Dan’s Online Diary 

# 31.5.04 by Dan
I have talked about this before, but felt that it was an issue that needed revisiting.

Today, everything is about 'rights'. My 'rights', human 'rights', civil 'rights', the 'rights' of ethnic minorities, the 'rights' of children, heck, even the 'rights' of the environment.
Ladies and gentlemen, I say that the concept of 'rights' is fallicious. To have a concept of 'rights' is to be looking through the wrong end of the telscope (or microscope, as the case my be).
Thats right, you heard me right - you have no 'rights'.

Let us put this in perspective with a few examples.
My wife Michelle has no right to a loving husband. Rather, I have a responsibility to be a loving husband.
No one has a right to education. Rather, we have a responsibility to educate the next generation.
No one has a right to live in a country free from war. Rather, we have a responsibilty to defend those who cannot defend themselves.
No one has a right to free speech. Rather, we have a responsibilty to make sure all are heard fairly.
A child has no right to a violence-free home life. Rather, the parents have a responsibility to gently raise, and nuture their child in a loving healthy family environment.
Even at a more base level, no one has a right to have food on their table or clothes on their back, but rather, they have a responsibility to work and to earn a living to support themselves and their family - and we have a responsibility to serve and support those who are unable to earn their own living.

And myself, I have no right to my own life, for it has been bought at a price. Instead, I have a responsibilty to do the will of Him who owns me. My responsibility is to bear His image in this world. This involves showing the love of God through my life, serving as Christ served, even unto death. To abdicate or duck this responsibilty is to dishonour and misrepresent He whose image I bear - to make Him out to be a liar before the people of this world.

And even for one who is not a Christian, their responsibility is no less than is mine, for they too are made in His image. Their continuing failure to represent Him rightly will be their demise.
Being a child of God, a son or daughter in His family, a member of the body of which Christ is the head, is an acknowledgement of our role as image bearers, it is saying, 'Yes, I understand my responsibility, and am willing to take it up'.

People - lets be responsible. Forget about your 'rights', for you have no 'rights'. 'Rights' are fictitious figments for people who cannot see beyond themselves. Responsibilites, on the other hand, are reality for people who do not even consider themselves, but are instead focussed on others, firstly on Him whose image they bear, and in doing so, focussing on serving their brothers and sisters.

I just re-read this tirade, and thought it could be a bit harsh, but after thinking about it some more, I believe it to be true, nonetheless . 'Rights' are reducing our society to a collection of individuals - they are tearing apart our families and our communities.

Let me know what you think.

In other news:
Isn't it ironic how on one hand, the government is considering the mandatory addition of folate and iodine to foods to reduce disorders and birth defects from 50 per annum, to 'a handful', and yet on the other hand, they don't seem to care that over 17,000 people are aborted each year?

# 26.5.04 by Dan
I've recently had reason to examine the spiritual gift of tongues.
Our pastor preached from 1 Cor 14 a few weeks ago, and there has been a discussion running here on the NZ Reformed Youth Discussion Board.

The modern 'tongues' spoken in pentecostal churches are not the tongues of 1 Cor 14, and are not biblical. I think their use is made clear in 1 Cor 14. Read the NZRY Discussion for more detail.

# 24.5.04 by Dan
Saturday was another great time of woodchopping, and subsequent dutch beer enjoyment. There were Nick, Kynan, Sam, Hamish and myself on axe/splitter, Malcolm on chainsaw, and Scotty, Jono C and Mark on car-and-trailer. A delightful ensemble that brought forth a most excellent production and distribution of lovely firewood.
Even after all that, I managed to summon up enough energy to conjure up a delicious chocolate cake for the evening's bible-study/supper. All in all, a most productive Saturday.
The study was great, focussing on the relationship between our relationship with God and our relationship with other members of the body of Christ. Our relationship with God enhances our relationship with others, and vice-versa.

Sunday was good -- we had the opportunity to stand up before our fellow siblings in Christ and announce that we were expecting a child. There was great rejoicing. We've been using the drum kit in the praise time for the last two weeks - it really does enhance the music.

Overall, a most great weekend.
How was your weekend?

# 20.5.04 by Dan
My sister Alisa now has a blog. Another example of the new Blogger templates - her choice is possibly my most favourite of the lot of them. Welcome Alisa, and I hope you enjoy blogging as much as I do.

Scotty has post worth reading - a response to the draft document 'Towards a Code of Ethics' by the NZ Teachers Council.

Squint at clouds. Makes them look cool.

# 19.5.04 by Dan
I gave a presentation on the progress of my research project today. My first presentation a couple of months ago had been too short. Today I overcompensated. Ah well - it just meant that there was less time for questions. I also had a free lunch put on by the EE department. Not entirely sure what the occasion was, but it was jolly decent of them, nonetheless.

Last night saw me eating nachos and helping Scotty update his blog template. For the sake of convenience, we chose one of the lovely new Blogger templates. Excellent stuff. Scotty is the man.
I'm thinking it must be time for me to redesign my blog template also. Maybe in a month or so once my exams are complete.

# 17.5.04 by Dan
This is my 300th post. Nearly 18 months and still going strong(ish).

You may have noticed that I've done away with old Paul's quote above. Of course, you'll only notice that it has gone if you had already noticed that it was there in the first place. Less clutter.

I'm at tech tonight preparing for a Wednesday lunchtime presentation of my research project. I'm doing so well that its possible I may get an 'A' for both of the papers I'm completing this semester. I don't expect to do quite so well with my research project, however, since I'm sqeezing two semester work into one, but we'll see how it goes.

