November 27, 2003


for not posting -- it's been hectic. I broke down ten miles from the border when coming back to GR. Fortunately it was just a battery, so I got it repaired at Canadian Tire (then they gave me all this Canadian Tire money. And I thought regular Canadian currency was monopoly money...). Anyway I made it home fine though a couple hours behind schedule; now I'm in Detroit for the day having Thanksgiving with my aunt and uncle and cousin.

So, this is just the usual notice that I have stuff to say but no time to say it! I'm just online to check my email. I'll probably do some sporadic blogging from home tomorrow and Saturday, though it is indeed unfortunate that we have Crappy Dialup. Why can't we enter the twenty-first century like every else? My Canadian friends tease me when they find out I have 56Kbps internet access at home. Grr. Blogging to resume in earnest when I get back to Hamilton on Sunday.

Pray for traveling mercies for me, please.

Posted by Tim at 04:27 PM | Comments (6)

November 22, 2003

I want to go home

I'm not homesick. I just really, really want to be home right this moment. Actually, I'd survive if I knew I was going home Monday. But I may or may not last until all the way to Wednesday at 10 AM when I finally leave this school and head home for five days. I. Can't. Wait. 110 hours left (no guarantees on the math there, but it's approximately correct).

Posted by Tim at 01:13 AM | Comments (3)

November 21, 2003

More mindless alternatives to working/studying

The Book of Ratings is an amazingly entertaining site. If you have twelve hours or so of your life to mindlessly fritter away (or if, like me, you have an English paper due Monday and should be working on it now since you're watching LOTR:Fellowship and Two Towers extended editions Saturday and are philosophically opposed to doing homework on Sunday), click on that link. Here's a sample rating:

Power Windows First off, "power" is a little bit overblown as a synonym for "electric." You don't hear people referring to their "power toothbrush" or "power can opener," do you? But in car ads, where every word is designed to make you feel like you could overthrow a dictatorship using only the latest model of their automobile, the windows are "power" in spite of the fact that they couldn't so much as crack a nut. Alternatively, "power" could be a synonym for "likely to break down at a financially inconvenient time." C
Posted by Tim at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

Weather update

It is, let me tell you, terrifyingly, freakishly nice out. It is freaking November 21. In Canada. It should not be the 60 degrees that it is right now. Honestly, was this campus teleported to Kentucky without us noticing? (Redeemer's such a bubble that we probably wouldn't notice until some commuter student tried to go home)...

Posted by Tim at 01:51 PM | Comments (3)

November 20, 2003


My dorm-mates are currently calling random dorms and offering me for sale. I thought slavery was illegal here but apparently the law is really different here. Apparently Jehan's talking to some girl named Anna right now in dorm 101 in Aug Hall. They offered a couple cents I'm told.

So if you have more than a couple cents Canadian please call (905) 648-3121 ext. 3070 and offer more so I can be redeemed. In the literal sense of the word.

Posted by Tim at 09:51 PM | Comments (7)

Well, it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick

Life, that is. Though sometimes it seems that the eye poke would be preferable, seeing as it only affects one eye anyway and the pain is merely physical and possibly temporary, depending on the sharpness of the stick and the velocity at which it is poked into the eye.

So, what's happened to me today?

--Parking ticket. For parking overnight in a parking lot I apparently wasn't supposed to park in overnight. There is a notice posted, but it's tacked onto the bottom of another sign and printed in white with a black background. I.e. pretty difficult to see from the road. It does exist though, although I'd never seen it before, so I am in violation of the rules. I'll appeal it anyway. I can't afford $35 dollars right now (see the next two points) and I really hope I'm shown some grace here. That is the message of the gospel, you know.

--My car will cost an estimated $150 to fix the cable that opens the hood. The handle was broken when I got the car, and up until a month ago you could use a pliers (helpfully sold with the car) to pull the wire up manually. Unfortunately the wire has frayed down to the point where that is no longer possible, and the thing must be replaced.

--I'm paying more of my tuition today. Yey, in an entirely sarcastic sense. I can't pay as much as I was going to because of the aforementioned car repairs.

-- As I was about to get out of my car, my cell phone rang. I was surprised because although I've had it for three months, ongoing incompetence on the part of the cell phone company and the store combined with procrastination on my part meant that I only got it working Monday. Anyway the call was some recording about something to do with credit. I'm hoping that's just a telemarketing call and not some problem with my account. But if it's a telemarketing call, that means Canadian law lets me get to pay for people to advertise to me, which is just super-peachy. The message left a phone number, repeated it too -- as if I carry a pen and paper on me at all times for such a time as that.

Regardless, I'm not in a horrible mood today. The weather is frighteningly warm for late November in Ontario (remember how Canadians live in igloos? well, down here they must be homeless for most of the year). The sky is cold, pale blue and the little lavender-white clouds are clinging to the hazy horizon.

I have so many blessings: occasionally meaningful schoolwork, kind friends, loving family... "for I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth."

I cannot help the slight, sheepish grin on my face.

Well, I'm off to pay my school-bill. Blog you later.

Posted by Tim at 02:05 PM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2003


If you're a Redeemer student (or anyone else from this part of Ontario) reading this before sunset, go look at it. It's stunningly magnificent. Late fall always has the best sunsets, I think.

Posted by Tim at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

Going with the poetry theme

Well, more starting one than going with one. But I'd like to do more quoting of poetry, both my own and people like William Blake:

Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau:
Mock on, mock on: ‘tis all in vain!
You throw the sand against the wind,
And the wind blows it back again.

And every sand becomes a Gem,
Reflected in the beam divine;
Blown back they blind the mocking Eye,
But still in Israel’s paths they shine.

The Atoms of Democritus
And the Newton’s Particles of Light
Are sands upon the Red Sea shore,
Where Israel’s tents do shine so bright.

Posted by Tim at 04:23 PM | Comments (1)

Well, it made my day anyway

I'm quite excited about the fact that I finally finished the daily crossword by myself. In about thirty-five minutes, as a matter of fact. Go me!

Posted by Tim at 12:56 PM | Comments (2)

Neocalvinism, US conservatism and Christian labour unions (or: Why my head hurts)

So yeah, last night I was at another one of those talks that gets my brain spinning so fast that the gelatinous mass inside my skull was centrifugally forced to the outside resulting in severe cranial pain and, I fear, destruction of brain cells leading to lowered mental capacity. In other words, if I am reduced to a gibbering idiot anytime in the near future, blame people like Professors Goheen and Plantinga and especially these Christian Labour Association of Canada-type people. I can only take so much new stuff in at a time, I am an überconservative even by American standards, you know -- have a little mercy.

OK, so I've been throwing this neo-calvinist term around in my head for about a year now, and I'm still not quite sure what it means. So in the long tradition of me talking completely out of my bum, I'm going to try to define it and relate it to this notion of a "Christian labour union"; then you Redeemer bloggers like Brian and Richard and Prof. Koyzis and Rob can come over and correct me in the comments to your hearts' content.

That said: Neo-calvinism is the view that salvation is about both the salvation of souls and the redemption of the whole creation, including human society and culture. Therefore, Christians ought to be actively working within society to promote not only Christian morality, but fair structures and satisfying arts -- excellence in everything. In some ways, it represents a liberalization of conservative Christian ideas about the inherent evil of movies, modern arts, etc. Unlike liberal Christian theology, however, it re-affirms the doctrine of sin and even extends it, holding the view that sin is not mere commission of wrong actions or omission of right actions, but an all-pervading influence in every aspect of society. Our very minds, the ways and patterns in which we think and act, must be converted and remoulded. Our societal structures are tainted as well; our cultures have taken good things (like material goods, the love of the good gifts God gives) and stretched them into idols (in the case of money, capitalist unconcern for the poor and social justice, among other things).

Abraham Kuyper, a pastor, theologian and the prime minister of the Netherlands at the beginning of last century, said that "There is no square inch of creation over which Jesus Christ does not shout, 'This is mine! This belongs to me.'” This is the basic innovation of neo-Calvinist philosophy; that there is nothing that cannot (and will not) be redeemed (not even rock music!). God made all things; all things fell; all things are being redeemed.

On the whole, I think I agree with what I've just said, if that is indeed neo-calvinism. I'm a bit concerned about its implications for the doctrine of judgement -- does that 'all things made new' include human beings, who presumably have free will and can choose not to be redeemed? I'm not a huge fan of the whole danation thing (who is, really?) but if I believe the Bible is the Word of God, it's sort of hypocritical to pick and choose what I like.

I also like what neo-calvinists say about sphere sovereignty -- namely, that there are different kinds of authority and they ought to keep each other in balance, not invading each others' territory. For example, under the Nazi and Communist regimes of the last century (and several today), the government overstepped its boundaries, infringing on the authority of the market, the family, the church, etc. In contrast, in Iran and other Muslim countries, the Church (well, religion) has usurped too much power.

This seems to me a very US conservative approach, favouring the decentralization of government power not because the government is inherently evil but because too much power in anyone's grip is dangerous. Of course, traditionalists would say that the heart of American conservatism is our unique (in that we're still sort-of Christian) Christian heritage and the libertarians would say it's all about a government with very little power.

Happily, I can sort of side with both, since I favour a government with much less power than the US Federal government has now, because I think the Federal Government has got too much power, and I favour the shift to a more Christian culture, but not in quite the reactionary way that many Christians do.

What does this all have to do with CLAC, the Christian Labour Assn. of Canada? I'll try to answer that later -- it's 5 AM right now, and if I write about CLAC in this state who knows what I'll get wrong. I just don't want Brian to have to spend all day correcting my errors.

