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Jesu, Juva

Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ Category

Derby

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Asher and I raced our derby cars this morning. Here’s a picture of our cars before the race, with Asher’s in the foreground. He did a great job on his car!

Asher named his car “Fear, Fire, Foe!” Mine was “Supplanter.”

Asher won fifth place for design among Ranger Kids, and I won third place for speed in the open competition. There were some pretty creative and pretty fast cars there!

Written by Scott Moonen

March 29, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Posted in Miscellany, Personal

Pleiades

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If Toby Sumpter is correct that the book of Job is a study in maturation, then we should consider Job 38-41 to be a dangerous but thrilling invitation to “dress for action” and join our Father:

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades
or loose the cords of Orion?
. . .
Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’?”

We have hardly begun to subdue creation.

Written by Scott Moonen

January 13, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Miscellany

Time

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Each year passes faster than the one before.

Each year is a proportionally smaller slice of your life when compared in the balance. The second year of your life covers half your experience to that point. Your fiftieth year is a mere drop in the bucket, occupying only two percent of your experience.

We begin by learning to feel the pace of a day, then a week, a month. Eventually we learn the pace of years and, if we are blessed, decades.

Imagine what it would have been like to learn to feel the rhythm of centuries.

And imagine how quickly time will fly in the resurrection.

See also: Patience, Patience, again.

Written by Scott Moonen

January 5, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Posted in Miscellany

Bechdel

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The Bechdel test is interesting, but it is fundamentally flawed. It is flawed because it cannot account for the story of history itself: the story of a boy, a girl and a dragon.

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
  if you find my beloved,
that you tell him
  I am sick with love.

History is much more than a chick flick, but it is no less.

Written by Scott Moonen

January 4, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Fall

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Spring used to be my favorite season.

Now it’s fall.

I wonder if that is a result of growing older (barely).

I have a theological rationalization handy, of course. You see, the biblical themes of maturation, glorification, reaping and eschatology are just as vital as the biblical theme of regeneration, new life. History moves toward harvest, autumn.

Surely there will be Ferris wheels, funnel cake and pecan pie in the resurrection.

I’m grateful, though, that each year we experience the whole cycle of seasons, that we taste this repetition of death, rebirth, glorification and feasting. My other favorite season is whichever one comes next.

Written by Scott Moonen

October 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Posted in Miscellany

Face

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A few weeks ago, we cut a swath out of the ivy on a large oak tree in our front yard and had an arborist come by to trim dead branches. Since then, the ivy has started to wither away and the tree’s leaves are beginning to spring forth. This evening we discovered this fellow emerging from the ivy. His left eye and mouth were missing, but we found them after grabbing a rake and scratching about for a few minutes. Here he is after clearing away more of the ivy.

Click on each picture for a larger view.

Written by Scott Moonen

April 13, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Posted in Miscellany, Personal

Kindle

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I bought a basic Kindle recently and I’m enjoying it. I don’t currently plan to buy many e-books, but rather use the Kindle as a better tool for existing reading compared to my computer and phone. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:

PDFs

I’ve found a number of free books in PDF form that I plan to work through:

  • A number of books and articles by James Jordan are available at Biblical Horizons. Through New Eyes is a great introduction to Jordan’s work if you are unfamiliar with him.
  • Gary North has a number of books available for free. At a minimum, right now I plan to work through some of the books by North, David Chilton, Ken Gentry and George Grant.
  • There are a number of free books available at the von Mises Institute. Bruno Leoni’s Freedom and the Law in particular comes highly recommended, and I’ve just finished Henry Hazlitt’s outstanding Economics in One Lesson.

There are also lots of books available at Project Gutenberg and the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

PDF’s aren’t the best format for reading on Kindle. I’ve found two tools for converting PDFs to e-books and uploading them to my Kindle. For simple PDFs (e.g., single column, and not a scanned image), Calibre is great for converting and uploading. However, Calibre does a poor job with PDFs that are scanned copies of books (this applies to many of the books linked above). For these I use a two-step process: first, I run the PDF through the K2PDFOpt tool (at the time of this writing, version 1.63 crashes for me on some books, but 1.51 is stable). This increases the size of the PDF file significantly, but it organizes it in a form that Calibre is much better able to handle. Then I use Calibre to convert these PDFs to e-books, and upload them to my Kindle.

Articles

Until now, I saved longer articles and blog posts for later reading using open tabs in my browser. This quickly grows unwieldy. The Instapaper service allows you to save web pages for later reading, and it integrates with Kindle. Now when I run across a longer article, I click a button to send it to Instapaper, and by the next morning the article is ready to read on my Kindle.

Blogs

The Kindlefeeder service allows you to send blog and news feeds to your Kindle. I’ve selected several of the blogs I read (ones that tend to have longer articles) to be sent to my Kindle, and now I read them there rather than on my computer.

Other

If you have any other tips and tricks I’d appreciate hearing about them.

All of the above should work with e-readers other than Kindle. In the case of Instapaper and Kindlefeeder, you may need to upload a file manually to your reader instead of having it automatically sent there.

Written by Scott Moonen

December 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Posted in Books, Miscellany, Tools