Ubuntu, Gnome, Beryl, and Nvidia come together.

Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy)
Linux Kernel
X.Org X Server
nVidia non-free driver kernel module
Gnome 2.18
Beryl 0.3.0 (w/ Emerald Themes)
Kiba-Dock Pre-Alpha Alpha (not pictured)


My skydome in the first shot (the image behind the cube), is from Seamus7’s blog, and is specifically this image.



Self: how about you stop whining for a while (even if your whining is elaborate and faux-spiritual) and actually, you know, do something?

There’s quite enough talk to go around, wouldn’t you say? I’ve been subjected to an overheard conversation, a blog post, and an article, all of which were cheap, because they were talk. That’s all. More talk.

Ironically, this post is just another post with more talk; I guess you can call these words cheap, too. But if they are, at least they’re self-aware, which is maybe the most important thing when it comes to talking about stuff.

That said, I’m sick of simply hearing people bitch and moan about stuff. Maybe talk is good in that it helps form opinions and solidify positions, but something has to come after that.

Oddly enough, the things we talk about tend to be those things we can’t really do anything about; I’m convinced that a good barometer of what people can’t change is found in what they go on about. At least, I’m like that. I talk about Jesus and love and faith way too often because I really don’t have enough Jesus or enough love or enough faith.

But I don’t talk about poverty in the former Soviet Bloc countries. I’m already doing something about that. It’s not some sense of false modesty. I’m simply doing my bit to help out by giving money and time, so I don’t feel the need to talk about it much. I think personally we could do more, corporately, to help the poor, the orphans, the widows of the world, but most people I meet are pretty good about that. I know a lot of generous people, who if they’re not donating money are donating time, and vice versa.

Tangentially, what is complaining really going to do? Anyone can complain. Anyone can point out flaws. Anyone can say, “Our church communities are doing $foo when they should be doing $bar!” Anyone can say, “I’m sick of this place, and I want to be in a different place.” Anyone can say, “This API implementation is simply proliferation.”

Armchair critics are a dime a dozen. Implementers – the doers, the makers – they’re rare, and beautiful. I love Derek Webb and Sufjan Stevens for that very reason: instead of merely saying that Christian music is, on the whole, a load of bollocks, they’ve gone and created music that not only mentions God topically, but reflects him in the quality of their work.

I’d like to be like that. I try to, when I create.

Last thing. How often do complainers mention God? I mean, not just mention him as this concept that exists alongside their particular beef, but mention him relationally (or to step back from the vogue, covenantally)? Maybe that’s the litmus test right there. Be doers, not complainers. But not pulling yourself up by your own laces. Instead do what you do through and with God. In relationship.

So there. That’s something I’m not good at. But I’m going to stop talking about it now, because I think I’m tipping my hand.

Free Music Tuesday.

In music today, you can do a few things to expose yourself to new music (and depending on how you do it, there’s a good chance you can be rehabilitated and re-integrated into society, even!):

* Buy an album with an inflated price ($15 – $21 or so, probably helping to fund major labels and the godless RIAA Nazis)
* Buy a reasonable priced used album ($10 or less, but no additional profit to the majors or the RIAA)
* Buy the good songs and skip the filler by buying online ($1 – $4, probably both helping fund the majors and RIAA, and infested with Digital Rights Management or Digitally Restricted Music or whatever you want to call it).
* Buy from the artist themselves (usually a good price, but also harder to do, and you have to search out the music yourself, but also helping to support the artist directly)
* Be a pirate (free, doesn’t fund the majors or the RIAA, has no DRM, is easily available)

Isn’t it sad the easiest thing to do is be a pirate these days? I mean, it’s a crying shame that getting music online is so difficult that it’s simply easier and monumentally cheaper to just download uTorrent or Ktorrent or Limewire or Soulseek and download away. Which really speaks to the atmosphere of the major labels, though not so much with indie labels, who would rather sell you nothing at all than drop their prices. Which, of course, makes no sense, and speaks to how much of a cartel the major labels have become.

But in the interest of helping you escape all the above paradigms, I’m going to post a link to an excellent album its creators are offering for free: download the ZIP file of Dead Heart Bloom’s Chelsea Diaries here.

Also, enjoy.

This coffee is awful but I’ve really grown attached to it over the years and to be honest I kind of like it now which is a little strange considering.

I sometimes imagine that some stuff has price tags attached. Except that when you look at the value on the tag you’re not seeing a price; instead you’re seeing that item’s metaphysical inertia. See, I have this theory that stationary objects (like an item on a to-do list, for example) whether physical or otherwise, accrue inertia over time. I have reason to believe that this inertia, which I have named “Danertia” in honour of that person around whom it accumulates most rapidly (myself), not only accumulates, but accumulates cumulatively. It’s like compound interest.

I’m staring at these things on my desk right now. I am so loathe to actually remove them from my desk that I’m thinking of gluing them down, although to be honest in view of the amount of Danertia piled up on top of them, that might just be superfluous.

But life is like that, too. How often have you just gotten used to something, not because you liked it or because it was a good thing, but simply because it was there? Like a headache that you get used to after three weeks or something.

I have a lot of ridiculous things like that. I get used to stuff really quick, and couple that Danertia with a good dose of apathy: you have a good recipe for changing nothing. Ever.

But I do, of course. Thing is, it’s usually not me that changes me, but the people around me. Which leaves me with the sinking feeling that I’m also changing them, when I’m not completely sure how that could be a good thing.

