Today I clean up my desk. I tend to keep things and then end up throwing them away without using them. I have an in and out box system, but there is not an ‘out’ really, and I am the only one who puts stuff into the ‘in’. Maybe I will run across an artifact from a forgotten age, before windows 2000.

I have been a bit fuzzy lately. Not sure why. I am looking at diet, and sleep causes. Heard about USS (Uberman’s Sleep Schedule) from brother Dave’s site and have thought about trying it out. Might be hard with the very hot and humid weather here, as it tends to make you more tired.

I have lost weight since moving over here. I knew that I would. I don’t eat out as much and when I do the servings are more well proportioned to a healthy appetite. I eat much more rice and veggies, and far less beef and dairy. Something about >100 ?F temperatures suppress hunger. So far I have lost about 15 lbs. since our arrival in August. Maybe I will get back to my pre-marriage physique.

3 more weeks till school is out. I am planning a total migration to Windows 2000 this summer. Well maybe not total. All the servers and most of the student computers will be upgraded. I am looking forward to the control it will give us over the desktop and use of student computers.

One of my employees has been asking about the ‘fairness’ of God. He asks why 2 Christians can do all the same good things, and have all the same good attitudes, yet one is blessed finacially and the other suffers. I don’t feel that I can say much, because I am massively blessed campared to him. If I say that he needs to learn to be content with whatever God gives him, it sounds callous and superiour. He asks how much a computer technitian makes in the US, and talks about hearing other missionaries complain about their million ($20,000) peso support levels as if they could not possibly live on less than 1.5 ($30,000) or 2 ($40,000) million.

Business

It seems that even in the business world here, there are cultural issues. All this talk about globalization, but when it comes down to it, culture is king. Here in the Phil, relationships are primary. Even in the business world. Faith is quite a drive from Metro Manila, yet vendors insist on coming out to meet with you to introduce you to their company. Recently account execs from 2 partnered tech companies drove all the way out here (maybe 2+ hours each way) to give me their calling (business) cards. Which brings me to another point. There is etiquite in the transfer of a ‘calling card’. In the US we just whip it out and practically toss them to eachother, or flip it out between our outstretched fore and middle fingers. Very unimpressive. You must have the thumb and fore-finger of each hand in contact with the card until they have recieved it. And you must push it out parallel to the ground, directly in front of you. When you recieve the card you must also use the thumb and fore-finger from each hand, and do not pull away to quickly. This is a ceremony. It is how you say that you respect both the name on the card and the company it represents. This is why you face 4 hours of traffic for a 15 minute transaction. A relationship has been conceived.

Typo3

I have discovered the engine that will drive the next incarnation of www.faith.edu.ph and maybe many more sites that I create in the future. I am pretty impressed. It is easy to use if you are a newbie-ish webmaster, but has the flexibiltiy to do very complex sites. You can write your own modules, templates, etc. I am running it on my box at work (win2K, PHPDev4, ImageMagick 4.2.9), and at home (win98). I don’t recomend running Apache on win98. I have had to restart Apache every 2 hours or so. It is only for development, so I tollerate it. Have only had trouble with the GD libraries. PHP sees them, but somehow Typo3 misses them. I am still looking through the config files to make sure all is set up right.

The thing that I am really impressed by is the Christian zeal of the developer. In all his documentation he makes references to the Bible, and won’t keep quiet about it. The Typo3 site is peppered with blurbs about his church, faith, and how he is only able to produce the software because God has given him the skills. Quite refreshing.

Bethany is 27 today

She does not know it but we will be staying in a very, very nice hotel tonight. It is adjacent to an upscale mall, and we just walk on over into our room. I hope she enjoys it. A good friend donated very generously to the cause. The kids will stay home with Thata. She seems to enjoy watching them. I am putting this up, just as a bit of a risk factor. Will Bethany look at it sometime today? Will it be weeks before she looks at it, and finds that she could have known what her gift would be ahead of time?

Today was In-Service

A bit of the usual “lets focus on teaching” type stuff, and then I led a session on HTML. It is fun to teach adults. We went over because no-one knew when we were supposed to get out, and we were enjoying it so much. This coming week I will be focusing on the Faith site, and getting all the content updated on the new site. There are a few design changes that have to be made as well. The margins in the content area are too small, and I am thinking about implementing columns in some places. Micah Bucy has been helping out, and he took the site home with him during break. I am looking forward to seeing what he got done. Ah, yes. Break. We, our four plus Aunt Amanda and Uncle Matt, went down to Batangas to go to the beach. It was very, very hot. The AC went out on our car, and I have not had it fixed yet, so the drive was rather sweltering. The back left tire also lost some tread and started bulging. Stopped on South Super at Sucat to change it and get gas. The drive led us along the Tagaytay Ridge that overlooks the Taal Valcano basin and lake. Quite beautiful. Eventually we made it too the beach, but the air was not moving. Ate at what turned out to be a very expensive european restaurant, and then rented a room with an AC at a resort for P2500 ($50). The next day we hired a bangka to take us out to do some snorkeling. The snorkeling was fun, but the sights under the sea were nothing spectacular. At about noon we decided to head back, instaed of the original plan of staying another night or two. Still very hot. Stopped in Tagaytay for some fresh fruit (mangosteen, guyabano [soursop], manga [mango], and pina [pineapple]). The drive through Manila was so miserable that we decided to stop at Megamall to cool our heels, let the air cool, and traffic clear up a bit. Felt pretty dirty actually, and a bit embarrassed to be out in public. We ate at Area Cafe, our favorite restaurant, and did some strolling. We did make it home.

Provocation #23

Everything that needs numbers in order to become significant is by that very fact insignificant. Everything that can be arranged, executed, completed only with the help of numbers, the sum of which startles people in amazement, as if this were something important – precisely this is unimportant. The truly important is inversely related, needs a progressively smaller and smaller number to implement its completion. And for the most important of all, that which sets heaven and earth in motion, only one person is needed. And what is most important of all? What interests angels and demons most is that a person is actu- ally involved with God – for this one single human being is enough.

Provocations are taken from Provocations: The Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard