Dan’s Online Diary 

# 30.4.03 by Dan
Possum Bourne, an icon of New Zealand motorsport, died this morning. Head injuries sustained during a course inspection drive were of such a severity that intensive care staff could not do anything to, and his life-support was turned off yesterday. He remained in an induced coma until 01:00am this morning, when he passed away. I think that this tragedy hits some New Zealanders harder than the death of Princess Diana. Possum was a truly nice guy, and did a lot of good work for NZ motorsport, collecting many rally championship titles, etc.

Michelle is out teaching a Girls Brigade class how to fold napkins properly. Random, but true.

Isn't it funny how social drinking is potentially anti-social? - especially in NZ culture.

On the topic of motorsport - I've been driving too hard and too fast lately - gotta check myself.

# 30.4.03 by Dan
Yeah, I know. I changed it again. What else is there to do when theres nothing else to do?

Went around to Scotty's tonight. Given the fact that a positive change in this country's leadership is not likely to come though political efforts, we discussed alternatives. Might have a rant about them later.

...but now, its off to bed!

# 29.4.03 by Dan
I often wish I wasn't a computer geek.

I feel that as long as I am stuck here behind this desk with only technical matter to fill my mind, my literary prowess (or lack thereof), shall at best simply plateau, but in reality, will fade. I have not the time to read, nor do my work or study call for it, alas.

The air has cooled with the fall of the sun. Noticable even in my air-conditioned office.

A spider-plant awaits relocation on the kitchen bench. It will eventually assume pride of place on my desk here at work. I like plants at work.

Have just received word that Michelle and Corina are on their way to pick me up - best be packing up my PC and other stuff. Might check in on you all later this evening.

Listening to: Thievery Corporation - The Richest Man in Babylon. (and other tracks from 'Lazy Sunday 3'). Am also enjoying the Mercury Rev track - Holes. Dirty Vegas - Days Go By(Acoustic) is a good listen also.

# 29.4.03 by Dan
You soooooo have to see this.

A search for 'Unusual commandments' finds my blog. Most unusual.

# 28.4.03 by Dan
I must say, I wasn't intending to post in my blog right now, but my wife appears to have been detained at her bible study, and is not yet home, so thought I could just jot down a few things in the meantime... but whaddaya know? I hardly finish my sentence and she walks in the door.

Hung out with Muffy this evening - went round to his place - played playstation, and perused parts of his flatmate's recently restored BMW R100 motorcycle, which I must say looks totally awesome. Midnight Club II comes out mid-May, and looks promising - Muffy and I have totally hammered the first Midnight Club - and still have an awesome time playing capture the flag, and number II reportedly has even more cooler features than I (you can check it out at the RockStar website.)

Anyway, must away - time for a cup of herbal tea, and then to bed.

# 26.4.03 by Dan
For Sale: Korg DDM-110 - vintage digital drum machine (circa 1985) - offers

# 26.4.03 by Dan
I know, I'm a slacker once again. I did get back on Thursday afternoon, but the prospect of using dial-up from home was such that i just couldn't be bothered blogging until now. It is Saturday morning and i have the house to myself. Michelle has gone out for breakfast with some friends. So....

Since I'm the worlds biggest copy-cat (ask chud), I thought I might follow mhjb's lead and publish this morning's playlist:
Squarepusher - My Red Hot Car
Tears For Fears - Everybody wants to rule the world
Portishead - You find the earth boring (excellent drum entry at about 3:30)
Utah Saints - Power to the Beats
Thievery Corporation - So Com Voce
Aphex Twin - Born Slippy [Pink Floyd Remix]
Beastie Boys & Cypress Hill - So Whatcha Want?
BT - MadSkillz Mic Cheka
Cutting Crew - I just died in your arms tonight
Massive Attack - I Against I [feat. Mos Def] (excellent excellent track)
Madness - Our House in the Middle of our Street.
Sum 41 - Fat Lip
A-ha - Take on Me
...and some other stuff - its all a bit old, but good music doesn't go out of fashion. :)

Had a good few days away. Went to Whitianga - one of the nicer parts of New Zealand. Hot Water Beach is most excellent. There is a thermal spring that exits up through the sand, and at low tide you can dig a hole in the beach and it fills with lovely warm water for you to relax in.
It really was good just to get away and do nothing for a few days - no work, no housework, plenty of time to spend together, plenty of beautiful sights to see.

Went out for dinner on Thursday evening. La Porchetta is an excellent place. Good service, very reasonable prices (much more upmarket than Denny's - ie: nicer decor, service, food, everything - but similar prices.) - I'd recommend it to anyone. Present were Michelle and I, Adele, Christy, Bonnette, and Michael(Muffy). Something that I found quite amusing - Muffy and I were the only guys there, so when the waitress comes back with two Stellas,(one of them was mine), she, as did I, assumed the other one was Muffy's. But Muffy said - "..this isn't mine - I ordered a Coke". So it was then that we discovered that the other beer was ordered by my lovely wife. Michelle has recently aquired a taste for beer, and this is the first time she has ordered one herself(rather than drinking mine) - I'm so proud.

