Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tire in the Morning, Stars at Night

I missed half a day of work today because of significant and costly tire problems this morning. That was annoying.

Tonight I go watch the Dallas Stars defeat some other team that I know even less about. Mike from church had a free ticket and invited me along. Should be fun. I've never been to a hockey game before.

The Daily Show On the Rapture

It was difficult to not laugh frequently while I watched this. Since I'm at work it would have been really odd for me to have laughed loudly, so I managed to hold back, with one exception. Thanks, Edward, for the link.

If you believe in that whole dispensational rapture thing, you may not like this. I recommend that you change your mind, then watch this video.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

RSS Bandit

I'm trying out a new feed reader, RSS Bandit.

1. I can subscribe to invalid feeds. Why in the world would I want to do that? Well, for some reason I can't pull the posts from either Prophet Talk or kai euthus. This means I couldn't keep them in Sharpreader, the feedreader I've been using for a while. And I organize all my blog stuff through my feed reader, which meant I had no place to store the feeds in the hope that the feeds would clear up at some point/the reader would figure out how to parse them.
2. Tabbed interface for looking at the blog posts. For every blog post, I can click on a link and the post will show up in a tab, rendered and everything. That's nice.

1. Counting bugs. The count of unread posts is frequently wrong.
2. Slow... If you ever need to delete a large number of posts at one sitting, highlight them, click delete, and walk away for a while. Not a problem with Sharpreader.
3. Links in feed window aren't clickable. In other words, if bubba has a link to an external page that I want to visit, I can't just click on it in the regular feed display window. I have to use that feature mentioned above to open it in another window, and then click on it.

Yes, I'm still in search of the perfect feed reader. Haven't found an online one that I really like, though the one that will be built in to the next Community Server may be it.

Anybody use RSS Bandit? Thoughts?

VS 2005 - Love It, Despite Issues

The new Visual Studio is a much feature-improved version over its predecessors. The integrated debugger improvements are worth the upgrade just by themselves, though it is the new language features that I like the most.

However, I'm already looking forward to the hotfix that is supposed to come out next year. A number of people have blogged about bugs they have found (most, if not all, are relatively minor). I'm also hoping they slip in some performance enhancements, especially in the realm of the visual designers.

I've only ran into two issues personally, and I can see why these were never really found. At work we're still developing for the 1.1 runtime. Though I've heard you can still target that runtime with the new studio, we have yet to officially convert our project files. We have a release that is going out soon, so I rolled back my project files from CVS and tried to open everything up and run it in VS 2003.

Nope. I was getting an internal compiler. That's one of those that you get not when you're code is necessarily buggy, but because the compiler is barfing on some text file or something. Ultimately I had to delete all the old .pdb (debug) files and that fixed that. So then it compiled.

But then I tried to run it. Nope. Somehow my 2005 breakpoints were still hanging around somewhere, and VS 2003 kept throwing exceptions because it could read some unknown type of breakpoint. Odd.

I solved it by checking out the code again from CVS in a different directory. Of course, I can see why this kindof stuff wasn't caught in testing. After all, most people won't be rolling back project files and such. But, it was still annoying.

Gentium License Loosened

The unicode font that I just totally dig, Gentium, has been released under a free/open-source license. The groovy thing about this is that it can now be packaged commercially without having to go through the hassle of permissions and all that, it seems.

I totally dig both the English and Greek glyphs in this font. If you're not familiar with it, check it out. It's free!

The Joy of Papyri

One of the difficulties of moving out of a world entirely concerned with NT Greek and into Koine Greek is the necessary readjustment of vocabulary. I'm currently reading selection 202 in the Select Papyri Loeb volume (though a fuller version can be found here). It's a document about penalties for assault. Words like τιμάω and δικ- root words take on different nuances and glosses, which, though kindof fun, is also a little frustrating, because I know those words! At least I knew them in the context of common NT usage. τιμάω, for example, often means "I honor" or something similar. However, in a legal context it can mean something like "estimate the amount of pnushment." Wow. That's quite a divergence. But, next time I run into the word I'll have more to think about when translating.