Update: I forgot to mention that my favourite part about the talk was that the guy from CLAC was a Dutch guy who emigrated to Canada after World War II. As he got more and less passionate about what he was saying, his Dutch brogue got stronger and weaker. I thought it was entertaining, and also inspiring to see how excited he was about what he was saying, even after fifty-some years in that line of work.

That's the whole point of CLAC, I think... against this assumption that unions (representing the workers) and management have to continually be at odds (and this is, if you think about it, a very Marxist, "class warfare"-ish notion), CLAC is working to bring a environment in which both parties are satisfied, reconciled -- note that this is one aspect of the reconciliation that neo-Calvinists believe Christians are called to bring to all of culture and creation.

Another issue brought up last night was the purpose of labour. We tend to think of work as something that has to be done, a result of the fallen world -- "I have to sit here from nine to five so I can earn money so that I can enjoy my family and friends". But notice that even before the Fall, God gave Adam and Eve tasks, to name the animals, to "fill the earth and rule it", which suggests a desire to work inherent in human nature. Think of the good feeling you have after, say, helping a friend move into a new house all day. You come home physically exhausted, but it's a satisfied, fulfilled feeling too. That is what work is supposed to be.

My church recently (well, 10 years ago) commissioned a new confession to be written, one that would speak directly to current issues facing the Church. It's called Our world belongs to God: a contemporary testimony and can be found here. One paragraph sums up what I'm trying to say here:

In our work, even in dull routine,
we hear the call to serve our Lord.
We must work for more than wages,
and manage for more than profit,
so that mutual respect
and the just use of goods and skills
may shape the work place,
and so that, while we earn or profit,
useful products and services may result.
Rest and leisure are gifts of God
to relax us and to set us free
to discover and to explore.
Believing that he provides for us,
we can rest more trustingly
and entertain ourselves more simply.

Posted by Tim at 05:03 AM | Comments (6)

To the annoying person whom I foolishly gave my email address a while back:

Dear Induhvidual who keeps forwarding me stuff,

I am far too kind to reply to your continued, unsolicited emails by ranting to you, but honestly I need to vent somewhere, and this blog is the best place to do that.

Frankly, I do not care about inspirational (read: made-up) stories about little girls in cancer wards who still manage to smile. I'm pretty sure that the email you sent me yesterday entitled "Fwd: Fw: Awesome Story I Love It!!! !!" is in violation of international Overusage of Exclamatory Marks standards and deserves to be rotting in some Belgian jail. If I get one more email telling me that if I don't pass it on to twenty or more friends then I don't love Jesus, I may just destroy my computer screen (and, as anyone who reads this blog knows, that would be equivalent to a crack addict shooting his own dealer since I'm horribly addicted to this thing).

Also, it would be lovely if you would check or some such site before forwarding the important mesage that Madalyn Murray O'Hair has gotten the FCC to ban religious broadcasting. Guess what? Ms. O'Hair is dead. She's been dead. Also, HIV-infected needles are not being placed on gas pump handles by bitter AIDS victims. (The virus doesn't survive very long outside the human body anyway).

Honestly, I would rather get a spam message than a FWD. At least spammers are trying to make money, even if they're an incredible annoyance. Forwarders are just an annoyance, and they think they've done you a favour in the process.

Unless an email you get has you literally rolling on the floor (and I want proof of that, preferably in the form of pet hair all over your clothes), you will read it (if you want) then save it or delete it. You will not forward it to me.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Posted by Tim at 01:32 AM | Comments (4)

November 18, 2003

Another quiz

cute but psycho
you are the cute but psycho happy bunny. You
adorable, but a little out there. It's alright,
you might not have it all, but there are worse

which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

This one works, I think.

Posted by Tim at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2003

Housework, odd dreams and academics

One interesting new thing I've learned about myself since coming to Redeemer three months ago is that I don't mind domestic work so much. In fact, I quite enjoy doing dishes and generally cleaning up the kitchen (vaccuming was more fun at home when there were pets to chase, but it's still not much of a chore here). At home, I detested doing housework, and usually wouldn't do it until dire consequences (aka no computer) were threatened. I suspect the cause in my change of attitude can be traced to the fact that I was often nagged to do chores by my grandma. Having a somewhat anti-authoritarian attitude at times, I feel the need to ignore dictates I don't like. Also at home, if I ignore something effectively enough, someone else will get fed up and do it. In a college dorm? Not so much, and we will be reduced to drinking out of yogurt containers, as occured yesterday.

I'm even dreaming about housework now. I'm not sure when this dream occurred, but it was recent. I was vaccuming the living room and it was making all the requisite noise, but not picking up at all. The intake area was clean and working fine, etc. It was very frustrating.