Having procrastinated enough with this blog entry, you'd think I'd have something interesting to say, wouldn't you? But no... just boring trivial stuff.
And I have some graphic design work to do for my sister and a few others. And I have to see if I can download some hardware diagnostic tools from the IBM website so I can sort out some problems with a pair of IBM ThinkPad 700 series laptops that belong to friends of mine, and don't seem to behaving as they should.
So, best be on my merry way - have a good weekend, ya'll.

# 20.4.03 by Dan
Listened to a message by Peter Owen on Saturday morning. He was giving a series of talks entitled 'The Gospel and sharing our faith'. I found the first message - 'What is the Gospel?' - very interesting, and so I'd just like to make a few comments, if you'll bear with me.

I thought it was very helpful, in that it brought to light an aspect of the gospel that we seem to have forgotten lately. All too often we think of Christ's work as simply that he was sent to die as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
But if you look at Romans 5:12-21, Paul clearly draws a parallel between Adam and Christ - by Adam's disobedience and consequent fall into sin, we too, as Adam's descendants, have that sin accredited, or imputed to us. The concept is called Federal, or Covenant theology. So in the same way, just as sin came to us through one man's disobedience, through one Man's obedience is our debt of sin cleared - through Christ. But it wasn't merely Christ's death as an atonement that is accredited to us. For indeed, if this were the case, we would be made righteous before God through Christ's death, but going forward, we would still have to be very careful that we do the right things in order that we do not fall away, or lose that righteousness. As well as, and of equal importance, as his death, Christ has imputed to us His life. His perfect, sinless life has been transfered to us in the same way that Adam's sin had been transfered to us.
So you can see that we do not need to live under any fear that our present or future sins will have any reckoning when it comes to our salvation. Christ has died for us, yes, but he has also lived for us. He lived the perfect life that we needed to have lived to be made righteous before God. And He's already done it - so we can have complete and full assurance of our salvation.
Its interesting to quote some other Reformation-type sources here:
The Westminster Confession of Faith says,
'By his perfect obedience to God's law, and the unrepeatable sacrifice of himself, which he offered up to God through the eternal Spirit, The Lord Jesus has fully satisfied the justice of His Father. ...'.
Here, His obedience is mentioned ahead of his act of sacrifice.
The Baptist Confession of 1689 says:
'This office the Lord Jesus did most willingly undertake, which that he might discharge he was made under the law, and did perfectly fulfil it, and underwent the punishment due to us,...."

The Heidelberg Catechism says (I really like this bit):
'Q. How are you right with God?
A. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.
Even though my conscience accuses me of having greviously sinned against all God's commmandments and of never having kept any of them, and even though I am still inclined toward all evil, nevertheless, without my deserving it at all, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me.
All I need to do is to accept this gift of God with a believing heart.
Oh, and I very, very do.

So where does the law then fit into all this?
Well, I guess it doesn't - law has never been a measure of our salvation. The Western concept of 'law' can be understood as a bunch of 'rules' that one must abide by. But the Eastern concept - and to this day this holds - of 'law' is 'Torah', or teaching. So you can see that to live in obedience to the law is not to simply abide by the 'rules', but it is to subject one's self to the ever-ongoing process of learning, from the 'teachings'. This, in my opinion, makes Christianity so much more 'doable' (for want of a better word) - we don't need to 'do' anything - it has all been done, and secondly, we don't need submit to a list of rules, we just need to grow in the teachings of Christ. This came as a real comfort to me. But its kinda weird, cos i sorta already knew it, but I guess its just another step in my growth under the teaching.

Peter's second message in the series - 'What exactly has Jesus commanded us to do?' - was equally enlightening, speaking for myself, anyway.
The crux of this message, was the the fact that we all too often misread 'The Great Commandment' in Matthew 28:16-20.
The mistake is made in emphasising the words 'go' and 'all nations'. The actual emphasis should be on 'make disciples(learners)' and 'continue teaching'. 'go' can be better interpreted not as an actual single action - like to 'go' on a missions trip, but rather, 'as you are going' - like as you go about your daily lives. Secondly, 'disciples' should not be interpreted as 'believers'. There were many disciples who turned away - John 6:66 records that many disciples turned back and no longer followed Him after he taught on his flesh and blood being the bread from heaven. Judas Iscariot is another example of a disciple never converted. Making a disciple is a lifelong process - conversion is simply(but significantly, don't get me wrong) a point along the path of discipleship.
So, this ultimately means we shouldn't just rush up to complete strangers, share the gospel, and then dash off to the next person. We should recognise where someone is at, and seek to establish a friendship with them, and in a loving, caring manner, meeting them where they are at, we should seek to reveal Christ to them. Sure, some people can hear the gospel from a complete stranger and repent and believe, but that is not, in my opinion, what Jesus is intending us to do when He gives us the commandment in Matt 28.

