Dan’s Online Diary 

# 31.5.03 by Dan
its quite windy today - the washing should dry well.

I haven't been writing very well lately, I fear. Messing up fonts and stuff is fun, but I can't see me doing again it unless I'm really bored.
I'm bored now. Not that the font has anything to do with how well I've been writing.
But I can't be bothered with the font thing.
I should be doing other stuff.
But I can't be bothered doing that, either.
Ah well...

There is lots of traffic up and down our drive this morning. I can hear it, but I don't know where its going to/coming from.
If I could be bothered, I'd go have a look.
This is starting to sound like the dullest blog in the world. But then I guess it would not be a true representation of my thoughts if I were to pretend to be un-dull. So you should all be gratefull that I'm being honest and straight-up with you.
I think its best to stop writing when you have nothing else to say, otherwise you just ramble on and those who are reading get really bored too.

I like vacuuming - its really satisifying to stand back and admire the cleanliness of the floor once I have finished. Cleaning the stainless-steel sink with Jif is also very satisfying for similar reasons.

# 30.5.03 by Dan
I've decided that I'm not going togo tramping.

I have a control systems design project due Monday-week, and so I'm going to go into tech to work on it tomorrow.

# 30.5.03 by Dan
'nother early morning. Kinda dumb really, cos I was at work for 15 hours yesterday. Oh well - but it really is nice to beat the traffic.

Is it always good to wisely prioritise? But then, what is 'wise'?
This weekend, a number of my friends are going for an overnight tramp up to The Pinnacles(Coromandel Ranges, New Zealand). I have been invited, and tramping is something I've always wanted to do, but 'other things' have always come up. Now, this weekend it would be great for me to get away from 'it' all, and go tramping. But, I have a project due Monday week, and I would kinda be leaving the praise team in the lurch on Sunday morning (there are other who could do it, its not a big problem, but still). If i were to prioritise in the 'traditional' sense of the word, I would forego tramping and give the more mundane/routine responsibilities a higher priority. That would be considered by many to be the wise, sensible thing to do.
But is it really?
Would it be more wise to give R&R a higher priority? Yes, I hear some of you say - you'll be better able to perform the mundane/routine having had a bit of a break. Well, this appeals to me too. But on the other hand(the third one), is it not better to place the needs of others before your own?

I dunno. I'm tired.

# 29.5.03 by Dan
Call me weird, but I really like getting into work early. This morning I got in at 0630. I was kinda half forgetting the fact that I have to work late tonight, so today could possibly turn out to be a fifteen hour day.
This morning's sunrise has begun - just a blood red glow on the eastern horizon. Clear sky and still harbour promise a most pleasant autumn morn. (that reads like a newspaper headline, doesn't it?).

An exciting project has been bestowed upon me. I am to develop a site builder/content management tool for the creation and maintenance of Lotus Domino websites. Commencement of this task has been the main catalyst in my increased desire to get to work early - I can get stuck into it without any interruptions. Which is kinda ironic if you think that in actual fact I'm just sitting here writing in my blog.(but is it really ironic? or is it paradoxical? or antithetical? - I don't know)

must work now.

# 28.5.03 by Dan
... by-the-way, last Wednesday's test produced a mark of 79%.
Not bad - for me. My current coursework average is 72%, so I'm fairly confident that I'll pass the paper.

# 28.5.03 by Dan
I wrote my last blog entry very early on Sunday morning. Michelle had taken some time out to think about a few things over the weekend, due to certain goings-on over the last 6 months or so. Upon her return on Sunday afternoon, she announced that she would be leaving me - something that I had half-expected, but now it was real and inevitable.
There is some indication that this separation may be temporary, so please pray for Michelle, and for myself, that He will uphold us, and triumph in this struggle against satan, who delights in the downfall of Christian marriages.

I had come into work early today, just to see the sun rise, but even now, heavy fog is rolling in from the north-west, obscuring the other side of the harbour and blocking out any sign of a sunrise. Seems rather fitting I guess.

Sorry to bring this solemn news. I hope even my next post might bear joyous news..... but we shall see...

# 25.5.03 by Dan
Its 02:14 on Sunday. I'm sitting at my desk at work. I just got paged to say that one of the servers (I'm on call this week) was down. So at home I dial up to work and no, I can't see the server. So, I come in here and everything looks fine. Don't you hate that?