In lieu of any objective criteria for dream analysis, I'm going to say that the vaccum represents my life right now. I sometimes feel that I'm going through all the motions (being a student, a Christian, an "adult" <shudder>...) but not producing any actual results. What's the point of going to a class where I don't learn anything if I could stay home, go online and read a blog about the emerging church or Canadian politics? Take for example the fact that as of midterms I was getting two As and two Cs... but the two A classes I really hadn't learned much in, and the two C classes I felt I'd learned and grown a ton in. Since I completely missed the boat for scholarships this year due to my own procrastinating idiocy, what's the point of keeping super-high grades if they're just going to mean doing work above and beyond what I need to learn? Admittedly university is much better than high school, but there's still this dichotomy between school and learning that I don't like.

So yeah. It's going to be a long week. I am really, really looking forward to next week Wednesday, when I will be going home and seeing certain people for the first time in three months. I do not know how I will survive the nine days left here, but I assume I will manage somehow.

Posted by Tim at 05:11 PM | Comments (3)

Random point of excitement

Woohoo! I'm talking to Susie right now! :)

Posted by Tim at 01:32 AM | Comments (1)

Home, sweet home

So I was wondering if there were any decent blogs from my hometown, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Did a search for blog "Grand Rapids", found this quote:

I went to Grand Rapids this weekend. I've spent some real time there, seeing as how that's where I went to school. Grand Rapids hits on you kinda like mono. It's a disease you don't mind so much once you have it for a while, since really, how bad is sleeping all day? Here I am paraphrasing myself, this is what I really said when my roomates at CMU all got mono:

CMU Roomate: We're all going to the doctors since we all have mono. You should come with us.

Me: I have a sickness that makes me not go to school and sleep all day. Whats the problem?

Grand Rapids is just like that. At first when you go there you are fascinated by the skyscrapers and the scenery. But after about a year, you're sick of the lack of nightlife and the general conservativeness of the population.

But then something changes, the longer you stay, the longer you want to stay. Not that I'm saying that everyone from there does nothing but sleep all day, but they might as well. You can't find a place besides TGIF thats open past 10pm. And don't even think about doing anything outside of your house on Sunday, there's nothing open.

After about three years, you really begin to love Grand Rapids. You'll fight it at first, you'll think "this place sucks." and then eventually you'll say "this place rocks!" You can't say "Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo" because that's been taken already. Thats why you settle for "this place rocks!"

It's true. Grand Rapids is super-boring, until it grows on you.

I miss home, tonight. Ten days--nine, now, since it's after midnight... and I'm going home for real Thanksgiving.

Posted by Tim at 12:05 AM | Comments (4)

November 16, 2003

Pathetic Excuse for Not Blogging #7,264,892

I'm always thinking of things to blog about, but when I get to my computer I have a strange unwillingness to sit down and type out my thoughts. I suppose it's because I've already fleshed out the main point of my thought, so I don't want to go over it again. Maybe I ought to carry around a tape recorder and talk into it when I have an Idea. Granted I would appear to be some nerdy freak, but not like I care.

Or maybe I should just commit myself to sitting down in front of the computer for a few minutes every day, and writing my thoughts down, if I have any worth sharing. If something develops, I can share the thought as it comes. Like I'm doing now. You think I'm editing this? Nope, straight off the top of my head.

Posted by Tim at 10:37 PM | Comments (1)

Jehan -- told. you. so!

Look here Hehan, I told you there are side benefits to going to church.... :)

Posted by Tim at 05:46 PM | Comments (1)

November 15, 2003

Me = Raver?

According to this quiz anyway.
Raver Bear
Raver Bear

I'll leave the snarky comments to you, my loyal readers.

Posted by Tim at 04:32 PM | Comments (4)

Wow, überbusy day week...

Yeah, it's been a fast-paced week. I feel like I've been running on empty all day -- I woke up feeling incredibly tired (which is usual) but I was still tired through my 9:00 class (I skipped the 8:00 one again) and pretty much the whole morning. It's been go, go, go since last Thursday or so and I've been fighting this cold the whole time... All this is to say, I have stuff I want to say and I will say it, tomorrow. Now, I'm going to sleep, at the incredibly early hour of midnight-thirty.

Posted by Tim at 12:37 AM | Comments (1)

November 13, 2003

Stupid Metric System! (part 3,827,506)

Honestly, it's really really hot in this dorm. I only realized it when some guy came in and left the door open. I usually hate drafts but I was like, "ooh, that feels good". And it's a pretty normal November evening, maybe 30 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

Which brings me to my problem: the thermostat is set on 25 degrees. I don't know whether or not I'm allowed to turn it down or not. If 25 is like 68 degrees F, then it would be unfair to turn it down further. But I suspect 25 is higher than that. I could easily Google it, but it's easier to complain in my blog... yeah, I've been warm all day. I think I've downed like 15 glasses of water.

Posted by Tim at 11:09 PM | Comments (5)

Can I live upstairs? Please?

One thing that sucks about having the downstairs bedroom is that you're the unofficial Answerer of The Door And The Phone.

Posted by Tim at 08:34 PM | Comments (5)

Hey, that exam wasn't so bad

But what is bad is that fifteen million people have asked me if I'm cold.

No. I'm not. I am doing okay in jeans and a t-shirt. I was doing fine in shorts this morning, but I thought maybe fewer people would ask me inane questions if I wore jeans. Now they want me to wear somthing they call a "coat". Whatever.

Posted by Tim at 06:15 PM | Comments (1)

We interrupt this cram session to bring you this weather update

Yeah, it's snowing! Hooray.

Now, back to our int-exam studying. We have this book, you see. And we're supposed to read it. And I haven't. And the exam is in 3 hours.

Posted by Tim at 02:59 PM | Comments (1)

Grr--I hate coming up with titles

We're watching Finding Nemo. It's such a good movie, so much better than the politically correct, socially conscious, insipid Disney fare.

Posted by Tim at 12:33 AM | Comments (3)

Why do people live in a country they obviously hate?

This piece (entitled Why We Fight) is absolutely disgusting. Ted Rall, an American, product of one of the most free and prosperous nations on earth, spits on his native land.

That title -- Why We Fight -- doesn't refer to the American soldiers, but to the forces of Islamic-fascist terrorism, the insurgents fighting coalition forces in Iraq.

It ran yesterday, November 11. Do you remember what day that is?

Posted by Tim at 12:06 AM | Comments (1)

November 11, 2003

We will not forget...

Today is Veterans' Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in much of the British Commonwealth, including here in Canada.

Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.

But the past is just the same—and War’s a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz—
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench—
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, ‘Is it all going to happen again?’

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack—
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads—those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.

--Siegfried Sassoon, “Aftermath” (1919)

It is easy to forget. Don't.

Posted by Tim at 07:14 PM | Comments (4)

November 08, 2003

Black squirrels = the devil

If you think black squirrels are el Diablo then vote in the poll at Alaina's blog (at the bottom of the sidebar).

Posted by Tim at 05:11 PM | Comments (0)

I knew they were too funny to be liberals

Great article from the Onion: Americans Demand Increased Governmental Protection From Selves. Go read it.

Posted by Tim at 03:17 PM | Comments (1)

Why are the people in charge always idiotic?

Alaina blogs about certain mountains that have recently been installed on our school driveway:

We have these ultra retarded speed bumps at my school. So, instead of doing the logical thing and taking them out in the middle of the night, we decided to do one of two things:

a) Dig a tunnel underneath the bump, causing it to be the bridge, so that no one has to slow down to go over it.
b) Pave the driveway so that's it's level with the speedbump. Sure, it will take a long time, but who honestly thought that we would choose to pave the driveway instead of just taking the speedbumps away? No one. That's who.

And in an earlier post, she wrote
Yeah, anyway, back to the sun. It was nice to see the sun, seeing as the Hammer has had a permanent cloud over it for the past week.
So I commented:

Oh, and the Hammer is Hamilton, right? Y'all Canadians have such weird abbreviations. See when a word is threesyllables (ha-mil-ton, tor-on-to) it makes lots of sense to give it a three syllable nickname like the-ham-mer or the-tee-dot. If by "lots of sense" you mean "perfect sense to whoever rerouted the Niagara fricken Escarpment across Redeemer's driveway".
Allow me to rant a moment, with the caveat that i Really Do Like the people who run our school although they can be kinda creepy when they all know my name even though I've seen them once before, also one guy looks a doublepluslot like Rowan Atkinson and that disturbs me as well.

<rant>So yeah, What. The. Heck. were they thinking when they installed the Monstrosities that are the three sets of speed bumps on our driveway? Two of them are these roundedish rubber bumps about four inches high and six inches wide. They're basically like curbs except for the fact that with curbs, you don't go over them, that's the point but with these doublestupid curbs you do. Then the other one is seriously an elevated crosswalk, about a metre wide and four or five inches high, built of cement. At this point I should link to Jake Belder's (and no, I had nothing to do with his getting a blog) doubleplusfunny letter in The Crown student newspaper.

Another rantable note is the Food Marketplace at Redeemer Socialist Foodsource open only when people are in class, closed on weekends, with limited selection and continual shortages. Grr. </rant>

(seems like I end all my posts with 'grr' anymore, eh?)

Posted by Tim at 02:45 PM | Comments (2)

Does everyone I've ever talked to blog yet? Cuz it sure feels like half our conversations start with "did you read what I wrote on my blog yet?"