So, what does this all mean to me?
I'm going to have more confidence across the board, in the knowledge that Christ's perfect life now covers my own entirely faulted life. And through this understanding, the Gospel is clearer, and, I believe, will make more sense to the average non-believer. Also, I realise that through my relationships with others at work(and other places), I have already begun the work of discipleship, despite the fact I am yet to share the gospel with them. But at least now I know I'm actually already part way down the track to discipling them.

In other news:

- I lit a fire tonight, for the first time this year. We have an open fire. I like them so much better than the closed slower-burning types. You get the smoke wafting out into the house, adding a nice aromatic character to the place. You get the lovely crackling and popping sounds that are noticeable absent from the closed fireplaces. You get to see the flames better - watching flames has to be perhaps one of my favourite sit-around-and-do-nothing pastimes. You get to play around with it - its not closed up in a box. Plus more other stuff. So you can see that an open fire is just so much more better than a closed one. He he - if you listen carefully, you can hear the shouts of disagreement from the environmentalists who lament the burning of fossil fuels. Sorry guys, while you're huddled outside in the cold, in the pouring rain, chained to some tree, I'll be stretched out here in the warm and dry on my tiger-skin-print beanbag, basking in the warmth and beauty of God's created flames. I know that was a bit harsh, sorry environmentalists.

- I'm getting fat. I confess my weakness of late, especially with the considerably more accessable quantites of chocolate as provided by this time of Easter. What in the world chocolate has to do with the Son of God taking upon Himself the sins of the world, I'm not quite sure. I guess I can kinda understand that the eggs can symbolise new life, as brought about by Christ's resurrection - but why chocolate eggs? Whats wrong with the ones a chicken makes, or any other egg laying animal, for that sake? And rabbits - where do they fit in? Everyone knows real rabbits aren't made of chocolate - so whats with that? And rabbits don't lay eggs, so theres no connection there. Hmmm. I smell commercialism. Its just like the jolly chap in the red suit with the black gumboots that turns up around about the time that we celebrate Christ's birth. Was he like the innkeeper who is feeling bad about the fact that he couldn't give our Messiah a place to be born, and so has come back to haunt us? I dunno, but he's surely too well padded to be one of those hard-case shepherds. He sure don't look much like an angel either(not that I've ever seen one myself). So again, where does he fit in? Seems to me like he's just a harmless version of what Christ should be. People aren't intimidated by Santa(which is an anagram of 'Satan', by the way), cos they don't feel bad about the fact that they're ignoring the fact that he died for their sins everytime he comes to mind. Plus, SatanSanta sells. Some 2000 year old dead guy is just far too solemn a concept for what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Anyway - I'm getting fat, was the point. I need to start running or something. Might have to put it off until all the chocolate has gone, though.

- If you've read this far, you're doing better than me!

- If you've read this far, you're doing even better still!

- I'm off to bed now, I have to drive away tomorrow. Michelle and I are going on holiday for several days. Its a surprise, we haven't told us where we are going. We're just going to drive until we get there and then we'll know where we were going. Could be anywhere really. We have no idea. So if the blog lapses for a few days, don't despair - I'll be back praps at some stage before the end of the week. Until then, think of stuff to challenge me with and give me a Shout Out!

Take care - love you all.

# 19.4.03 by Dan
Some more interesting searches that have found my blog:

- this search was for 'how to get rid "sunburn tan lines"' - and my blog was the only result!!!
- this one and this one are more punters looking for the love letter from 'A Knight's Tale'.
And you know whats funny, as long as I keep posting information on searches that have found this blog(as above) - other people who perform those same or similar searches will only be more likely to be sent here! cool, huh?

Went to Rotorua yesterday for a family get-together on the 10th anniversary of my grandmother's passing. It was the usual good time had by all, with lots of BBQ'd meat, old music(from Led Zepplin, to the Boomtown Rats, to Steve Miller Band etc) and long phone calls to those who were unable to make it. I do feel a bit sorry for Michelle, she's a bit too quiet to fit in comfortably with us loud lot with our warped senses of humour.

Kangaroo Jack looks like a stupid movie.

# 18.4.03 by Dan
I was walking Queen St (something that I do nearly every day, often gets my thoughts rolling, just strolling) and I saw something that, for some reason warmed my heart...

Queen St has lots of buskers - some are homeless people virtually begging for money, while others are serious artists, advertising their CDs while they entertain. However, I have recently noticed one young chap - I'm figuring he's a student at the nearby University of Auckland - who looks quite young, like first year or something. He's clean and tidy and he strums his guitar in a passable fashion, and sings just loud enough that you know he's singing, but just quiet enough that you can't pick the song unless you really concentrate. He'll gain confidence, no doubt.
There's another busker, at the other end of the scale, usually outside Border's bookstore up by Aotea Square. This chap - Gerrad is his name(I know this because he actually came along to our church for a while, many years ago) - is of part Maori/Polynesian descent, is unkempt, unruly, and fancies himself as a freestyler, rapping straight from the top of his dome. Without meaning to sound mean, and making myself available to be corrected at anytime, I would say that Gerrad is not in secure possesion of all his marbles. Whether as a result of substance abuse, or otherwise, he doesn't appear to be playing with a full deck. Gerrad spends his time waving his free arm around (his other is holding a virtual microphone) whilst from his mouth issues a stream of words that actually sound like they rhyme, but rather than coherant sentences, they tend to be simply short strings of 'street' slang and sayings - gleaned from popular('popular' is sometimes a matter of opinion when it comes to rap) rap music - concatenated at random.