Another fun thing is mispelings. The second word listed in the Loeb portion is ἐπαντάσεως, though it should be ἐπανατάσεως. I won't tell you how long I looked for this word. Of course, the verb form of this root comes just a few words later, which would have given me a clue if I looked ahead.

And finally, strange idiom. This is the paragraph I just translated (note the lack of iota subscript):

Δούλωι ἐλεύθερον πατάξαντι. ἐὰν ὁ δοῦλος ἢ ἡ δούλη πατάξηι τὸν ἐλεύθερον ἢ τὴν ἐλευθέραν, μαστιγούσθω μὴ ἔλασσον ρ πληγῶν ἢ τὴν ζημίαν διπλασίαν ἀποτεισάτω ὁ δεσπότης ὑπὲρ τοῦ δούλου ἢ ἣν τὸν ἐλεύθερον γέγραπται ἀποτεῖσαι, ἐὰν ὁμολογῆι. ἐὰν δὲ ἀμφισβητῆι γραφέσθω μιᾶς πληγῆς δίκην ρ δραχμῶν, ἐὰν δὲ ὄφληι, τριπλοῦν ἀτίμητον ἀποτεισάτω, περὶ δὲ πλειόνων πληγῶν τιμησάμενος δικασάσθω, ὅ τι δ’ ἂν τὸ δικαστήριον τιμήσηι, τοῦτο τριπλοῦν ἀποτεισάτω.

The phrase I find particularly strange is "ἐὰν δὲ ἀμφισβητῆι γραφέσθω μιᾶς πληγῆς δίκην ρ δραχμῶν". Maybe I'll "get it" when I've spent more time in papyric legal terminology. We'll see.

Ah, the joy of papyri!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Stopping Virus Emails from the CIA and FBI

There was an anonymous question on the FBI and CIA virus post that asked how to block them, since he/she is apparently getting like 1000 an hour. That's a lot.

In the case of most spam this just won't work, but in this case it might. When you get annoying email from the same address (or in this case somewhere between one and three addresses), you can setup you email program to automatically delete them. If I were getting thousands a day, that's what I would do. How to do that? Depends on your email client. I use Outlook and GMail, and both have ways of setting up rules. Figure out how to do that, and send all email from those address to the deleted folder. Voila! Problem solved.

You could also do this based on the text in the message or the subject line. Any of those ways should work.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Virus From the CIA?

Hopefully you know better than to ever open an attachment from a strange email address. If you don't, listen...don't ever ever EVER do that. There is a pretty decent chance you'll get a virus if you do.

Just in case, though, I figured I would mention some emails I got over the last three days. Over that period of time I got an email from,, and All of them say the same thing, that I had visited over 30 illegal websites and that I needed to fill out the attached information.

Of course, getting anything from any government agency like this is a little intimidating, but being the good cyber-dude that I am I looked up the email address of one on Google and voila, they carry known viruses!

Just in case you didn't know, the "from" address on your email is not necessarily where the email address is from. I don't know how these virus and spam dudes do it exactly, but I know from a programming perspective it is very easy to send email from an address that is not your own. I get emails from addresses like or occassionally. I have those domains reserved, and I know that we don't have those setup on our mail servers. Well, others can send emails that say that they are the originating addresses. Unfortunate.

So, the moral of this story is, don't trust the "from" address on potential spam and virus emails. Be very wary of opening strange attachments.

Enjoyed the Interview, Stephen

Thanks to Mark Goodacre, I was able to catch a lot of Stephen Carlson's interview on "Keepin' the Faith" about his newly published book on the Secret Mark hoax. Very interesting. I think they keep archives at the station, so check it out when it gets put up online (go here: for the archives).

Enjoyed the interview, Stephen!

Rico And The Correlatives

Yes, I intentionally tried to make the title sound like the name of a band.

This is actually a response to Rico at his blog and his pastoral epistles blog. Read those posts for context.

Perhaps you are seeing something that I am not, but I'm not sure the correlative και...και construction here is anything unusual or noteworthy. Different correlatives have different meanings, but this one seems to imply a slightly closer coupling between the items in the correlative than just a straight και joining them might give you. Any exegetical significance to this? Not that I can see, but who knows.

As for the further examples, as noted some are the same pattern and some are not. I would think the τε...και constructions would be the closest structural parallel, rather than the ου/μη μονον...αλλα και and other constructions, though those are at least semantically somewhat parallel.

If you want more examples of a και...και correlative construction, BDAG has a very brief entry on it. See page 495, entry 1.f.

So what does the passage mean? It means that Timothy needs to persevere in true teaching, otherwise the salvation of himself and his hearers is in jeapordy. For Paul here, for a teacher to teach error he endagers himself. In such a case the listener has no access to truth, and so they too are put in danger.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Pictures of the Study...Finally!

I've been working on this thing for two months now. It has been very close for a while. It's finished now...really. It has been so long that for some of you this mythical uber-study may be as real as "Secret Mark" is to Stephen Carlson (for those who don't get the reference, Stephen thinks SM is a hoax), but here is the proof. But first, where did it all start...

It all started pink. Horribly pink. Where the walls aren't pink, they have walpaper on them which is white, light blue, and pink. Spend enough time thinking in this room and you start to feel your ability to be a man seep away from you...

This is from the door to the study, looking at the back of the house. It is a 20' by 22' room. Notice the hint of pink.

The wall on the left side is covered with bookshelves, mostly white but partially pink.

A view from the back wall back towards the opening into the house. Notice the subtle pink coloring.

The back-right corner. Still lots of pink here. Surprisingly, the blinds are also pink.

...but then I came to the rescue. I had to. There is no way I could concentrate with that much pink surrounding me. So what did we do? Let's start with the door. What a nice door. My friend Lou put it in. This is a view of the door from the living room, looking into the study.

Well, of course you open the door and go in. This is what you see:

Better? Unless you're a girl, if you don't agree there is something wrong with you. Things to notice. First, the carpet is gone and replaced with wood (laminite, I'm not rich) flooring. Second, the walls are no longer pink. They are now parisian taupe, which is a lot like normal taupe. Third, the trim is no longer pink. It is the color innocence, which is like an ivory. Fourth, the wall behind the built-in bookshelves is winsdor haze, a grayish-blue color. Fifth, the wall lights are gone, replaced by...nothing at all. Learned a lot about drywall repair patching those holes...

Here is another look of the bookshelves visible immediately in front of the door (though about 12 foot from it). This is where we currently keep our general non-fiction and our fiction stuff. There is the window as well, and an empty bookshelf. I must need more books.

Turning to the left we see my desk. Behind my desk are my most commonly used reference works and my diplomas. On the wall on the left behind the desk are my Greek books. To the left is...

...where I have my biblical studies books. This includes philosophy, history, and foreign languages as well. Notice the ample space for more books.

Another look from the front of the room. There is a section in the back that is walled off by bookshelves. This is a nice place for storing random stuff and for putting my servers.

Now from the back of the room looking towards the front. This is taken from behind the desk. That space in front of hte desk is about 12 foot long and 20 foot wide. I'm thinking of putting an area rug there and a reading chair. I also want to get into painting as a new hobby (not that I have time...). If I do that, my first subjects will be large maps of Greek, the Mediterranean, and Israel for that large, blank wall.

Looking left we get another look at that sectioned-off area. Those books are my programming books.

And, finally, another view of the desk, but from the back.

And here's me at my desk. I have disheveled hair and smug look on my face because my new study enlighted me to the extent where I simultaneously solved the Synoptic Problem and came up with a new law of thermodynamics.

So that's it! I'm very pleased. The massive amount of bookshelf space that remains is nothing less than a mandate to buy more books, I think. Actually, this is the first time since early in college that I actually have room for all my books. Woohoo!

So, two months of work, but it's over. What do you think? Any suggestions?