More people: Simon and he says doubleplusgood things about me and others involved in the 3 AM conversation last night/this morning. I would be inclined to trust him further if I weren't sure he wasn't trying to do away with all us dorm 7 guys so he can get our food plan money for himself (he claims Chris never showed up and that Jamie went to a different school after the first week but you can never trust a French guy, even a French-Canadian.)

See how I reward people who compliment me? Über-gentle heart, indeed....

Posted by Tim at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2003

Our name is Bloggers, and we are legion

I've now gotten Alaina, Jehan and (coming soon?) Phil blogging. I feel like Pixy Misa. Except it's probably easier for him because when he gives advice it's not coming out of his arse. Meh. Someone noted I should get paid for recruiting this many people to the blogosphere. If you want to give me money, that would make me happy.

Posted by Tim at 12:24 PM | Comments (3)

Random note at 2 am...

is my verybestfriend. I miss him, because he's going to college in Texas and I'm here at university in Ontario. He doesn't have comments, or a sitemetre -- so encourage him to keep blogging in these comments.

Guys in our society don't say they love each other too much. Eric at Classical Values talks in a recent entry about how gays and straight men are pigeon-holed into roles. I think that's idiotic and hurtful to the psyche.

So, Wraj, l love you.

Posted by Tim at 01:55 AM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2003

Wireless blogging

Me. Now. On sofa. Blogging. Without cords.

I am so excited. A bit worried, though. This is the second technogizmo that's worked for me in the last week (the first being my memory stick). Also this week I was randomly able to access the school network, something I tried vainly to do in September. The technokarma will catch up to me, though. Is my computer about to undergo catastrophic failure? I'm a little scared.

Posted by Tim at 10:25 PM | Comments (3)

A poem on fog

Fogs are soft-edged dreams
of light and dark. The light
behind trees past them streams
straight, silhouettes, the creams

and yellows blinding, blending.
Dusky shadows melt to blackness,
eating cars and sleeping buildings--
ghosts and angels softly winging.

Posted by Tim at 02:19 AM | Comments (0)

The continuing intersection of Real Life and blogging

Now my best friend is reading my blog. Like, at this very moment (the wonders of IM! I can talk to someone in Texas in real-time). I just explained to a dorm-mate what blogging is. I showed him and my room-mate my blog. It's very -- strange.

Posted by Tim at 01:35 AM | Comments (4)

November 04, 2003


You're completely right Mondays are the devil. Or the Antichrist. Maybe both.

Funny, I want to go swimming too. Plus, I have to for PED class. Or else do running, or something equally annoying. Which reminds me that I now have PED class at 10:50 Tuesdays and Thursdays. Which means I need to go to bed. Moan.

Posted by Tim at 02:36 AM | Comments (1)

I'm on a roll!

Almost 2500 words in four days. 6 pages in MS Word. And I have to self-edit just so I don't go wandering off into tangent-land. If I worked this hard on those essays I need to write for Missions and Worldview and Biblical Theology... I'd be getting grades-- er, marks like Mookie.

Posted by Tim at 02:27 AM | Comments (2)

A note to people who know me in real life

I've given several people I know back in Real Life (Canadian Version) my blogsite address: Alaina, Simon (my RA), Tom (one of my dorm-mates) and probably people I'm not remembering. I haven't proclaimed from the hills that I have a blog, but I haven't kept it secret or asked people not to read it, either. I'm really OK with that, I feel honoured that you care enough about me to want to read my random scribblings, but I do feel I need to say a few things.

--I have a different personality on this blog that I do in person. Hopefully, my online persona isn't distinct from my Real Life self to the point of hypocrisy, but you must realize that a) people are much less inhibited online than in person (not that I have many inhibitions anyway, but still) and that b) I choose when I want to talk on my blog. Some people blog to rant -- but they might be the nicest people in the world to talk to. Some people blog only about politics -- but they probably don't eat, sleep and breathe politics. A blog is not a representative sample of a person's thought is what I'm trying to say. My blog certainly leans toward the theological and the political, and though I have strong interests in those areas I certainly have other interests which haven't seen as much representation here.

--Thus, I will say things here I wouldn't say in person. It's not like I'm totally uninhibited or anything; my internal editor is especially censorious now that a ton of people I interact with constantly are reading my blog. But remember that this is also my personal journal, as well as a public record. You're reading my thoughts -- only some of them, of course, and I do have a responsibility to be decent & respectful when I'm saying things on a publically viewable site, but this is my site.

Again, I really, honestly am if anything happy that my friends want to read my writing. Just keep this stuff in the back of your mind.

Posted by Tim at 02:18 AM | Comments (2)

Oh, man...

I think I lost my temper a bit for the first time since coming to Canada, tonight. Well, I didn't completely lose my temper, but I did, I fear, raise my voice in anger. It was over politics, actually -- the justification for the war in Iraq and all that.