... for some reason warmed my heart. Sitting there on the pavement, was the clean tidy guitarist, strumming away with a grin, while bobbing around like a boxer beside him was Gerrad - they were very obviously performing a cover of Vanilla Ice's 'Ice Ice Baby'. I don't know what it was, maybe Gerrad's boldness had masked some of the young chap's uncertainty, but they were both having a really great time together. And the concept of this unusual collaboration intrigued me. There was just something really positive-feeling about the sight of these two unlikely characters working together. For a split second I felt like joining in, but a chap in a suit making their duo a trio could quite possibly have been too much for the universe to handle, and all existence may have ceased abruptly at that moment. Maybe another day.

# 17.4.03 by Dan
>extreme ironing<

Something I meant to include in my list of thoughts the other day:
Have you ever noticed that if you're walking through town and there is a particularly attractive woman around, there will be as many women as there are guys 'checking her out', if not more? Whats up with that?

# 17.4.03 by Dan
The test went well, I had a ready answer for each question. However, confidence is only one thing, giving the correct answers is another!

Was walking back down Queen St to work yesterday after my test, and bumped into a lovely Hare Krisha chap named Kyran(assumed spelling here). He offered me a book in exchange for a donation, but I already had the book he was offering, would you believe. So I asked him a few questions about his faith. I discovered that they seem to have ideas that parallel those in scripture.
They believe that Srila Prabhupada gave an accurate word-for-word translation into english of the Bhagavad-gita from Sanskrit. And that by his life and teaching(Srila Prabhupada, that is) we can have assurance that all that is written in the Bhagavad-gita is accurate, trustworthy and infallible - therefore we are able to live by it. I feel that this parallels the fact that Christ came down to earth as both God and as perfect man, and by His life and teaching as recorded in the Bible, we have perfect revelation by which we can live a life pleasing to God. They are also aware of the fact that mankind is corrupted by the 'desires of the flesh', but they seek to overcome this by gaining a great spiritual awareness(not sure of the details), rather than recognising the fact that we cannot help ourselves, and must rely entirely on Christ for our salvation from our sin.

Theres other stuff in the net - heaps of it. I'm making an effort to talk to the Hare Krishas that I see on the street - and to remember their names and ask them questions too.

# 16.4.03 by Dan
I have a test in an hour or so for this paper. I get the feeling I'm going to do either reasonably well, or very poorly. I have no idea.

A pidegon flew down our chimney yesterday, and was there to greet us from being the fire-screen when we arrived home after work. The poor thing wasn't that keen on flying out the door, and was also obviously unfamiliar with the concept of 'ceilings', to the detrement of its poor head. She managed to calm down enough to sit still and then hop onto a rolled-up newspaper, whereby I was then able to carry her outside.

The concept of small space-framed car with a pair of race-tuned Suzuki GSX-1300R engines driving the rear wheels entered my head briefly while I was at lunch. How would you couple/match the power from a pair of engines to provide balanced drive to the rear wheels? Then I thought - well isn't that pretty much just a Lotus ? ... and then the thought was abandoned

# 15.4.03 by Dan
Someone else looking for the love letter from the movie "A Knight's Tale". Maybe I should offer it here on my blog.

# 14.4.03 by Dan
you simply must look at this.

# 14.4.03 by Dan
Someone else is looking for info on the casio fx6500g. And they're in Portugal, too. Cool - huh?.

Some thoughts:
- Its never too late. It just means you have to try a bit harder sometimes.
- ihtz phunn too kommite fonettik phalunnees

# 13.4.03 by Dan
Had a really good dinner out last evening. First time I've been to a smorgasboard in a while. Smorgasboards are good, as you have such a great selection. But then, on the other hand, the selections is so good you have to try everything. I really wanna write some more because going out for dinner is all about the company, not the food, but i just don't have time right now.

I'll leave you with this:
The lads came gayly back and went at their sports again with a will, chattering all the time about Tom's stupendous plan and admiring the genius of it. After a dainty egg and fish dinner, Tom said he wanted to learn to smoke, now. Joe caught at the idea and said he would like to try, too. So Huck made pipes and filled them. These novices had never smoked anything before but cigars made of grape-vine, and they "bit" the tongue, and were not considered manly anyway.

Now they stretched themselves out on their elbows and began to puff, charily, and with slender confidence. The smoke had an unpleasant taste, and they gagged a little, but Tom said:

"Why, it's just as easy! If I'd a knowed this was all, I'd a learnt long ago."

"So would I," said Joe. "It's just nothing."

"Why, many a time I've looked at people smoking, and thought well I wish I could do that; but I never thought I could," said Tom.

"That's just the way with me, hain't it, Huck? You've heard me talk just that way -- haven't you, Huck? I'll leave it to Huck if I haven't."

"Yes -- heaps of times," said Huck.

"Well, I have too," said Tom; "oh, hundreds of times. Once down by the slaughter-house. Don't you remember, Huck? Bob Tanner was there, and Johnny Miller, and Jeff Thatcher, when I said it. Don't you remember, Huck, 'bout me saying that?"

"Yes, that's so," said Huck. "That was the day after I lost a white alley. No, 'twas the day before."

"There -- I told you so," said Tom. "Huck recollects it."

"I bleeve I could smoke this pipe all day," said Joe. "I don't feel sick."

"Neither do I," said Tom. "I could smoke it all day. But I bet you Jeff Thatcher couldn't."

"Jeff Thatcher! Why, he'd keel over just with two draws. Just let him try it once. He'd see!"

"I bet he would. And Johnny Miller -- I wish could see Johnny Miller tackle it once."

"Oh, don't I!" said Joe. "Why, I bet you Johnny Miller couldn't any more do this than nothing. Just one little snifter would fetch him."

"'Deed it would, Joe. Say -- I wish the boys could see us now."

"So do I."

"Say -- boys, don't say anything about it, and some time when they're around, I'll come up to you and say, 'Joe, got a pipe? I want a smoke.' And you'll say, kind of careless like, as if it warn't anything, you'll say, 'Yes, I got my old pipe, and another one, but my tobacker ain't very good.' And I'll say, 'Oh, that's all right, if it's strong enough.' And then you'll out with the pipes, and we'll light up just as ca'm, and then just see 'em look!"

"By jings, that'll be gay, Tom! I wish it was Now!"

"So do I! And when we tell 'em we learned when we was off pirating, won't they wish they'd been along?"

"Oh, I reckon not! I'll just bet they will!"

So the talk ran on. But presently it began to flag a trifle, and grow disjointed. The silences widened; the expectoration marvellously increased. Every pore inside the boys' cheeks became a spouting fountain; they could scarcely bail out the cellars under their tongues fast enough to prevent an inundation; little overflowings down their throats occurred in spite of all they could do, and sudden retchings followed every time. Both boys were looking very pale and miserable, now. Joe's pipe dropped from his nerveless fingers. Tom's followed. Both fountains were going furiously and both pumps bailing with might and main. Joe said feebly:

"I've lost my knife. I reckon I better go and find it."

Tom said, with quivering lips and halting utterance:

"I'll help you. You go over that way and I'll hunt around by the spring. No, you needn't come, Huck -- we can find it."

So Huck sat down again, and waited an hour. Then he found it lonesome, and went to find his comrades. They were wide apart in the woods, both very pale, both fast asleep. But something informed him that if they had had any trouble they had got rid of it.
...nuff said.

# 12.4.03 by Dan
I get really quite annoyed with those pop-up 'advertisements' that state : "Warning - Your computer is currently broadcasting an Internet IP Address. With this address, someone can immediately begin attacking your computer."
Of course my computer is broadcasting an IP address!!!! How the @!#& else is it going to communicate with other devices???? Do they think we're idiots or something?
With this IP address, someone can immediately begin attacking my computer, but then, that someone doesn't actually have my IP address - they only have the external IP address of my lovely firewall. My firewall then forwards any traffic to the actual IP address of my PC (via the proxy server, to be precise) without telling the outside world what my IP address is at all.

# 11.4.03 by Dan
Yesterday afternoon I received my first haircut for the year. That really is a milestone. I'm sure my hair is so much more economical than other people's hair.

Question: What is a b**t**d exactly?

Quite often we ask ourselves hard to answer questions, like, "What is a b**t**d?"

And we wax philosophic with metaphysical postulations, incomplete aphorisms, and inconsistent sophisms that make one more and more sure that the only true thing is that a picture is worth a thousand words.

In this photo, the guy on the right is a member of a bomb squad in the middle of a deactivation.
The guy behind him, well, he's a b**t**d.

Pardon the expletives - but it just didn't work without them :(

# 10.4.03 by Dan
The weirdest thing - I just looked out into the harbour, and instead of seeing the murky greeny brown water with its rubbishy oily slick, I saw straight through crystal-clear water to the bottom - not the yucky sludgy bottom you'd expect, but a pristine pebbly expanse. But before I could investigate further, I realised the sun playing on the rippled surface was playing tricks with my eyes, or rather my mind.... and the perfect vision was snatched way...... sealed up as but a memory.

# 10.4.03 by Dan
'hear you me'
- jimmy eat world - jimmy eat world/bleed american

there's no one in town i know
you gave us someplace to go
i never said thank you for that
thought i might get one more chance
what would you think of me now?
so lucky
so strong
so proud
never said thank you for that
and if you were with me tonight
i'd sing to you just one more time
a song for a heart so big god wouldn't let it live
may angels lead you in
hear you me my friends
on sleepless roads the sleepless go
may angels lead you in...

# 10.4.03 by Dan
Thank you ladydusk, for your link.

Interesting searches that have come here:
- If you search for 'the poem from the movie "A Knights Tale' in Yahoo!, this blog is in the top 20 results!.
- A google search for casio fx-6500g finds this blog also. I have the full manual (in English), if anyone wants me to scan some pages for them.
- Pants Vandal (a news article I linked to recently)
- 'online diary creation' in google. No doubt there will be more - I submitted my site to google yesterday, and added some crap ... stuff to the meta tags.

# 9.4.03 by Dan
I'm re-living the glowing ferry building experience.... and making more random backgrounds.

# 8.4.03 by Dan
Stop-starting through the cancerous pea-souper, crawling along the motorway, away from the city - I began to think, of all things, of love. Perhaps being touched by the beauty of God's sun touching His creation, I move on to consider the plight of man, made in His image, who knows? But back to love. I had a bit of a think, and came to the conclusion that it is possible only to speak a greeting to a stranger, or briefer still, to but gaze their way for a few seconds, and experience enough of their person, catch a sufficient glimpse of their self to be able to connect with them (albeit initially a half-duplex connection) in such a way as to truly love them. I do not doubt this. And the more this thought seeps through my conciousness, the more I see the need to develop those brief connections - establishing a high-bandwidth, full-duplex connection, by which our data might be shared, sending and receiving information of encouragement, of joy, of sorrow, of peace, of strife, of warm sunny days in the company of friends, of whiling away wet winters alone, of genesis, of birth and of death, of everlasting life, ..... of love.
And so as the life-swelling data is shared, the network expands; new connections are made, existing connections are widened, broken connections re-established.
....and the sudden bright red glow alerts me to the fact that without the immediate intervention of my right foot, my blue bumper will form an undesirable connection with the white bumper in front......

# 7.4.03 by Dan
I am just looking out my office window and am struck by what I see. The muted blue of the harbour under a clear dusk sky, but rising up beside me, the glowing pillar of the old ferry building, still caught by the sun - its terracotta hue glowing bright amidst the dulling day, in plain strong contrast. But even as I finish my words - the sun sinks - the ferry building is extingushed - vanishing back into the city where it belongs..... becoming just another building until tomorrow, when, once again, as the sun departs, it shall extend a single, brief moment of glory to the old ferry building... I love autumn........

# 6.4.03 by Dan
'Tis a crazy world we live in. Here under this sky, the smallest can become the biggest, a curse can become a blessing, rights can be made wrongs. All in the space of split seconds. And I don't know why. I think if I did have the capacity to know and understand these mysteries, my head would simply explode.
And speaking of the sky - haven't you ever just looked up beyond the towering columns of cumulus, to the wispy white waves of cirrus.... and just longed to be able to jump up there, and race about.... exploring a sunset from within and without the clouds - commanding the heights attainable only from within the uninspiring confines of an aircraft cabin. To fly..... oh, to fly.

Due to this blog being endorsed in a recent posting of Sarah J's, hits have increased. If only there we something worth reading here, perhaps. Maybe I should pay someone to keep this place inspiring. For indeed, at present we have but the aimless idlings that eminate from the uneventful life of an miseducated computer geek. Or should that be [()|\/|pu73|2 933|<?

"yes, i lied...... i'm a writer - i give the truth scope!"
- Geoffery Chaucer, "A Knights Tale" (so, not actually Chaucer, but anyway...)
A jolly good laugh, that movie. Not at all serious, but with a smidgeon of historicity, a helping of modern soundtrack, and a liberal sprinkling of most excellent one-liners.

We don't have any kids, but despite that, I went along to a seminar for parents of home-schooled children yesterday morning. Peter Reynolds was lecturing on "The Treaty of Waitangi - A Christian perspective". For those of you who are not New Zealanders, the Treaty of Waitangi was a document drawn up to be a foundation of relationship between the British Crown, particularly the British settlers, and the Maori people, natives of New Zealand present when the British arrived. (Here is a good place to start if you want to learn more).
Its quite interesting to recognise that the settling of New Zealand was the first instance in which the British Crown sought to form a Treaty with the native population. Australia, India, America etc did not have a treaty, so the settling of NZ was something of a social experiment.
I'd just like to write up a bit from the notes supplied:
A Biblical world and life view shows the God of the bible standing above all cultures and races speaking a sovereign word of grace and command to all men. God's sovereignty is absolute over all things. Nothing falls outside of His sovereign providence, nothing catches Him by surprise. There are no facts He has not discovered, there are no events He has not anticipated. Nothing stands apart from God, independent of God, or equally ulitmate with God. Not logic, reason, will, chance, universal principles, fate or even Satan himself. God alone rules! God rules alone.

There is no other paradigm by which we can understand this world. Man has no autonomy or independence in this world, in spite of his instance otherwise. The source of his wisdom and his life is found outside himself. It is found in Another, the Creator to whom all men, as His image bearing creatures, owe their allegiance.

Beacause non-Christians suppress this truth (Romans 1:18) they need to hear it spoken by Christians. Treaty issues give us as Christians a "God given opportunity" to speak of God and show the application of His rule to all the affairs of men and nations.

Treaty of Waitangi issues have not taken God by surprise. He has an answer ready for any who enquire of Him, seeking a wisdom that is not of this world - Biblical wisdom.

As Christians we have obeyed the command to repent of our sins and we now trust Jesus Christ alone for our present salvation and future hope. We must no longer thank as this world does on matters pertaining to this life. We are being renewed in our minds. Our thinking and our convictions are distinctively different from that of the unbeliever. We work for a future reality.

For example, on the question of land ownership. Who is sovereign over our land? God alone is. We enjoy it not as owners but as stewards. We must not think as a Pakeha(Maori term for a person of European descent) or as a Maori, but as a Christian. Its is not Maori land or Pakeha land, it is God's land. This world, this creation, belongs to Him alone. We must be willing to count all things lost for the sake of Christ. This should be our attitude in heart and mind. Everything we "have" we share willingly because we don't really have it at all. Thjis includes the land. This is not our home. Our home, our land is a future reality.
There is more, but I felt that the above was a very helpful and concise summary of where we should stand when we look at issues of dispute between the signatories of the Treaty of Waitangi.
I have notes of the historical progression leading up to, and subsequent to the signing of the Treaty, but I'm sure you can find that starting at the link above.

# 4.4.03 by Dan
Our humblest apologies are extended to the indignant but forgiving Richard D. Bartlett, for the most defamous statement expressed by this committee, in haste, with regard to the tableness of the aforementioned Mr. Bartlett's blog code. Upon examination, we formally retract our statement of ignorance, for indeed all traces of tables have been duly eradicated from Mr Bartlett's HTML code.
However, it is to be noted that Mr Bartlett's most recently deployed project, found here, is riddled with tableness. His avid and remarkably enthusiastic implementation of CSS is to be commended however, and the members of the 'Table Eradication' select committee, meeting here at the inaugral assembly of the Council of More Proper Web Implementation, would like to extend to Mr Bartlett the offer of indemnity against further action, provided he continues to do pretty much whatever he wants.
It should be recognised that the prompt and thorough cooperation of Mr Bartlett in dealing with this matter would indeed be of great benefit, not only to us here at the Council of More Proper Web Implementation, but also to just about anybody else who has bothered to read this far.

Time to stop this and do something else

# 4.4.03 by Dan
Yes, you have come to the right place.

Have just completed a brand new look for the blog. Not as cluttered as the old one. Hope its a bit brighter and easier to read. It was inspired by tom chi's site, although it has come out looking nothing like it, which is probably a really good thing.
Sorry for all of you who missed the drag-and-droppable 'The Cheat'. He's gone already. He may be reincarnated at some stage, as may be my gallery of images (yes, the two pictures down the right hand side were a 'gallery')
Hope you enjoy it - some feedback would be nice.

I managed to do what his royal chudliness was unable to do, in that I managed to do away with tables altogether (if you view the source of this page, you can find two instances of the <table> tag in the code, but they are the automagic ones added by blogger to display the ad banner (which I have vanisheded)(shhhh)). CSS is great. In addition (or rather, subtraction) to there being no tables, there are also no <font> tags, nor are there any <p> tags. I have specified all properties and their attributes as CSS, but have not made the code XHTML validatable - there are a few unclosed single tags in there somewhere (ie: <img src="..." / >) - maybe another day.

Well, since it is after 3am in the morning, and I am getting up for work in two and a half hours, I feel a little sleep could be quite handy.
May the Lord bless you all richly. Goodnight.

# 3.4.03 by Dan
added The Cheat - he's drag-and-droppable, by the way.

# 3.4.03 by Dan
In one of my most infrequent bouts of narcissism, I recently performed a google search on 'dansdiary', and discovered this.
I must say - I do believe this is the first documented instance of dan willis being quoted. Well chuffed indeed.
The search turned up nothing else, except the blog itself.

Anyway - back to work....

# 3.4.03 by Dan
greg has pointed out that many homeless people suffer from mental illness(es). This is something I had noticed, but hadn't considered, if you know what I mean.
Having thought about this point briefly, I'd now like to comment on it, briefly.
It would be most interesting to know whether or not the majority of homeless people who now have a mental illness were displaying symptoms of mental illness at the time they became homeless. Does being homeless encourage the onset of mental illness?(a) or does mental illness promote homelessness?(b) If it is the latter, (b), then we, as society, are in part responsible for their homelessness, for indeed, we have failed to support them. However, (please excuse the fact that I have no expertise whatsoever in this field) I might hazard to guess that many of these homeless people did lead comparatively normal lives up to the point where difficult circumstances have promoted homelessness, and their subsequent poverty, loss of dignity, loss of comfort, loss of friendship, loss of pride, loss of work etc. has affected their mental state to the point where they have become unstable. So this then begs the quesiton : if their dignity, pride, comfort, work, friendship, etc were to be restored, would they regain their mental stability?

