Ord Exams (round two)

Today the results came back from the Ord Exams I wrote in August. (Sigh.)

There are four Ordination Exams. (Five, if you count the Bible Content Exam.) I passed Worship & Sacraments, flunked Biblical Language Exegesis. So I’m 50% happy. Or even 75% happy, since I had previously passed Polity and theology. (Indeed, 80%, counting the Bible Content Exam.)

In a week or two I will get the actual exams back so I can see what the readers didn’t like about them.

In the meantime, here are some preliminary lessons learned.

1. don’t forget the Calvin quote this time
2. translate Hebrew rather than Greek
3. use a lesson plan rather than a sermon outline
4. endorse the conventional wisdom
5. preach it

(While I’m linking to things, here’s the mongo PDF with all the old exams.)


What with all the hub-bub about the new Serenity movie, I decided to watch an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I saw it in the DVD rack at the public library. I never watched it before, for two reasons. (1) We pulled the plug on our TV sometime in 1997, so since then we only watch DVDs and (increasingly rarely) videotapes. (2) I don’t like vampire programs, nor anything of that ilk, because I don’t like the creepy feeling you get watching people do stupid things (“don’t walk down that hallway!”) and I don’t like being startled.

But! when you factor that in, Buffy is much better than I expected when I first heard about it, five or ten years ago.

Still Busy

I’m still too busy to post. (Great blog, huh?)

I finished my prison gig and now I’m on vacation for the rest of the summer, studying for the Ords.

quality isn’t job one somewhere!

I have a GM mini-van that needs a fortune in repair work. I go online to see what’s up with this problem and find out it’s all over the place (note items 25 and 78). GM built a zillion cars with the 3.4L V-6 engine and they have a defective part. The amazing thing is that GM isn’t doing anything about it systematically. Two observations:

  1. Isn’t the internet the heat? When the dealership tells you you have a problem, five minutes’ work on Google will tell whether it’s a defect or reasonable wear and tear.
  2. I used to be work for a major computer firm in the data storage division. My full-time job was trying to get our warranty costs down and customer satisfaction up. At least half of our 7-figure/month warranty bill was due to customer satisfaction repairs (i.e., the unit is okay but we’re replacing it to keep the customer happy). I’m astonished the GM would consciously anger so many customers by not doing the right thing.

Apart from this repair the mini-van hasn’t been all that bad. Nobody is ever going to be passionate about a mini-van, but it hasn’t been a complete turkey. The computer had a problem that stumped the dealer for a while, and the door fell off once, and as you can see from the list of TSBs above, there’s a handful of piddly problems inside the passenger compartment, but it hasn’t been that bad.

The problem isn’t with the car, just its manufacturer.

VOIP ‘n’ stuff

This Kerry Garrison tells how to build a full-featured PBX for less than $20 using rubber bands and other things you already have laying around the house. There is also a nice list of free office software. I noticed this Ultra@VNC because I keep telling myself that I need to use VNC, since there is still a Windows box in the house. But it’s easier just to ignore it and wait for it to go away. (From the free office apps it was only a click and a jump to MacMP3Gain, which looks so useful that I think I’ll actually give it a try.)

ruby or java?

Decisions, decisions. I’m trying to write a small program to help my son learn to do subtraction. (His problem–today–is borrowing, which these days is called “regrouping.”) It is a trivial sort of GUI program and I’m trying to decide whether to learn Java UI programming with Swing, or Ruby/Tk. Swing has the advantage of including anything I could ever possibly need and working out of box. Ruby/Tk isn’t nearly as all-encompassing … but … let’s face it: Ruby is 10x the language that Java will ever be. (Hence groovy.)

Update: I never got around to this and he figured out how to subtract. Sort of. But it’s interesting to see all the hype about Ruby (due to Rails) and watch the Java types freak out about it.