Age of Empires III

I finally got my copy of Ensemble Studio's Age of Empires III. I have two friends who work there now, which means that it is twice as easy to get a free copy! I met one of them for lunch Friday. Being the very nice individual that he is, he gave me a copy of the collector's edition, which comes with an artwork book, soundtrack, some extra guides, and a "making of" DVD. Excellent!

I installed it Friday night and played it a little then and a little yesterday. Nice graphics. The gameplay is very similar to the last, so it didn't take long to get up and running, but it has some interesting new features. You are going to need decent hardware to run it, and really excellent hardware to get the graphics that you see in the online screenshots. Though my processor and memory is up to snuff, my graphics card isn't, so I have to lump my home PC into the "decent" category for a game like this.

Haven't played it enough to really get addicted, or to have a strong opinion about the game. But, my first impressions are good.

Doom : Could Have Been A Lot Worse

Saw Doom last night with my brother-in-law. There are positives and negatives, though I guess the title described my main feeling about the movie.

The Negatives: Quite a bit of foul language. The acting was not always superb, but wasn't all that bad. Given the game it came from, you would have expected more shooting and exploding monsters.

The Positives: There was a decent bit of action, which made for a good action flick. The special effects were good. They did a good job of keeping it dark and creepy the whole movie and there were a number of times that I noticed that I was pretty intensely waiting for the next monster to pop out. The plot and explanation for how the monsters got there was a little far-fetched, but wasn't too bad.

All in all, if you don't mind the language, like action movies, and can turn off your brain just to have a little fun, you might just enjoy it.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire : Excellent

Saw the new Harry Potter movie the other night. Excellent flick! I've been trying to decide if it was better than the last movie because both are excellent. Still can't decide.

The last movie was significantly less kiddy than the previous two. This one continues the trend. This is certainly not a movie for small children.

The story was good. Acting was good. Special effects were good. Nothing went badly, in my opinion, in this movie. I highly recommend it.

Cache of 200 Ancient Papyri Found In My Study

I've been missing it for about 3 months now. I've needed it to pull practice sentences from for my Greek class. I finally found my Loeb Select Papyri volume 2! Woohoo!

So far I've pulled texts to translate from the NT, the LXX (including the apocrypha), the Apostolic Fathers, the Pseudepigrapha, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus' Roman Antiquities. Most of what I own that would be considered Koine is either Christian or Jewish; Dionysius is the only thing in the list that isn't. Having this papyri gets me another more secular source of material, which will be good for the class.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Upset That I Didn't Go to SBL :(

I'm really quite upset that I didn't get to go to SBL this year. The book sales, discussions till 1:00 in the morning, the lectures, the panel discussions...I really missed out.

I would have loved to have been at the panel discussion (which was apparently on inspiration and textual criticism) with Ehrman, Wright, Crossan, and Martin. I didn't know about the Ehrman book referenced in the blog post on the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog, but I have seen Wright's (though don't yet have it). Looks like I have more books to buy...

There's no way I'm going to miss next year.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Finishing Study and A Game

What do I get to do this weekend? Well, we finish the study! Woohoo! At least it should be finished. I'll post pictures.

Also, my parents are coming into town. We're going to the zoo tomorrow.

In leau of anything profound, how about a game? The boss at my first full time job started blocking webpages (ones that shouldn't have been blocked). If you went to a webpage that was unauthorized, you got an "access denied" page. This irked some of us. So, we in the developers group came up with an idea and it was on the intranet for a few hours. One of my coworkers was nice enough to save it. Here is the Flash game I made for the occassion:

The Robby Game

Not much, but it was a fun joke. And yes, that is his picture :). Here's to the old times...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

How Microsoft Can Compete with Open Source

Found this interesting post on Scoble's blog. His ideas on the topic boil down to 1) focus on how desktop windows stuff beats the pants off of open source(which is obviously does MOST of the time, though not all) and 2) hire open source developers to pull them away from their world, and harness their skills against the open source world.

