Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Larry Norman 1947-2008

Anyone who listens to what is now called Contemporary Christian Music should know the name Larry Norman. In 1969, Norman recorded Upon This Rock on Capitol Records, considered by many the first rock release that was also considered gospel music. He later went on to create the Solid Rock label, which had on its roster Randy Stonehill, Daniel Amos (the band), and Mark Heard, as well as others. So, I suppose that I owe him for my musical tastes. Although I own no Larry Norman recordings, his mark is left on the music of Stonehill and Daniel Amos. He was always a mysterious figure for me - there was always an air of controversy around him, especially because, when I was a teen, he and Stonehill (as well as all of the old Solid Rock people) were not talking. It seems that the various parties forgot their differences in recent years, although I know that the Daniel Amos people were trying to put together a reissue that was a bit undermined by the release of said reissue by Norman's people.

Details are silly, though, at this point. You can find more information around the Internet about Larry Norman, and even more about the controversies, and so forth. I know that I'll give some of his stuff a chance today, and I'll certainly pull out a copy of Stonehill's Welcome to Paradise in Larry Norman's honour.

New iPod Shuffle Tracking

I ordered myself an iPod Shuffle (Project (RED) version) from Apple and it's on its way to me. Funny that those in charge would send it straight from the factories in China instead of sending it from the Apple Store in Laval, about an hour and a half away by metro. I can expect to receive it at some point this week, I assume.

As for the Christmas CD, I still haven't received it. I again spoke to the store and I'm not going to initiate a charge-back with my credit card just yet. It's not really acceptable, though.

We might invest in a Dyson DC21 stowaway vacuum.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I think I'm getting a cold.

I'm starting to cough. I don't like that.

Did I mention that I'm really into photography? We were at my parents' house this weekend and I took some pictures. While I have learned an important principle in photography ("The quality of the camera makes much less of a difference than the quality of the photographer" - since most of my pictures are still pretty bad), I do enjoy it. I hope that at some point I'm able to take a few high quality pics. Right now I'm just learning how to control the aperture to make a blurry picture (with a subject in focus). I'm not sure that the aperture setting can go as low as I would like. But I don't know enough about the camera. It might be that I can zoom and then change the aperture. I have to play with the camera a bit.

It must be really exciting to read something from someone that actually doesn't know what they're talking about. But I'm getting better!

Mail woes continue with me. I ordered a Christmas CD at the beginning of December and it has yet to reach me. Perhaps it will arrive before next Christmas. I've been in touch with the store and I hope that they will resolve the issue soon (i.e. send me a new one).

Also, I sent an envelope by Canada Post expresspost on Thursday to Manitoba and it hasn't arrived, according to tracking HQ. I'm really not impressed. I could have sent it regular, instead of being ripped off of $15 by sending it express. As long as it gets there. Right now, it's who knows where.

Here's a picture of an RCA Victor SHC667 Integrated Amp (circa 1961) that I am interested in (i.e. getting my cousin to fix for me so that I can gloat). It has tubes!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

SSHRC bid unsuccessful

I received the letter from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada today, announcing that my bid for a 2008 postdoctoral fellowship was unsuccessful. The success rate was 25.2% this year, and the letter suggests that there were 676 applicants trying for funding.

I did receive 2 points more than I did last year (that's a 6.7% increase from last year's score!). This was reflected in the "Track Record" portion of the ratings, rather than the "Program of Work" (or proposal) portion. The latter actually scored slightly lower than last time, which is strange considering I worked on that part to improve it.

FQRSC, my next chance for postdoctoral funding, announces results in April.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I'm lonely already

My wife is leaving for Hamilton as her grandfather has passed away. Although I do have experience living alone, I'm a bit lonely right now, and she hasn't even left the city yet!

I'll be praying for her and her family this weekend.


My cousin told me that I should consider becoming a professional photographer. I'm not sure if it's the quality of the photos (in terms of composition) or the fact that I "look" like a photographer.

Anyway, here are a couple of shots of me in "photography" mode.

(The second photo was flipped in a very inelegant way, importing the 10 megapixel image into Apple Pages, flipping the photo horizontally, and then taking a screen capture to .jpg and uploading it here.)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Picture for Lent

I went to a Lenten service today at the Prebyterian church in downtown Montreal, after a Bible study on 1 Peter chapter 5. Before the chapel service, I took a quick picture of the tapestry that hangs there with my new camera. It isn't the most wonderful photo in the world, but it's not bad.

The service was very nice. The sermon was excellent (very thought provoking, exploring the modernist notion that all religions are the same). The Bible study was also quite stimulating, and although there was a bit of discussion, there wasn't the real "getting off the rails" that there sometimes is when attending such discussions. The church also has a lunch after the chapel services during Lent. I didn't go today (part of me is thinking that not eating lunch on Thursdays might be my Lenten sacrifice), but I might go next week.

By the way, I submitted a proposal for a conference in Vancouver in the early summer, but the proposal was rejected. I was hoping to present at that conference.

No word on the electric train set yet.