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Thoughts and Reflections on Scripture


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Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Auto Google Sitemap

I've played around with creating a Google Site Maps Auto-Site map script which dynamically generates an XML file when it's called of all the pages on your site, including the dates they were modified, and other information taken directly from your pages-- with the option of increasing the priority of certain pages. It will also keep track of the change frequency of your pages in real time.

I haven't made this available to the general public on Intelliscript yet, so if you're interested in this script, feel free to leave a comment and make a suggestion for price.

Here's an example of the script in action.


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Saturday, December 30th, 2006

In-Out for Free

My 38th birthday is coming up on January first, and as a present to all of you, I've decided to put up one of my programs for free for a short time.

It's called In-Out, and it's a windows application that works with a web server to monitor in-out status, just like those in-out boards in offices (the ones everyone forgets to use).

Happy 2007 to all my visitors!



Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Friday, December 15th, 2006

Custom Signatures

Do you have a script which needs a signature feature? If so, I can do custom work to add a Java applet to your existing script-- then people will be able to make a signature with their mouse.

I've been doing more of this type of work lately, and there is not a big expense associated with it.

If you would like a special quotation of cost, use the contact form on this site to get in touch. I'll take a look at your script and get back to you right away.


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Friday, December 15th, 2006

Bursting the Bubble

Some of these truths are shaking my world!

Fiction: If you fall into quicksand, you’ll be sucked under and die.
Fact: You’ll only sink up to your waist.

Fiction: Sitting too close to the TV will ruin your eyes.
Fact: It causes fatigue but no permanent damage.

Fiction: Earth’s rotation causes bathtubs, sinks, and toilets to drain clockwise in the northern hemisphere, counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere.
Fact: They can go either way in either hemisphere. The shape of the basin and the direction of the incoming flow overwhelm the minuscule effect of planetary spin.

Fiction: Benjamin Franklin’s kite was struck by lightning.
Fact: The kite picked up electricity from the air, causing an arc between Franklin’s hand and a key tied to his end of the string.

Fiction: A penny dropped from the top of a skyscraper can kill someone.
Fact: It could never pick up enough velocity to kill, just to bang you up a little.

Fiction: Swimming after you eat will cause cramps and lead to drowning.
Fact: There is a very slight risk of cramps, but only for vigorous swimmers.

Fiction: A drunken teenager can tip over a sleeping cow.
Fact: It would take several semisober people and a paralyzed cow. Anyway, cows sleep lying down.

Fiction: There’s a dark side of the moon.
Fact: The entire lunar surface receives sunlight during the moon’s monthly orbit around Earth.

Fiction: Swallowed chewing gum takes seven years to digest.
Fact: Gum is not digested. It passes through the gastro-intestinal system, usually within 24 hours.


Tags:curiosities `
Tuesday, December 5th, 2006


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Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

Fear Not

This another one of those intro videos I do -- they play as our speaking pastor, Lane Fusilier, walks onto the stage.

It's an interesting series-- each of the four messages covers a time when the angels tell various people not to fear. We all know about the shepherds, when they heard "Fear not, for I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people!" But Zacharias, Mary, and Joseph were also told to "Fear Not" when angels appeared to them.

Lane will be exploring the different reasons these people had to fear, and the things we tend to fear, and answer these fears with the Good News of God's grace.


Monday, December 4th, 2006


Update: Please, someone comment?

I'm all full of angst right now. You'll probably laugh, because for the average person, this would be no big deal at best. But I've recently found myself in a terrible dilemna-- at least it has been frustrating and annoying to me-- and I'm hoping someone out there can direct me.

I've been using Pocket PCs and palm PCs since the E10 and E11 by Casio years ago. I've had about five or six different ones, and the most recent was the Ipaq 6300 series with the camera, cell phone, blue tooth, and wireless integrated. It was given to me by a very wonderful and generous person. The screen had been cracked, so I ordered a new one, and repaired the LCD myself.

I've hated this Pocket PC (sorry Gary!!). It's been the worst of all of them-- slow, fickle, and fragile, and gives me unexplained hard resets right when I need it to be there. This morning I noticed the screen was cracked again, with black ink oozing down the left side under the glass. I'm kind of sad because I used it as my portable brain-- it's my cell phone, my Bible, my novel library, my calendar, email, contacts, note taker, voice recorder, and GPS unit rolled into one device.

So it's time to decide what's next for me. Do I even want to stay with Pocket PCs, or is it time to just give these ppc jobs to a fancy cell phone? Or to a pad of paper?

This is where you come in. I hope you can help me! What is the right device for me?

  • I don't care about size.
  • I want blue tooth to use it with my GPS, OR it must have integrated GPS
  • I want to be able to stick SD cards in it for maps/books/etc to increase memory space.
  • I want to be able to read the bible, and/or ebooks on the thing
  • I would like it to double as my cell phone
  • I would like it to have decent power consumption so it can go at least two days without recharging, even if I've been surfing the web or geocaching.
  • I would like it to have a decent processor speed so I can run Skype
  • I don't need those silly thumb keyboards at the bottom.

Does such a beast exist? Can you direct me? Any help you can give would be so appreciated. This is one time when I'm desperate for a few comments.


Friday, December 1st, 2006

Song List

Here's the song list for my gig tonight:

Walking in Memphis - Marc Cohn
Bad Day - Daniel Powter
Groovy Kind of Love - Phil Collins
You and Me - Jason Silver
Sometimes When we Touch - Dan Hill
The Way it Is - Bruce Hornsby
I Could Not Ask for More - Edwin McCain
Monica - Jason Silver
Fields of Gold - Sting
How to Save a Life - The Fray
Bye Bye Love - Jason Silver


Until the Train Comes - Jason Silver
Can't Stop Loving You - Phil Collins
Danny Boy
What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
Clocks - Coldplay
Superman - Five for Fighting
Sentimental Journey
End of the Innocence - Don Henley
Bottled Inside - Jason Silver
Your Song - Elton John


Chariot's of Fire - Vangelis
Imagine - John Lennon
Another Day in Paradise - Phil Collins
Let's Keep Looking - Jason Silver
Drops of Jupiter - Train
I'm Sorry - Jason Silver
I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues - Elton John
It's Over Now - Jason Silver
Desperado - Eagles
Hope Has Taken Me - Jason Silver
Piano Man - Billy Joel
The Freshman - Verve Pipe
King of the Road - Roger Miller
There's Da Door - Jason Silver

I'll also try to do some requests, so if you come and want me to play something in particular, just ask.




Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Friday Night

Click to visitFriday night, December, 1st, I'm playing at The Lionshead in downtown Hamilton.

It's across the street from the GO Station, so easy to find... Here's the address:

137 John Street South,
Hamilton, ON
L8N 2C3,
L8N 2C3
Cost: Free

The phone number at the Lionshead - 905-522-7090

Hope you can come!


Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Dennis Prager on Smoking

I thought this was a great article... check it out:

There are few personal confessions more likely to alienate many Americans than to admit to smoking. Singles ads are filled with people who will never even go on a first date with someone who smokes. I strongly suspect that more women would date a millionaire who earned his money disreputably than a millionaire who smoked.

Drinkers are far more highly regarded than smokers, as are playboys, gamblers, lawyers, politicians and almost anyone else except child molesters.

So I have no doubt that some readers who until now have held me in esteem will lose respect for me when they learn that not only do I smoke cigars and a pipe, but I love doing so, have no interest in stopping and have been happy to pass this pleasure on to my older son. In fact, we regularly have some of our best talks while we enjoy our cigars.

For the record, I never smoke cigarettes, which I happen to dislike the smell of, and which I acknowledge to be dangerous. But what I write here largely applies to cigarette smokers as well. In fact, I find anti-smoking zealots far more dangerous to society than cigarette smokers, and would much sooner date a cigarette smoker than one of the zealots.


Yes, I am warned by doctors that I am more liable to contract mouth or lip cancer, but while physicians may see such diseases, in 40 years of smoking I have never met or heard of one person with either cancer.

