Monthly Archives: March 2006

PAA (personal analog assistant)

I use an analog sheet of paper instead of my personal digital assistant to manage my todo list. A friend recommended I upgrade from the blank pages I currently use to a hand-crafted page from Maybe I will.

I have a PDA that I use mainly for my vocabulary flashcards and playing Bejeweled. Once in a long while I have an appointment or a phone number to look up and it does that too. But it’s lousy for keeping lists of things to do.

  • Partly this is because my Apple-branded to-do software is lousy. (Lousy as to-do software. As a calendar it’s not half bad. Better than the one that my PDA has, and that’s a whole separae problem.)
  • Partly its because it takes forever to sync my PDA with my iBook. To sync at all requires third-party software, which runs fine until it starts running the Apple conduits.
  • But mostly it’s because the input methods on the PDA range from lousy (typing on the on-screen keyboard) to worse (handwriting using Graffiti 2.0).

Instead, I put next to my PDA in my shirt pocket either a 8.5″x11″ sheet of paper folded in half vertically then thirds horizontally, or, sometimes, a 3.5″x5″ index card. I can write anything I want on them, including diagrams. That’s where I generally manage my todos.

Now a friend has pointed me to PocketMod, “the free disposable personal organizer.” I’ve played with it and it’s pretty cool. Give it a try.
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Passed Ords!

Well, I found out Monday that I passed my Biblical Language Exegesis exam back in January. Hooray! I don’t know yet what my scores were. I’ll update this once I get the exam back. In the meantime, what matters is that I passed.

Fair trade coffee from co-ops only?

Here’s something I didn’t know.

Martinez owns a small family farm and produces a high-quality coffee, but none of his beans carry the Fair Trade label. His farm isn’t part of a cooperative, a Fair Trade non-negotiable that disqualifies small, independent farmers, larger family farms, and for that matter any multinational that treats its workers well. “It’s like outlawing private enterprise,” says former SCAA chair Cox, who now serves as president of a coffee consulting company. “What about a medium-sized family-owned farm that’s doing great, treats their employees great? Sorry, they don’t qualify.” In Africa, many coffee farms are organized along tribal, not democratic lines. They’re not eligible either, a problem that has prompted some roasters to charge cultural imperialism.

We have Fair Trade at the coffee kiosk here on campus. I should ask around to see how widespread my lack of knowledge is.

There’s a whole article about Fair Trade at Reason.

Upgrade and move complete

I just upgraded WordPress to 2.0.2. It’s a security upgrade, so if I knew what XSS was I’d probably be breathing a lot easier now. But upgrading went very smoothly.

I took advantage of the confusion to move the blog from its old site at to its own shiny new domain here. Just doing my part for namespace congestion.

I lost my themes and plug-ins, but that was (more or less) deliberate. I’ll fix that in my copious spare time.


During reading week I watched the pilot episodes and six subsequent episodes from Season 1 of Lost. It’s an okay show, and if I watched TV in real-time (over the air) this is the sort of thing that could nibble away at your weeknights until you realized you had none left. But. I watch TV only when I’m exercising on my elliptical trainer, and never broadcast, only DVD. (“Fortunately, I am immune.” -Spock)

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Former student news

The Star-Ledger has a story about one of the guys in my Abraham class last summer.

An inmate at the Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility in Burlington County was strangled late Thursday and his body found under another inmate’s bunk, authorities said yesterday.

Schweitzer, of Easton, Pa., was sentenced in June 2003 to 8 1/2 to 10 years for sexually assaulting a 2-year-old girl in Phillipsburg the previous summer.

It has been nearly two years since an inmate was murdered in a state prison.

(My emphases in bold.)

It seems to me that 8 1/2 to 10 is too short for that crime, and death at the hands of another inmate (after two years “inside” hoping nobody found out what your crime was) is too much.

Pray for his family and whoever killed him. Pray also for the victim of his crime and her family.

BB-62 in the snow

A couple of weeks ago we went to a Cub-Scout event aboard U.S.S. New Jersey down in Camden. It nearly got cancelled due to the blizzard, but the indomitable spirit (plus prepaid registration fees) saved the day. Here’s a view from the fantail looking up toward the gangway. Note the Vulcan-Phalynx guns amidships.

BB-62 in the snow