It’s been a while since I posted. This post is a result of my desire to expand a recent conversation on IRC beyond what the medium allows.

In more than one instance in the recent past I’ve been challenged on my view of Romans 9 as referring to individuals – being Reformed and attending a Calvary Chapel like I had for years will tend to lead to these conversations periodically (ya think?). In general I try to be honest with opposing viewpoints by attempting to understand the arguments made by people that I disagree with, and so I’ve attempted to read Romans 9 the way they might (or, more properly, the people they rely on might).


Epic Fail

Hat Tip: James White’s blog at

I support the Wisconsin workers

… which is why I hope they fire everyone that’s employed by the state.

This has got to be the most beautiful guitar instrumental ever performed.

Joe Satriani - Black Swans And Wormehold Wizards
I just received Joe Satriani’s new album in the mail. The biggest complaint about Satriani’s stuff has always been its narrowness. With each new (solo) album however, his style broadens and this new album is the best yet. Danny and I have second row seats for his show. Can’t wait!

This is a list of pieces my dad and I might use to make an HTPC with.

Here are some cases:
LUXA2 LVA20012N1Z Aluminum LM200 Micro ATX, Mini ITX Media Center/HTPC Case (Black/Silver)luxa2-lva20012n1z-aluminum-lm200-micro-atx-mini-itx-media-center-or-htpc-case-black-or-silver

Silverstone Aluminum Front SECC body mini Itx Htpc Computer Case LC05B (Black)silverstone-aluminum-front-secc-body-mini-itx-htpc-computer-case-lc05b-black

SILVERSTONE LC12S Silver Aluminum Mini-ITX Media Center / HTPC Casesilverstone-lc12s-silver-aluminum-mini-itx-media-center-or-htpc-case

ThermalTake VK81221N2U SD100 120W PS Mini-ITX Home Theater Chassis(Black)thermaltake-vk81221n2u-sd100-120w-ps-mini-itx-home-theater-chassisblack

Personally I’m leaning more to the LUXA2 LVA20012N1Z Aluminum LM200 Micro ATX, Mini ITX Media Center/HTPC Case (Black/Silver)

For a Motherboard, we are going to get the Zotac IONITX-B-E Intel Atom Nvidia ION Mini ITX MB. There was a Video Review on the sight we found it on.

For Memory we are trying to decide between 2GB and 4GB.

For a DVD/CD Reader/Writer we will look on Newegg for a good cheap one.

We will opt out of a TV-Tuner

For “interfacing” (i.e. controling), we will use something I found called the Logitech diNovo Mini. The diNovo Mini includes, Full QWERTY keyboard, Mouse Pad / Directional Pad, Lithium-Ion Battery life rated at 1-month/per charge, Backlighting (orange/green), Bluetooth 2.0 (30 foot range) and is Linux compatible.logitech-dinovo-mini

For the operating system, my dad has chosen Ubuntu 10.4.

For the Open Source Media Center Software we will use XBMC (formerly Xbox Media Center, but they no longer support the Xbox system). The default XBMC theme/skin is (if you ask me) boring. As a fix to this dilemma, I have found the Aeon Project. It is better looking, and seems easier to use, then the default theme.

Any input about anything would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, we went hiking. Mom didn’t go because she felt sick. Only Dad, Danny Lukas and I went, and it was supposed to rain. We hiked up Gorham Mountain, down a little bit, and then up the Beehive. The Beehive trail is a short but incredible hike. You go up the side of the mountain on iron rungs and metal ladders. My Dad got really scared and it wasn’t that scary. Then, we went down the other side of the Beehive along the Bowl Trail to the Bowl. The Bowl is a round lake. We passed the Bowl and hiked up Mount Champlain. We went up, then down Mount Champlain. We were a little tired so we hiked to the North side of the Tarn, which is a small lake. Then, we drove into Bar Harbor and got some Ice Cream at “CJ’s Big Dipper.” After we finished our Ice Cream, we stopped back at the RV. Mom, Dad, and Danny went back into town for dinner, but Lukas and I stayed behind at the RV. The map below is the route we took hiking, the route is highlighted in blue. We started at the bottom and worked our way Northward.

Click on the thumbnails below to get the full image.

Otter Cliffs area overlooking a rather far drop Hicking up the trale View from the top of Gorham Mountain Looking up at "The Bee Hive" The view from "The Bee Hive" Hiking around "The Bowl" Looking back at "The Bowl" Clouds over the islands - from the Champlain Mountain Trail The top of Champlain Mountain Looking down on The Tarn from Beachcroft path
Crab in Lukas’ hand

We arrive at the camp ground at about 8 o’clock on Saturday afternoon and set up camp.  It is low tide and Lukas and I go to the beach and look for sea creatures in the deposits that were left after high tide.  We sometimes caught some.  There were crabs, fish, star fish, and lots of snails.

We go to Bar Harbor a few hours after we arrived and look for something to eat.  We eat in a restaurant called Gettys (pronounced jetty) After we have eaten the overpriced meal we look around Bar Harbor and go into some shops.  We talk to people about Sea Kayak tours and find places to rent bikes.

We go back to the RV and make our plans for the week ahead.  We decide to hike the next day and make no other decisions about our week.  As we prepare to sleep we listen to the Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy.

While Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First” is probably the funniest comedy skit in the history of mankind, the following has similar overtones when dealing with a much more serious problem.

There are some people that, no matter what I’m doing when I hear them, I have to stop and listen. On the short list, very near the top, is Mohamed El-Erian of bond investment giant, PIMCO.

No matter what the crisis, there have always been people that have said “this time is different!” and they’ve invariably been proven wrong. Time and again we think we’re faced with situations that have never occurred before only to be shown “this time” has happened frequently. After all, there’s nothing new under the sun (Eccl 1:9).

So when someone like El-Erian says, not quite that, but comes pretty close, I have to wonder. The major take away here, and something he wrote last week after the EU bailout was announced, is that we’re in a place we’ve never been before.

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