Monday, December 24, 2012

In Hoc Anno Domini

When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus, the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.
Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.
But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression—for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?
There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?
Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.
And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.
So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.
But it came to pass for a while in diverse places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.
Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter's star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.
And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
This editorial was written in 1949 by the late Vermont Roysterand has been published annually since.
A version of this article appeared December 24, 2012, on page A12 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: In Hoc Anno Domini.

snow in LA...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dead Sara

I don't think I've been so enthusiastic about a new band since the early 90's, when grunge was big.  Check out the player, where they have three free songs.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Two Armstrongs

How often is it that you have two Armstrongs in the news at once?  Just sayin'....

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Curiosity has landed

I almost slept through it.  Interesting, that JPL really is in Pasadena, where "The Big Bang Theory" is set.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

First Computer Build

New Computer. The big blue thing at the bottom is a low-speed intake fan. It's kind cool, though I'm a little worried that if I spill a drink into it it'll spew it inside the case.

You can see that in addition to a side intake fan, it also has a window. Sorry about the glare, but at least you can see some of the wiring and the side of the power supply up top.

As I didn't install a separate video card (yet) there's nothing really awesome to see inside, but I still like having that window. It's just really neat to be able to see inside. Actually, I can see all the way through the back as well, as the back has a fan with a wide grating that allows light through.

Hey, it's better than the beige case of my eight-year old workhorse.

Some thoughts: being my first build, this was a nerve-wracking experience. When I was installing the CPU into the motherboard my hands were shaking so badly I had to stop for a moment. I don't think I breathed until it finally dropped into its socket. (I was so worried about bending those pins.)

Also, I made a few mistakes, such as reversing the SATA cable to the hard drive. Funny, how they'll click into place either way but work only one way. Also, the 2X12 power plug to the motherboard has an extra 2X2 plug at its end. Though the 2X12 fit fine, the 2X2 has two little plastic tabs that wouldn't let it fit into its socket. I would have had to detach the 2X12 to get it in so I left it unplugged. As everything in the computer seems to be working fine I'm guessing that was the right decision.

As for getting online, that took almost an entire extra day. I talked to the guy from the cable company, and when he asked what "device" I was using to get online I told him I had no idea. I kept thinking it's a Gigabyte-brand motherboard and that's it. It wasn't until later that the conversation gave me the idea to look up the hardware on the motherboard. Right at the top of the computer's list it said "Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller: Driver missing". So, after firing up my old computer and switching my monitor and modem over to it I was able to go to the Realtek site, download the driver and install it on the new computer using a thumb-drive.

It was so cool when this thing finally got online. You should have seen me flexing and going "Oh, yeah!"

For any tech geeks out there the case is a Raidmax Typhoon. (It's listed as a "low cost" case. What an insult! ;-) The motherboard is a Gigabyte A75M-D2H. The CPU (APU?) is a quad-core AMD A6-3670k that runs at 2.7Ghz. (Not that I know what much of that really means.)

One thing I do know, is that the thing is SO much faster than my old computer. Of course the old girl is eight years old, and still fires up, so I can't really bash her much. After all, that computer got me through school!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fox Soccer Song

This is the song from the ads for Fox Soccer and Fox Soccer Plus. (The latter is basically The Rugby Channel, with Darts thrown in.)

The ad itself. I think it's probably the best minute in advertising today. I would have loved to have seen it air during the Super Bowl. I'm guessing it was too expensive, but perhaps the NFL doesn't want the competition?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Let's Go On A Cruise

Video from the Pacific Sun, as she hits rough weather. It's tempting to say it's a funny video, but one woman really gets walloped at :50. Also, the guy at 1:30 just narrowly avoids getting killed.

I can't get over how much is left unsecured on these ships. I'm guessing that because these ships resemble hotels their operators forget they're on the sea.

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog. This guy has the most extensive analysis of the Concordia crash I've seen.

Rough Weather