Mac OS 10.6

The computer/sideshow guru at  my real job scored some Mac OS updates today at the Apple Store at Briarwood Mall (Motto: “Yes, this is the line for the iPhone”).  I started updating my office computer and had to leave after about 45 minutes while it was still working, whirring and spinning.  I hope it’s not sitting there waiting for me to answer one of those inane computer questions like “I went ahead and fixed a bunch of stuff that will make you look smarter.  OK / Alright?”  Computers like to ask questions.  The difference is that Macs like to as questions that you know the answer to, like the above.  Sometimes Windows feels like Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.

Regis: What is the root directory for C colon backslash hyphen 867 dot 53 slash 09?

Contestant Me: Isn’t this multiple choice?

Regis: You can’t ask questions here!  Abort, Retry, Fail?

Contestant Me: Uh… retry?

Regis: (blue screen)

I’ll probably stop by the office early tomorrow before the morning show and make sure everything is ok. If it’s offered, I’ll chose “retry”.  If Regis is in my office when I get there, I will call the authorities.

Why Don’t Comments Work?

Someone told me a few days ago that they were reading radblog (thanks) but that they couldn’t leave comments.  I thought it was just becasue the content was so medicore, but they said they actually wanted to say something but WP wouldn’t let them.  Why?

That’s what I’m working on this Saturday morning between making turkey bacon and playing checkers with Malachi.

—-UPDATE: I figured it out.  Turns out you have to tell every post to allow comments.  Even if it’s on the screen as an option, that doesn’t mean that comments are switched on.  My bad.

iBook G4 & The New Mac

My old iBook G4, now over 4 years old, has finally started showing signs of age.  Early last year, we turned it into the “Kitchen Computer”, which Emily used pretty much all the time.  This was an especially fitting use for it because its hinges had started to go on the screen, but with the connection of a few externals it became a dandy computer.  No external attachment will help it today, though, as its fragile little hard drive is starting to fry.  I’m carefully backing it up now.

Trying to back up a failing hard drive is very similar to hostage negotiations, with you being the good guy and the computer holding your precious data as a hostage.  You’re trying to stay cool, but its still tense because you don’t know what the thing is going to do next.  In a hostage situation, things could go any direction because they lack predictability.  Yup… same here.  You don’t want anyone to get hurt, but you have the most important element — all your pictures from that one canoe trip — at the top of the list.  Oh, and, sometimes there’s a megaphone involved.

What’s next?  Well, I was thinking it was done for, so I was ready to put the entire computer in the freezer as a last-ditch attempt to free the hostage data.  But lo and behold, faith and begorrah, the little iBook booted up.  And now I’m speaking in calm tones as I try to talk it into surrendering.  “No one will get hurt” I say in a calm, reassuring tone.  “I’m not going to really drill a hole in you!  That was a joke!”  I even added a “Ha ha!”, but to no avail.

I took a look to see how much these things are going for on the used market, and I must admit my surprise — iBook G4’s actually worth around $500 used.  This, of course, assumes a non-hostage situation, which we most certainly do not have here.  Nonetheless, it goes to show you that Macs hold their value, which you’re very happy about when you own one and very mad about when you need one.  The same is true of Subarus and/or Jeeps.

To get some perspective, I headed over to the AppleStore online to see just what I could buy.  I decided to take the “money is no object” approach, the kind that most people use when they are 1) Richie Rich or 2) have Richie’s credit card.  I went with the highest priced machine and then, as if I were Mr. Donald Trump himself, added all of the options that Apple makes available to chumps like you and I.  A wireless keyboard?  Sure!  Add $30.  How about Microsoft Office?  I hear they’re doing well these days.  Sure!  Add $299.  The biggest hard drives, the most RAM and the best video system.  My system grand total, Supersized at the AppleStore, came to… well, let me just show you a screen shot:

Picture 7

It’s a little small, but the number there for my new Mac Pro is $23,035.85.

American.

Dollars.

“So?  That’s how much my cousin makes in a year” you might be saying.  And you might be right.  But I need to tell you that the Morgan Spurlock “Supersize” approach to buying a new computer at the AppleStore will kill the liver, kidneys and heart of your financial status if you’re not careful.

So, after thinking about it for a moment, I’ve decided not to buy this new Mac.  Oh, the 12 months same as cash is tempting, but who wants Steve Jobs knocking on your door at midnight looking to either collect payment or uh, ahem, “put you to sleep with Vista”?

Not me.

Oh, good.  My pictures made it over from the dying Mac to the backup drive.  Let’s see if I can rescue all those iTunes purchases.  Hmm… not authorized?  Blast!  I bet I’ve spent nearly $23,035.85 at the iTunes store in the last 4 years, and now it’s all gone!

Okay, Steve.  Come on over.  I’m ready.

Jackson County Fair

Most of the Davidson Family spent yesterday evening at the Jackson County, MI Fair, whose theme was, apparently “Becaged Animals”.  Cows, sheep, ducks, loud roosters, pigs, horses and tractors stuck in drive — all kept in or at least near a cage.  One horse, whom we will call “Bitey”, looked better in a cage — at least from my parental perspective.   Miles and miles of livestock.  I found myself getting hungry for beef, thirsty for milk, and apologetic to the animals.  “I’m sorry, Wilbur.  I really am.  It’s just that you’re so delicious. I’m sure you understand.  Yes.  Keep eating, my snouted friend.  And by the way… you can keep the snout.”

It’s Almost Christmas

The kids and I were listening to Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music yesterday — perhaps a little early, yes, but very needed in my line of work.  The kids love it and, even more, don’t know better.  I’m getting stuff ready for Christmas for Worship Arts and want to be able to give 80% of the music selection list to our music ensembles by the end of this month.  It’s so strange to be thinking ahead, but I know I’m not alone in this “Christmas In July” line of thinking:

  • Retailers have been planning back to school sales since January.  Christmas has been on their radar since Easter.
  • Schools are finalizing their semester calendars, trying to decide where exactly the Christmas break will land.
  • Rent-a-Santas are getting their suits dry cleaned (hopefully) and practicing their laughs, eating enough now so that their bowl full of jelly will be convincing.

I’m not alone in thinking about Christmas.  But I don’t want to get so caught up in the pragmatic/technical/organizational that I miss Advent and Christmas — true Christmas — because I’m worn out by running rehearsals that have been fueled with candy canes and evergreen punch.  So I’m planning but also praying — God, what would you have us do this Christmas that will make a difference in the life of your people?  How does the music, the drama, the liturgy point people to You?  How do we define an environment where many people come to Christ, the core and exalted One of Christmas?  What’s the best approach?  Don’t let it be about pizazz and clever thinking, cool music and nice decorations.  Let these elements point to You.

The best thing about thinking about Christmas in August is the fact that it’s going to be 78 degrees today in Michigan.  It’s like December in Florida: balmy and snowless.

Merry Christmas!

Outdoor Baptisms

USA Today has a fascinating article about the decline of outdoor baptisms in the U.S.  It reminded me that what we do at Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church, as well as what our denomination does at Somerset Beach is not as common as it once was.  I’m working right now on the baptismal service that we have scheduled for Sunday, August 23rd at SAFMC.  We will do it outdoors, right on the shores of Lime Lake.  Of course, if it rains, we’ll relocate.  We don’t want everyone to get wet, just baptizers and baptizees.
Baptism is a great way to do something about your faith.  It is a public display of our new birth into the Kingdom of God.   Some denominations see baptism as critical to salvation, others do not (including mine).  Nonetheless, it is an excellent testimony of the grace and power of God through Christ.  I always come away from these services encouraged — I love it when people come to faith and show it so clearly.

Plus, we always have ice cream at our outdoor service.  I can taste it now.  I can also smell lake water.

radLinks

Some inane chatter from Mornings at Home on Home.FM:

  • Paula is officially done with American Idol.  Now who’s gonna tell everyone they’re either the best or just awesome?  Who’s gonna get sparkles in Randy’s CocaCola?  Who’s gonna say weird things that make Simon appear balanced (but still mean)?  radLink
  • Should the Nation’s Security Keepers be broadcasting on twitter and facebook?  If my updates are things like “I just finished reading a book by Shel Silverstein”, then they might be writing things like “Shhhh… we’ve created a Helicopter that can fly underwater.”  radLink
  • How does the leader of the free world celebrate his birthday?  Did someone say “cupcake”?  radLink
  • The old saying “it’s in the water” is actually the case in this town full of twins in India.  If you go and visit, you will be confused as to who is who.  radLink
  • The great thing is the terrible thing with Web 3.0 — for things like YouTube, twitter and Facebook to work, we must be self-disclosive.  It turns out that this family accidentally made their own evidence video that will probably end up sealing the deal for their sentencing.  radLink

Have a great day!

Interesting Perspective on Church… by the Unchurched

A friend in the office passed this on to me, and now I’m passing it on to you.  A prominent talk radio host on BBC Radio 1 came across a televised Evangelical Church service and made some fascinating observations about his experience.  You’ll get a good perspective of what at least some people think about their experience in a Church compared to what they see in this video.

Check it out here.

Thanks.

Your Spiritual Act of Worship

I’m working on the message for this morning @ Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church.  It’s been a strange morning because all the kids have been up with me a good two hours before they normally get up.  My 6AM alarm is evidently set on “entire house” or something.  So I’ve been reading some stuff but also hearing “Daddy, the cat was eating your cereal.”

“Malachi, why didn’t you stop her?”

(empty gaze)

“Next time that happens, will you stop her from eating my cereal?”

(contemplation)

“Sure, Daddy!”

I’m working from Romans 12:1-2, where the Apostle Paul tells us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing.  “This”, he says, “is your spiritual act of worship.”  He then goes on to tell us not to be conformed to the pattern of this world but rather to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, which leads to our knowledge of the will of the Father.

This section of Scripture has some great stuff in it, like pearls at the bottom of a great ocean — you dive down, get as much as you can hold and bring it to the top, only knowing that there’s about 5,000 or so more trips you could make, filling your boat with pearls until it sank.*

Because I’m a Worship Pastor, a person who finds as their central ministerial concern the Worship of God by God’s people, I tend to like passages like Romans 12:1-2.  After being at camp all week and then wanting to spend Saturday with my family, I haven’t had the prep time I’d usually like for a message.  Ah, sweet panic.  So — here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Worship starts with God, not us.
  2. Worship always costs us something.
  3. Worship lifts God high and humbles us.
  4. Worship of the one True God stands in opposition to the worship pattern of the world.
  5. Worship brings about transformation, which shapes us for God’s continued glory
  6. Worship of God is exactly what we’re wired to do, yet we resist entire sacrifice because of the fall.
  7. Worship is something we do corporately 1 hour per week and individually 167 hours per week.

I’ve sent the kids back to bed.  Zachary is fighting sleep like a ninja sleep fighter.  Malachi is playing cars and parking them in the garage under the pillow.  Lexi is contemplating the finer things in life, like how loud it is when she kicks her bed and giggles.  And Emily, after being up in the night, sleeps through it all (thankfully).  I’m going to go suit up.  I wonder what’s supposed to be said this morning…

———-

* The irony of a sunken ship full of pearls is that the pearls would end up right where they began — at the bottom of the sea.