I don't want to go home now - I feel like I should make the 20 minute trip into town worthwhile. So, blogging it is.

Our building is right on the waterfront.
I can hear the cheer.
from those near,
drinking beer.
But I sneer,
since I am here
without fear;
but a tear
it does smear
as I peer
beyond the pier
looking there
far and near,
ah, but yet upon this sphere,
not all is yet clear
and while I am sincere
the truth it doth veer
my heart it doth shear
and the doubt here
shall rear
but beyond this ill year
watch it all disappear
for Him we revere
shall again reappear
light bright, sharp and clear
then I, without fear
shall to Him draw near
no earthly veneer
upon me shall adhere
For Himself volunteer
did he to make dear
by coming down here
lending ear
to the jeer.
our cold hearts He did sear
banishing fear
of sin, death - they're not here.
so it all becomes clear.
now we must persevere
as many a year
we've yet here
but rest now, prepare
again, without fear
without tear
He is near,
even here
no fear
my dear

Ahh.... look at that... a poem. (I guess you can call it a poem). A worthwhile trip into town, verily and forsooth.


# 21.5.03 by Dan
Pardon my absence.

My recent performance appraisal brought about one of my objectives for the coming period being set as 'To not use MSN Messenger during work hours'. In light of this, I have also abstained from working on my blog during work hours - leaving lunchtimes and after hours for updating.
I have also had other things crop up that have reduced blogging to now sit several steps further down the priority ladder. Hopefully this might change, but at the same time it is good to know/learn that I am able to prioritise when I have to.

Something that brought me great joy was the opportunity I had recently to buy a muffin for an old homeless man. Seeing his eyes light up the way they did was just amazing(thats not the right word, but anyway), and nearly brought me to tears.
If only I had the courage to do that more often.

I have a test this afternoon - not sure how it will go. It is only worth 10% of the final course mark, so it won't be the end of the world if I bomb.

You all have a great day.

# 21.5.03 by Dan
in sackcloth
in the ashes
head hanging i sit
the world whirling all about
broken fragments swirling
dashing reason to smithereens
grinding truth to dust
meaning a mere murmur midst the klaxon call of chaos

no joy in misery
no pleasure in pain
no release in revenge
no sweetness in sorrow
this world holds no hope

yet my heart is at peace

Your hands hold me up
a bubble against the barrage
Your light shines forth
a road runs through the rubble
Your truth stands firm
reason reigns within my mind
Your plan is revealed
i set my hand to the plough...

# 17.5.03 by Dan
This is a bit of a worry : a dogpile search for 'Led Zepplin and Satan' finds my blog.
It would be interesting to know if the searcher found what they were looking for here, although I seriously doubt it.

Had a big combined youth/young adults group barn dance this evening. A barn dance is one of those things that everyone loves to hate, but secretly really enjoys them. It was a great time of doing stuff with people - I enjoyed it.

<sigh> - now I need to publish the church newsletter for tomorrow morning.. take care now, bye bye then.

# 16.5.03 by Dan
The Matrix Reloaded is raw, unrefined, unadulterated, straight-up pure awesomeness. Although it was as I had expected - more of the same - I was really hanging out for more, and more was what I got. In slow-motion high-speed waves of sense-shattering carnage - in thought-warping twists of virtual-reality - the sheer energy that moved this movie was imputed to the audience with effortlessness. I have never been to a movie where the entire theater cringes and 'Owwwwww's when a character takes a hit in a fight scene - nor have I been to a movie where the audience all stand up and clap at the end. It was severely good.
I think I'd have to see it again to pick up some of the more intricate details of the plot, but hey - I'm not going to complain about seeing it twice. Or three times.

busy day.
must away.

# 15.5.03 by Dan
I really am too busy to write anything today.
I wish I was more philospically literate. I don't know any big words that actually mean anything. For example, sarah j and daniel silliman converse on such things as I have never set ear to before. I mean - I know what postmodernism means, ie: the dictionary definition (wikipedia, even), but what does it actually mean? For one who is oft maligned for the apparently despicable habit that I have of 'thinking too much', I really do lack the means by which 'thinking to much' might be made much more efficient, whereby this heinous habit might be made to consume less of my productive existence. So, as is made blatantly evident by my last sentence, I am reduced to reciting rather ill-fitting and over-engineered tirades that consist of every-day words strung together in such a fashion as to eventually, and with much tedious finger-drumming by the hapless reader, form an expression that can perhaps be released into the wild as something that might ever-so-slightly give just a mild indication of what I'm actually trying to say.

