The Daily Dishes

Last night I had another work-related dream wherein one of our larger suppliers washed their hands of us. It was not a pleasant dream. But it sure solved my employment problem. Then I woke up and was still employed.

This is why I ask, what exactly are dreams? Do they have significance? Do they mean anything? Or are they merely the brain trying to make some sort of mental sense of life? Or even just sorting and filing things? Why must a person have REM sleep to live?

On an unrelated note, I broke another drumstick; I seriously need a new supply of these things. I had five pair, and I’m down to two pair. Please don’t read that out of context.

Now for lunch: a delicious salad of the leafy green variety.

Mourn

As it turns out, the latest round of recording has finally produced – gasp – a song. You can click the links below to listen. I’ve uploaded it in MP3 and Ogg Vorbis format. Again, this is a pretty rough cut. Cut me some slack, will ya?

Mourn [MP3]

Mourn [OGG]

Enjoy.

Edit: fixed those links.

Edit 2: on an unrelated note, I think I may have tiny little crush on Riot Becki of the Pipettes. In Britian and in a manufactured indie pop band (when did that start happening?) nevertheless, I fear it will be a short-lived thing. I just can’t get past the polka-dot dresses.

And to fight spam…

I have installed (thanks to my wordpress.com API key) Akismet. So not I have Spam Karma and Akismet running, which should also take care of trackback spam, most of which slips right through SK’s filters, though I suspect Dr Dave simply hasn’t written SK to take care of trackback spam. Edit: I suspected wrong, as Dr Dave maintains he did indeed write SK to take care TB spam.

Sheesh. I still fail to see who actually buys anything presented in a spam email anyways.

Bullet points for a Wednesday morning.

  • Google Spreadsheets is pretty neat, when it comes down to it. I have a guest invitation (as does everyone else in the universe?), and I’ve tried it out with a little data of my own; it’ll be nice to have a place to collate data that’s available not only to anywhere with an internet connection, but also to those collaborators I choose.
  • I wake up before seven every morning, alarm clock or not, weekend or not. It appears – and I don’t want to jinx this – but it appears I have fallen into some sort of rhythm.
  • The way Ontario’s government is dealing with the native standoff in Caledonia distresses me. Not to put to fine a point on it, the Liberals look like a bunch of meandering pansies. Are they really interested in settling this dispute? Then the “natives” should be off the land, cooling their asses in jail. And the precident! My goodness.
  • Only three more days till I go vacationing in South Carolina. WOOHOO. Or something. I’m not given to great outbursts of joy.
  • I really have nothing else to say. Treasure this moment, it won’t last.

Bullet points for a Tuesday Morning

  • At the gym this morning, I noticed that the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup. Way to go, fellas. Sorry it wasn’t Edmonton, since Canada is nominally my country and somehow it seems more fitting that the champion of a Canadian sport be a Canadian team, but alas, providence decreed otherwise. Isn’t it odd to talk about God foreordaining a hockey game?
  • This morning as I drove – slowly – through my suburban neighborhood, I noticed a mother chasing her child out into the street; oh the madcap youngsters! She caught him before he would have died under the wheels of my car, but I had stopped nevertheless. Thank God. I hardly want to add child-killer to my resume
  • Speaking of driving, I’ve ranted on here before about some of the stupid things people do on the road. But I want to extend a bit of grace to these people, after all trusting a human – stupid, fallible humans that we are – with a machine comprised of a tonne or so of metal capable of moving upwards of 130 kph is simply stupid. I wonder if, also, our driving tests are too simple in nature. Bear with me for a moment: what help is it if one of the driving testpersons drives along with you? How are they supposed to evaluate your state of mind while driving and your ability to react to real-world dangerous situations? Let me tell you a story: one of my cousins was rear-ended in his driving test. The instuctor proceeded to fail him because he didn’t put his four-ways on when he pulled over to the side of the road. And when my aunt proceeded to bewail what she saw as the lack of compassion in that individual, I though, but he deserved to be failed, simply because he hadn’t yet internalised what he had been taught. And it seems to me our system simply does not provide for evaluation of such things, mostly because of the cost limitations. But if you think about it, the army has training simulations for pilots; why can we not have the same thing for driving students? Is not good and bad driving the difference between life and death? And not only of the individual’s, but also of those around him? It seems a better idea, then, to have a simulation that can test a new driver’s response to stimuli like – for intance – being rear-ended. And then, yes, seeing whether or not he turns on his four-ways.
  • Have you ever turned off your alarm clock in your sleep? Apparently I did, this morning. How odd. Does my subconscious want more sleep? It is a mystery.
  • I think there are some things that bother just about everyone; this morning a fellow employee implied I had been shuffling documents behind his back to his detriment. I dislike that. I called him out for it.
  • Have you ever thought about simplistic statements like “the squeeky wheel gets the grease”? It’s odd: I think that saying can be a truism at the same time as it falls short of really explaining anything. Working is customer service, yes, I agree, squeeky wheels do get grease. But if squeeky wheels get grease and start squeeking again all. the. time. you start to get sick of them. That is to say, “the squeeky wheel gets the grease; the wheel that won’t stop squeeking gets the scrapyard”. Or something like that

Some questions on the Lord’s Supper.

In the vein of blogging till my fingers fall off, and having had time to let Sunday morning’s sermon on the Lord’s Supper percolate, I present for your consideration some questions I had during said sermon. Please note that I am not stating a view of my own here: I don’t deny the LS as it’s set forth in any of the doctrinal standards my church holds to. These are merely questions that I think bear answering. With that in mind, I continue.

