Sunday, January 24, 2016

Arbitrary?

I read something on xkcd.com recently (the Click and Drag comic) that made me think about... you guessed it... goals.  One of the characters said "'Because it's there' is poetic than 'I'm rich enough that my goals are arbitrary.

It's easy to point fingers, but what this comic seems to be saying is that the only goals worthy of any sort of financial investment are those necessary for mere survival.  Now, I know that people can sometimes be frivolous  and wasteful (to say the least), but pretty much everyone has "arbitrary" goals that cost at least some money.

Is that selfish?  Should we not have hobbies until everyone in the world is fed and has a warm place to sleep - or until all the world has heard the Gospel?  I guess I don't have the answer to that one.  Personally I enjoy taking simple, low-cost things and seeing what sort of cool stuff I can do with them - but truthfully it limits how much I can advance in any one particular area.  In order to really learn computers you need an environment in which you can simulate different scenarios and experiment, and that costs money.

Like I said, I don't have a simple answer - but I suppose a not-so-simple answer is just to be wise and intentional about how you spend your money and what goals you set and why you set them.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Free Will

I posted this in a forum a few months ago in response to a request for clarification on some ramblings I had posted earlier in the thread:
Yep.  I was focusing on choice vs. sovereignty in the sanctification process.  I was saying that to me it seems that after the point of conversion there are two possible extremes.  The first extreme is that the degree to which we become more like Christ in this life is entirely out of our control.  There is a war between the law of God and the law of sin being waged within us and we don't get any credit for the win or the blame for the loss. The second extreme is that our sanctification is completely in our control - aside from the initial act of God freeing us from complete bondage and thus enabling us to make our own independent choice.  This extreme leaves no room to blame God or the Devil for the sin or lack of sin in our lives.  When tempted, we have a choice and are not swayed one way or the other by any supernatural force.  We are responsible for our own sanctification.

So in summary, I can't understand how God can get the glory for our victories over sin without getting the blame for our defeats.  It doesn't make sense to me, but I know that it doesn't have to.  God doesn't have to answer to me or anyone else.
I'm doing some digging into different views on free will and may be posting my findings here in the near future.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Too Much

So much for SMART goals.  My list of 10 is woefully unrealistic, and not at all atainable.  I think I need to start with something basic. like loving my wife and God - whatever that looks like.  No unicycles, blogs, violins, certifications, etc.  The ones about my wife and God are good - but being able to check a couple things off a list doesn't mean that I've achieved the ultimate goal of truly loving my wife and God.

Anyway, at work lately I've been working on developing a better note taking system for myself.  I've started using TiddlyWiki and have spent waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time customizing it.  At the moment I am trying to figure out how to get the list macro to work.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Lion and the Donkey

Bible

The Bible reading for today included a passage in 1 Kings 13 about a Prophet who was killed for his disobedience.  Earlier in the chapter that same prophet was used in a fairly dramatic way to deliver a prophetic message to Jeroboam regarding the consequences of his disobedience, but then on the way home from delivering that message the prophet became the recipient of a prophetic message regarding the consequences of his own disobedience.  The prophet ends up getting killed by a lion, but the lion acts strangely after the man dies - it does not eat the body or attack the donkey, and the donkey doesn't run away.  It seems like it is a sign that the attack was ordained, not a normal attack by a lion who was looking for food.  I think the point of the story is that God does not treat one person's disobedience any differently than another's - and that no one can escape God's prophecy.

Today at Work

Today I learned once again that restarting Exchange services is always one of the first things to try when email isn't working (only if is completely down though).

Today in the Reading / Video Tutorials

Not going to happen.  I've wasted too much time doing other stuff.

Picture

I took a photo at the zoo a few days ago and Google automagically created this for me:


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Goals (Revised)

Here's an updated, more refined and specific list of my Goals:
  1. Listen or read the Bible every day using the M’Cheyne One-Year Reading Plan
  2. 15 minutes dedicated to prayer (no driving at the same time)
  3. Read a chapter in CompTIA Network+ All-In-One Exam Guide, Sixth Edition (Exam N10-006 by  Mike Meyers every day
  4. Take the Network+ certification before the end of the year
  5. Blog every day, and include something I learned from work, from the reading, and from the Bible
  6. Memorize Romans 8 and 9, and be able to recite them both before the end of the year (using memverse.com)
  7. Love note to my wife every day
  8. Weekly family devotions
  9. Violin once a week (Thursdays?)
  10. Come up with a reasonable tenth goal so I can have a nice, round number.  Oh wait, I just did! 
That last goal got me thinking, and I've spent several hours now trying to come up with some Javascript code that will demonstrate it's futility.  This is all I have, and there has to be something wrong with it but I don't know what or where:

var goals = 9;
function maketenthGoal(goals) {
if (goals < 10) {
goals = 10;
}
return goals;
}
function testAccomplished(goals) {
if (goals == 10) {
goalsleft = 9;
}
if (goalsleft != 10) {
accomplished = false;
}
return accomplished;
}
document.getElementById("demo").innerHTML = testAccomplished(goals);
if (accomplished == false) {
function maketenthGoal(goals);
}