On the subject of thinking too much - this accusation that has been leveled at me of late has triggered a neuron somewhere deep within the grey-matter causing the recollection of a line from a movie. This movie being Ronin - an exceptionally excellent car-chase flick featuring a lead role played by the ineffable Robert De Niro. One of the scenes has Sean Bean saying to Robert DN - "You think too much", to which R DN replies "Thats funny... no-one's every accussed me of thinking too much before". It sounds crap since I paraphrased it because I can't find the actual line on the internet and I can't be bothered watching the whole movie (I have it on DVD) to find it while this blog post sits unfinished. But anyway. Got it off my chest now.

So much for not writing much.

I'm going to see The Matrix Reloaded at 12:01am tonight (technically tomorrow morning). I would be anticipating unprecedented special-effects, but I'm not, merely because the first movie('The Matrix') was indeed that precedent. So I guess I am expected simply more of the same. But even so, if this is the case, I won't be disappointed since 'The Matrix' was awesome. I've often dreamt of the possiblity of a full neural computer interface. A tool by which you can manipulate the mind - learning complex concepts and becoming well practiced in many disciplines at the click of a mouse-button. Further thought on this has raised the following realisation: skill will become worthless. Simply by downloading the right data, anyone will be able to fix their own home plumbing, or do their own taxes, or build their own homes, or teach their own kids(hang on - that will become redundant altogether), or hack into bank computers and defraud Bill Gates of sheer billions. I can see the potential for chaos and anarchy. But, hang on - this is the information age, isn't it? Isn't this where we are heading anyway, just in a Fiat Bambina, rather than a McLaren F1? Give it 10 years and the above information will be available to everyone.
This thought throws me into a quandary. For I have been a big proponent of the 'there is no excuse for ignorance' stand. Surely the opposite of ignorance is to be informed (with information). So the more information, the greater and easy we can up-skill. The more skilled we are the more 'stuff' we can do. Having people being able to do more 'stuff' is not necesasrily a good thing. A prison inmate easily learns how to pick a lock, how to elude the pursuing security guards and, having learnt how to make a fake passport, skips the country, wreaking havoc on society elsewhere. Therefore, too much information in the wrong hands is dangerous. But how can we control information in this internet-empowered age, where something about anything is found with a few strokes of a key and a click of a mouse-button? I hope I'm around in ten years time, just so I'm here to prove me wrong.

I'm concerned that I'm writing too much - that my blog is filling faster that readers can empty it. Perhaps you all need a wee while to mull over these last few day's posts. I know I sure do. Enough from me - Goodnight!

# 14.5.03 by Dan
I'm not happy.
My neck hurts and I have a headache and Wendy's burgers are total crap once they've been re-heated in a microwave.
I am home alone - Michelle is at Girl's Brigade, and Bonnette is not here.

I have some 'things'(thoughts, observations, whatever... probably of little-to-no actual 'knowledge' content (see below)) from today, but shall be reciting them in the most boring fashion cos I'm in a bad mood and I don't care. Not even a bit. Scribbled on the back of my hand, so I don't forget them, are reminders of two incidents I that wish to recall and relate to you this evening.

The first scribbling says 'g on sc'.
This is iminahurryish for 'girl on scales'. You're still none the wiser, so I shall continue. Part of my route from work to car when I go out for tech lectures during the day takes me through the Downtown Shoppping Centre (Aucklanders will be familiar with this, others may not), wherein lies the Downtown Pharmacy. Outside the pharmacy is one of those units that you stand on, and it prints out a little thermally-printed slip of paper that tells you your height and your weight and calculates your Body Mass Index(BMI) or something-or-other. So out of the pharmacy with a $1 coin walks a girl, who stands on the scales and puts in her coin. This was all very well... until I noticed she was wearing heels. Does not the fact that she is wearing heels (not terribly short ones, either) render the purchased results useless?? Why would someone pay money for false data? Well, I figured, She was either trying to fool herself (since increasing ones height without changing ones weight produces a more favourable BMI (and it is much easier to make yourself taller than it is to make yourself lighter)), or she was going to take it to show her friends, and say 'look at me - I'm more better than you'. Either of those two possibilities automatically lead me to make a decision(at least in my own mind) that she is not a very nice person. Upon realisation of this fact I felt most terrible, and nearly rushed over to apologise, mostly to apologise, but also that I might actually interact with her in the hope that she might turn out to be a really nice person who was creating ficticious data as part of a study, or that she was in fact a service techinician calibrating the unit.
Conclusion: My bad mood really does tint my glasses.