So, here is where I say what I wanted to say then: Rulers have no legitimate sovereignty unless the people popularly elect them. The US, Canada, and France are among free nations, even if they often disagree. Saudi Arabia, North Korea and (up until 6 months ago) Iraq are not. People everywhere deserve to be free. I believe (and this is by no means held by most Americans or even most hawks) that if a nation has the power to free people, it has the moral obligation to do so. The WMD debate has largely passed me by, because that's not the reason I thought we should go to war in the first place.

Nevertheless, we were legally justified in invading Iraq as well. The First Gulf War ended in a cease-fire under the conditions that Saddam cooperate fully with UN weapons inspectors. He didn't (we nearly went to war over this in 1998, when You-Know-Who was President). He broke the ceasefire, and we had every legal right to invade. The other argument was self-defense; that Saddam was cooperating with terrorists and that if he were not removed, his weapons would end up in the hands of groups like al-Qaida and result in another terrorist attack on the homeland. I thought this argument was weakest, but it's the one the Administration put forward the most.

Anyway, I feel sometimes that Canadians (and the world in general) don't give us any slack. I think that's the reason for a lot of US resentment towards France and other industrialized nations that didn't support us; not that they opposed us but that it seems they were assuming that our motives were greed and powerlust. That's what stings -- the assumption that the people of the United States, simply because we're a bit farther to the right than most first world nations, have some fascist-like uber-loyalty to George W. and just naturally want to take over the world.

It was especially disheartening when Canada didn't follow us, because we see them as a little brother -- and I mean that not in a patronizing way but just in the sense that we're just really close. We're each other's biggest trading partner, we have the longest undefended border in the world, we can enter each other's lands without even a passport -- it's as if you were punched in the face by some bully and your little brother, standing right there, pretended he didn't hear anything.

I love Canada. If you told me I couldn't live in Michigan for some reason, I would probably move to Ontario. And one of the reasons I came to school here was to learn a different mindset -- what it's like to grow up in the shadow of a hyperpower almost 10 times your size. Americans have a problem with pride sometimes, and I wanted to get outside that domestic bubble for a while. It's been great, but it's stressful at times. I realize I'm pretty far right even in the US, so I'm probably not in the mainstream of Canadian politics. Certainly not on healthcare, anyway....

Posted by Tim at 01:58 AM | Comments (1)

November 03, 2003

More random stuff

This site is definitely a life-saver; it converts metric measurements to imperial (ironic that the only nation using Imperial measurements is the first to free itself from the colonial shackles of an European empire, eh?) Unfortunately it doesn't do conversions, or I could figure out (for instance) how much 66 Canadian cents per litre of gas really is, in US funds and gallons....

Posted by Tim at 04:49 PM | Comments (1)

On a personal note...

Dear Alaina,
The message you left on my board makes me laugh (and cringe) every time I walk past it. It will never be erased.


Posted by Tim at 02:15 PM | Comments (1)

Ethical quandary

I got a 17/22 on my last Philosophy quiz. It's a really good mark, especially because I didn't understand anything. I wrote a bad essay -- only wrote five lines, answered only one of the two questions because I didn't even know what the second question meant, and got 8/8 on that part. So either

--I really do understand Kant more than I thought and I did an okay essay

--or Prof. Plantinga thought I understood more than I do

--or Prof. Plantinga graded my paper based on more criteria than I'm aware of (like participation in class, etc.)

--or Prof. Plantinga was just giving grace.

I'm not sure what to do. The essay question is 'Why did Kant distinguish between "phenomena" and "noumena"? Where does the "thing in itself" fit in?' and I didn't even mention the "thing in itself" because I had no clue what it meant.

It's not fair that I, who don't really understand Kant, should get a better grade than someone who understands him better and didn't just guess correctly on a bunch of the questions. On the other hand, life isn't fair, and although being a skilled guesser on multiple choice essays isn't an important life skill, it is a necessary one in many cases in school. I'm a good test-taker. Is it fair? No. But I can't really do anything about that, either. What do you think I should do?

Posted by Tim at 01:35 PM | Comments (2)

Why am I so addicted to blogs?

I overslept this morning. Actually, I forgot to turn my alarm on last night. Thus I woke up at 9:30, having missed my 8:00 and most of my 9:00 class. I fully intended to get up, get around, go to school and do important things like pay my bill and check my mail. First, I decided to check my email. Big mistake.

It is now 11:43. I may or may not have been sitting on my bed for 2 hours reading blogs. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but the last time I checked all the blogs I read was this morning at 2 am before I went to sleep. Did anything actually happen in the 7 hours I was gone? No. Did I have a pathological need to check? I think you can infer that.

Grr. I'm going to school now. Real Life calls.

Posted by Tim at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

More taunting from my dorm-mates

So, in Michigan we have this thing known as the bottle & can return. Basically you pay a 10 cent deposit on every soft drink container, and get the money back when you return them. So from an early age, Michiganders are taught not to crush the cans, since the return machines can't read crushed labels.

