Friday, November 12, 2010

My first hymn

Last week at Schola Cantorum practice the director, Stephen Folkemer, was complaining about the letter 'r'. It's sometimes difficult to sing words containing an 'r' without putting too much stress on it. Stephen is a great composer of music and joked that he would someday write a hymn which would avoid that problem. Below is my first real attempt at writing a hymn, and you will notice the lack of a certain letter:

The Messiah has come
Let us sing to Heaven
Good news we behold
God's joy to us given

We sing to give thanks
The angels sing laud
The light to us given
The King's advent is now

The chosen of God
Angel's joy come down
The Messiah has come
The Messiah has come

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Repair Permissions on a Mac

A professor recently asked me about his home computer acting a little strange. One of the things that I’ve found useful to do on a Mac which is acting weird is to run a procedure called “Repair Permissions”. To do this:

  1. Open your Applications Folder
  2. Open the Utilities Folder
  3. Run the Disk Utility program
  4. Select the Macintosh HD from the list on the left and click the Repair Permissions button

Once that is done, restart the computer, and hopefully things will act better. I’d also recommend making sure that your computer is up to date by checking for system updates in the Apple Menu.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This day was supposed to be relaxing

I returned from New Orleans yesterday evening (I know, I should have mentioned more about that here, sorry) and life quickly returned to normal. There were kids to be disciplined and things to get done around the house. I was hoping that today would be a nice relaxing day, but that didn't quite go as planned. I was able to sleep in until around 10:00am, which was nice. I know that I should have gotten up for church, but I was super tired and woke up with a sore throat and bad cough, so it probably wouldn't have gone well.

Once I was up and about I got some breakfast and Ivy pretty much immediately asked to go outside. Once we brushed her teeth and hair we went outside to play for a while. She pretty much occupied herself, so I took the opportunity to climb up on the roof and fix the garage cupola. I put it back in place, but still don't have a good way to fix it without major work, so I climbed back down. The rest of the morning wasn't too bad, but when there are kids around, nothing can really be considered restful.

After lunch I had to fix our tire pump so that I could inflate the tires on the wheelbarrow and the tractor. Angela had done some pruning on Saturday and she didn't want to carry everything down to the brush pile by hand. It turns out that the switch on the compressor was bad, so I left it taken apart so that I can just make contact with the wires when I need it to run. The pump runs off of the car's cigarette lighter, so it's not like I'm dealing with a lot of voltage, so I figure it's safe.

Once the compressor was working again, I inflated the wheelbarrow's tire and got to work on the tractor. This isn't trivial, since I have to first remove the wheel weights in order to get to the tire stem. While I was working on that, I decided to go ahead and leave the car radio on to listen to the CD I had playing. After a little while I noticed that the music stopped, which quickly led to the realization that I killed the car battery. I tried jumping it, but that didn't work, so it was off to buy a new one. Once I got home I started working on putting it in and found that the bolt which holds it in place was rusted beyond belief. After much cursing, WD-40 and time, I was able to get it loose enough to get the battery out. I then put the new one in, but for some reason, the negative terminal connector wouldn't get tight enough to stay on with any amount of confidence, so I came up with a nice solution using some cable ties. I'm sure it will never pass inspection, but that's a problem for June, not March.

That was about it for the major problems of the day. All in all, it was actually a pretty productive day. The snow plow is put away for the summer, and the mower deck is on the tractor. I got the shed cleaned up a little and put out most of the patio furniture. I even considered starting on some gardening work, but it was soon going to be dinner time, and the twins were asking to play, too, so that will have to wait for next weekend.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Ads everywhere

I was getting a banana yesterday and saw something unusual. I had to take a closer look at the usual sticker because I could have sworn it had the Wii logo on it. Sure enough, there it was. Apparently Chiquita is now selling advertising on its bananas in the form of stickers. This is a pretty clever ploy, since kids love stickers and who hasn't taken the sticker off of a banana and put it on their shirt. Kids then become a walking billboard (albeit a small one) for Chiquita and further the advertising.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

There's a new service called which I'm trying out. The basic gist of the service is that you configure a page for yourself which pulls in information from other pages. I know that sounds a little silly, but it makes for a great landing page for a person, so I'm trying it out. If the DNS information has moved for you, then heading over to should bring you to my flavors page ( also works. Right now the page pulls in this blog, Flickr, Facebook, Netflix and shared items from Google Reader. There are a variety of other services which it will pull in automatically using the API from the service, or you can add any RSS feed, which is pretty cool.

Hey, I already have one

So I'm looking to change how I run and went to setup a blog here on Blogger. I went to register and was told that the domain isn't available, so I opened up the URL to see which other Chuck Steel had already grabbed it. Low and behold it was some jerk that hadn't updated his blog since 2006. Upon further examination I found that the jerk in question was me! Ha!

The blog was under the old account, so I claimed it using my Google Account and now I'm good to go with updating here again.