The second scribbling says 's h g - limit'.
This is illthinkaboutitlaterish for 'scary homeless guy - over the limit'. You're none the wiser on this one either, so allow me to elaborate. Earlier this year, through some version upgrade or bug fix, or something, I gained an enhanced version of the 'conciousness of homeless people' add-on. See back in my blog for details - I can't be bothered finding the link(s). Now, one of chaps who frequents the CBD is rather tall, rather unwashed, has longish scraggly black hair, and is very scary. He draws on his face with permanent markers, and sits around on benches frightening people. He actually reaches out to grab you, giving out a short sharp bark. I've yet to see him grab anyone, but its jolly disconcerting, nonetheless. He is, quite clearly, out of his mind. Now, this got me back to mulling over the question - is homelessness the catalyst for mental instability, or is mental instability the reason for homelessness? In the case of the scary chap, I really do wonder what would happen if a very brave person of great strength and patience, took this chap aside, offered him a place to live, new clothes, employment and a sense of family - just straight up, no strings, off the bat. Would this semi-imposed sense of belonging, order and sanity have a positive effect on this man's life - on his mental health? Would he find somemeaning in life, beyond simply scaring passers-by?
Conclusion: Who knows, but it would be a most interesting and potentially rewarding venture.

Another thought, not annotated on the back of my hand, but a thought all the same, is this:
'Nice People'. Aren't they simply great? I was walking back to work, and happened apon a colleague of mine walking the other way. This person is perhaps the 'Nicest Person Ever', and after just stopping to chat about trivialites for but a minute, I found myself still smiling at least 5 minutes later, despite my previously dull mood. What makes a 'Truly Nice Person' is determined by too many parameters to think about in this sitting, but I'm sure a great proportion of it has to do with an indwelling of the Holy Spirit in that 'Nice Person'.
Conclusion: I hope I am a 'Nice Person'.

# 14.5.03 by Dan
nato has begun comitting his thoughts to the public digital medium of blogspace. His musings may be found here.

On the subject of thoughts... What is the difference between someone saying "I think I'm going to pass this exam", and "I know I'm going to pass this exam"? What is the difference between 'thinking' and 'knowing'? The concept of 'think' as used above has an unsure indecisive air about it. Where as to 'know' implies one is decisively certain. But surely, if it is what we 'think', then it should be no less certain in our own minds than if we are to 'know' it. Are we all so unsure of our thoughts?
However, having thought about this some more, I have come to the realisation that our 'thoughts' need to be tested and proven before they can be classified as 'knowledge'. Once it is filed away in our minds as 'knowledge', we can then 'know' it. Whilst we are still 'thinking' about something, and until we are satisfied that our 'thought' processes have brought us to a logical conclusion, our 'thoughts' cannot be classified as 'knowledge'.
Although this appears to make sense to me, I am not satisified that this concept has been sufficiently explored, and therefore it still remains a 'thought', rather than 'knowledge' itself.

What would be fun, would be to take the above 'thoughts', and then re-evaluate them having introduced the concept of 'knowledge by faith' - where it is possible to 'know' something beyond a doubt, but that 'knowledge' we 'know' is of such infinite mystery that our rational thought processes are unable to evaluate it.

One of our navy's frigates has just pulled up outside our building - its pretty small compared to the cruise ships that park there over summer.

Anyway - to work

# 12.5.03 by Dan
So far today, three google searches for "Homestar runner" and "Hey Steve!" have found my blog. - excellent!!!

# 12.5.03 by Dan
I haven't said anything since Friday. But alas, the weekend consisted mostly of trivial inconsequencial events of little-to-no blogworthiness.

Friday evening I can't remember - oh, thats right - Michelle was out with her friends, so Muffy and I went for an aimless drive in the Alfa. We drove for 200+kms, and had a jolly good old chat - something we haven't done for a while. Good times.

