Bullet points for a Wednesday morning.

  • Sometimes I hear things and go, “What?” The sort of insane, crazy things that make you wonder how exactly someone can think thus and such without actually being a loony. And not the kind of loony use to pay for coffee. But this week has been, well, full of things I hear that make me pause and wonder at the state of the people I know. Are you people nuts? Or is it just me?
  • Read this and skip down to the part where the author mentions the “Regulative Principle”. His proof text is none other than the Heidelberg Catechism. That’s… odd. Because though the Heidelberg Catechism may be a competent guide for briefly reviewing certain portions of Christian belief, it certainly isn’t itself scripture. On the other hand, considering that there aren’t really any proof texts for the “Regulative Principle” applicable to new covenant churches, I suppose it’s the best one can do. On the other other hand the people that built this website recommend Firefox, so, you know, they can’t be all bad.
  • That was a joke. I wasn’t saying they are mostly bad.
  • How’s my back you wonder? Well, it’s good. Though for some reason I feel like throwing up.
  • Love blinds. It really does. You need to step back, take a good look at the person you’re in love with, and go from there. I’ve done it, and I’m still with her, but I wonder if you, dear reader, have ever done the same. Try it. Though if you’re married and have never performed this exercise, please remain ignorant. If you’re single, be glad you have time to build that model train set and not worry about whether love is merely blind or rather both blind and deaf.
  • Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day: these are a shadow of the things that were to come. The reality, however, is found in Christ. … Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? … Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility, and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Words from Elyssa.

“I put baby butt cream on my hands, but I don’t think it’s working ’cause my hands are a weird colour of blue…”

Bullet points for a Monday morning.

  • Went to Laura’s church this weekend. It was good; the sermon touched on a bunch of points that really made me thing about call and response.
  • I am determined to become better at Scrabble. Although “determined” is probably overstating it a bit. Rather, I’m wishing that I could become better at Scrabble, and if that could happen via magic, I’d be grateful.
  • Have you ever awoken to a day so cold that nothing can make it warmer? If not, you should move to Ontario so you can experience what can only be described as intestine-chilling cold.
  • Some of the people I admire most are those with debilitating conditions who manage to persevere and not become a burden to others. On the other hand, I don’t admire those who have a minor condition and make unbearable the lives of their family and friends.
  • Every once in a while I hear something that makes me go, “What kind of insanity is this?” It is possible to be so deeply embedded in, for instance, a community or organization that you lose all sense of perspective. I think this is what happens to all those people we look at and go, “How in the world can you believe that?” It can happen to anyone who doesn’t try to strike balance or try to step backwards to gain perspective. An example: those who believe (tacitly) that marriage will solve their problems and elevate them from their pathetic existence. Another: those who become so concerned with holiness that they begin to label everything unholy. Another: those who become absolute slaves to gaining wealth that every part of their life becomes a means to that end. Another: those who become so captivated by gaining perspective that they can never involve and never connect with anything.
  • There are some problems that will never be solved. Does that mean that we stop trying? Or perhaps it means we try to get closer to the solution, as close as we can get.
  • When will religion in the USA come to understand that neocons in the USA are using religion as one of their “necessary deceptions”? Or is religion using the neocons as well? Is their union just one of partially parallel intentions, but not necessarily of goals? And do they understand that?
  • I am currently writing a story about a man trapped in a madhouse from the perspective of one of the denizens of said madhouse. The question will become, I think, who is crazier? The man, or the house?
  • After the ice and snow of this weekend, I managed to fall down the steps to my house with a Tim Horton’s coffee in my hand. My back hurt like, well, a bugger, but the coffee miraculously survived the fall without losing more than a few drops. I will thank God for small mercies and pray my back doesn’t become any more painful, because two days later, it’s only gotten worse.
  • At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

How to make pasta.