Ontario doesn't have deposits, cans are just recycled like normal metals.

It is socially acceptable in Ontario to smash cans.

One of my dorm-mates did it in front of me. I obviously cowered in response. It honestly feels to me like taking a dime out of your pocket and chucking it into the garbage.

So now, they have a new fun way to torment the American. Grr.

Posted by Tim at 02:08 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2003

You guys complain I never post

but I've done two entries every day this month. Just so you know.

Posted by Tim at 12:28 PM | Comments (19)

The Clinton Presidency... in about 300 words

I don't usually link Frank's posts because I assume y'all read them anyway (y'all referring to online people, and not my real-life friends) but this script for a Clinton Presidency movie definitely was calling my name in a small but distinctly audible voice and saying such things as "If you don't link me I will make sure you have bad dreams about Hillary involving bad touching" and since I wasn't sure Frank J's posts don't have such hideous powers, I really wanted to make sure I mentioned it here.

Posted by Tim at 12:17 AM | Comments (2)

November 01, 2003

Did you ever notice...

... how lovely rain is? I mean, if you were born deep under the earth like in the Matrix or something, and you lived there your whole life... could you ever conceive of such a thing as big fluffy white clouds, and water just randomly falling from them in little drops? Honestly, I don't know how atheists deal with themselves. Yeah, I know all the arguments for and against the existence of God, and Lord knows I've gone through enough existential angst... but really. Come on now, get outside your petty intellectualism and Open. Your. Eyes. At this moment, I feel I could never not believe in God.

Oh, and that goes for church people too. Not to go all freaky liberal, I'm one of those weird teenagers that goes to church more than their parents -- but if you would really spend less time worrying about whether God likes episcopal or presbyterian church structures and more time enjoying God, you'd be happier. I definitely am, on those few occasions when I remember to get outside of myself.

Posted by Tim at 11:32 PM | Comments (7)

A feeble attempt at linklove

So, we meet again. I'm a horrible blogger, eh? I will try not to apologize for not posting since all my posts anymore seem to be, um, apologies for not posting and/or promises to post later which are consequently ignored and/or forgotten. Anyway, I'm still alive and running around the blogosphere; here's some stuff I've noticed...

--OK, not truly a part of the blogosphere, but The Onion has quite a good satire on the whole The US Is Failing In Iraq non-debate: "Well, You try to reconstruct Iraq," says U.S. Defensive Dept. My favorite part was when the DoD spokesman said,

"Germany and France have a problem with the U.S.! Maybe we should all side with them. Look at me, I'm the American people! I worry about what the whole world says all the time! I'm gonna ask the whole world if I can go to the bathroom from now on, because the rest of the world knows so much more than America! La di da di da!"
Living here in the heathen lands of Canada, where Liberals win elections on the slogan "We won't cut your taxes but we won't raise them either" (and, incidentally, the paper said the other day that the government was going to raise electricity prices, hardly a form of progressive taxation)... it's good to know that the American people (as, um, embodied in The Onion writers... sorta scary thought, eh?) see the humour in the idiocy of the Democrat Party's stance. Oh, also today the Hamilton Spectator ran a piece by one Mr. Robert Fisk... as news, not commentary. Grr.

-- Also in the paper today it was noted that Ontario's GDP shrunk slightly during the month of August. This was attributed to the blackout, which affected southwest Ontario and (I think) Toronto. Although it's not exactly apples to apples, I can't help but compare this to the 7+% growth the USA has seen in the last quarter. Maybe it's less the blackout and more the continued deadening effects of social democracy on the work ethic?

--Instapundit linked an article somewhere on the need for debt forgiveness in Iraq and to third world countries generally. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: we had to make some difficult choices during the Cold War. In order to stop the spread of communism, we had to prop up some nasty regimes, like Iraq. Now there are tons of nations saddled with the debts left them by their dictators. The US and other post-industrial nations have a responsibility to these people, whom we had to use as pawns in a larger game. Now that the USSR has collapsed and global communism is mostly gone, we owe these people the forgiveness of debts. They deserve a fresh start, at least.

--Cori Dauber, latest Volokh Co-conspirator, has an entry about the structure of newsmedia stories and how the medium does affect the message. I just want to note that I have such a different perspective now that I've not really gotten news from the conventional media (TV, radio, newspapers) for over a year. It also provides me with an easy comeback when my Canadian dorm-mates tell me how brainwashed I am by the uber-patriotic conservative forces of CNN and MSNBC -- though I usually tell them I watch Fox News all the time just to reinforce stereotypes and all that.

OK, um I wrote this a couple hours ago but apparently I forgot to hit post. Oops. Here goes.

Posted by Tim at 10:58 PM | Comments (2)