Saturday found me sleeping in until 1030. Woke up and took the Alfa to get the wheels aligned, which took longer than anticipated due to complications. (read the report.) Stopped by a friend's house on the way home - I haven't seen much of him lately. We were really good friends through tech together - he was my best man, and I his - but since we both got married, and both started working full time, we hardly see much of each other at all, which is a shame, really. But I guess it does make catching up a most enjoyable time.
All this work on the car and visiting friends was, however, merely me postponing the most important task of the day, that being the completion of the second assigment for the paper I am taking this semester. This assignent relies heavily on the use of MATLAB, which I do not have on my PC at home. So after visiting Pete, I went into tech with some other guys and we worked on our assignment together. Managed to get a couple of hours done, but had to dash away to a music team practice for Sunday morning worship. After the practice, I ....

This post is really going nowhere, and is simply a chronological sequence of events with no ultimate point. The gist of it is I went back to tech, ate pizza, did more work before security had to lock the place up (2130), went home and chatted with the dozen or so people who were at my house eating food, stayed up late and then went to bed. There - dealt to it all in one sentence.

Sunday was Mother's Day, a day fast losing its appeal due to the fact that it causes a degree of confusion in 'families' with same-sex parents. Mother's Day discriminates against 'families' where neither parent is the mother. As you can see bymy use of quotes, I would argue the fact that two men or women living together with children can be called a 'family', and I maintain that they should not be treated as such. But alas our 'modern, forward-thinking' government does not share my sentiments, and legislation is fast moving towards giving same sex relationships the same standing as a man and woman living in married relationship. Or rather, they are reducing the importance of a married man and wife to the point where they have no more rights than a de-facto relationship, be it same-sex or otherwise.
In fact the amount of legislation being bandied about at the moment is quite scary - how long will it be before I need to be careful not to breath in a politically incorrect manner, or face becoming a criminal?
They've passed legislation against 'boy racers' - creating outlaws of a significant number of young, impressionable males(and females - girl racers).
Justice and Defense - those are the government's primary tasks. But most money spent is on welfare. Our police force is struggling - we had to borrow 76 officers from the UK - and they're looking at offerring police officers a cash incentive to work in Auckland, since they are so understaffed up here. And defense? - our army has been stripped down to a few SAS soldiers and some peacekeepers. We have no serious air-defence of any means of defending our coastline. A 3-year-old with a toothpick could take us over.
Ah well, these are trying times, but I guess on the up side, the further we slide, the closer we come to revival, and/or the return of the King.

Enough ranting - I best go do something useful now - you all have a good day

# 9.5.03 by Dan
autumn sunrise. red horizon. towering orange east.
pink fingers fluff out across the shallowing blue.
rustling absent. stillness the supreme.
brief shiver from cool air surprise.
but tranquility subsides.
blinking red. murmur swells.
engine warms. joining the ingress.
peace now an echo. stopping and starting.
tires over cats-eyes. rippling. bike buzzes wing-mirror.
bustle becomes norm. fast lane crawls. sleepy passengers.
time wastes. destination realised. short walk. lift carries.
to desk. computer boots. tranquility hits. herbal tea.
from window strong pale sun. blue now built.
harbour as glass. white wisps reaching.
you've got mail. day's chapter two.

This fragmentation experimentation was brought to you by the letter '.' and the concept 'no capitals'.

# 8.5.03 by Dan
Corina has just bought the ultimate chick-flick soundtrack album. Three crazy women are over-prescencing my house, with singing and dancing et al. I might have to lay the smack down if the dust doesn't settle soon. I have temporarily barricaded myself into the corner of the kitchen where I am writing this blog. Althought I must admit, I was getting down to New Order's 'Blue Monday'. Ahhh and now van Morrison's 'Brown-Eyed Girl'. Okay - its not so bad.....
Yeah - it has some good stuff on it actually, might have to steal it and rip it to mp3 (did I just say that out loud?).

An assorted collection of thoughts for/from today:

- You may not believe it, but I'm wearing swimming goggles.

- Hyped up The Alfa Blog this afternoon - inspired by the back of a CD case - namely Out Of Eden - 'This Is Your Life'. Also added info re: work done on the Alfa this last week.

- I have an assignment due on Monday - I have it all worked in my head - just need to get it down on paper. Or rather arrange a sequence of '1's and '0's in such a fashion as they form a file named 'assignTwo.doc' on my harddrive that contains the correct answers to the assignment. I guess, since I have to send it to the printer, my initial 'get it down on paper' statement is correct, but I needed an excuse to waffle on for a bit.

