Rants


I’ve been a little pre-occupied lately but thought it is worthy of making on a comment on an event that has had a bit of my attention over the last few months
That was awkward.bmp (259x195 pixels)
 
What was awkward?  The recent prediction of 200,000,000 people being caught up in the rapture on Judgment Day.  I know most people that are aware of this don’t understand the details.  I have researched and read up on Mr. Harold Camping, as well as visiting is radio broadcast from time to time over the last few years.  So I feel qualified to speak on the subject.
 
First off, I have never subscribed in the least to any prediction of any man ever knowing the date Christ will come again.  I do absolutely believe He will come again but the timing is not to be revealed until it happens.
 
Secondly, let me clear up some confusion.  Harold’s new date of October 21st is not exactly a new date.  For some time now he has said that May 21st, 2011 was Judgment Day and October 21st, 2011 is the date this Earth will be destroyed.  The “change” is that he had been promoting that on Judgment Day believer’s would be taken from this earth to avoid the trials of the subsequent 5 months.  His “back-peddling” is that he now says he misunderstood the Bible and Judgment Day was a spiritual event rather than a physical event.  So THAT is the change in his stance to explain why nothing visible happened.
 
Here’s my beef.  Harold Camping may have been mislead, deceived or more likely caught up in his ability to wrangle numbers from the Bible.  That’s all OK.  Although I have had a problem with him telling believer’s to get out of the church since 1988 (because the church age was over) but with Mr. Camping stating dogmatically what will happen (physical events) and it not happening he should automatically disqualify himself as a Bible teacher since there is no doubt he is a false prophet (by the Bibles own definition of a false prophet).  In other areas he may have deceived himself but in this one fact he has proven to himself that he could not read the Bible properly.  If he were an honorable man and loved God (as I believe he wants to do) he should step aside on that one criteria alone.
 
He did not.  Over the years I have hurt for the people he has lead down a false path.  Now he has proven himself to not get all the “facts” right and he does not do what is right.  He has lost my respect.
 
I do believe that many things he has said over the years are spot on.  He has answered several longstanding problems I have had with timetable established by many creationists.  But his pride has led him to error.  Error of such a magnitude that not even he can deny.
 
Harold Camping, step down and sit back while those more qualified lead your following.
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Digital

Computers: involving or using numerical digits expressed in a scale of notation to represent discretely all variables occurring in a problem.

 
  • TCP/IP
  • VOIP
  • Digital cell phones
  • Digital TV
  • Compact Dics, DVD’s
  • Hard disk
  • E-books
  • Firmware
  • Software
  • ROM
  • RAM
  • mp3
  • Video games
  • iPad
  • PC
  • Digital cameras
 
Digital, digital, digital.
 
Progress, or is it?
 
Back in the days of analog cell phones, if the reception was poor I recall an ever increasing volume of static.  In most cases my brain could filter out this white noise and interpret the message being communicated to me by the other party.
 
Back in the days before digital TV, if the reception was poor the picture would become increasingly filled with static but my eyes could process out the static and I could interpret the visual image in front of me.
 
Back in the days of vinyl albums and cassette tapes the white noise caused by decaying or damaged media was only a distraction.
 
Now what do I get with progress?
I get a phone call that is completely unintelligible by Albert Einstein.
I watch a picture that is like one of those sliding panel jigsaw puzzles that is a meaningless jumble of colored blocks.
I listen to music that can just cease to exist for seconds then blurt back on like nothing happened.
 
Are we creating a world that adapts to us, or are we supposed to adapt to our created world?
 
If technology had a purpose statement would it say something about the tail wagging the dog?
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Excel shutdown – or maybe I inadvertently shut it down.  Why is it corrupted.  I spent a good portion of two days working on it and was about 75% done with it!
 
Computers!  Where’s that recovery doc?  Where’s the auto-backup?
 
I am not a happy camper.
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Q & A:
Why do I always get summoned [for jury duty] but other people don’t?
Selection is random.  If you have already responded to a summons or have already served in the past 12 months, contact your local jury office and explain that you have been summoned twice in 12 months.  It is important to contact the court to resolve the problem.
 
My first pet peeve here is that they did not answer the question.  They said “not true, but here’s some other information having nothing to do with the randomness you are addressing,” which has nothing to do with randomness but everything to do with the “12 month rule”
 
My second is, IT’S NOT RANDOM.  In theory the pool of potential jurors is all registered voters.  I know factually that in the last 18 years my wife has been called once.  I, however, have been called about 8 times AND served on 2 juries and almost a third.  I know co-workers of 18+ years that have NEVER been called – who are registered voters in my county.
 
It is not random!  If it were random, over 2 decades wouldn’t everyone’s “number” have come up even once.  There are LAWS of probabilities.  Hmmmm…. if the court would just run a analysis of the randomness of their selection (vs. assuming) they might find a very interesting fact.
 
I wonder if they understand that computers DO NOT generate truly random numbers (and consequently selections) unless there are specific algorithms written to create “apparent” randomness.  I wonder if they know that simply rebooting a computer will reset it’s random number sequence.  You heard me “random number sequence.”  Without special algorithms a computer can DUPLICATE the exact sequence of “random” numbers.
 