First install the essentials. Thankfully the good people at Debian have got some packages ready for us already.

sudo apt-get install apartment-core

sudo apt-get install electricity

sudo apt-get install stove-gasrange6

sudo /etc/init.d/stove start

sudo apt-get install h2o-2.1.29

sudo apt-get install pasta

Now you’ll want to define what sort of pasta to use. Find out the acceptable values for “pastatype =” by doing this:

man pst.conf

I’ve used nano as my editor of choice, but feel free to use Vim or something else if you wish:

nano /etc/pasta/pst.conf

Once you have the pasta defined properly, you’ll need to start it boiling:

sudo /etc/init.d/pasta start

Remember that /etc/init.d/stove needs to be started and h2o installed for at least ten minutes before you can run the above command.

You can check the status of you pasta by running this command:

pastcook --status

Or if you want to install a pretty frontend onto that, do this:

sudo apt-get install italian

which will when you run

italian

from the command prompt give you a graph with time remaining.

Remember, when the pasta has reached its finished state, make sure you turn “stove” and “pasta” off! You wouldn’t want to, you know, fry your kernel.

sudo /etc/init.d/stove stop

SUV

As I drove behind the Ford Expedition, I began to understand what a behemoth that particular SUV is. I couldn’t see around it, or through its windows. I could only skulk in its massive shadow.

When I passed it, I had a moment of satisfaction. The giant is not agile. It is, in matter of fact, fragile in its superfluity.

Memories spur thought.

Tonight I browsed through some pictures taken at last year’s Camp Tamarack. And it’s weird seeing those places again, to be honest. It’s been what feels like a long time since I was there, though I’ve left some great memories in various spots around the camp.

Strange to say I’ll probably never go back. Stranger even to admit that’s a good thing. Maybe I’m just too old for it, but I can’t say I’d enjoy it in the same way now as I did then. I don’t even have anywhere close to the same group of friends, or the same way of looking at the world.

Though even that’s not really true. I remember once me and some guys put some coloured stuff in our hair — Ice Spiker if I recall correctly — and were told in no uncertain terms that coloured hair is something that people on Yonge Street do, but not us. I might think a bright-blue hairdo is a bit juvenile now, but I certainly don’t think it’s wrong. Slightly different reasons now, but still.

That’s the thing. You get thrown in camp with 139 other people who feel pretty much exactly the same way about everything except minutiae, and it leads to a certain way of thinking about the world. Not in a bad way. It reminds you what the world could be like. It’s maybe a small picture of the Kingdom come, a little look at the lion lying down with the lamb.

But then you get back and remember that the world is a bigger place than all that. Not necessarily a better place, but certainly bigger. And while camp is great for a week, the other fifty-one weeks are filled with something else altogether, and things that can’t be faced with a simplistic attitude about appearances. Things that would be shocking to see in such an idyllic setting become almost normal outside Tamarack’s walls.

It makes me wonder. I’ve heard it said that in order to properly identify and correct evil, you must be shocked by it. But how can you be shocked by behaviours and attitudes you see on a daily basis? How can you be shocked by pagans outside the walls acting like pagans outside the walls? Work knee-deep in grime for a while, and grime becomes the norm. But does anyone give up washing simply because they become dirty every day?

It makes me wonder if the people who are so truly shocked by depravity have actually gone knee-deep in the grime of the real world out there. Not swimming in it, but as if sticking an arm in to rescue someone drowning. It makes me wonder if the desire to be shocked by sin also has its price, and if that price isn’t simply too high to pay.

Coffee

As I stood in line at the coffee shop, waiting to order my boss a breakfast sandwich, I overheard a man ordering a 4×4. It took me a morning moment to wrap my head around that upon which I felt a little green about the gills. That someone could actually ingest such a beverage was — and is — beyond me.

How to find one side of a right triangle.

Assuming you know one acute angle and the side adjacent to it, use a calculator (or a chart) to do this:

tan(angle) x adjacent = opposite

In a right triangle with an acute angle of 3deg whose adjacent side is 2.5 you’d get:

tan3 x 2.5 = .13101