- A Moscow Mule is mighty tasty - vodka, lemon juice and the balance ginger beer.

- Our boss is looking to trial some of these. Since I am the resident Palm Pilot/ guru - more by bad luck than anything else - I'm hoping I might get to play around with it for a bit. I'm a technophiliac - so shoot me.

- Auckland traffic is insane. I often wish I was a police officer so I could ticket all the idiots who don't indicate and so I can educate the clowns who can't/won't merge properly at on-ramps.

- I'm still wearing swimming goggles. <== hehe - gotcha....

- My bean bag has developed a hole, alas. Nothing a bit of sewing can't fix, but still.

- Clutching at straws - all my thoughts have slipped through my fingers - like sand through the hourglass blah blah the blah of our blah.....

- Watched 60 Minutes this evening. They had a report on GM's latest billion dollar hydrogen fuel-cell initiative. They intend to have zero emmission hydrogen powered vehicles in production by 2010. Sceptics have touted it as another 'fad', like their electric car project, which kinda fizzled. Personally, I have slightly more confidence when a vehicle manufacturer talks about moving away from fossil fuel than when a petroleum company talks about developing alternative fuel technology, but I still remain fairly dubious of the whole shebang.

Thats enough rubbish from me, now over to you, for the rest of your evening. Good night.

# 7.5.03 by Dan
The Alfa has earned its own blog(see also new link at right). I will be blogging mileage(from time-to-time), adventures, repairs, enhancements, results(should it ever race) and the like.
I'm probably taking this far too seriously, and the The Alfa Blog will probably wane, but as they say, the proof of the pudding...

# 6.5.03 by Dan
Why Extra-Terrestrials Are A Product Of A Created Mind.
- D. Willis

Introduction and presuppositions : This brief article attempts to examine a few facts and some evidence in an effort to deduce that the concept of Extra-Terrestials (ETs) are a product of a mind that has a created origin, as opposed to a mind that has evolved. The two contrasting 'worldviews' (I'm beginning to not like using that cliche, but anyway..) I will be writing in reference to, are firstly, the concept that man has evolved over an extended period of time - from nothing, to where he is today, and secondly, the concept that man is a created being - created by something that is umimaginably more advanced than mankind. Materials used for reference can never be unbiased, so I shall chose a balance of materials, namely The Bible(as one account of mankind as a created being), and various other internet-based resources relating to aliens. ( * * * * * * - are a few)

Examing the facts : It takes just a quick browse through the links above to see that the popular image conjoured up by the word 'alien' is of a humanoid life form - with two arms and two legs, fingers and toes, walking upright, two unusually large black eyes, hairless, with a large head tapering down to a small pointed chin. Where this image came from, no one is certain, and there are variations, so we cannot categorically state that 'this is what aliens look like'. But we can state the fact that this image is what most people envisage when they think of an alien or ET. An number of points can lead to the deduction that aliens and ET beings are an extension of an evolutionary train of thought. The popular perception is that aliens and ET beings are more highly evolved than humans - Monkeys are real hairy, Humans are not so hairy, aliens are not hairy - Monkeys have a smaller cranial volume, Humans have larger cranial volume, while aliens have an even larger cranial volume - aliens must be able to travel greater distances in space than humans can, (if they are able to reach earth, as is proposed) indicating a higher state of technological evolution - just to present a few indicators of the perceived advanced evolution of aliens.
Based on the above, it is then perhaps reasonable to deduce that evolution supports the popular perception of aliens (or rather, that the concept and perception of aliens is a product of an evolved mind) .
However - the whole concept of evolution is based on the concepts of 'chance', and 'the survival of the fittest'. Evolutionists claim that all living things on earth as they are today, are found in their current states due to random chance, the dying out of weaker species, and the genetic repression/extinction of weaker physical attributes in specific life forms. Having said this, then, and given the complexity of the vast numbers of life forms - delving right down in the the hyper-encyclopaediec mountains of information contained in DNA, the chances that life on earth has turned out the way it is are also infinitely slim. Meaning that were the earth to begin again from scratch, it would be highly unlikely - according to chance, perhaps different ratios of life forms in co-existance throughout the process of evolution, and other factors - that humans would be in appearance, the way they are today, and they would have as much chance of evolving to be the dominant creature as would any of the other life forms that co-evolve by chance.
Therefore, the chance that an alien being from another part of the universe - that has evolved over perhaps an even greater time-span than humans - looking even remotely like a human is of an incalculable magnitude. It doesn't make sense and is most highly unlikely.

