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Posts Tagged ‘time’

Y2K Bug in Retrospect

picture of y2k explosion

Do you remember all the hype about the y2k bug in the late 1990's? For those who only vaguely remember that situation, here's the problem in a nutshell. Computer programmers had the practice of abbreviating the year to only the last two digits. As the year 2000 approached it was feared that everything would stop working at the time of the rollover from 99 to 00. The predictions were that long-working computer systems would break down when the ascending numbering of years "...97, 98, 99..." suddenly became invalid when we hit the year "00."

Ten years ago this week people all over the globe were anticipating worldwide calamity. Some people were extremely concerned about y2k, but many others were totally nonchalant. My own take on it was "y2k? — y not 2k?!" But actually it's more than a little ironic that they called the problem "y2k" when it's abbreviations that got us in the problem in the first place!

Here's a cartoon that shows what many thought would happen:

picture of y2k cartoon

People were seriously stocking up on provisions — bottled water, canned meat, vegetables and fruit, TP, etc., in case stores could not open for months. There were all sorts of items available like the Survival Kit below:

picture of y2k survival kit

If you want to read more about the "y2k problem," there's a good article on Wikipedia.

Crisis mentality and hype are nothing new. But the y2k problem apparently wasn't either — those living in 999 A.D. and the year 1 B.C. faced similar situations. I have unearthed several documents that describe those situations, and I share them below. Also in 1999 there were some, in spite of all the reporting about it, who still did not understand the concept of y2k. I'll end the post with one blonde's (mis)understanding of the problem.
Click here to continue reading this post ⇒

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Numbering My Days

picture of Daytime page

It's still close enough to the beginning of this new year to post something with a New Year's theme – especially something as good as this! This past weekend my wife Becka and I were on a retreat to the Wilds in North Carolina. At the end of the final session our pastor, Drew Conley, read something his sister-in-law Claudia Holmes Barba had written for her most recent Monday Morning Club. Then last evening he read it again at the end of the service.

It was such a nice piece that I decided to e-mail Claudia as soon as I got home and ask her permission to post it on my blog this week. She wrote back right away and said it would be fine and sent me a copy of it to post.

Numbering My Days
by Claudia Holmes Barba

The skeleton of the new year sits on the pages of my day planner. Its skinny bones are the standard reminders of birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, and deadlines that I've already jotted in. I'll fatten that skeleton with the minutiae of life as days go by.

I can be certain of one thing about all my plans for this year: none of them are certain. I may scribble them in today only to scribble them out tomorrow. I'll often have to alter my agenda and rearrange my precious schedule – sweetly, I hope – to accommodate others. Surprises both blissful and dreadful will arrive. I may be with the Lord in glory (Glory!) by spring or celebrate my autumn birthday (Happy!) with Him. I will not make any big noises about any tomorrows, since I can't even know what today will bring.

There's another certainty about this year: I am going to give account for every moment of it. Even a quick flip through last year's planner makes me miserably aware that too many of its days and labors did not count for eternity. I admit to my sorrow that I toted water past thirsty souls and hoarded bread from hungry hearts. Though I wore the label "full-time ministry" all year, I am dismayed at how little I accomplished that will endure, as I squandered the wealth of many hours I could have invested. This year, I intend to walk more circumspectly, redeeming the time, reminding myself every day of "how short my time is" (Psalm 89:47).

So I've decided on a January project: to record on each day of next year's calendar the number of days I've lived. Today, I've calculated, is about Day 20,894 of my life. (That's pretty old.) It would be more motivating to record how many days I have left, but only the Lord knows that number. This I do know: there is a God-determined limit to my days, and since I've already used up way more than half of them, I can't afford to fritter away even one more. By His grace, this year I will actively seek out the thirsty and hungry and ripen ordinary contacts into redeeming relationships. I will treat each trip as a mission trip. I will be more concerned with keeping divine appointments than with keeping to my schedule. I won't allow either the routine or the urgent to thwart the essential and eternal.

Maybe you'd like to join me by calculating and recording your days, too. Reading those big numbers on our calendars every day may be the sort of numbering of days that brings wisdom (Psalm 90:12). I hope so, because looking ahead at the new year, I can tell we're going to need it.


If you enjoyed this and would like to sign up to receive Claudia's e-mails, you can contact her through a link on the site she and her husband Dave have for their ministry - Press On! Ministries

Thank you, Claudia, for allowing me to share what was a blessing to me with my readers! I've noted in the picture at the beginning of this post that today is about Day 20,925 for me. That is a sobering thought!

This week we will be back in classes again for second semester! Exciting times ahead, and lots of work for all parties concerned (and not so much for all parties unconcerned - of which we hope there are not many!) 🙂


"When we are in Christ, how we work and why we work changes." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

When fabric softener was invented, did it make people ex-static?

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Home Invasion!

picture of crime scene stuff

Now that the elections are past, we're hearing reports on the news about the increase in gun sales. With rising economic problems we're also hearing about more and more home invasions. The newscasters collectively scratch their heads and wonder why either of these is happening. I have some ideas about why ... do you?

