Archive for August, 2009

Contemplating Jonah

August 21st, 2009 2 comments

I’ve been doing a better job at studying and preparing for Sunday School earlier in the week.  And this month long study on finding our place in God’s will has been one good passage after another.  Last week was Gideon, this week Jonah.

Jonah is a nice short book, you can read the whole thing in a few minutes, but it’s so layered and rich, it bears a lot of contemplation, and reflection.

But first, let’s grab a verse from Jeremiah that I ran across in my other quiet times.

The human mind is more deceitful than anything else. It is incurably bad. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9

That kinda begs for some context, doesn’t it?  I’d read the surrounding passage, and it describes ‘one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD.’  The passage describe him becoming like a bush in the wastelands… dwelling in the desert.  The examination of the heart/mind in verse 9 is the final determination of this man.  Our only hope is to trust in God.  Outside of that we are doomed to the selfish nature of our deceitful heart/mind.

Jonah understood that perfectly.

And he still did the exact opposite of what God asked of him.  In the belly of the fish, he was thankful to God for his rescue.  He gave thanks and rededicated himself to God’s mission.  And with fish guts still in his ears he trekked to Nineveh, and did as God bid him, and proclaimed their impending doom.  They listened, and repented.

The God did exactly what Jonah knew he would do.  God had compassion and cancelled the destruction.

That ticked Jonah off. Why? Because Jonah knew that He would do that.

How odd.


Categories: Faith Tags:

Dell Mini 10 vs. WHS

August 19th, 2009 2 comments

This is a sad saga, because it really shouldn’t be this difficult.  I should be able to say, “Woo! WHS paid off again, thanks my little backup buddy!”

But I can’t fully give a big *high 5* to the WHS, though it came out the winner, it got bruised and battered on something that ended up being easily fixed, but that fixed relied too much on me finding answers outside of normal MS channels.

First, some background. We have two kids with September birthdays.  We decided to pool resources with family and get them one big present, we got them each a Dell Mini 10.  Sweet little portable laptops.  (I’m ignoring the, “Wait, it isn’t September yet!” question, maybe another post, so put your hand down).  So they’ve been enjoying playing with them. 

In a fit of uncoordinated laziness, I tossed one of the power supplies to my youngest so he’d have it to recharge.  A bad throw followed on the heels of that bad idea, and the cute little charger hit the cute litte keyboard right about the letter ‘F’ which is right above where the hard drive resides (I found this out later).  Movie stopped working, reboot was met with a BSD.

*gosh* stream of thoughts follows roughly:

  • I’m an idiot.
  • Good thing I made sure it backed up to WHS (Windows Home Server) last night.
  • Hard disk is probably toast.
  • I’m an idiot.
  • Should have gotten the SSD instead of the SATA hard drive, less moving parts
  • I’m an idiot.
  • I’d better call Dell, it’s still under warranty.
  • I’m an idiot.
  • Run the diagnostics first, so you can speed up the Dell support call
  • I’m an idiot.
  • Oh cool they have a Dell support Chat, I don’t have to SPEAK to anyone. FTW!
  • I’m an idiot.
  • Waiting for a Support agent, 67 in line.
  • I’m an idiot (repeats 67 times)
  • Oh hi, Mr. Dell Support person that types really good English, my hard drive is toast, please replace it.
  • Thank you, awesome, cool.
  • I’m an idiot (repeats 2 days while waiting package).

Hard drive comes and it’s pre-imaged with the software load, and they re-included the DVDs/CDROMs of software that is installed.  Nice touch, but since the Mini 10 has no optical drive, not really necessary and/or useful, a USB with the same content would be teh awesum though, please make note, Dell.

So while I quickly swapped out the drive, and restarted and the computer did it’s little ‘first time installation’ thingy.  I started creating a USB key to have it restore from the WHS.  I had to relearn some lessons:

  1. To make a bootable USB key you need to use a Vista machine and use the diskpart, so I had Angie do that part for me.
  2. Next is just copy the files from the Windows Home Server Restore CDROM image. I do this by loading the CD-ROM image with Nero Image Drive, rather than burn onto plastic, then copy.

After a bit, and about the time the ‘first time’ processes got done I had a USB stick ready to roll.  Plugged it in, booted up the Mini-10 attached it to the wire at the network switch and…


Dell Mini 10 couldn’t find the server.

Three hours later, and google searches galore, I got it to work.  Here’s a break down.

  • Dell Mini 10 uses a RealTek PCI-E Ethernet driver.  The driver on the WHS Restore CD-ROM identifies it correctly, and it all appears to be ready to work.  But it doesn’t work.
  • The drivers on the Mini 10’s installation, (XP NDIS variety) also don’t work (if you copy the c:\drivers directory to the usb stick and then scan for additional drivers, it finds them)
  • The drivers on the WHS PowerPack 3 Beta restore image, also don’t work.
  • The drivers for the Vista (Windows Server 2008) do work, but you have to download them from the vendor, (not Dell, Realtek) then extract and stuff the drivers into a drivers folder on the USB stick, and then scan for additional drivers.

So once I figured all that out, by brute force, trial and error, I was glad for my 8 years of education in computers and 20 years of practical education.  And if anyone else buys a WHS and then a Dell Mini 10, I’m sure they’d stuff it all in the trash and go live in the wilderness.

Though I understand that technologies change, and the Dell Mini 10 is new technology…  C’mon, Ethernet drivers shouldn’t be an issue!

The bright spot of the story, is the computer is back in the midget’s grubby little hands, looking and working just like it did moments before the power adapter harshed the hard drive’s mellow.  I just wish two things.  Drivers need to be easier, or at least an better error message on how to troubleshoot drivers in WHS.  And that they built hard drives at least as ruggedly as they do key-caps (no damage sustained by the failed lob).

Categories: Gadgets, Life Tags:

LOST – Black Rock and the start of the loophole

August 5th, 2009 Comments off

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged or theorized. I’ve done some smatterings of this and that on twitter, but once in a while you need to write more than 140 chars… so, have a seat.

The frustration on the face of the Man in Black (henceforth noted as MiB) in his discussion with Jacob at the start of The Incident shows, to me, that he was plotting something. With the Black Rock bobbing like a cork in the distance, I think his plan started then, with the crew of the Black Rock, and the current location of the Black Rock has a lot to do with what happened.

This could be rather detailed, or it could be hinted at flashbacks, or it could be entirely wrong. For all I know the paper in the back of Darlton’s pocket could be the script for the Black Rock spin-off to LOST that they’ll announce at next years ComicCon. But with those caveats, lets hit some details.

The core of the mysterious properties of the island is that it sits a top of a ball of magnetic energy. This is what Dr. Pierre Chang is studying, the cause of the incident, and the source is primordial, meaning that the source is probably present while the Black Rock was still floating, but not tapped or used quite yet.

The island isn’t fixed in time or space. That we learned from Ellie in the Lamp Post station. We assume that has always been the case, but I think a good case can be made that the island was dislodged from a fixed location at some point prior to 1954. I’m theorizing that point is around the time the Black Rock sailed the troubled waters around the island. Then after that, the search for the dislodged island, by the Hanso family, started.

Chang stopped work on the Orchid when they started getting too close to that magnetic pocket, the scan showed the Darlton dubbed Frozen Donkey Wheel in silhouette. Here I speculate, that the FDW isn’t primordial, it was placed there somehow, and I think the Black Rock is it’s source. The details we’ve seen of it when Ben then Locke applied pressure to it is it’s build seems nautical, wood and metal. The size of the wheel is too big for a helm, but about right for an anchor capstan. Could the FDW be the Black Rock’s capstan?

What does a capstan do? Well it uses applied man/muscle power to raise the anchor chain and coil it along it’s axis. There is obviously something dangling off the end of the rope of the FDW (IF it is a capstan). Perhaps the anchor is still attached. Perhaps manipulating the anchor through the magnetic pocket is what ‘moves’ the island. Just like hauling in an anchor chain moves a ship closer to the anchor drop point.

So at some point, the Black Rock gets yanked into the middle of the island, the dark territories says one map. Is it because the anchor got yanked into the magnetic abyss, pulling the ship along with it? Ripping the capstan off, until it got lodged in it’s current location.

So if that’s true, at some point, the crew of the Black Rock had to have gotten onto the island. Perhaps the crew members included Richard Alpert. Where he began his role as the right-hand man of Jacob, or who he thought was Jacob.

We still don’t know how Charles and Ellie and the original band of hostiles made it to the island. We know their presence was there in 1954, and they were fighting off a U.S. military crew that left behind Jughead. Are Charles et. al., descendants of the Black Rock crew? Charles certainly had a reason to bid on the log from the Black Rock.

I’m not sure how much time will be spent in season six investigating this ‘loophole’. I think Darlton will be more interested in completing the story of this set of characters, the Oceanic survivors than detailing Black Rock mythology. Perhaps they’ll leave enough hints in the Richard storyline to have one heck of a mini-series, feature film, about the Black Rock.

Okay, tell me where I’ve missed something.

Categories: Television Tags: ,