This coffee is awful.

I should stop drinking it.

Thing Bill Maher has said that I absolutely love.


Now, I would never say that Islam is not a religion of peace. Because if you do, they’ll kill you. It’s a religion of peace. There’s a piece of you there. There’s a piece of you over there. But, this little tiff between the Crips and the Bloods over there that’s been going on since 632 A.D., and there are only so many times you can turn the corner before you realize you’re going in circles.


Liberals must stop saying President Bush hasn’t asked Americans to sacrifice for the war on terror. On the contrary, he’s asked us to sacrifice something enormous. Our civil rights. … So -so when it comes to sacrifice, don’t kid yourself. You have given up a lot. You’ve given up faith in your government’s honesty, the goodwill of people overseas, and six-tenths of the Bill of Rights. Here’s what you’ve sacrificed: search and seizure, warrants, self-incrimination, trial by jury, cruel and unusual punishment. Here’s what you have left: hand guns, religion, and they can’t make you quarter a British soldier. If Prince Harry invades the Inland Empire, he has to bring a tent.

My keyboard is clean!

Inspired by the this webcomic, I cleaned out my keyboard (with highly compressed air, thanks to working at a manufacturing company). I didn’t think I’d actually notice a change, but darn, this thing is quiet again! How is that possible, you wonder; if I had video to show some of the stuff flying out of this thing, you’d understand why.

I don’t think I really want to continue this post, thought. That means I’d have to touch this keyboard even longer.

When I can’t sleep I write long rambling posts about stuff and in the end I think I come off sounding a bit like an idiot.

If anybody tells me, “No! Dan! You don’t sound like an idiot!” I will punch said person in the head. Over the internet.

But I get these days where I feel like I’m hitting my head against a bunch of bricks. Spiritually, I mean. Not just a bunch of bricks that have been built into a wall, but a bunch of bricks that are kind of lying around in a pile. And to take that simile to a place it simple wasn’t meant to go, it’s like God is building something in my life, and instead of seeing that thing he’s doing, I have decided instead that my time would be best served diving head-first into the construction materials.

So I’ve got bits of brick stuck in my head now. The jokes, they write themselves.

I think clarity is over-rated. I really do. You know that amazing night when a heavy cloud or something has dropped right over the city and all the lights are soft and everybody’s walking slow because they’re admiring the fog or they just can’t see more than a foot in front of themselves? I get the feeling truth might be like that: soft light and slow footsteps. I mean, there are some things we all get to know, obvious and not-so-obvious, but there are lots of things that I can poke and prod and you can debate and argue, yet at the end of the day these things are wrapped in pea-soup-thick fog. I guess then you and I can either saunter along and marvel at the whole thing, or walk quickly and knock someone’s trash over.

If there is a police force dedicated to arresting offenders of metaphor and simile, they should be coming along right now.

Maybe when you understand what you don’t know, that’s the point of maturity everybody’s always looking for and pointing at. I don’t know. I don’t even know how I know, though if Plantinga’s right, some things are properly basic. Some things don’t get clear. Maybe that’s properly basic.

The philosophy police are close behind.

There’s this kind of humility that, if you look close enough, isn’t humility at all. It’s not humility for a great pianist to dismiss his playing as pish. That’s a lie. On the other hand, God gave him the other hand, so there’s that, and some fingers beside. But you must ask, if pride is wrong and humility good–as scripture would suggest–what’s the motivation to try hard at anything? The answer is within my grasp, I know that. I just can’t think of how to frame it.

The… Can’t Think At Night Police follow, etc, etc.

I try not to get my knickers in a twist. God help me, I really do; but there is this certain subset of people who always seem to talk in New King James English whenever they talk about God. I am of the opinion that this is better than their parents, who probably stuck to the Old King James and his English (which as far as I can tell is the very English Moses himself came down the mountain talking). So we’ve got some improvement. At the same time I think we as Christians have gotten to a point where we can talk about spiritual stuff without sounding like automatons, without talking in code. I know, this is some sort of pet peeve thing, and you didn’t come here to waste your time reading me rant about what is essentially an inconsequential thing. But seriously, is it so hard to say that Jesus is here, now, and he takes on people’s crap every day? That he carries all kinds of stuff on his back, not the least of which is yours?

Maybe it was the way I was raised (which, I might add, isn’t something to mock; modern psychology aside, child-rearing is important), but I’m able to find fault in anything. I’m like those people that saw John the Baptizer and got angry because he lived in the desert and ate bugs, but then ripped into Jesus for going to parties with prostitutes and the IRS. I can find fault in anything, and it bothers me. Which is ironic, because I just found fault in myself.

There was once a man who went on a road trip to California. On the way, his car broke down, and while he was thumbing a ride to a local service station, the people he was riding with robbed him and beat him to the edge of death. They left him to die on the side of the highway and drove off.

A preacher came driving along, noticed the man on the side of highway, but for whatever reason, he kept driving and didn’t stop to help.

A little while later, the CEO of a prominent missions agency drove by as well, but he, for his own reasons, also kept driving and and didn’t stop to help.

A few minutes after that, a gay trans-sexual came driving along, his/her car festooned with rainbows. He/she saw the man, stopped, and tended to his wounds, driving through the night to take the wounded man to a local hospital, where he/she paid for his medical care, and left the hospital with his/her credit card number in case anything else was needed.

The question, of course, needs to be asked: which of these people was truly the man’s neighbor?