I've had a piece in my files for quite a while that seemed like a good thing to share at this time. It's the story of a more subtle home invasion by a stranger and the impact on the family.

The Stranger

A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger? He was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to her room and read her books. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home ... not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long-time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in the home, not even for cooking. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked... and NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first.

Still, if you were to walk into my parents' den today you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?

We just call him "TV" for short.

A close companion of his has moved in with us. We call her "Computer."


How does your family handle TV and computer usage, especially those of you with children in the home? Our nest is empty, but we have always tried to be very careful what was allowed to be seen and heard on our TV.


"If all the people who name Christ were living as they ought to, our country would be going in a different direction." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Television enables you to be entertained in your home by people you wouldn't have in your home. --David Frost

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Tough Questions

picture of blue question mark

Do you enjoy fielding tough questions? As a teacher I have been accused of posing unanswerable questions on my tests. But let me tell you, I've been asked some real doozies by my students as well. Our children asked us some hard questions as they grew up. In fact at one stage of life, our son Mark asked so many questions that we nicknamed him "Question Mark." In case you've not seen a recent interview of Biden on a TV station in Florida, you can see it either on YouTube or on the WFTV website. It's clear that Biden, who has not had to field many tough questions in recent days, did not enjoy the experience.

Today's iv is a list of tough questions you probably wouldn't want to have to answer.

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before he's considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

If money doesn't grow on trees, why do banks have branches?

Since sandwich bread is square, why is sandwich meat round?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in" but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? What's that extra penny going to?

What did cured ham actually have?

Why is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why do people pay to go to the top of tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Do people in Australia call the rest of the world "up over"?

Can a stupid person be a smart-alec?

Why is it called lipstick if you can still move your lips?

Are part-time bandleaders semi-conductors?

Can you buy an entire chess set in a pawn shop?

Did Noah keep his bees in archives?

If a person thinks marathons are superior to sprints, is it considered racism?

Do they have reserved parking for non-handicapped people at the Special Olympics?

Why are there 5 syllables in the word "monosyllabic"?

Do you overthrow a puppet government with toy guns?

Do pilots take crash courses?

How many weeks are there in a light year?

If blind people wear dark glasses, should deaf people wear earmuffs?

What do you call a male ladybug?

What do chickens think we taste like?

If peanut butter cookies are made from peanut butter, then what are Girl Scout cookies made out of?

How does a shelf salesman keep his store from looking empty?

How does AVON find so many women willing to take orders?

If "pro" is the opposite of "con," then what is the opposite of progress?

How do they get a deer to cross at that yellow road sign?

Do hungry crows have ravenous appetites?

If people aren't supposed to drink and drive, why do bars have parking lots?

What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?

How can there be self-help "groups"?

Why do the signs that say "Slow Children" have a picture of a running child?

Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?

How do you get off a non-stop flight?

When a Smurf chokes, what color does it turn?

Could someone ever get addicted to counseling? If so, what treatment could you give them?

What do you do when you see an endangered animal that eats only endangered plants?

If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound?

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

How come wrong numbers are never busy?

What would a chair look like if your knees bent the other way?

Daylight savings time - why are they saving it and where do they keep it?

If I save time, when do I get it back?


Speaking of which, don't forget to switch your clocks back to standard time this weekend if you're on Daylight savings time here in the USA.

I'm sure my readers have some tough questions of their own that they could add. Please post them in the comments.

For a ten day period I had a poll question in the sidebar - Who do you think will be the next president of the USA? The results were 37 think it will be Obama, 32 think it will be McCain, and 1 thinks it will be a third-party candidate.


"Money is America's god, and money cannot save us." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

To vacillate or not to vacillate, that is the question ... or is it?

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New Survivor Series

a cartoon about reality TV
Are you a fan of "reality TV" and so-called reality shows? I have viewed very little of them because many of them don't seem to be reality in my way of thinking. Take Fear Factor, for example. I could never figure out how getting people to do something they would never consider doing on their own - like eating horrific bugs or suspending themselves over a deep precipice - is "reality." Maybe some of my readers coud enlighten me on what I seem to be missing here.

Recently I received an e-mail with a great idea for a new Survivor series that I thought had some possibilities. See what you think.

new Survivor series

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids, keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, and complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of 'pretend' bills with not enough money. In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time--no emailing.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment, and a haircut appointment.

He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care.

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside, and keeping it presentable at all times.

The men will have access to television only when the kids are asleep and all chores are done.

The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, adorn themselves with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep fingernails polished and eyebrows groomed. He must also work out daily and ensure that his body looks like it did when he was twenty.

During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

They will need to read a book to the kids each night and in the morning, feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

They must clean up after their sick children at 2:00 a.m. and then spend the remainder of the day tending to that child and waiting on them hand and foot until they are better.

They must have a loving, age appropriate reply to, "You're not the boss of me".

The kids vote them off the island based on performance.

The last man left on the island wins, and he gets to play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years, eventually earning the right to be called Mom!



"The fact is that we pray about what we care about most. If your prayer isn't God-focused it's because your life isn't God-focused." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

Just remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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