Friday, April 22, 2005

Visiting Nana and Grandpa

This past weekend was Ellie's first visit out to Wyoming to visit with her Nana and Grandpa. She got a little sick near the end of the visit, but I think it was all-in-all a fun time. Here are some pics:

Better than sex!?

We've got DSL again!

Well, OK, it certainly isn't better than sex; but it sure is awfully nice to have DSL again. And our new service came with a free wireless router. Two great things about that: First, if you come to my house with a wirelss laptop or PDA, I've now got wireless to support you! Second, I finally have the nice fancy new router that I've been wanting for a while. The web interface sure beats running iptables commands on my old P2-233 linux server.

So, in celebration:

Friday, April 08, 2005

DSL Woes

More later, but the title pretty much says it...

  • Tuesday night - DSL goes down
  • Wed morning - DSL still down, so I look in the phonebook for the ISP's phone number
  • "Doo doo dah, we're sorry. The number you dialed is not in service..." (uh oh)
  • Since I'm in the area today, I'll just top by their office after work.
  • Where their office should be is now a tunnel going under new airport runways! (double uh oh)
  • So, I call the phone company and after some struggle they find out that an order went in earlier in the week to have my DSL disconnected.
  • Based on the conversation, it sounds like my ISP simply closed down, didn't tell their customers, stop paying their phone bill, and now the phone company is shutting off their customers. (Well, what do you expect from an ISP named ValueNet?)
  • But I can't sign up for new service until the old service is completely canceled.
  • Then I have to way another 7 days to get new service setup.
  • So, I asked to sign up for dial-up in the interim 10 days... "Your installation CD will arrive in the mail in 7-10 days." WHAAA?!?!
  • Well, luckily, all you need is your id, password, and a phone number to dial in; and they publish the phone numbers online. Piece of cake.
  • So, we have dial-up again...

  • I did get our email up and running again using
  • The website will be down until we get DSL again. Sorry to everyone pining for pictures of Ellie.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Where Religion and Science Meet

Speaking of NPR... I was off driving around in circles with Ellie tonight. I think the time change has been a little rough on her; but tonight she just seemed a bit wound up after an evening trip to the park and a few rounds of chase, which she still loves!

Anyway, the show on NPR was about the apparent conflicts between scientific practices and religious beliefs, when those conflicts can be reconciled, and where science and religion really do diverge.

It's a pretty interesting topic to me, considering that my father is both a very religious person (he was a missionary in Turkey for 11 years!) and a high-school biology teacher. No, no. He's not from Kansas. (No offense to any Kansans reading this, of course.) He doesn't have any qualms, whatsoever, with where science and religion intersect or diverge. To poorly paraphrase him: Religion deals with what you believe about purpose. Science is about striving to understand what you believe. (Eh, I'll never do him justice.)

Funny anecdote interjected:
When I was in 4th grade, we moved across town. During this time,
the school district was in the middle of rewriting the sex-ed curriculum.
Guess who was in charge, my dad! My mom, as a school nurse was also
involved. Amazing I wasn't more humiliated.

A few days after moving in, a neighbor from down the street knocks on
the door, makes a little small talk, then asks if we've heard about the awful
things they're trying to teach our kids in school about sex! Atrocious,
what some people think the schools should be teaching kids.

My dad graciously explained that he was one of the main authors of the
new curriculum. Our slightly embarrassed and dumb-founded neighbor turned
to go away, and mumbled something like "what did the Lord have in mind when he sent you to our neighborhood?"

Well, now these neighbors watch my parents' dog and bring in the mail
when they're out of town. Nice enough people.

My person feelings, summarized in 200 words or fewer:
Religion is a nice thing to have around to guide us and provide anecdotes that help us articulate what it is that we believe. Logic and reason have to be able to play a role in supporting those beliefs, too. Science is a major part of that. Science is all about the striving to understand the world around us, and as a result ourselves. Ideally, the more science reveals, the more we appreciate about the amazing universe in which we live. I think that to declare "God created the universe in 6 days" belittles what the universe is. Belittles God. If we resign ourselves to the same literal beliefs that people had thousands of years ago, to me, that implies that the depth of our understanding hasn't grown in all those thousands of years. Poor God, to have such pitiful companions that they wouldn't strive to grow and understand him more fully, more deeply.

This I Believe (preface)

I'm going to write and post one of these later, but I wanted to advertise what I think is a really great "time capsule" reprise that NPR is organizing: This I Believe

This series is a reincarnation of a 1950's project by Edward R. Murrow, in which both notable and average people contributed statements about what they believe about life and how they've come to those beliefs.

I can imagine that for some people, it was a great opportunity to make political and ethical statements the current state of affairs in the world; but I imagine that for many, as it will be for me (if I get around to it), composing a statement about what you believe is really an opportunity to think deeply about your convictions, your choices, and your goals in life. We'll see...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

DSL Woes

More to come later, but the highlights are:

  • DSL went down
  • Tried to call ISP
  • Their phone number's diconnected??
  • Tried to stop by their office... where it should be is a new airport runway!
  • Called phone company
  • Aparently they had an order to disconnect a few days ago
  • Looks like my ISP ( went under
  • Yeah, yeah... what else should I have expected from valuenet?
  • So, I'm looking for a new ISP
  • It'll take a while to get a new service setup obviously
  • Hopefully, though, we'll have email up and running through an external email provider in the next 3 days.
More to come...

Catch Me if You Can!

Ellie's got a new game that we started this week. She's big on trying to get from where ever she is, into the kitchen where the dog's water bowl is. Well, we've turned this into chase, which can be played anywhere in the house.

Mind you, Ellie doesn't walk unassisted yet. So, chase tends to be a very slow game. Ellie starts the game by giving you a mischievous look. Then she turns away and starts to scoot / crawl / inch-worm with all the speed of a Galapagos tortoise, smiling and laughing all the way. Dad gets up to his hands and knees and chases after smiling and calling "I'm gonna get you!" After an exhausting 30-60s of chase, Dad finally catches up and scoops Ellie into the air. "I got you!"

And all rejoice with laughter and smiles.

Since I don't have a picture of chase, yet, here's Ellie at Easter: