A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in and how many want out. Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American G. I.; one died for your soul, the other for your freedom.
‹Tony Blair›
Atlantis: the domain of the Stingray
28Feb
2014
Fri
18:57
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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Prepared

release

I think tomorrow will be the day.

22Feb
2014
Sat
21:45
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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This Looks Fun

Guardians of the Galaxy

21:16
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did This Week, no. 8

here's the new format

It was a week I would rather not repeat. A week from hell. Sickness invaded the house, but the week ended with some recovery. I was able to get some gaming in, and I spent only one day in the office this week.

16Feb
2014
Sun
19:20
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Septuagesima

Matthew 20:1-16

Septuagesima 2014 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Logic dictates that if you want the reward, then you have to do the work; if you want the prize, then you have to run and win the race; if you want the recognition, then you have to do something deserving of that recognition; if you want the grade; then you have to complete the assignment correctly; if you want the pay, then you have to do the job. That’s the way the world works. The works that we do earn what we get, and if we don’t do the work, then we don’t get anything.

It only makes sense, then, that the same kind of thinking would invade how we deal with God, or perhaps more precisely, how God deals with us. If we want something from God, then we have to do something to please God. It goes so far as to say that there are those who want God to demand works of them rather than believing that He gives them eternal life and salvation freely, by grace, without merit, without works, not even by way of works.

15Feb
2014
Sat
23:22
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140215

the day that wasn't

We were supposed to go to Golden today to celebrate a birthday. Some friends of ours that I've known since my days in Gainesville have a daughter exactly one year younger than Robert. We were supposed to go out the Saturday previous, but people were sick. We were to try again today, but different people were sick. Who knows when this will actually happen. Interesting side-note, I know these people from IRC, and there is another family from IRC with a child born on the same day, yet one more year after this girl's birth date.

So, we stayed home. We watched some TV. I played some LEGO Legends of Chima, Laval's Journey on the PSVita. But, more than that, most of us stayed home and relaxed.

I did take a trip out early to give the truck another run. It's still as bad as yesterday, perhaps a little worse. I'm beginning to wonder if the problem really is water in the distributor cap. Maybe I knocked something loose. Maybe water got into something else were there was a crack or something. One thought I have, and my fear, is a bad fuel pump.

Once I got home, Genevieve spent some time away from home to do some shopping. That pretty much rounds out the day.

14Feb
2014
Fri
23:50
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140214

standard Friday

The truck ran pretty good, today. It didn't hesitate at all on the way to church; only a little on the way back home, and that only briefly, compared to what happened on Wednesday.

The day started with writing Sunday's sermon. I got that completed quicker than I anticipated. As I stated on Facebook, "Sermon for Septuagesima done. If there's one thing to be said against the One-year, is that it becomes difficult more quickly not to write the same sermon as you did in years previous, not that doing so is necessarily something to be avoided."

I was home for a little bit before it was time to go to Bible Study. Out to Kiowa for study. There, discussion began on a familiar topic, but that was handled quicker than last week. Soon, we were reading through the Wisdom of Solomon. I think it went better tonight than when we last read from it; it was certainly more interesting.

Home late, it was time for bed.

13Feb
2014
Thu
22:12
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140213

breakfast and a visit

As I mentioned yesterday, I took the van today. While I'm confident that the problem with the truck is water in the distributor cap, I didn't want to lose power because of it as I'm going up some hills. More than that, I didn't want the rough ride to and from Parker.

So, I went to Parker for Bible Study. This is the 7am Bible Study at IHOP. We're continuing through the book of Daniel. What I came to appreciate about these studies is that they are one more avenue of keeping in the Bible; so, the Word of God is ever more in front of me. For breakfast, I had one of the sweet cream-cheese-filled crepes that they've been advertising lately—the one with raspberries. It was very sweet, almost too sweet, but I finished it.

I was able to spend a little time in the office afterward, enough to watch one episode of Eureka on Netflix. Of course, I did some work at that time, finding a direction to go in for Sunday's sermon.

But, it wasn't long until it came time to make my way to Elbert to visit a semi-shut-in member. I was there until 12:30ish.

Back home, and there was time to relax for a while. The rest of the day was fairly normal and (thankfully) boring.

12Feb
2014
Wed
23:32
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140212

typical Wednesday, almost

I headed into the office like any normal day. This morning, it was about preparing for tonight's class, making sure I had a hymn picked for our Vespers service this evening. There were some other things to think about during to day, too.

I was able to leave the office a little early today and get to the car wash to clean out the engine compartment. I was able to spray much of the gunk out of there now that the valve cover gasket has been changed. Unfortunately, I must have gotten some water in the distributor cap. The truck hesitates at times to accelerate and is a little rough at time at speed. Oddly, it idles as smooth as it did before spraying (though it may be a little rougher at times; it's hard to tell). I drove it a bit and let it run in the driveway when I got home to hopefully let it warm up and stay warm in an attempt to dry it out a little faster.

It was quickly time to head back to church for class. We finished Article IV in the Solid Declaration and decided that it would be better to break now before Lent rather than starting a new article next week, breaking, and then resuming our study of that article after Easter. It's hard to believe that Ash Wednesday is in three weeks.

On the way to church, the truck seemed to run fine until I dropped into second gear turning onto the road where the church is. Then, it started hesitating again. It did it again on the way home turning onto my street. So, I think things are improving. Still, I think I'm going to take the van to Parker for the 7am breakfast Bible Study.

11Feb
2014
Tue
22:32
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140211

two kids and a movie

So, the morning came, and I headed into the office. Before I left, I let Genevieve know that there was a 1pm showing of The LEGO Movie that I would like to take the kids to; she said she would have them ready for when I got home.

In the office, I looked at Sunday's lessons. Sunday is Septuagesima. I looked at how I preached the text in the past. While the words are different, it seems that I preached on the justice and fairness of God every time. I have to think of something different.

Back home, and I took the kids to Parker for the movie. They thought that I was taken them to help me with an errand. They were so engrossed in a book in the back of the van that the only noticed where we were when I pulled into the parking lot. Immediately, they knew what we were there for.

For having purchased the game for PS4, I got a certificate for free admission for one, up to $7.50. All three of us were $5 for the show, and they still took the full $7.50 off, so we got in for half price!

I picked up some pizzas for the trip home.

It was a pretty good movie, animated in a style different from the LEGO-themed cartoons (such as Ninjago and Chima)—the LEGOs actually moved like LEGOs! Without spoiling it, if I can, it wasn't what I expected either, with a neat plot.

When we got home, we had some pizza, and the LEGO Movie surprise continued for Robert and the kids. He got first crack at the video game.

It turned into a late night, but it was a fun day altogether.

12:15
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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Load Times

frustrating

I apologize for the weird load times for my site (and the other Möbius sites). I'm seeing times from 7 seconds to nearly 3 minutes for the same page. Something is going on with my host. I have a support ticket in; I have since the 7th, and there is still no response from them. I don't want to be hasty about any decisions I make, but this is not pleasing me at all. All I can say at the moment is bear with it for now. Maybe you'll see the page you're trying to load in 7 seconds (or less!), or it may take a few minutes.

10Feb
2014
Mon
23:30
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140210

happy birthday, Robert

I got up with my alarm this morning, though I suppose I really didn't need to. One of the first things I did was follow a hunch. A couple of days ago, I purchased The LEGO Movie Videogame for PS4 from Gamestop—a physical copy of the game, not a digital download. On the back of the case, the game says it needs 6.1GB minimum of HDD space. To me, that sounded like the game is being installed on the HDD. To this point, I hadn't tried anything with the game, because I wanted it to be part of Robert's birthday celebration, and let him play it on his own profile, but do so after we watch the movie (which I plan to surprise the two big kids with tomorrow). Sure enough, the game installed (mostly) to the HDD. I had read or heard that this was going to be possible with the PS4, but after reading more, I discovered that this is the way it will be with all PS4 games. It's a good thing it has a 500GB HDD in it, though I had thoughts of buying a 1TB HDD at the same time as getting the console.

Breakfast time came and went; Genevieve made pancakes, per the birthday boy's request. Then, we loaded up and headed to the pool in Castle Rock. It was a fun outing; the pool and air were warmer than on Mikaela's birthday. Thankfully, I was feeling better, too, so that helped me to enjoy it more. Molly's growing up, too; she got to swim this time without a swim diaper. She did so well, going potty in the bathroom when she needed to go. She really took tot he water, too.

We didn't spend as much time there this time. I think many of us wore out faster than the previous times. So, a few hours after getting there, we packed up and made our way back to the car.

It was time for dinner, so we went to Red Robin for Robert's free meal. As always, the meal was delicious, and the wait staff was friendly and gracious, as usual.

Back home, and Robert put together the bigger set of his LEGO gifts. Worn out, the little kids fell asleep early on the couch.

9Feb
2014
Sun
22:07
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140209

I hate being sick

I was able to sleep a little longer and better last night. However, I still felt pretty miserable when I woke up.

When we got to church, I told our pianist that I may not chant this morning. I'll start out trying to, but if I stop, then in the parts thereafter where she would normally give me a cue note she would not have to. To my amazement, I felt better as the service went along.

After church, I was supposed to meet with a man who works for Complete Solutions, a financial services company. He is recruiting me to work for him. It sounds like interesting work, though at the same time long, hard work with little immediate gains. I'll have to consider some things in light of other things which may or may not happen. At the very least, I will have learned a lot in the time I spend with Complete Solutions.

After that, it was on to catechesis with a couple of boys from the congregation, one of them being my own. We're making our way through the Old Testament; today's lesson was from Genesis 2, Adam and Eve and marriage.

Finally home, and I was able to veg for a bit and succumb to my Sunday dumbs. I did a little work on the new webpage layout, but not a whole lot.

8Feb
2014
Sat
22:57
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140208

I'm sick

I was feeling it a little yesterday. Today, however, it's on. I've got a cold.

I woke up very early, and the reason was weird. My leg was out from under the covers and my foot felt frozen. I pulled it back under the covers, but I couldn't get it to warm up, even under the electric blanket. My stomach started to rumble, so shortly before my alarm would normally go off, I was out of bed.

When I got upstairs, I took some medicine and began to watch some a show that I have recorded on the DVR: Helix. I got through two episodes before the kids were awake.

So, I got to some more web designing. I got some good work done today on the redesign, though it's hard to tell simply looking at what I've done to this point.

Still, it was slow-going, thanks to the cold. I tried to take it easy as exerting myself tends to wear me out much quicker than normal.

7Feb
2014
Fri
23:26
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140207

pretty typical Friday, except for the study

So, after a day away from the office, the temperatures were remarkably warmer, so back into the office I went. While there, I put together a sermon with the help of a brother-in-office.

Back home for a little while and I did a little more web building. I am finding myself anxious to get it finished and completely published, but I want to take my time and do it right. Though, I still anticipate there being errors when I do finally publish.

It came time to go to Bible Study. We're "supposed" to be studying the Apocrypha, specifically the Wisdom of Solomon, but our study quickly (as in immediately) turned into a topical study about confession, repentance, and forgiveness.

We were back home in time to catch the end of the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Fortunately, we recorded it, so we can watch it in its fullness at another time.

6Feb
2014
Thu
23:01
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140206

here's hoping

Something is going on with my host. So, I hope this entry gets posted. I thought at first that I may have caused it, but I'm thinking that what I was doing happened coincidentally with what happened. So, here goes...

I woke up to bitterly cold temperatures. I went downstairs at my usual time before leaving for work to take a shower, and the temperature outside was -20℉. That forced my hand. I will shower, but I'm staying home today; it's too cold to go outside.

So, at my home office, known as my spot on the couch, I looked over some information for a sermon for Sunday. That seems to be the theme of my work this week. It's a familiar text, but I'm stuck. Sure, I'll preach the same kind of stuff as I did last year, and the year before, and the year before, etc., but I don't want to say the same things (if that makes any sense).

After that, I did a little more web designing. I found a way to make a few more things work. Slowly, the new layout is coming together. Of course, that's when things seemed to go south. I had uploaded some files, reloaded the site, and things worked marvelously. Then, I made a minor change to a file, uploaded it, reloaded the site, and it took forever to load, finally resulting in Error 500: Internal Server Error. Did I break something? I reverted that one file, uploaded it, reloaded, and get the same thing. Well, off-and-on, my sites would work and not work, including what I'm working on, so I'm thinking more and more than the host errors were coincidental with what I had just done. I've got a support ticket sent; we'll see what happens from there.

Other than that, there really isn't much more to write about today.

5Feb
2014
Wed
23:59
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
read/add comments: 1
trackbacks: 0

What I Did Today 20140205

it was a cold morning and a cold night

Brrr. It was cold when I headed to the office. But, in I went. I did some more sermon preparation, so I have a better idea what to do for the sermon, but I'm not totally clear on a route.

Back home for a bit, and I did a little more web designing. The new site layout is coming together quite nicely. And then it dawned on me that I'm going to need to convert the church website to HTML 5 since my site and that site are connected with regard to the sermons. That one should be easier.

Soon, it was time to head back to church for the reading of the Book of Concord. We finished Article III in the Solid Declaration and Article IV of the Epitome. The temperatures really dropped for the hour and a half we were there. According to one member's car thermometer, it was -17℉.

I made it home, though it was tough to see out the windshield; the defrost couldn't keep up with the frosting. Before going to bed, we seemed to have an issue with the cold water pipe going to the kitchen. So, we left a space heater pointed at it, hoping it would thaw.

4Feb
2014
Tue
23:24
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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trackbacks: 0

What I Did Today 20140204

modem and web site

It was an earlier morning for me today. Yesterday, the new modem for the church arrived, so I left a little early to get it set up. It's a good thing I did, too, because the set up did not go smoothly. Thankfully, the customer service technician was able to push the necessary information to the router from her end; she was much more helpful and knowledgeable than the man I dealt with on Friday, even if she didn't know what linux was.

When I finally got to my real work, I pondered the Transfiguration. Sunday is the Transfiguration on the One-Year lectionary.

Upon getting back home, I had to plow through the snow at the end of our driveway that was deposited there by the plow. It must have been about three feet high. So, that called for the use of the snow blower. The driveway cleared, I headed inside to relax a bit. I played a few more games in my NHL 14 Be-a-GM; I'm now four away from the end of the regular season.

Supper was tacos. I was craving them, and Genevieve was kind enough to get the fixings for it while she was shopping.

After supper, I did a little more work on the next version of this site. I did some work with hidden scrollbars and got something of a frontpage put together for the blog. I think it's looking pretty nice, but you'll have to wait to see it in all of it's glory.

3Feb
2014
Mon
22:22
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
read/add comments: 0
trackbacks: 0

What I Did Today 20140203

web designing

I slept in today, as it was my day off. My alarm went off at 5:30, but I fell back asleep and was out of bed at 7.

Upstairs, I watched some news, then went to play some NHL 14 again, edging ever closer to the end of the regular season in my Be-a-GM mode.

Most of the day was spent working on an update and redesign to my site. I got some fonts sorted out and got most of the visible header created. There's still a good ways to go, but I'm getting closer to making this change a reality. I'd give a sneak peak, but I don't want to give anything away, other than, like I said before in a post a long time ago, I am making the switch to HTML 5 from XHTML 1.

2Feb
2014
Sun
22:12
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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What I Did Today 20140202

Vioins and Bach and a Russian

Just over an extra inch of snow overnight necessitated the removal of snow from our front steps and a path to the garage. Having done so, we went to church. There, the gifts were given and received—sins were forgiven.

After church it was time for some catechesis. First, a young lady who eagerly desires to be a communicant member. Next, after some lunch, my son and the son of a couple of other members, who are maybe not as eager to receive the Sacrament.

From the second session, we went to a violin recital put on by a young lady from the congregation. She is a magnificent musician who gifted us with a couple of pieces by Bach and some Russian guy whose name escapes me.

We didn't get home in time for the Super Bowl kickoff, so Robert got to miss the beginning of the debacle that was the Broncos' blowout loss.

Otherwise, the night was uneventful.

21:49
author: Stingray
category: Sermons
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Purification of Mary and Presentation of Our Lord

Luke 2:22-40

The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord 2014 Wordle
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dear hearers, when we first encountered this text 36 days ago, we heard of the presentation of Jesus at the temple as being part of His redemption from Himself as a remembrance that the Israelites were led by the hand of YHWH out of slavery in the land of Egypt following the Tenth Plague—the death of all firstborn sons of man and beast. Leviticus 12 was cited as the method by which firstborn sons were redeemed from YHWH, by the sacrifice of a lamb or a pair of small birds. Upon closer reading of that text, though too close of a reading is unnecessary, it becomes apparent that the sacrifice is not intended to be on behalf of the son, but for the mother:

When the days of her purification are fulfilled, whether for a son or a daughter, she shall bring to the priest a lamb of the first year as a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove as a sin offering, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then he shall offer it before the LORD, and make atonement for her. And she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who has borne a male or a female. And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons—one as a burnt offering and the other as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean. (Leviticus 12:6-8)

The priest makes the sacrifice on the mother’s behalf—a lamb and a turtledove or pigeon, or two turtledoves, or two young pigeons—and she will be clean, or purified.

So, when Mary offers the pair of birds for the sacrifice, unable to afford to bring a lamb (yet still bringing the Lamb), the sacrifice is made for her purification, for having given birth. The sacrifice does not redeem Jesus from Himself, as you heard this man in the pulpit proclaim just over a month ago. For preaching a fact which was in error, he begs your forgiveness. You, however, are still a firstborn son of God by way of His only-begotten Son’s sacrifice on your behalf, reconciled to the Father by the Son, who came in the likeness of your flesh, placing Himself under His law, in order to redeem you to life from death.

1Feb
2014
Sat
22:42
author: Stingray
category: My Ramblings
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trackbacks: 0

What I Did Today 20140201

Sauerbraten

We got another 3 or so inches of snow overnight. It was still snowing, too, when I got up. At about 9am, I finally braved the elements (ha!) to clear the driveway and sidewalk.

It had been a while since I did anything resembling a marathon session of NHL. So, I played several games in my Be-A-GM mode. There are now 10 games left in the regular season in that mode.

As I did that, it was time to start supper preparation. I found an old beef rump roast in the freezer earlier in the week, and I made a Sauerbraten with it. It turned out delicious, along with the potato dumplings and red cabbage.

While supper was cooking (it takes 2 hours for the roast to simmer), we got another inch or inch and a half of snow. It looks like I'm going to have to do a quick shovel in the morning. No problem.