Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Chapter 22

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom though lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. ¶ And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, an took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. ¶ And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba. ¶ And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying , Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor; Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Arama, And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she bare also Tebah, and Gaham, and Thahash, and Maachah.

Quote of the Day

"What's the name of the Quebec horror film? Oh yeah, being part of Canada."

Job Prospects (short term) (Update)

I spoke with the department head of RMC this morning. He told me that he would hire me to teach the course that I mentioned a couple days ago, pending a security clearance.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Job Prospects (short term)

I spoke with the head of the math department today. It seems very likely that I will be teaching a differential equations and introductory analysis course at RMC in the winter term.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sleep

It will come as no surprise to most who have known me for even a short period of time that I've had troubles with sleep. It just doesn't come to me as easily as it seems to for most. It's a problem that my parents had to deal with even before I was old enough to get stressed out about it. Thoughts of sleep evoke feelings of frustration for me. I simply could not comprehend how some people could like sleep, until I realized that they don't lie awake waiting for sleep as much as I do.

This past Friday, after many years of struggle, I decided to concede defeat to whatever demon it was that was keeping me awake at night. No more futile attempts to maintain a 24 hour schedule. I wasn't going to go to bed until I felt really drowsy, like I would crash once my head hit the pillow. I left my alarm clock off. I wasn't going to wake up until my body decided it had had enough sleep (Oh the luxuries of being a grad student!).

A strange thing seems to be happening. In the past, sleeping in an extra hour meant it took an extra hour to fall asleep the next night. If I wanted to correct this, so that I was getting up at the same time everyday, it meant depriving myself of an hour of sleep the next night. That extra hour of sleep never seemed like enough either. So I thought that I would get into a longer sleep cycle than the natural 24 hour cycle, sleeping longer, and going to bed later and later as a result. Instead, however, it seems that each night, I am getting tired sooner, and each morning I am waking up sooner, all without a set bedtime, and all without setting my alarm clock.

What a truly strange demon that would release me from his sleepless grip once I stop asking to be released. Let's hope the trend continues, and let's hope this demon doesn't construe my hoping as asking.

Quote of the Day

"Denial of denial's one of the first signs of denial." -- Hank on Corner Gas

Friday, October 20, 2006

Recipe to try

This looks like it might be fun to try. I still don't have a blender, however.

Update: I now have a blender.

Stupid Global Warming

Well Buffalo got theirs last week. Now it's snowing in Kingston. Finally. At two thirds of the way into October, it's about time. Whatever happened to the days when it would snow in September, I ask you? Stupid Global Warming.

The Clean Air Act

Stephen Taylor collects various quotes from the media, politicitians, and activists, in which the Conservative government's recently proposed environmental legislation is criticized by applying the formula Harper=Bush [1]. Such a criticism is lazy, at best, but that is not my point.

I recall reading an article quite some time ago in September 2000 issue of The Atlantic from the days of the Bush vs. Gore election campaign of way back when. If memory serves me correctly, in the article Bush, or at least the state government under Bush, was credited with a significant reduction in pollution in the state of Texas, and in particular in one of its major cities, Houston I think. So perhaps, on this file, Harper=Bush is not such a bad thing.

The article is not available online to nonsubscribers. Hopefully I can find a hard copy of the issue to provide the specific details.

[1] It would be interesting to know how representative these quotes are. What percentage of (opinion) articles, press releases, soundbites, and whatnot criticizing The Clean Air Act apply this formula?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fine Malt Lickers

For some fine banjo playing, download and listen to the tracks found here, here, and here, by Arnie Naiman, Chris Coole, and a few others. If you're looking for the car chase music usually associated with the banjo, you'll be sadly disappointed. Most of the tracks feature a playing style known as clawhammer which predates the more popular bluegrass style. I'm not sure if I could explain well the technical difference between the different playing styles to someone who doesn't already know something about finger picking a string instrument. Google will help you find someone who can tell you about clawhammer better than I could.

While the technical differences between the two styles might not be easy to explain, the difference in effect is easy to hear. Bluegrass style is what most people associate with car chases, and can be quite brash. Clawhammer style, at least as it's practiced by these folks, is gentler.

The track "Cold Tea" is bluegrass. All others but "Rambling Boys" are clawhammer. Take a listen, and see the difference for yourself.

The track "Rambling Boys" is in the rarely heard Irish tenor style. Unfortunately, the track is corrupted. It plays, but it doesn't sound right. (I sent an email to the artists quite some time ago to tell them about this, but they never responded. If they read the email, they didn't act on it.)

Defection

Defection

Hat tip to Tim Blair.

"The need to be loved

This is the deepest yearning within each one of us,
deeper even than our need to appear strong and powerful,
or to have a spiritual consciousness of self,
a feeling of the infinite within us.
Aristotle says that when people do not feel loved,
they seek to be admired.
Those who work in the field of publicity and public relations
know well this deep yearning for love and unity.
They use images of beautiful women and strong, handsome men
to sell cars or to draw people to a particular bank.
Our thirst for love, to be "beloved," can be easily diverted
and become perverse through a world of fantasies and images.
We are all more or less broken and wounded in our affections
and in our capacity to relate.

We want a unity of love but are frightened of commitment
and even of relationship.
Our sexual desires can be cut off from committed relationship.
It is as if anguish is planted in our sexuality,
a sexuality that seems to have lost its meaning
and can become a game
where one person -- or both -- lose.

