Not a bad phillosophy

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Lazarus Long
(Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973)

Lateral Forces…


Are you kidding me?

Most of the people I talked to and from what I read in the ARE forum say the test is mostly theoretical in its questions and content.

Maybe I missed something, but it seemed like I had a lot of questions with equations. From bending moments to shear stresses and everything in between. I felt I was pretty well prepared and still had a decent grasp on the content and context of the General Structures test, so I think I may have still done alright, but it was NOT what I had expected.

However it turns out, I have the Building Technology vignette schedule for July 20.

Just keep on truckin.

Update: Autompeg4 is now MpegALot


The software I described in the tutorial I wrote up not too long ago has been updated by the author.

From Jacob Klint:

I am the author of the autompeg4 program, and I ran across this guide recently. I’m happy to see others are getting use out of the program!

I wanted to let you know that I just released a brand-new version of autompeg4. It has been totally revamped – it now has a nice GUI, a new name (”MpegALot”), much improved multithreaded batch encoding features, and so on. It still retains a command-line mode though for automated batch encodes as you describe here (although the settings file format has changed so old settings files will not work, sorry for the inconvenience!)

You can download the new program here:

Looks like he has really put a lot of thought an effort into making this an all in one solution, plus it looks like he has included all of the supplementary downloads in his zip file so it can be a one-stop open source solution. Nice. Check out the description here.

For those interested in the automated solution, another piece of software highlighted on lifehacker a couple times is ipodifier, which basically runs in the background, monitoring folders for new videos. When they show up, it automatically converts and syncs them with itunes. Check out the write-up here.

High tension job


And I thought my morning commute sucked.

Try to remember showing up on your first day of work, and your boss starts to explain what you will be doing that day. He probably didn’t say anything about a riding on the outside of a helicopter, remembering to discharge your static electricity (or else), or crab walking on high tension power lines 200 feet above ground.

My spring has sprung

On my Focus.

Front passenger side. Cracked suspension spring; makes a loud clanging sound whenever I turn the steering wheel.

I have an uncle-in-law who is a mechanic, usually he is willing and able to provide any maintenance needed, but has recently been experiencing problems with his sciatic nerve. Not wanting to cause him any further pain or anguish I am going to do the work myself with some tips and supervision from him.

Parts list from NAPA:

  • 2 Struts: $105.98
  • 2 Springs: $117.00
  • 2 Strut Bearing Plates: $92.38


  • 2 Monroe Quick Strut Modular Assemblies: $308

The math is simple. To buy and assemble the spring and struts it would cost $315.36 plus tax while the Quick Struts would only cost $308 plus tax.

The real savings is in time and safety. By using the Quick Struts, I shouldn’t have to worry about compressing any springs or assembling the parts before installation.

So the choice is:

Struts & Springs


Quick Strut

It’s nice when life gives you these kinds of choices…

The Time Is Nigh!

I have a Architectural Registration Exam scheduled for Friday the 27th. I decided to take General Structures. I would consider it to be one of the harder tests, from my point of view.

Studying is a bit of a chore when the only thing you want to do when you get home from work is spend time with your family. But I had to schedule it. I have to start taking tests. I am subject to the rolling clock, which means i have to retake tests if I haven’t passed all of them within five years. Plus they are updating the test format to ARE 4.0. The newer tests are multiple choice / fill in the blank / vignettes all mixed together whereas the current tests are either multiple choice OR vignettes.

I just need to buckle down, schedule and study. I may fail a couple, but I can’t pass them if I don’t take them.

Eternal sin. Fo real?


photo by (terms) has a post about a challenge to have people commit the eternal sin and post it up on youtube.

Now, officially, I’m a Christian. Raised in a somewhat religious household. Attended a non-denominational Bible Church in Chillicothe, Illinois. Attended church weekly, sometimes by force. But I would like to think that I paid attention, learned good from bad and was lucky enough to attend a small town church with a gentle and sensible pastor with a relatively realistic view on life and religion. It is where I came to realize that religion isn’t always a hootin, hollerin glamour show. It is personal, and a choice that can not be forced on others. And that your actions will make more of an impact than your words ever will. So I like to think that I have a fairly informed view of the Christian religion.

That being said, I was unaware of an eternal sin, other than not accepting Christ as your savior…

So, intrigued with the subject, I had an interesting google talk exchange with my brother, a graduate in some ministerial capacity from Wheaton College (for whatever reason I can never remember exactly in what), who I usually default to when a religious question pops up.

He said in his life of attending church he can only recall one or two instances where the eternal sin is brought up. So rarely spoken of in church perhaps because pastors and ministers don’t want to explain to the Sunday attendees that the big sell has a caveat.

Yes God will forgive you of ALL sins no matter what. No questions asked, no matter how many times you sin, no matter what the sin is……..except for that one sin.

He pointed me towards a nice write-up by pastor John Piper from Bethlehem Baptist Church that gives a bit more of an interpretation of the unforgivable sin. It does appear to exist and for people who believe, apparently there is a line you can cross that puts you beyond repentance. Whether making a video and denying the existence of the Holy Spirit will put you over the line is probably debatable.

From John Piper’s article:

The unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an act of resistance which belittles the Holy Spirit so grievously that he withdraws for ever with his convicting power so that we are never able to repent and be forgiven.

Making the video may not cross the line, but posting it on youtube might just do the trick. Who knows…