll up their sleeves and are about the people's business. Without calculating in the higher pay of leadership, that means you and I are paying $93,090,000 a year to these folks. I'm sure to the many multimillionaires on Capitol Hill this seems like a pittance and a sacrifice, but for the rest of us that's a darned fat paycheck!

This would be all well and good if said national politicians were working for us and getting their jobs done. But, they aren't. Now, I propose that until this situation is corrected we return to the pay rate offered these civil servants from 1789 to 1815, a $6 per diem. Along with this, we strip these hardly working folks of their parking privileges on Capitol Hill and at the local airports. When the job is being done to the majority of Americans' satisfaction, their current pay rate could be returned, but only then.

Now, I'm sure there will be all sorts of quibbling over how these people are actually paid and who is doing the paying, but there has to be SOME way to get their collective attentions and end these futile rounds of bickering at our expense. Right now over 9% of the American population is unemployed, and that is only those individuals who remain on the unemployment roles. Those who use up their unemployment benefits are dropped from the roles, so the number is actually higher. College students with new degrees go wanting. Business groups insult the unemployed by suggesting they don't work because they receive fat unemployment checks. REALLY folks? That is incredibly insulting. Shut your mouths! We are in a 10 year seemingly endless war losing the lives of dedicated young Americans every week. Protest movements are growing throughout the nation, trying to get the attentions of these supposed civil servants and make them do what is right. And yet, these politicians intend to do nothing about these dire situations for over a year, riding things out until the next election. This is, in my humble opinion, obscene and we the people should put an end to it. Hence, my modest proposal.

Now, anyone have any real ideas on how to end this insane circular firing squad and put these overpaid, under-performing employees back to work? I'd really like to know!

Follow up from October 14, 2011: Listening to NPR out of WAMU discussing politics and a caller made the following comment, which I was ready to dismiss as conspiracy material: "The Republicans made such a mess of the country from 2000-2008 that they will not now let the Democrats fix things and make them look worse." I waited for the commentators, political reporters and that lot, to refute this comment as partisan bias. THEY DID NOT! If this is correct, Republican politicians need to get their heads on straight, work for the nation they are supposed to protect, and stop this nonsense. Personally, I prefer (as you can see above) to be more democratic in assigning blame. It takes two to refuse to tango.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Help Your Children Fly. Give Them Vision: Vision [Save the James Webb Space Telescope]

This isn't advice as much as it is an invitation. This morning on the BBC, as a I was groggily facing the morning, the reporters (an optimist and a skeptic) were engaged in friendly banter over which was better, an optimistic or pessimistic outlook on life. Well, science backs the optimist. Sure, we all know bad things will happen to us, we plan for them, we brace ourselves, and still we are taken by surprise. Yes, we all die someday. But, in the meantime, what mindset will you gift your children with? How will you treat them today? How do they see you operate and what do they hear you saying about this world of ours, this universe of ours, about faith, about all the big and little matters of life? My invitation is this. Help your children fly. Give them wings of optimism and hope. Look at the world with them through their excited young eyes and see it anew yourself. Revel together in their most magical point of view on everything when they are young. Help them to retain some of that dazzling belief in the world's brilliance and beauty, all of its natural magic. Help them to see that there is hope in this world and that as individuals and corporately we can all make a difference for good or ill every single day we live. Help them to understand their role in society as one who reaches out to others and offers a helping hand. Show them that the American "self-made man" image is an illusion. Every "self-made" individual is actually the beneficiary of society's norms and many dedicated people who helped raise, educate, and protect her or him. That individual was able to do what she/he did because he/she lived in a society that allowed for development and change, that protected ideas, concepts, and inventions, and offered up opportunities to erect factories, hire workers, and market products. No one in this world goes it alone. Teach kids that working together we can accomplish much. Teach them that working together means trusting one another and believing the world can and will be a better place if we all work together toward that goal. Show your kids that fear stifles creativity, anxiety crushes hope, terror leads to lashing out angrily at others. Point kids in the right direction, guide them with your love and vision, nurture them with hope for a better tomorrow. Help your children fly.

The following video also speaks of vision, a particular vision. It also speaks to the broad and optimistic outlook which will allow us to head into that bright future. See you there. I'm sure of it.

[Thanks again to my friends at Universe Today for telling me of this video. www.universetoday.com ... sorry about the three-peat of the video. That's a mistake I don't know how to correct.]



Sunday, October 9, 2011

GoldenEye Reloaded - Stealth Gameplay Walkthrough Trailer



Never before have I been nostalgic for a video game I used to play. However, with Goldeneye Reloaded, I'm looking forward to this update of the old N64 video game. The graphics are far better, the strategic possibilities more varied, and the movement far more realistic. My son and I, then my daughter and I, played the N64 version and I am now looking forward to playing the new game. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this game until I saw the new version coming out. This was a game that gave me insight into how different the thinking of someone who grew up with these games (my children) and I think about them. My son used to play the multiplayer mode by himself. This I found puzzling, even disturbing, at first. Then I realized he was slowly, sneakily learning every location in every area so that when we played together ... he could find ME in seconds.