It is my belief that once every three years my counties court system reboots it’s computers and then the sequence of selections repeats itself.  I think I will keep a log of all names of people in my jury pool and watch them “randomly” show up with me the next time I am selected.
 
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy jury duty even if it could be pretty difficult to replace my income with $15/day.  I also consider it a serious responsibility.  I just hate non-answers to legitimate questions.
 
I guess that’s the law.
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Recently I headed down to my local banking establishment.  I have been a loyal customer for 17 years.  I’ve been with them since they had branches on every corner.  I’ve been with them as they shut down the branches and installed more ATM’s.  I’ve been with them as they decided that they can’t “give the personal touch” in the ATM world (read this to mean “they can’t solicit more revenue”) so they will open grocery store branches where an ATM was sufficient.
 
As I head into my local grocery store (because the bank “can’t afford” a building), I wait patiently in line to see 2 handfuls of banking employees occupying the small corner of the store.  It was an efficient operation.  Tellers, teller supervisors and account managers (or whatever their fancy title is these days) were all present.  I wait patiently in line because my withdrawal will be more than the daily limit allowed by the magic machines that make money.
 
In a very courteous, talkative manner my teller dispenses the funds from my account.  At the conclusion of the transaction she informs me and her supervisor that there is time sensitive information regarding my account that I need to know about.  The supervisor whisks me off to an office in the alcove which, surprisingly, has 4 large desks comfortably situated within its confines.  I am introduced to a “personal banker” with some magnanimous title and asked to have a seat.
 
She then asks me if I am aware of the banking changes to be enacted in August.  My response is a resounding, “It’s long overdue!”  I see subtle signs of surprise on her face.  Is she surprised that I even know what she’s talking about?  Is she surprised that I diffused her awesome lead-in to tell me how the change in law means “I won’t be protected?”  (An aside: the law I refer to is the new law on overdraft protection.  A bank may not allow overdrafts, and the subsequent charges, unless a person opts in.  In my opinion this has been a huge source of revenue for banks)
 
She informs me that she also has other ways for the bank to help me have more money.  At this I tell her I am definitely not interested.  The checking account meets my needs, thank you.  It has no fees and I can transfer finds in and out of my online savings account and it provides me debit capability.  Unless she is going to give me some money there’s not much she can help me with.
 
Why does everything have to be a sales pitch?  Why can’t I even go into my bank and withdraw MY money without being told “there’s time sensitive information regarding your account you need to hear?”
 
I wonder if I fly into a remote area of Alaska, if the wildlife will come knocking at my door asking for handouts.
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How does one boycott a boycott?
 
My illustrious city (I only claim this loosely because I live in an unincorporated area) has decided to join the cities across the nation in boycotting Arizona products, services and companies.
 
It seems they are unhappy with a law going into effect in that state which is simply a law to allow enforcing the law of the land, of which all 50 states are bound.  As a reminder to my fellow Americans, the issue of  federal vs. state rights was fought and argued for the 50 years leading up to the Civil War.  Four long years and much American blood was spilled as this issue was resolved about than 150 years ago.
 
Every state in this Union should either wholeheartedly support the federal laws or aggressively lobby to have them changed while following the law.  Either way, we are duty bound to follow the law.
 
Why in the world would you boycott a state which has struggled more than most states to keep ILLEGAL immigration in check.  Do you have a better idea of how to enforce the law of the land?  Hide behind “racial profiling” if you will, but the fact is, it’s not masses of Europeans or Asians illegally entering the country from the Mexican border.  Come on, exercise some common sense.  Who else should I make sure is here legally?  It is not an issue of race, IT IS an issue of nationality.  Guess what?  Most nations are composed of people of a specific race, duh!
 
I would like a list of all municipalities and states who are boycotting Arizona and begin a boycott of my own.
 
If the real issue is immigration, please change the law – then we all have to follow that.  Yes, then if Arizona, or any others, try to resist the law of the land I’ll be there with you putting pressure on them.
 
Please don’t support only laws you support.  Support all laws.  The beauty of our democratic republic is that we, unlike most people in most times, can effect a change.  Use the system if you expect others to do the same.
 
Cool down time….
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I work up this morn and like a good citizen counted all those asleep in my house.  Sealed my census envelope and put in the post.  Now I can be counted as the .01% that followed directions.
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I am just dumbfounded.  Read the following excerpt:
 

April 1 confusion

[…]
 
Many Houstonians, meanwhile, say they haven’t returned their forms yet because of the first question:
 
“How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010?”
 
In e-mails to the Houston Chronicle responding to a census story last week, about two dozen Houston area residents said this question had caused them to wait before mailing back their forms.
Some said they weren’t certain of the answer, since an elderly family member might die or a woman was expecting a baby any day. Others simply felt uncomfortable answering a question posed in the past tense about a future date.
 
Judy Ruhlin of Houston said she was surprised the return rate so far wasn’t zero percent.
“I’m not expecting anyone in my household to die or move out by April 1, and I’m not expecting any births or new members, but I won’t really know until April 1,” Ruhlin wrote. “My form will be mailed out April 1.”
 
I don’t live in Houston.  I take the census seriously.  I feel uncomfortable answering a question posed in the past tense for a future date.  I will return my census after I do my count on April 1st.
 
It’s good not to be alone.
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