The first is a mediocre idea, because I think most know this. And MS is already winning here anyway, and they have no competition on the horizon AFAIK. That is, unless the Mac user base actually takes off. I heard it's growing because of the iPod, but we'll see. I actually wish MS had a competitor in this space, because competition is healthy.

The second idea is spectacular. Though some open source developers would not be bought because of ideological reasons, I think most probably could be. Take away those with the brains and the ideas, and you've killed serious competition there. And MS would also get some top notch developers, which is always a good deal.

My thoughts.

2.0 For CodeSmith Users

Note to users of CodeSmith and .NET 2.0. There's a little you'll need to do to get it working right.

1. Go to your application directory.
2. Open the config files.
3. Note the (probably commented out) supportedRuntime node for 2.0. Change the build number to a shortened form of the final RTM build number, v2.0.50727.

The trick is to use that number, not v2.0.50727.42, the real build number. For some reason CodeSmith will not recognize your dll.

Friday, November 11, 2005

On Starting Greek Verbs with Infinitives

I think Greek as it has been taught is somewhat pedagogically challenged. That's one reason why I decided to write my own curriculum for my class. It has been a very time consuming experience, but very fun.

One of the things that has seemed odd to me for a while is the way that verb forms are taught. Why is the present stem learned first? It is actually kind of an odd-ball stem and has unique characteristics all of its own. Take, for example, the verb "Ballo", "I throw/am throwing." It is only in the present stem that two lambdas appear. The present tense stem will frequently have unique features like this. Some of the other stems might be more useful to start with, such as the aorist, because their stems more closely resemble the "true" root of the word. I've thought that something needed to change in this respect, but wasn't sure what I was going to do about it.

Then I read the chapter "Verbs of Perception and Aspect: Greek Lexicography and Grammar" by Randall Buth in the book Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography, edited by Taylor, Lee, Burton, and Whitaker. The volume is a collection of essays in honor of Danker, the main editor of BDAG. In his article he argues that the form to start with is the infinitive, and that the accusative infinitive is the best choice. His basic reasons (at least as I interpret them) are as follows:

1. The present tense forms of a word have a continuative aspect, like "I am throwing" instead "I throw" or something similar. The latter is more of a natural idea to start with. When we learn verbs in other languages we'll generally start with the idea of "to throw," not "to be throwing."
2. Aorist tense verbs are more common than any other tense form.
3. When non-indicative, aorist forms are much more commonly used.

His suggestion is to memorize the aorist infinitive. He also says "While the aorist infinitive should probably be our point of reference to a verb, it would help to have the continuative (present) infinitive listed with this." I dig that.

So that's the way I'm going to approach verbs in my curriculum. I'm not sure if he would have his students memorize both forms (that seems to be the case, but I'm not sure), but that's my current plan. Vocab listings of verbs will include both the aorist and the present active infinitive forms.

Will it work? I expect it to. I'll give a report later on after we've spent some time in verbs. There's a little more to this as well (both positives and difficulties), but since I have to leave for work in 10 minutes, I better stop now :)

Visual Studio 2005 Rocks!

The second most important event of this year has recently passed, the release of Visual Studio 2005. I say second, because I really have to put the birth of my second child above it.

Anyway, I've been using Beta 2 at home for a while, and was really looking forward to this. I started using it some at work about a week and a half ago. I dig it! Lots of nice features. Most importantly, we get generics in C#, and that is something I've been looking for ever since I heard about C# 2.0. Woohoo!

For most people in the world this is a non-event. But, for those of us who spend 8-12 hours a day using Visual Studio, any feature improvements are a plus.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Still Not Dead

Yes, I am not dead. Just really busy. Here's a summary what's going on, and why I'm so busy:

1. Still not finished with the study. But, give me a close...
2. Greek class. Going great, just very time consuming.
3. Job. I wish I could spend 50 hours a week doing Lexel stuff and studying. Nope. I have to have a regular old job. However, as far as jobs go, this one is great. Still really like the people and the work, and they gave me a super cool laptop.

That's mostly it. I PROMISE to start blogging again. REALLY!