First, before I start asking any questions, I want to note the historical context of our doctrinal standards: the classic Reformed struggle again Catholicism. This colours almost every paragraph in the standards, with the exception of a very few that deal with Arminianism and other damnable heresies (not my words). Because of that, and because these standards haven’t been updated to include any of the prominant modern damnable heresies, I sometimes wonder if they wouldn’t bear some additions. For instance, dealing with a more modern corruption of the doctrines relating to the Holy Spirit.

That said, I have to ask if our understanding of Roman Catholic practices – and I tread carefully, I’m not saying that we need to accept any of their stances – might be improved with some dialogue with actual RCCers. Most of our preaching that deals with those practices seems to be more polemic in nature than those practices may deserve. I merely ask this question. For instance, the idea that the bread and wine in the eucharist are reverenced derives from the idea that they are the actual body and blood of Christ. Therefore, it makes sense to treat them like a holy thing. I say this because if – and I mean this if in an argumentative sense – that practice is wrong, it’s because of something: practices and symbols and whatnot derive their meaning from the underlying philosophy that drives them to be enacted in the first place. Or more to the point, it doesn’t follow that we should go oh, my, what a silly practice you wacky Catholics! Instead, the weighing and balancing of the why in all that. Get at the root. At the same time tempering this teaching with a certain humility in that we are not in ourselves superior in any way to people who believe these things, at least not in ourselves. I guess what I mean is not look down long doctrinal noses.

My first real question is about the idea of closed or close communion. If you submit that the eucharist is something that each person must judge for themselves in their hearts, then why the guards at the gates? If a person really wants to partake in unworthy manner, that person is likely already a hypocrite and doesn’t really care about what you’re saying. If anything, does a close communion not merely discourage people from coming to the table? And if you believe that the eucharist is a particular or special means of grace, is that not a bad thing?

Secondly, I understand the warnings to those who would partake in said unworthy manner. I think they are necessary. But again, a hypocrite doesn’t want to look unworthy. A hypocrite says in his heart for whatever reason that it’s better to look good and eat than look bad and not. Perhaps, then, could the emphasis not be on the table as an opportunity for the hypocrite to begin real heart change then and there?

Thirdly – and this is my main question – the mention of the Lord’s Supper as a means of special grace, and as a covenant meal brings several subquestions to mind.

If – and this is a big if, as the Reformation has not been particularly united on this front to my understanding – the eucharist is a means of special grace, above and beyond the normal means of grace that God provides in our everyday life; and if it is a covenant meal – remembering that the covenant is to us and to our children – how then do we deny children who have made a profession of faith this means of grace?

I am merely asking this as a hypothetical talking point. But follow the logic, as I believe many paedocommunionists would put it forth. We do not expect our children to understand baptism when they are baptised. This is a fairly common point. But we do it anyways, because baptism is a covenant sign and the covenant doesn’t extend merely to those who have stood up and said so. Major source of disagreement between Reformers and Baptists of various varieties. We do this despite there being no specific, clear command to do so, but mostly as a result of our covental reading of scripture, and as a result of baptism being a clear outgrowth of the practice of circumcision (as scripture itself says).

One might say, however, that the eucharist is an outgrowth of another Jewish practice, the Passover feast. It was also a covenant meal. But – and this point challenged two points – if it is an outgrowth of the Passover feast like baptism is an outgrowth of circumcision, and if it is a covenant meal in the same way the Passover was a covenant meal, then not only is it not a means of special grace but instead a meal of rememberance, but also should be partaken in a more covenantal sense: the whole family.

Now, let’s say one disagrees with this. Let’s say that one thinks the Lord’s Supper is a meal that does confer grace. Or in simple terms, it does something, and that something is a special something. Why then would you deny a child who has made any sort of profession, however young they might be, from a means of growth in his fledgling faith? That’s tantamount to saying that a person should grow up without the means to grow until one has grown old enough to have the means of growth. It seems backwards, do you see? One might even go so far – and again, I am not myself saying this – as to say that our tradition of a public profession of faith ushering a member into full communion is a barrier to the growth of the very people who need the strength most to make that profession. It’s an interesting line of logic.

On the other hand, if one believes that the eucharist is merely a rememberance, then why would you stop a child from remembering with you the death of Jesus Christ? Again, an interesting line of logic.

Anyhow, now you all have something to think about. Or, you have something to skim over and dismiss before breakfast. Or a late night snack.

Bullet points for a Wednesday Evening.

  • I’ve just gotten done working a 13 hour day. That’s right. 13 long, trauma-filled hours. And to cap it all off, I found myself in Ancaster this evening, dropping some super-secret test tools off at a customer of ours. In fact, I had no idea how large the Ancaster industrial park was until I got back there, and wow. Just wow.
  • Fortinos in Ancaster has more than waffles. It has cigars. So I picked up some Djarum Blacks, a particular treat for me. Yummy.
  • For a company whose only real revenue stream is web advertising, Google sure has some huge data centres. I mean, huge cooled buildings the size of several football fields, all dedicated to their goal of indexing all of mankind’s data whilst serving contextual advertisements to the masses.
  • Modern man is strange. The coffee gets us awake, the alcohol gets us to sleep, and the nicotine helps steady our nerves. All the while hopped up on sugar, instantly connected to the entire civilised world via the internet, spending our days inputting, sorting, filtering, and outputting data. Strange.
  • I like Malcolm Reynolds. As Mal once said, “you fog things up,” and I couldn’t agree with him more. We all have our Inaras, places and people and things that shunt clarity into alternate spaces and make us live in the gaps. And it seems proper somehow.