Anyway, I have no particular physical/dietary goals right now, I think those 10 9 are enough.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Excuses

I am quick to come up with excuses for why I do certain things.  I was at one point diagnosed with depression and I always cited that as the reason I was failing at life.  I failed English composition 101 at a community college four times!  After that I actually got suspended from that school because apparently they don't allow people to take it more than three times (somehow the system let me register for it a fourth time anyway) and it is a graduation requirement.

Why?  Depression - or so I said.  Oh, and did I mention I'm epileptic?  Yeah, that too - let's through that in there as an excuse as well.

Does clinical depression exist?  I don't know, probably.  Does epilepsy?  It seems so, I do have seizures when I don't take my meds.  Did/do I need medication to treat depression as well?

Well see that's a good question. and it's one that I've struggled with a lot.  I don't think it's fair to compare epilepsy to depression because depression serves a purpose.  When you put your hand on a hot stove it hurts, but that pain lets you know that you need to move your hand.  Depression obviously doesn't feel good, but it can sometimes be an indication that something is wrong (an abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation).  The brain is a part of the body, however, and I suppose that in some cases extreme depression can, like epilepsy, be caused by a physiological disorder instead of or in addition to a normal response to some perfectly reasonable outside cause for depression.

Okay then, so what does this have to do with me failing college, not passing classes, not going anywhere or doing anything, etc.?  Really, thing that epilepsy and depression have to do with my un-achieved goals is that they were excuses.  All that rumination contained in the paragraph above this one hasn't done me much good.  I've come to the conclusion that, while it's important to address the problem and take care of it (medication, therapy, whatever), it is also important to move on! Many people have far worse obstacles to overcome - and do!  Many people with physical, mental, emotional issues have somehow gotten past them and done some of the most amazing things.

I'd like to say I've quit making excuses, but I haven't.  I catch myself doing it all the time.  I'd like to say I won't do it anymore, but I know I will and to say that I won't is just setting myself up for failure.  What I can do, however, is make a commitment to looking past my obstacles and, by the power of the Spirit, doing what it takes to live abnormally!

The following lyrics are from a song called Scapegoat by Atmosphere - a local hip hop duo from right here in Minneapolis.  Youtube link here: https://youtu.be/mnZCqzvLEW8

"It's the caffeine, the nicotine, the miligrams of tar
It's my habitat, it needs to be cleaned, it's my car
It's the fast talk they use to abuse and feed my brain
It's the cat box it needs to be changed, it's the pain
It's women, it's the fight for power, it's government
It's the way you're giving knowledge 
slow with thought control and subtle hints
It's rubbing it, It's itching it, It's applying cream
It's the foreigners sight seeing with high beams, It's in my dreams
It's the monsters that I conjure, It's the marijuana
It's embarrassment, displacement, it's where I wander
It's my genre, It's Madonna's videos
It's game shows, cheap liquor, blunts, 
and bumper stickers with rainbows
It's angels, demons, gods, it's the white devils
It's the monitors, the soundman, it's the f**king mic levels
It's gas fumes, fast food, Tommy Hil' and mommy's pill
Columbia House music club, designer drugs and rhyming thugs
It's bloods, crips, fives, six
It's stick up kids, 
It's Christian conservative terrorists, it's porno flicks
It's the east coast, no it's the west coast 
It's public schools, it's asbestos
It's mentholated, It's techno
It's sleep, life, and death
It's speed, coke, and meth
It's hay fever, pain relievers, oral sex, and smokers breath
It stretches for as far as the eye can see
It's reality, f**k it , it's everything but me"

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Goals

I'm really not so great at making goals and being diligent about doing what it takes to achieve them.  Jonathan Edwards must have been a pretty amazing guy to write and achieve all seventy of his.  Here are a few of mine (tentative, I will refine them later):
  1. Get some industry certifications, starting with Network +
  2. Memorize Romans 8 and 9
  3. Bible in a year
  4. Pray every day
  5. Become proficient in a programming language
  6. Become proficient in an IRL language
  7. Learn how to use Kali
  8. Write my wife love notes and show her more affection
  9. Read a book - any book (seriously, this would be a major accomplishment for me)
  10. Play the violin more
  11. Get better at riding a unicycle
  12. Some arbitrary nerdy project that I can talk about in future job interviews