Monthly Archives: May 2007

Grisham’s The Testament

I’ve been pleased (and a little surprised) with John Grisham’s The Testament. I read several of his books during the 90s but nothing lately. The local library has a pretty good collection, though, and sometimes I pick out one I haven’t seen and read it. This one was worthwhile: the story of an eccentric gazillionaire who leaves his fortune to someone who really doesn’t want it, and the legal battle to keep it out of the hands of his children, who thought that they’d be inheriting the Old Man’s fortune.

Most of Grisham’s books are fine for an airplane trip, but nothing you’d be tempted to re-read. I’m not sure I want to re-read this one, for that matter, but I was pleased (a) that so little of the story took place in or around courtrooms, and (b) that Christianity was described in such neutral (i.e., fair) terms. I was not surprised that the hero eventually leaves the practice of law, since that’s a given in all of Grisham’s books.

Laptop News

I figured out how to login to it remotely. Turns out that Ubuntu comes with ssh client software but not server. (Makes sense when you put it that way.) Anyway, I figure that Ubuntu is as good a thing to do with the laptop as anything.

I mean really. It’s a G3. An 800 MHz G3 with 384 MB of RAM and a 30 GB hard drive. No airport so no wifi, and the price of adding it is prohibitive. And yet the resale value of the machine (as of this month) is about $350 or more, counting the extra battery and the other stuff I’d unload at the same time. Who would pay that much for a G3? And what would they do with it?

For not much more than that you can get a 10-lb monstrosity from Dell or Gateway or HP running Vista. You’d hate the thing in days, or even hours if you had to do anything tricky like install drivers, but it would be a real contender from a hardware standpoint. By contrast, this stupid 4-year old boat anchor is worth almost a 1/3rd of what I paid for it, which is flatly ridiculous.

Star Wars 30th Anniversary

The family got the new stamps at the Post Office. If I got to pick I’d probably make the Millennium Falcon stamp the one they put on coils, but I understand why Yoda will probably win. After that would be Darth Vader (shrunken to an appropriate size) and then the clone troopers. Everything else is a dud, even Han and Chewie.

So… What was I doing 30 years ago?
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bookmark management

Well, I’m throwing in the towel on managing my own bookmarks. I tried del.icio.us awhile back and it just wasn’t happening for me. But the hassle of trying to sync multiple PCs of bookmarks finally convinced me to go back to it. I just spent 45+ minutes migrating bookmark to del.icio.us from my bookmarks on different machines and there’s a few hundred left. But the ones I’ve done so far will take care of most of my needs.

New keyboard

I’ve been pretty carpal the past few weeks. The Dr. said I should consider going back to my old regime of wrist splints, so I figured I might as well go for the whole ball of wax. But I had gotten rid of my old keyboard back when I was moving. So I bought a new one.

It is the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. It’s as fancy as a keyboard gets (and as expensive) short of moving to wireless/Bluetooth battery-operated.

I haven’t tested out all the cool new features yet on a Mac, but using it just as a dumb keyboard on Linux it works fine. The wrist rest is very nice. The spacing between my two arms seems a bit wide but not too much. The backspace key feels a smidgen too far away, but that’s probably because I’m holding the rest of my hand in the proper place (for a change).

Why is it, I wonder, that MS makes such nice hardware, and such crappy software?

Good grief! Another version?

Apparently there’s a new version of WordPress out. I suppose I need to upgrade. But I spend 30-60 minutes upgrading WP about once a month, and I think that’s roughly how much time I spend blogging.

(Still, the price is right. And they really did kill off my comment spam.)

Excuses for slacking off

I’ve been reading a lot (the better to write inspiring sermons, my dear). I always read as much I can to prolong the exegesis phase and avoid working on the sermon. I always read Calvin and Matthew Henry, plus whatever dead-tree commentaries I have for the passage I’m working on.

Beside that, I read Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus, about the (mis-)transmission of the Bible (mainly the NT) from Elder Days to the present. I really enjoyed the first half of it, which explains how Scripture came to be corrupted and how scholars try to reconstruct the original. The second half wasn’t as much fun. I often agreed with the author’s evaluation of the “correct” reading, while disliking how he arrived there. It’s difficult enough to attribute motives to someone we know first hand (sometimes, even ourself!). Doing it for some anonymous monk 1500 years ago is ridiculous.

I’ve also been reading Warren’s The Purpose Driven Church and realized that mine doesn’t have one. Or, if it does, they haven’t told me yet.

And lately I’ve been reading Ortberg’s God is Closer Than You Think. It’s pretty good. I’ve never been a Brother Lawrence type, so I can use all the help I can get in this department.

Also I discovered how much more fun Flickr is when you have a program to do your uploads for you. Here’s a picture of my neighborhood:
Yucca Valley from JTNP