But regardless of whether it is (a) or (b) that is true, we all have a responsiblity : to support those in need, whether they are currently homeless, or potentially homeless.
But on top of all this, we must recognise that simply meeting their physical needs is not sufficient to redeem their lives. We must seek to bring Christ to them, for He alone can satisfy their spiritual need. He who is in Christ lacks no good thing.

Enjoyed the first of a series of studies on the 'Westminster Confession of Faith', last night. Given that it is something to which I have sworn my agreeance as a condition of my church membership, I am really in ignorance of much of its content. Basically, our study is a read through with discussion, with the large part of yesterday evening's session being an introduction to the document. Excellent stuff. Will comment on this more at a later date.

# 2.4.03 by Dan
Single Pigeon
- Paul McCartney

single pigeon, through the railing
did she throw you out?
sunday morning fight about saturday night

single seagull, gliding over regent's park canal
do you need a pal for a minute or two?
you do?
me too, me too, me too
i'm a lot like you
me too, me too, me too
i'm a lot like you

did she turf you out in the cold morning rain - again?
me too, me too, me too
i'm a lot like you
me too, me too, me too
i'm a lot like you

sunday morning fight about saturday night

I like Paul's post-Beatles stuff.

# 1.4.03 by Dan
random mistake posting. But i guess since i can edit it, i might as well say something useful.

Homeless people.
They don't have to be homeless. I would say that the majority of them have chosen to be homeless. I want to know why. I need to talk to them, maybe buy some of their old phone cards to give to other homeless people to sell. Yet, i guess giving them money won't help - it will only serve to feed their physical addicitons and will reinforce their welfare-seeking attitude. We need to get creative, and even in this, we will show we truly care.

The war.
Even this evening, I have been berated by a number of my friends for my anti-war vocalising. I'm not anti-war, as much as I am anti-this-war. I believe that there is indeed a time and place to take up arms, but that that time is not now. You'd have to search through my archives for my 'Big Theory', an all encompassing, yet rather thin, imagining of mine, that I am prone to inflict on others if they show even the slightest interest. Maybe I'll even find it for you - here it is. I have refined it slightly since last published, so I might have to re-hash it, and subject you all to it yet again.

# 1.4.03 by Dan
my first attempt at a poem (see below)

# 1.4.03 by Dan
intelligent eyes
deft hands shuffling phone cards
bum on stool borrowed from Mister Minit
at payphone sits
perhaps one still holds some value?
to be sold? or used for oneself?
but who can he call? - who still cares?
furtive glance, catches me - new shoelaces in hand.
embarrassed but why?
my cellphone calls are free
but i keep walking onto and up
the escalator takes me away.

intelligent eyes
scanning this morning's paper
bum comfortable on plastic bench
sun off the harbour warming
a friendly newsagent?
or a couple of dollars left?
what information of desire? what news can cheer?
unwashed body, odour catches me - showered just an hour ago.
guilty but why?
surplus to pay off mortgage quicker
but I keep walking into and up
the elevator takes me away.

intelligent eyes
locked onto the hat
bum on concrete step
dolcet tones in mind, clarinet between lips
once played with pride?
but who listens now?
whos heart is lifted? what audience smiles?
memories of sweet melodies, catch my ear - head full of Goldie.
saddened but why?
$30 album from Sounds
but i keep walking along and up
Queen Street to Wendy's

# 1.4.03 by Dan
If I had broadband, I'm sure the frequency with which I would find my self blogging would be greatly increased. The data throughput rate of my brain is uncomparibly higher than that of my fingers, which, in turn, is considerably higher than the speed at which I can be bothered logging in to update my blog. So you imagine how much data just spills out into the ether whilst I am not connected to my blog. I am such a g33k.

The Party. Well, my urge to write about Friday night's housewarming has been lost, as have gigabytes(potentially) of data I collected at the party. I really enjoyed it. A few people did stay away, but I'm sure that was due to the ill weather - the unwelcome rain put a damper on things. Chatted with a few people I hadn't seen for a while, and also some I hadn't seen before at all. Caught up with Emma Morrison - a friend of Michelle's from way back, and sister-in-law of Michelle's matron-of-honour. Also had a good chat with David (I don't know his last name - isn't that bad?), boyfriend of Charlotte Reynolds, (who, incidently, is the daughter of Peter Reynolds(see post below)). David is from the Solomon Islands, and is studying at Auckland University. A top bloke, who is studying business law, (and marketing too I think). He has a real vision to take his skills back to the Solomon's and use them there. He was telling me that the Solomon Islands have a wealth of natural resources, and could be a very rich nation, but for the fac that they don't have the business skills or initiative, and have spent a considerable amount of time fighting amongst themsleves lately.
Sapporo beer is very cool. Although I haven't found them on the Sapporo site, they come in the coolest cans ever - shiny silver with curves, and are 650mls in volume. Nothing at all distinctive - a very unassuming flavour - yet really tasty and very drinkable. I have one left in the fridge.

I have to go to a lecture now.... you all enjoy the rest of your day.