To examine the concept of aliens from a 'creationist's' point of view, we need to understand that mankind is seen by the creationist as being created 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, in much the same form as he is today. Man was also created apart from the animals and other creatures on earth. Man's creator had such an interest in man, that not only did he set man apart from, and above the rest of creation, he created man in his(the creator's) own image. Man is of the character of his creator. This account of creation can be found in the book of Genesis, the first book of The Bible. The account of creation is a much-debated topic, and as such, it will only be refered to where necessary for this discussion. Mankind 'fell' from his creator's grace, when the first created man disobeyed the command of his creator. As a result, the whole of mankind suffered from this disobedience, and has struggled against his creator ever since. Man's creator was ont at all happy with the suffering of man, as he loved his creation very much, and as a result, and despite the disobedience of man, the creator had prepared a means by which mankind might be restored to a loving peaceful relationship with him. The creator sent his son, a part of himself, to live a perfect life with mankind on earth, and then to take upon himself the punishment that mankind deserves. Thus, mankind maybe released from his punishment, and can be restored to a full relationship with his creator. Now this is where we need to pay attention - man is in fact aware of the fact that he is a created being in created world. The book of Romans, in chapter 1, verses 18-23, states that :
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles."
The last sentence of this quote shows quite clearly how aliens fit into the mindset of a created being. Man in his rebellion has exchanged the glory of his creator for images made to look like mortal men - namely aliens. Man is pinning his hopes not on his creator, but on another being made in the image of mortal man. Since aliens and ETs are not specfically mentioned in The Bible, a creationist is able to reason that they do not exist, except as a wrong alternative to man's creator. The second part of this sentence, refering to birds and animals and reptiles, is evident in those who seek to place animals rights on a par with, or even before, the rights of created man.

In Summary : So, even from this brief study, it is apparent that the creationist's perspective on aliens is more consistant with reality than is the evolutionist's, since in making aliens in the image of man, he is refuting his own foundational concept of chance and evolution. Therefore, the creationist has a much more realistic perspective on aliens, a perspective that is not only consistant with his foundational beliefs, but is also consistant with reality.

This is a first draft, and will most likely contain many inconsitances and holes, but I believe that the over-arching concept is sound, and I willingly invite any critisism you have to offer.

# 5.5.03 by Dan
Looks like I'm buying an Alfa.
Went to inspect a 1987 Alfa Romeo 33 1.7 QV on Saturday morning. A little rough around the edges but complete and no major issues. An inspection performed by the lovely people at Car Inspection Services this morning really only picked up the things I was already aware of. A few spots of rust around the rear hatch - some DIY bodywork repair (could do with a pair of new front guards and a new bonnet) - a little play in the rear control arm bushes and in the rear wheel bearings - some minor interior faults - reverse lights out, et cetera. But he'll take $1500 for it, and it has new rego and a near new Pioneer head unit. So I think tonight it shall be mine.

Herbal tea. It has been my coffee substitute, of late. Its good stuff

Be prepared for a lot of Alfa-related ramblings, should my purchase be successful.

# 2.5.03 by Dan
I shall transcribe this article from the March issue of 'Classic & Sports Car' magazine:
C&SC reader Ian Hills is a partner in a Russian-based business that carries out such intriguing projects as fitting Rover V8 engines to Volga saloons. Its workshops are in the old NAMI Automotive Research Institute building in Moscow, where several of the confiscated Auto-Union and Mercedes GP cars were allegedly taken at the end of WW2 (News, December). There was talk of a 2900C Alfa, too.
There have always been lots of rumours, says Ian, but nobody is quite sure what, if anything, still remains: "In the NAMI's basement saunas, walking through the labyrinth of passages and rooms of unknown purpose and content, I've often thought how I'd love to be allowed to search the place!"
Classics are an unfamiliar concept to most Russians. Cars are just kept working, like old donkeys, until they disintegrate. But umong the local specialists working within the NAMI is Edward Roytman, who rebuilds worn-out saloons into high-performance machines. His tiny Zaporozhets hatchback is now powered by twin 1000cc Yamaha fours producing 300bhp, and the workmanship is superb.
He's also responsible for a dramatic reworking of an ancient Moskvitch, of the type which was a copy of the pre-war Opel Kadett. Following US hot-rod practice, the car is chopped, channelled and widened, and the original 26bhp sidevalve has been swapped for a 2.5-litre BMW 'six'. Now he's got hold of an early Range Rover, which he's turning into a nitrous oxide-injected sports hatch.
(there are a couple of pictures of both the Zaprozhets and the Moskvitch - if I don't get round to scanning them and blogging them, please just take my word - they are frickin' awesome!!)
Well, well, well. Have you seen 'XXX' - the movie? It has crazy Russians hotting up cars - just like real life, as shown above!
And whats more - read my post from April 16th and you will see that I was already thinking of a small lightweight car powered by a couple of motorcycle engines. (ie: just like the Zaprozhets above)
Man oh man - I wanna be over there - that sounds like my dream job - making fast cars, driving the fast cars, wearing big fur hats, and speaking Russian - oh wow!!!

Oh well - must be time to get out of here - talk to you all later.

# 1.5.03 by Dan
Last night I had the strangest dream - I sailed away to China, in a little rowboat to findya, you said you had to get your laundry clean...
.....but seriously, maybe it was the cheese, but I had three really unusual dreams last night:

Dream One:
<some other stuff I can't remember and then...> ...I was riding, in what was most probably a bus, up a river with very clear water and a clean rounded-rocky type bed (it was very peaceful and the scenery was especially delightful). Went over a few bridges(yes, over, not under - its a dream, okay?) and came to a place in a forest where there were the ruins of an old monastry/cathedral complex thingy. We disembarked, and were standing around when I glanced over at Michelle. Her face was suddenly transfixed with a look of incredible horror and disbelief (it was really scary) as her attention became focused on something just behind me. I turned to look over my shoulder, and saw a ghostly figure darting off through the trees. She said to me something like "I just saw the ghost of Jesus Christ". I was gripped by an eerie chill. That should have been scary enough to make us get back on the bus, but for some reason, most probably because it was a dream and not reality, we had to go exploring in the ruins. I was proceeding down some rough-hewn steps to sub-basement level when I saw the ghost with my own eyes. The ghost looked almost identical to this, only more white and glowingish. It floated around with unimaginable speed - legs not moving, just hovering above the ground - and then rushed straight at me.
I was totally scared out of my wits and awoke with a start, sitting bolt-upright in bed - my heart beating at ninety-to-the-dozen. I eventually dozed off, only to begin ...

...Dream Two:
Possibly due to the fact I was still freaked out by my first dream, I found myself (after some forgotten pre-amble) haring along a narrowish road through a forest in my car (1990 Nissan Skyline). I was wearing a nylon parker/anorak type thing with the hood over my head. Whenever I turned my head whilst cornering etc, the hood would come around and partially obscure my vision. Why I didn't take the hood down, I don't know. Why I didn't just slow down, I don't know either. But due to my excessive speed, and due to the hinderance of the hood, I was having great difficulty staying on the road. For those of you who have been in a car accident, you will know the feeling of terror and out-of-controlness you get split seconds before you crash - I could feel this feeling. Although I don't think I actually hit anything, I do remember losing traction on a number of occasions, often getting the back end of the car off the seal onto the shoulder, hearing the gravel clattering against the insides of the mudguards. This crazy ride went on until I can't remember.

Dream Three:
The account of this dream is much shorter. I was looking through my Systems and Control exercise book(where my notes are noted) - doing some study. Gemma from church just happened to be there, and she glanced over my shoulder at what I was studying. Systems and Control consists of some very serious maths, including a number of concepts I am yet to grasp fully. Gemma, after looking for a short moment, said something like "Oh, I know all this stuff" and began reciting a number of relevant theories and equations, all this to my incredulous amazement. In reality, I'm sure Gemma would not understand

So you can see I had a rather eventful night's sleep.
As weird as those three dreams are, what is more disconcerting is the fact that I hardly ever dream (or at least I never remember dreaming, or the events within my dreams, if in fact I do dream but am simply not aware of it), so three dreams in one night its very much breaking the record.
And do these dreams actually mean anything? - please feel free to offer interpretations.

Hmm - I might just go for a short stroll to secure some Sushi.

Hope you are all having(or 'have all had', as the case may be for some of you) a great day.