Vancouver, BC (photo from trekearth.com)
Thanks to everyone that has assisted me with my problem of evil questionnaire as I have 90 surveys in presently. However, I probably need twice that many in eventually, and so for those of you interested that attend Christian churches (my sample group) please contact me via a comment or email and I shall email or mail out a questionnaire to you.
In March of 2006 I had my uvula and tonsils removed which is known as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, and in July I had nasal reconstruction called Septal and tip reconstruction, right turbinate debridement. According to my surgeon I am now 70% cured, and have one stage sleep apnea instead of three stage sleep apnea which I had previously. My throat which apparently had been swollen often since I was a toddler, according to Mommy, is much better. As far as I realize I have only awoke once in the night since the surgery with a slight loss of breath and it was minor compared to what I would have experienced previously. I used to go up to 45 seconds without breathing, 20-30 times in 1.5 hours. The nose had been broken in the United Kingdom and according to my surgeon the British GP who had tried fixing the nose by hand and without anesthetic and made the nose considerably worse. His two attempts at straightening my nose were the most physically painful moments of my life. After the first attempt blood went all over my shirt and lap as I sat in his examination chair with my hands grasping the arm rests. The GP stated "sorry". My surgeon stated something along the lines that prior to the nasal reconstruction surgery some of my nasal tissue inside was located near my ears thanks to the GP! The nose is much better now and does not get plugged up, but it is still soft compared to what it was before the surgery and still makes some noises when I move it slightly by hand.
To fix the third stage of my sleep apnea my surgeon had stated previously that there was jaw surgery available for a few thousand dollars which included the need for dental work, but later he informed me that if I really wanted my sleep apnea potentially cured, I would have to go to Stanford University and pay $100,000 for perhaps two jaw surgeries which move the jaw forward. I have heard from an American surgeon in another field that with medical insurance that figure could be drastically reduced. Prior to the two surgeries from about 2002-2006 I used to sleep approximately 10-12 hours a day and often woke up nearly exhausted. Now, I sleep 8-10 hours a day and have more energy although I often have trouble sleeping several hours straight. If for example I go to bed at midnight, I may sleep until 3 am and then not get back to sleep until 6 am. This means that I nap and sleep at strange times. Needless to say I would like to have the jaw surgery done eventually.
I do not want to use the CPAP machine because knowing me I would find it very difficult to sleep hooked up with anything. The two times I was hooked up to a machine for testing I barely slept. While being tested the technician told me that many of the other people being tested for sleep apnea were using CPAP and were trying to get the surgeries done! CPAP is probably very difficult to sleep with and not sexy at all! If I was to stupidly buy the CPAP machine I am sure I would quickly desire a divorce!
I realize that as a Christian I cannot save this physical body and God uses medical doctors to maintain it, but ultimately I need God to drastically change my circumstance. 1 Corinthians 15:42 mentions that the resurrection body is sown perishable but raised imperishable and this is my hope as God's grace provides me with spiritual redemption even though I am a sinner as described in Romans 3:23. The wages of sin are death, but everlasting life is provided freely for those in Christ as in Romans 6:23.
Conwy gardens, Wales (photo from thekingpin68)
I just found this link via sitemeter. Please scroll down until the end (red letters provided by me).
Someone misunderstands and placed me on a list on incorrectly!;)
A 21st Century Rationalist
Advice From God
Ardent Secularist, The
Atheism, Agnosticism, and the Burden of Proof
Atheist Blogs - UK
Atheist in a mini van
Beep! Beep! It's me!
