Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Feed a feline, starve a cat?

A couple of days ago, I had the pleasure of having to enter the crawlspace to change our furnace filters. It's a job I thoroughly loathe. We own a split-level, so at least our crawlspace isn't a two-foot space, but it is small, and lined with fist-sized gravel. Being a rather tall fellow, I get to shuffle and grouse as I try to alternate between shuffling and crawling across the space.

I usually shut the cats and dogs out from our utility room, since they want to follow me up under the floor if I do. This time, I forgot to do so, and our alley cat went in. Rather than chase him around, I left the door open and waited for him to come out. Unfortunately, our other cat went in.

Sue-y (yes, named for Steve-O's dog) is our oldest animal. She appearantly was tormented by kids before we got her, and then our kids and dogs (including Psycho-Terrier) were aggressive in playing with her. Now, she hides in the house unless just Paula and I are awake.

Sue-y has that singular abilit y to go into a space and disappear. One writer described cats as multi-dimensional creatures that could phase themselves in and out of our existance at will, which explains how they can enter a room, you can be sure they've left, and then they'll be in the room again.

Well, Sue-y phased out of our crawlspace the same way. Yesterday, it was too cold to leave the crawlspace door open, so we had to try to get her out. Number 1 Son and Little Miss took flashlights and went around the furnace while I waited to corral her out. No luck. Then I crawled the furnace. Still no luck. I finally crawled up to the furnace and looked around. No Sue-y. She was finally in a spot that absolutely no one would pester her, and there she was staying.

I knew she hadn't eaten much for a couple of days, so I finally had to commit to a siege approach: I emptied the cat bowl. She wasn't eating until I saw her out. Fortunately, when the dogs got up at 3AM this morning, she was out. I shut the door t o the crawlspace and fed the cats again.

She isn't happy though. This morning she was under Number One Son's bed, meowing softly in annoyance. If cats could cuss, I'm sure that's what she would have been doing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I wouldn't dream of supporting an American internal security service in the style of MI5, but I don't quite understand the big problems with the NSA listening programs under the constitution. The Fifth Amendment would definitely exclude the use of such evidence in a civilian court system. If we keep this power from becoming a personal blackmail pool (like Hoover's FBI), I believe the Constitution does allow Mr. Bush to snoop on foreign calls.

A quote that should strengthen creationists

WorldNetDaily has posted a link to an essay by Frank Furedi that primarily talks about his view as a secular humanist on the current trend by "the elite" to attack Christian movies and Christian-leaning media. In it, Mr. Furedi makes an interesting point about creationism:

So preoccupied are the critics of religious activism with the alleged threat posed by their enemies that they fail to notice that many Christian groups lack the courage of their convictions today, and seem to doubt the authority of their own faith. This is particularly striking in relation to the controversy surrounding Intelligent Design. This theory holds that certain features of the universe, and of animal and human life, are 'best explained' as having an 'intelligent cause' rather than being the product of natural selection. Many see only the danger of superstition in Intelligent Design, describing it as a new form of Creationism on the march. They overlook the remarkable concession that Intelligent Design makes to the authority of science.

Unable to justify creationism as a matter of faith based on divine revelation, advocates of Intelligent Design are forced to adopt the language of science to legitimate their arguments and the existence of some kind of God. This highlights their theological opportunism and inability to justify religion in its own terms. Of course Intelligent Design isn't science; but its appeal to faith in science exposes the limits of the authority of religious faith today.

A secular humanist can see what many ID supporters can't: it is a compromise and we all know it. Once you give science dominion over God, then one only argues degrees, not basic facts. I do believe in the basic tenant of Intellegent Design: there are immense numbers of biological systems that could not have been designed in a piecemeal fashion by rand om genetic mutation, since they could not work until complete.

However, I reject the main compromise of intellegent design: Current neo-Darwinian timelines concerning the evolution of animals are completely and irreconcilably inconsistent with Genesis. Even if you wish to say that the Hebrew word yom does not mean day, but instead age, Genesis documents that the Earth was created before the Sun. Plants were created before the Sun. Birds were created before the land animals. Not only is Genesis 1 not in agreement with current scientific thinking, there is no reason for it not to be if science is correct. The language of Genesis 1 would allow a story that is basically consistent with current scientific thinking with little change. Therefore, either Genesis 1 is correct, God chose to write a grossly incorrect story, or Genesis (and by extention, much of the rest of the Torah) is not inspired.

I refuse to believe that God told a deliberately incorrect story, since that doesn 't match His character elsewhere in the Bible. Even the parables, while possibly not factually true, told moral truths in a story that could be true. Genesis isn't presented in a parable. Instead, it is presented as history.

I also believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. It is factual when it wishes to be factual. Its visions are prophetically accurate. Its parables tell moral truths. It reveals enough information to us to know the nature of God as fully as we possibly can. There is no line in the book that says "Past this point, everything is accurate". I can't see how Genesis 1 is less accurate than Genesis 20, or Matthew 1 for that matter.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Happy Dance

I've spent the last two months fighting to implement FlashCopy on one of our test SAP instances here at work. It's eaten every second of my spare time at work, and that's kept me from posting. It's now made a backup, and all that's left is to make a test of a restore.

More posting later, after I can relax.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

White with envy

I'm running a bit late, I know. But I just got a chance to read about the MacWorld Expo. MacBook Pro? An Intel iMac 20"?

The onlything missing is a built-in Windows emulator. VMWare, are you listening?

Excuse me while I cry like a little child because I can't afford one.

Sizing problems

After Christmas, Milady and I started back on the Atkins induction diet, and the weight is starting to leave. I was hoping to have a problem keeping my pants on sometime in February. Unfortunately, it's not my clothes that won't fit.

We went really cheap in buying our current couch (which is really more of a love seat). Three of us can barely fit on it. Since we know that our tax refunds will be substantial, I decided to end the couch whining and buy a new couch.

Over to the local furniture store for their half-price sale. In the middle of the store is a really nice sectional couch. The thing was huge. It could easily have sat nine people, and all of us could comfortably lay down on it at once. Very nice. So we signed on the dotted line, and were anxiously awaiting it.

It's raining today, but they wrap them in plastic, so I wasn't that worried. Then Milady called. The couch wouldn't fit through the doors in the house.

I've never heard of a couch that couldn't be taken through a standard 32" or 36" doorframe, but this one couldn't. The delivery guys worked their hardest to bring it through, but no luck. Fortunately, it was the store's people, so we never took delivery. We now have to take measurements of the house back over to the store to see if we can get a different couch to fit the place, or if we're back to the love seat....