Working from home, always an iffy premise… the “working” part, at least. Today though, I’m trying to do my best, as there is a lot of “working” to be done. One thing I’ve always wanted to be able to do while “working from home” is use my desktop PC to remote desktop into my laptop. That way, I can access all my work stuff while sitting in my comfy chair, using my big monitor, a regular keyboard and mouse, and tucked away in a quiet room away from the TV. It’s much easier to do work while sitting at a “real” PC rather than being hunched over a 15″ screen on the couch. For some reason though, every time I tried to use XP’s remote desktop from desktop-to-laptop, I’d manage to connect and then the laptop would immediately drop the wireless connection, which in turn dropped the remote desktop connection. I tried tweaking all kinds of settings, but I got the same behavior every time. Out of frustration, I decided to try good ol’ VNC, and lo and behold it works like a charm. It seems to be a little “laggier” than XP’s native remote desktop, but it’s permissible simply because it works. Now the laptop can sit in the living room while I work in the comfort and isolation of the “data center.” Dang I’m a nerd.
I’m sorry… I’m gonna talk God.
Saw a report on the national news tonight that sparked a question in me, but I’ll frame it with a story… to set the backstory, if you will. Back in high school I started regularly attending church with Sharaun. I’ve long been fascinated by religion. History mingled with faith, unquestioning love mingled with elitism; something about the mystery and power of religion has always been attractive to me. I would attend with an open ear and open mind, taking in every lecture, every sermon, every study, trying at all times to learn for myself. On one occasion, I guest preacher was visiting from out of state. Known for giving very passionate (remember, this is a non-denominational congregation of the Protestant, back-to-the-Bible ilk), and engaging sermons. His sermon on that day was about Jesus’ time in the desert after being baptized by John the Baptist.
For those of you who were absent that day in Sunday school, after being baptized, Jesus was called by God to wander the desert for forty days… all the while being tempted by the devil. The Gospel of Luke recounts one moment of Jesus’ temptation: And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, “All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” For some reason, this statement struck me. I thought about it for the rest of the lecture, and afterward found the preacher to ask the question I’d formed: “By what authority does Satan offer Jesus this? Who gave it all to him? How can he offer it?” The preacher responded that Satan must be lying; he is, after all, the devil. Still, I always wondered why Jesus just didn’t call him on it: “You have not the authority to offer this Satan! Only my Father owns all, and only He can do with it as he sees fit.” But he didn’t, and the explanation would have to stand.
Anyway, back to my story. On the news they were talking about the tsunami and how it has rocked the faith of many living in the regions hardest hit. “How can God allow this to happen?,” they asked. “Why’s it have to be God,” I thought, “Why couldn’t it be the Devil’s doing? Wouldn’t that make it easier to swallow?” Then it hit me, it couldn’t be the Devil’s doing… because… when you get right down to it, just what can the Devil do? The concept of the Devil is kinda flawed, because God is omnipotent. So blaming bad things on the Devil really doesn’t work… because they were first run by the proxy filter that is God’s divine will, right? So, in essence, God let the Devil’s evil happen, right? What real power does the Devil have then? If he can’t affect anything without God letting it happen, he may as well be powerless. In fact, the Devil is only a powerful force if God allows him to be… right?
If you take it one step further, you run into the whole omniscience of God vs. human free will problem. That is, how can God both grant us the free will do make choices between good and evil, yet already know the result of every choice we’ll make. If God already knows how we’re going to live our life, and whether or not we’ll end up in Heaven or Hell, why even make us live? If he knew all along that Adam would accept the apple from Eve, did Adam every really have a choice at all? So, I dunno y’all. The simple explanation is that God is not, in fact, omniscient, or that he has some kind of limited-omniscience. I just dunno. But luckily, I don’t have to figure it out anytime soon… or ever, for that matter. So, keep on believin’ what you believe, ’cause I don’t have the answers.
Whew… that’s it. Did all the heathens come through OK? Good.
Another mystery of the universe that’s always perplexed me, although not quite on as high a level, is why TVs sometimes “buzz” when certain things come on the screen. I know I’m not the only one who’s seen this, right? Something like a telephone number or some words are flashed on the bottom and an audible buzz comes from the speakers? Sometimes, it seems like the reds are “too high” or something, and only red portions of the image get all staticy, and are accompanied by the buzzing. It’s almost like the colors get so bright that they bleed over into the sound. Anyway, I always wondered what makes that happen. Turns out, that’s pretty much what’s happening. The scientific explanation? The “overmodulation of the video carrier (higher video content equals brighter picture) on a television transmitter results in loss of carrier such that the TV demodulation circuits cannot demodulate the sound carrier properly.” Thank you, today’s lesson is over.
Man, what a dismal entry thus far. I gotta pick up the pace or something.
You know what’s interesting to me? Snuff. Not like the modern stuff you put under your lip, but real honest-to-goodness old school snuff. I’m almost interested enough to get some and try it… how exotic would it be to carry around a snuffbox and paisley handkerchief for the brown snots that would result. I could feel so stuffy and British, snorting milled tobacco for the nicotine high. How very Elizabethan I should be! The most foppish dandy, not to mention the dandiest fop, of them all.
Well, believe it or not… I have like six more paragraphs written. I figure I’ll save them for tomorrow, or next week, or never… because, for now, I’m done. Goodnight.