Blog: The absolute latest random thoughts

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When did the Fall happen?

The merging of the blogs...

Living in micromanaging

MNBlogCon 2017 musings

Bread and circus

Salvation vs. Kingdom

"In your anger, do not sin"

Envy and the Cross

What is Repentance? Really?

Living sacrifices

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Logo Woes?

If you check out : : Speak Up > Quark Reloaded : :, you'll see why I'm curious about the digedia.com logo that Tom Pankratz and I slaved over.

Does it resemble anything out there? If so, let me know, before I start printing it on coffee mugs.

Sony PlayStation and Christianity

Okay, some marketing tactics are so dumb, they're worth pointing out. Check out the article Sony pulls "Jesus" advert for PlayStation - Yahoo! News. It also mentioned some other way-dumb campaigns. Wow!


The mysteries of AdSense deepen!

I'm back! My wife's b___, which is all about real estate at the moment, was getting some excellent real-estate related advertising on it... until she got a bunch of comment SPAM which said things like, "Great b___!". So, Google decided that her b___ was all about b___s, and has put nothing but b___-related AdSense ads on it.

Now, none of you reading my b___ really care about writing your own b___, let alone planning to pay someone to tell you how to write a b___, so b___-related ads aren't going to ever entice anyone into clicking on them, which means we'll never make any money.

So, we've declared a moritorium on the word "b___" in any of our posts, and will let you fill the L, O and G in for yourself.

Anyway, that got me thinking about my own ads, so I took a look at a fairly popular post from the Katrina days -- educating eric: FX Networks' Oil Storm movie site. And what kinds of ads does it have? "Meet Democratic Singles!".

Okay. Whatever. Better than something about b___s, right?


Wondernig why the feds didn't do more?

This New York Times article says the same thing Ruth and I have been talking about, but in a much clearer way:

Political Issues Snarled Plans for Military Help After Hurricane - New York Times: "'Can you imagine how it would have been perceived if a president of the United States of one party had pre-emptively taken from the female governor of another party the command and control of her forces, unless the security situation made it completely clear that she was unable to effectively execute her command authority and that lawlessness was the inevitable result?' asked one senior administration official, who spoke anonymously because the talks were confidential.
Officials in Louisiana agree that the governor would not have given up control over National Guard troops in her state as would have been required to send large numbers of active-duty soldiers into the area..."

For everyone who says "Bush sucks because he should have gotten forces there sooner," be honest with yourself; you're just as likely to have been saying, "Bush sucks, because he ousted the governor and dumped a bunch of troops in Louisiana as if it were another Iraq."

And don't say that wouldn't have happened -- maybe not by you personally, sure, but by this country's elected representatives? Certainly. Just look at the political jockeying in recent days as each party clamors to take stabs at the other. If politicians were civil in this country, we wouldn't have these problems, but they're not -- or, at least, the ones who aren't civil get the press attention.


The Weatherball is dead!

Sad, sad news from Barbara Flanagan! In the article A ball of old and a big, blue newcomer, Barbara comments on the Weatherball's "twin", but the sad news is about the original itself:

"The Weatherball -- that is, its twin -- lives! The huge, illuminated sign gave the forecast for years atop the downtown Minneapolis headquarters of the old Northwestern National Bank, later Norwest Bank and now Wells Fargo. Sarah Hogan, assistant curator of the Wells Fargo History Museum in Minneapolis, says the original Weatherball no longer exists. 'When the 1982 Thanksgiving Day fire destroyed the downtown Northwestern National Bank building,' she said, 'the Weatherball was removed from the top of the building and put into storage at the Minnesota State Fair. Over the years, the Weatherball deteriorated, and in 2000 when it was discovered to be beyond repair, it was destroyed.'"

Just the other day, I was reading "Twin Cities: Then and Now", and Larry Millett had a quote from 1995 noting that the weatherball was in storage at the State Fair. And now I find out that "it was destroyed"?!?

That's terrible! I wonder if you can buy parts of it on eBay?

Anyway, its "twin" in the Wells Fargo museum is a sad insult to the glory-days of the weatherball; it's a lame stack of wooden dowels painted silver-grey, with a plastic "NW" tacked on.

That's not a weatherball!

Balanced Hurricane Katrina comments

The best commentary I've seen so far is from John Tierney: A simple Magic Marker strategy might have saved lives, including this quote: "The liberals bewailing the insensitivity and racism of Republicans in Washington sound like a bad rerun of the 1960s, when urban riots were blamed on everyone but the rioters and the police. Yes, the White House did a terrible job of responding to Katrina, but Democratic leaders in New Orleans and Louisiana didn't even fulfill their basic duties."


New Orleans' Old House might still be standing?

The sum total of my knowledge of New Orleans was expressed in a project by the crew of This Old House a few years ago. According to the story here, the house was in the "Algiers Point" neighborhood of New Orleans, which is apparently high-ish ground. (I don't think there any truly "high ground" in New Orleans...)

Recent news stories mention "Algiers Point" as a place that buses were using as a staging ground, so maybe this house is one of the few that hasn't been destroyed?


'Common Grace' and Calvinism

On a fairly deep theological note, there's an excellent article over at Reformation 21: Sam Storms on Katrina, Common Grace, and the End of the Age.

Here's the deal.

The Bible teaches really clearly that people are inherently bad, compared to the infinite goodness of God. And, deep down, we know that's true; we don't have to teach our children to be selfish (as Frank Peretti once humorously explained...)

And yet, people are pretty good. Really, when you think about it, society functions because humanity is pretty nice to itself most of the time, regardless of religious background/interest/involvement.


The article linked above does a good job of explaining "common grace". Basically, God's light shines on those who love him and those who don't. That doesn't explain why bad things happen to good people (which is explained instead by the overall "sinful" nature of the world)... but it does explain why good things happen to bad people.

Since a personal interest of mine is arguments against Calvinism (which is basically "extreme determinism," saying that God is control of everything -- including whether people "choose" to follow Him or not), I think the doctrine of common grace needs to be emphasized more so that people don't fall into the trap of extreme Calvinism.

Sure, nobody of their own accord "chooses God" or even "chooses to be Godly", becuase we're all inherently sinful. But God give everyone on the planet enough "common grace" so that they're capable of following Him if they want to.

I won't say more; read the article if you're interested, since it draws some interesting conclusions (including an explanation of how heaven and hell could exist and what they're like!)

Today's Adam Savage Quote

I keep from disappointing Rob, here's a quote from the second half of the interview with Adam Savage (of MythBusters fame) by The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. : "Well, I equate the web to like being in rush hour traffic. Everyone is really bold inside their box and they're just giving the finger out the window."

I think that's pretty profound! Applies to e-mail, too.


Worship Facilities Magazine gets it wrong

I just got an e-mail touting a conference from Worship Facilities Magazine that leads off with the following direct quote:

Dear Eric M.,

As a technical director, it's your job to support your church's ministries with the best available production equipment...

Wrong. Nice assertion, but wrong. I believe it's my job to steward the funds that people have given to our church to do God's work. That almost always means buying something other than "the best available production equipment".



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