I wonder what insights I'll gain when the new version comes out in November?

Of course, my son and I both had the same reaction to this video. It can be boiled down to one question, "What is this strategy of which you speak?"

Friday, October 7, 2011

Questing After Prince Valiant

I enjoy comics. I always have. Our paper (which shall remain nameless) recently removed Prince Valiant from the Sunday funnies. That showed appalling bad taste and perhaps dastardly thinking on their part if you ask me. I've read Prince V's adventures since I was a kid and I wasn't keen on giving up now. Few comics stick to the tradition of finely rendered detail like Prince V and none follows the storyline found there. So, I went questing over the Internet landscape, searching for the Misty Isles and England through the electronic hills and vales. I found it and once again enjoy the Prince's adventures. You can too, if you are a fan. Go to: http://www.oregonlive.com/comics-kingdom/?feature_id=Prince_Valiant

If these folks should turn into blighters who would remove the valiant Prince from their digital pages, I'll go questing again.

See you in the funny pages.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tiny Computer App Speaks Volumes

I recently activated a little app that came with my laptop. It's a small screen on the main page that tells me the temperature outside in my location, whether it is day or night, and what the weather conditions are outside. At first this struck me as odd, but convenient. Then it hit me as highly appropriate. We live in a computerized world now and spend inordinate amounts of time before one screen or another. For a blog jockey, writer, and editor like me, I guess this is actually a necessary device. I spend a heck of a lot more time before the glowing screen than out in glowing sunlight. I use the little app. I use it for its intended purpose. I also use it to tell me to get off my butt, get away from the computer, and go see for myself what the weather is like outside. This little app truly speaks volumes about our current situation.

Okay, I'm getting up now and going out to meet the natural world for a while now. The air is crisp with the promise of autumn, the days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and I need to go see it all for myself. How about you?

In Memory of a Great Civil Rights Leader: Fred Shuttlesworth: Fighting Segregation from the Pulpit



On October 5, 2011, a great Civil Rights leader died. Listen to what he had to say in this interview. This is a man who stood up for justice. He spoke of justice, put himself in harm's way for justice, and drew many with him to demolish racism and lead people to a new and better way. In Birmingham, Reverend Shuttlesworth would call the racist police chief, Bull Conner, and tell him where the next demonstration would be. He told Bull he'd be at such and such intersection and that if Bull wanted to be part of history, he should meet him there.

Reverend Shuttlesworth faced death for what was right. He endured brass knuckles, chain whipping, and jailing for what he believed in. Racists felt if they killed Reverend Shuttlesworth, they'd end the freedom movement in Alabama. Rev. Shuttlesworth refused to back down, believing God would keep him safe. He was right. They say a single person cannot make a difference in this world. THEY ARE WRONG!

What will you do today? Rest in peace Fred Shuttlesworth. You've earned it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In Memory of Steve Jobs: The Lost 1984 Video: young Steve Jobs introduces the Macintosh



In memory of Steve Jobs who succumbed to cancer today. I had one of these Macs way back when. My first computer was the Apple IIc, the VW Beetle of computers. One of its big selling features was its small size and carrying handle. It was portable. I wrote my Master's degree thesis on that computer. Of course the file size was small enough that the titles were in one file and the chapter text in another. It booted with a floppy disc (the 5 3/4" size). I graduated to a Mac like the one in this video after that.
Alas, from there, as a working writer with a family, I had to switch to PC's, which were both more affordable and had a lot more product generally available at the time.

Still, I have a warm spot in my heart for Steve Job's computers. In seminary I used an old Mac Clamshell in blue for 5 years (it was ten years old when I retired it, my Dad had used it for its first five years). I didn't realize I had become known for that computer in the seminary. People actually mourned its passing. The last year I'd used it, in one class a young man turned around and looked at that colorful laptop nearly in tears and said, "It's beautiful man!" I think that's a fitting tribute for Steve Jobs. Your computers were beautiful man! Rest in peace.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

ScienceCast: The Strange Attraction of Gale Crater



Curious about the Curiosity Rover mission to Mars? Here's info about the site Curiosity will visit and why it's important.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gentlemen: I Commend These Words to You

I am currently sitting in the seminary library researching the passage entitled in my NRSV Bible "Springtime of Love" from the Song of Solomon (a.k.a. Song of Songs), verses 2:8-17. I ran across this most beautiful of passages that I commend to you, gentlemen. Squirrel this passage away during the hard winter months and then lovingly whisper them to you beloved when Spring stirs in the world:

"Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone,
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away."
v. 2:10-14

You won't do better than that for romance in the warming air amidst the flowers.

You'd be surprised what you can find in the Bible. God's Word is full of surprises and much wisdom of the ages if you know where to look for it.

If you think of it, come back in the spring and let me know how it goes when you utter these honeyed words and lure your honey away (details not necessary).
... come away