Our Prime Minister, Helen Davis, has a weblog. Its barely worthy of being called a diary, let alone a weblog. I bet there is some poor person who has the job of converting her itinerary from 'todo list' to 'paragraph' form. Its hardly personal and definitely not worth reading. Perhaps its just another lame attempt to be 'hip' or 'with-it' or 'down' or something.

Well, well, well - Three hundred posts. Things have surely changed since I started here.
I hope you've all enjoyed the reading as much as I have enjoyed the writing.

You all take care and have a beautiful evening - God bless.

# 14.5.04 by Dan
I read in an article from today's NZ Herald, that a US senator has debunked the statement by Helen Clark in which she claimed that Don Brash had told five US Senators that, if he had his way, the ban on nuclear warships in NZ would be gone "by lunchtime".

I think that our Prime Minister is becoming too big for her boots. Firstly, what Brash said in his meeting with the US congressmen was classified information, and should not have been publically released. Secondly, Helen Clark, took the liberty of 'sexing it up', to the point where, if the information in the Herald article is correct, it does not reflect what Brash intended at all.
The article reports Brash as having said "... he favoured keeping the ban on nuclear weapons. If there was a way of retaining an effective ban on nuclear-propelled ships while resolving the 20-year impasse with the US, that would be good."
This is not gone "by lunchtime".

The neither 'right', nor 'honourable' Helen Davis Clark has become childish, petty, manipulative, greedy, and in recent times, desperate. It is a good thing that New Zealanders are beginning to recognise this, and the polls are not in her favour.

However, I think the bigger issue is this. The purpose of a government is to serve the people - not to lead, or rule them. Each little piece of legislation that has been passed in recent times is effectively increasing the power of the government. Power corrupts. So, in these times, I feel that anyone holding the position of Prime Minister today would find it very difficult to remain uncorrupted.
People, we need to vote for a government that will take a step back, and return to people their rightful responsibilites.
The government does not know what is best. They are a bunch of meddling, bickering, greedy people with too much power. Don't let them tell you what to do.

PS: I am an Internet Guru
click here to take more tests like this at internet junk!
How net savvy are you?

# 12.5.04 by Dan
I have a few things to say about hard work; its funny how certain things become more prevalent at certain periods in one's life.

Manual Labour
On Saturday morning, I shoveled nearly a cubic metre of soil, to fill the hole where our sewer pipe was repaired. I also cut down a significant number of large weeds that had been quietly working on world domination behind our garage.
On Saturday afternoon, I spent two hours chopping wood.
I thoroughly enjoyed all these activities, and I felt mournful for the days where we (not me, but mankind in general) lived by our own literal blood, sweat and tears. None of this ridiculous 'sitting behind a desk' to earn a crust.
This lead me to reflect on the amiss, not that I know too much about them, but I developed a new respect and appreciation for their lifestyle. I even considered drawing up 'The Neo-Amish Manifesto'.
Was this new-found joy simply due to the fact that I've spent so much time sitting around on my butt?

Academic Study
At the other end of the spectrum is the desk-confined work I was lamenting above. As many of you may know, I have gone back to tech to finish my engineering degree this semester. The study is going very well, and I am amazed at how my attitude has changed for having spent three years in the workforce. I have to say, it is so much easier to work harder. It is also very enjoyable.

Having found joy at both ends of the spectrum, I have come to believe that I am a different person to the man I was even just four years ago. This being the case, I find it difficult to describe exactly what has happened. It may simply be a 'growing up'. I wish I could impart this to others, as I see there are many for whom work - both physical and academic - is dreary, boring, drudgery.
I pray for this enthusiasm to last, at least until I have finished studying and have found a new job, but I'd really love for it to continue indefinitely.

What really put the icing on the cake, that last Saturday after my day of labour, was that I arrived home and my darling wife presented me with a cold beer. Beer is a luxury I have foregone these last few months, since we've been down to one income, so I was sincerely appreciative.
Small things do matter. Without freshly turned soil, freshly cut weeds, freshly split macrocarpa, freshly cool Heineken, and a beautiful wife, my Saturday would have been nothing.

I've moved some stuff around and changed a few things. I hope you like them/it.
Also, this is so so def. [thanks chud.]

# 10.5.04 by Dan
Michelle and I are expecting our first baby.
This truly is a miracle - we are so blessed.

# 6.5.04 by Dan
There has been expressed a renewed interest in the running of a Counter-Strike LAN party.

You would be required to supply your own PC. However, I know of at least one person who has a spare PC that they may be willing to bring along also. Remember - the more, the merrier.
It is strongly advised that your PC have Counter-Strike already installed and patched up to current prior to the LAN party. I would presume that we'd be using version 1.5, not 1.6.
The latest Half-Life and Counter-Strike patches are here.

You will also be expected to bring your own:
  • Keyboard, monitor & mouse
  • Network adapter
  • Ethernet patch cable
  • PC power cable
  • Headphones
Please label any gear that you bring.
If you do not have any of the above, please ask as a comment to this post if anyone else is able to lend you anything you need.

It will be assumed that the highest spec'd PC on the day will act as the server. If this is not to your liking, please supply me with a spare PC at least one week prior to the event, and I'll set it up as a dedicated server (Linux, if poss.)

Possible venues, pending authorisation:
  • GTC
  • Covenant
  • Muffy's garage

Equipment yet to be procured:
  • Tables
  • x-way power distribution boards
  • Extension leads
  • Network switch(es)

If you are able to supply any of the above, please let us know via the comments. Items will be removed from the above list once they have been sourced.

A Saturday would be the prefered day - please suggest suitable dates.

# 4.5.04 by Dan
Read this article and then go and buy your wife a handgun.[via nzpundit]