Bible and History
Big Sky Humanist
Bits of Star Stuff
Blogging the Bible
Blog of the Gods
Death, Taxes, and Rock&Roll
Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Dwindling in Unbelief
Fight the Faith
F___ The Lord
God vs No God Debate
Letter From A Broad
Military Religious Freedom Foundation
My Case Against God
New Atheist, A
No God Blog
Panda's Thumb, The
Satire and Theology
BC farm (photo from Ron Niebrugge)
UPDATE: Questionnaires found, March 18, 2007
Now the church has two sets.;)
I was out in rural east Maple Ridge by car with a friend Sunday, dropping off some problem of evil questionnaires at a church, before heading to our own church in Vancouver. According to the minister, the questionnaires that were placed by me outside the front door of his church prior to the service Sunday have been stolen. The questionnaires were in a yellow package and in a transparent plastic bag. It was raining heavily outside, but they were put in a dry area. Previously before dropping the package off, my friend drove into the parking lot of a neighbouring church thinking it was the Church that I needed to go to. This church featured a German Shepherd cross watch dog who was barking fiercely at us. Here are some possible explanations for the missing questionnaires. Please feel free to add some other ideas in the comments. I have to return to the church next Sunday to drop off a new set of questionnaires.
1. The German Shepherd cross waited until we left and then violently attacked and ate the questionnaires in a fit of rage.
2. A passerby saw the yellow package and removed it from the plastic bag and then used the plastic bag as rain headgear.
3. Some sweet soul is photocopying the questionnaires for me and is taking them to as many Christian churches as possible, as my mailing address is on each questionnaire.
4. A person noticed the package and upon opening it thought that it was a great idea for a PhD. The person is now going to try and write a 60,000 page PhD dissertation to match the questionnaire. My method was to write the theory first and then the questionnaire, but to each his own I guess. I do not want to be judgmental here!
5. The questionnaires were taken in order to place my email address, which is also on the document, on a list which can be sold to foreign companies in order that I can receive more email job offers to work in China.
6. A person living in the country is unwilling to go to an ophthalmologist all the way in "downtown" Maple Ridge to have the eyes checked of family members. This person is instead using the AS A NC D DS as an eye chart by holding the questionnaires at different distances to check the eye sight of family members.
7. A person is using the questionnaires for the rough drafts of an up and coming problem of evil comic strip series.
8. A person or persons used the questionnaires to start a fire to cook some local road kill.
9. The questionnaires were taken to a local paper recycling depot and gleefully accepted by the honest and sharp employee.
10. A person or persons opened the package and seeing that I attend the University of Wales, mailed them back to the United Kingdom.
11. Toilet paper?
12. A person or persons thought the problem of evil could be demonstrated by stealing the questionnaires.
Actua Soccer (1995)
Actua Soccer 3 (1998)
Actua Soccer 3 (1998)
For relaxation purposes I have played computer soccer for ten years. I find it generally relaxing except for the computer simulation which at times leads to what I call "cheating". What happens is the computer makes human player 1 soccer players and goalkeeper perform below regular ability and commit actions that were not committed by human player 1 with the game pad. This can lead to one losing games that they really should not have lost but were simply cheated in. This has lead my friends and I to sometimes adopt colouful language in anger which has to be repented for later! Worse yet, when the cheating occurs in human player 1 vs. human player 2 matches it is at times difficult to know if your opponent actually made a mistake or was cheated. This requires rules to be established which disallow "cheat goals". I have tried playing EA FIFA games and personally prefer the British games and I am pretty cheap when it comes to buying what I view as overpriced newer games.
Actua Soccer from 1995 is simplistic compared to Actua Soccer from 1998. I play the Mac version of Actua Soccer and it is more difficult to win at than Actua Soccer 3 against the computer because there is more simulation and cheating taking place. Actua Soccer 3 which I play on PC is more technically difficult to master than Actua Soccer, but I thought I was pretty much an expert after 1-2 years. However, I must state that playing a good human player on either game would be far more difficult than playing the computer and I would of course lose more games against persons that can change strategies than I would games against the computer.