Many people today find true, rewarding love,
yet others are frustrated in love.
Many people with disabilities cannot live a deep, intimate,
faithful relationship in marriage.
Other people have know painful, broken relationships.
For many, marriage has ended in divorce.
Some seem unable to find the right partner for their lives.
For others, sexual relationships are a continual search for a fulfillment
they seem unable to find,
because they are frightened of commitment
and afraid of true, healing relationships.
So many people are caught up in a terrible loneliness,
a feeling of not being loveable.
They live in unresolved anguish, feeling guilty for existing."

Jean Vanier, Chapter 4 ( inspired by John 2:1-12) of "Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John."

What are you reading my blog for?

Go call somebody you know and ask them if they want to hang out.

Don't call somebody you hang out with all the time.

Call somebody you haven't talked to in a while.

Call somebody you don't know very well, but would like to. Maybe even somebody you don't.

But don't read my blog.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Maybe Erica's lying. She never pays tax.

Up until today, I was under the impression that when your gross income increases enough to result in a jump to a higher tax bracket, meaning a higher rate of taxation, it was possible that your net income could actually decrease to the the higher rate, if the increase in gross income was not large enough.

Upon further research, prompted by one whose name appears in the title of this post, I find out that I am wrong.

I'm so embarrassed (I'm also embarrassed that I needed to use a spell checker to make sure that I spelled "embarrassed" correctly).

Quote of the Day

"We know what the Queen's views are. She doesn't have any views."

Via Publius at Gods of the Copybook Headings

What the?

There's an animated Star Trek series?

Friday, October 13, 2006

It could work

Hot chocolate and a little bit of chilli pepper.

Courtesy of the blogless Erica.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Overheard

"I feel like the only thing stopping us [from dating] is that he's so stupid."

Blog Upgraded

I have upgraded to Blogger Beta. If you notice anything different, that's probably why. Labels, a new format for the archives, and some other formatting changes, like font sizes and column widths.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fashion

I have a secret love affair with grammar. It's got me through some tough times. Without the help of grammar, for example, I most certainly would have failed my first 4 years of high school English class. It remains largely unknown that I will curl up in a comfy chair with a grammar textbook (most people only know about the dictionaries) to learn about the ins and outs of the grammar of some foreign language.

That is perhaps why I find this t-shirt to be so amusing.

Jon Stewart

I don't normally watch his show. I'm watching it right now. I know why I don't normally watch it. He's not funny. He's very good at making funny faces. But he's not funny.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hybrid Cars

If true, the conclusions of this article are surprising.

Hat tip to N.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday Afternoon Experimental Cooking

For dinner today, I cooked myself up some Peachy Sambal Chicken (It's a link to a google search, but every recipe that comes up is the same). The recipe comes from a cookbook called "Let's go Dutch."

The recipe marks a number of firsts for me in terms of ingredients... oyster sauce, sesame seed oil, peaches (I have, of course, had peaches before. Many times.), whipping cream (which I've used in recipes before, but never actually cooked) , and turmeric. I couldn't find sunflower margarine, but if I could have, that would have been another first.

I did things a little differently from what the recipe says (which, I think, is how you should follow recipes. Not that I have the skill and knowhow to do that all the time.) Cream doesn't come in 1.5 cup containers where I shop, so I used a full 2 cups (500mL). To compensate for this, I increased the amounts of most of the ingredients, in a somewhat random fashion. I cubed my chicken breasts instead of halving them (the recipe says it serves 5. Halving two chicken breasts yields 4 pieces. I guess someboday has to do without a piece of chicken.) I used a 28oz (796 mL) can of peach slices with the syrup removed instead of 5 peaches.

All in all, cooking time was about an hour. Preparing the marinade and chopping the chicken probably took about 5-10 minutes, and cooking everything else was probably about 45 minutes. If I do it again, which I probably will, I could probably cut the time down by maybe 15 minutes.

The recipe turned out quite well according to my tastes and in comparison to many other first times trying out new recipes. I was sad when my bowl was empty (ah, but there are many leftovers! Yaay!). The peaches were quite mushy after the 8 minutes or so of simmering. They probably wouldn't have been as mushy if I had used fresh peaches (Maybe those not quite ripe peaches are good for something?) They didn't contribute as much to the overall flavour as I had expected, which was neither good nor bad. It was noticeably spicey, but I could do with something spicier. Next time a lot more sambal and/or pepper is going in.

That's all I'm going to say about it for the time being. Now, I have to clean up!

(Wow! I just reviewed my own cooking. How self-absorbed is that?)

Music, part deux

Thanks to the magic of internet radio, I discovered the name and artist of the song that I was wondering about a few days ago. It's called "Bridge to Nowhere" by Sam Roberts.

Hahaha

I don't even know who David Hicks is, or what he did. But the following quote from this article made me laugh (out loud even).

"Sydney Sun-Herald columnistAlex Mitchell recently urged that an honour be bestowed upon a former Adelaide resident. "Sixty years ago, if David Hicks was a POW in a Japanese or German concentration camp, we'd consider him a war hero," wrote Alex. I'm not sure I get Mitchell's point. After all, if Hicks had discovered penicillin, we'd consider him a medical hero. If he had claws and a great flippy tail, we'd consider him a lobster. "

Now to read the rest of the article so I can find out who David Hicks is and what he did.