My main reason for writing this article is not too discuss computer soccer, but to express ideas. As noted I thought I was pretty much an expert at Actua Soccer 3 within 1-2 years. I have now played the game for eight years. I am good enough not to lose to the computer in Actua Soccer 3, and only lose very occasionally in Actua Soccer, if much cheating takes place. With what I regard as the best team in Actua Soccer 3 in 2006 I played a league where I scored 468 goals for and had 3 against. Today I completed another league with the same team and equal opposition and I scored 601 goals and had 3 against in the same amount of games. That is a 133 goal improvement one year later and after 8 years of playing the game. That is also over a 22% increase in goals scored in one year. I was amazed that I could improve over 22% in goals for after playing the game for so long, and I often did not realize that I was improving that much. I do not state this to brag, once again admitting that if I played good human players I would lose far more than I would presently against the computer.
Taking these ideas from the Actua experience and applying them in general terms to theology. I have increased in knowledge and skill since beginning my formal academic studies. I am a finite being and not infinite and there is always room for improvement. There is therefore no place for arrogance on my part, but humility and confidence as God leads is required.
From the March 6, 2007 match:
1. Since the UEFA Champions League was not shown live on TSN that morning, I watched the ending of the match on TLN in Spanish. I viewed the silly fight.
2. Once again soccer fights are shown to be generally inferior to hockey fights.
3. I admit to finding soccer shenanigans amusing as long as no one is seriously hurt. I did find this silly brawl funny and laughed, especially with the guy in the grey outfit running away from the two players trying to slide tackle him.
4. However, in reality UEFA should attempt to eliminate these kinds of occurrences. Having attended several games in Europe and studied the European game somewhat, I realize that at times the crowds can be volatile and a brawl on the field could potentially lead to a brawl in the stands and outside the stadium. At worst a riot could occur and that is no laughing matter.
5. UEFA can suspend individual players and coaches, and ban fans, but prevention is a key. At the end of the match several police officers should have immediately been prepared to break up any altercations between players, coaches and potentially fans. Romans, Chapter 13 gives the governing authorities the right the bear the sword to bring wrath upon one who practices evil. Now, I am not suggested decapitation at soccer stadiums! However, the governing authorities realizing that soccer matches provide potentially volatile situations should be ready before, during, and after games to prevent fights, brawls and violence through the use of legal force. Yes, I admit I find soccer shenanigans in moderation funny at times, but having been to several games it would not be amusing if a riot of any type occurred. UEFA and local authorities need to be better prepared to stop soccer related violence.
As noted in a couple of previous articles, I am no longer a serious NHL fan for reasons explained in writing. However, my friend Chucky won two free Canucks tickets and so I went with another friend to the game on Sunday which saw the Vancouver Canucks defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 (3-2 shootout). The game was as interesting as the games I viewed in the 1990s and 1980s. However, the overall night was overpriced.
The tickets were free, but the listed price was almost $70 each.
The parking ranged from a ridiculous $20 to $25 in price.
So, around $160 in cost for the evening, if we would have had to buy the tickets for 3 hours of entertainment, not including the price of food and gasoline. A similarly priced Rush concert is every 2-5 years, while there are 40 plus Canucks home games a year. That is one reason why I think a Rush concert is a better deal for similar money. I think that a good movie for $11 is equivalent entertainment to a Canucks game, although my friend disagrees. Once I am a professor, God willing, I may occasionally be willing to pay over $100 to see a show on stage, but that would be a rare event, or possibly a once in a lifetime event and so I would likely rate that as better value than a Canucks game. Besides the fact the Canucks game is overpriced, it irritated me to hear recently on the local radio sports channel 1040 that the Canucks, Leafs, Rangers, and Red Wings and other well supported NHL teams are using their revenues to subsidize the non-hockey market teams in the USA that are losing money. Even though the Canucks game was good entertainment I would not pay to see a game because the event is overpriced and the money would partially be going to subsidize teams that I do not think belong in the League.
My friend and I did have a good night of entertainment and more importantly discussion. The theological point was made that $160 would likely be better spent by middle class persons on feeding the poor somewhere in the world as opposed to on NHL hockey tickets and parking. If someone is wealthy and they can do both perhaps that is fine, but for many persons perhaps priorities need to be reexamined. I am not making any kind of solid judgment here. I am just pondering on the issue of where money should be spent.