Indeed, I am quite convinced that my one-a-day cigar or pipe may well have had a positive impact on my health given how much relaxation it induces. Stress kills far more people than cigars or pipes do.

It is a sign of the times that the latest James Bond film has prohibited 007 from smoking a cigar. One of the most benign practices a person can engage in was banned, but our macho hero can be shown drinking alcohol and bedding women (and without any mention of condoms!), not to mention killing people and engaging in behaviors infinitely more dangerous than cigar smoking.

We live in the Age of Stupidity. This new age has been induced by widespread college education and widespread secularism—Psalms is entirely accurate: “Wisdom begins with fear of the Lord”—which explains, for example, why only well-educated secularists came to believe that there were no innate nonphysical differences between men and women.

Nearly 100 years ago, before widespread college education and before widespread secularism, when America tried to prohibit a vice, it chose alcohol, not tobacco. It knew that there were immoral consequences to alcohol consumption—most child abuse, most spousal abuse, about half of violent crimes and most rapes are accompanied by alcohol. Nobody has ever raped because smoking a cigarette or a cigar numbed his conscience. And no one fears smoking drivers; we rightly fear drinking drivers.

Both in my hometown and on the road, I find great joy in visiting cigar stores and schmoozing with the owners and with the guys smoking there. In fact, cigar stores may be the last place men can get together without women. 


You might enjoy the whole article


Tags:hobbies pipes
Monday, November 20th, 2006

Recording Underway

Today I spent a few hours at FonicFactory, in Hamilton, recording 6 "ghost tracks" for my new CD.

Ghost Tracks are early tracks that will represent the framework for the song so that other musicians can build on it. I simply played piano for the songs, singing a basic vocal line and laying down the chords. Next the bass player, drummer, guitarists, and other musicians will play their parts, and then I will re-record the piano and vocal lines.

I'm pretty excited about a few of the songs. The plan is to record eighteen songs, and pick the top 12 for the album.

If you want to stay in touch with news and happenings for my music, be sure to sign up for the newsletter at groups.google.com/group/jasonsilver. Or you can add my RSS feed to your news reader to read my blog without visiting my site.


Friday, November 17th, 2006

Profiles on MySpace

I finally learned how to add headers to MySpace in such a way that it looks nice, and sort of immitates the look of this site. Take a look.


Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

John Stott Interview

My good friend John Harvey, emailed this amazing interview to me this morning. I just had to put it down here, so I could refer back to it anytime-- and so I could share it with you!

In 2004, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote that if evangelicals chose a pope, they would likely select John Stott. Stott, 85, has been at the heart of evangelical renewal in the U.K. His books and biblical sermons have transfixed millions throughout the world. He has been involved in many important world councils and dialogues, not least as chair of the committees that drafted the Lausanne Covenant (1974) and the Manila Manifesto (1989)two defining statements for evangelicals. For more than 35 years, he has devoted three months of every year to traveling the globe, with a particular emphasis on churches in the majority world. He is ideally suited to comment on evangelicals' past, present, and future. ct senior writer Tim Stafford interviewed him at his home in London.

As you see it, what is evangelicalism, and why does it matter?

An evangelical is a plain, ordinary Christian. We stand in the mainstream of historic, orthodox, biblical Christianity. So we can recite the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed without crossing our fingers. We believe in God the Father and in Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit.

Having said that, there are two particular things we like to emphasize: the concern for authority on the one hand and salvation on the other.

For evangelical people, our authority is the God who has spoken supremely in Jesus Christ. And that is equally true of redemption or salvation. God has acted in and through Jesus Christ for the salvation of sinners.

I think it's necessary for evangelicals to add that what God has said in Christ and in the biblical witness to Christ, and what God has done in and through Christ, are both, to use the Greek word, hapaxmeaning once and for all. There is a finality about God's word in Christ, and there is a finality about God's work in Christ. To imagine that we could add a word to his word, or add a work to his work, is extremely derogatory to the unique glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

You didn't mention the Bible, which would surprise some people.

I did, actually, but you didn't notice it. I said Christ and the biblical witness to Christ. But the really distinctive emphasis is on Christ. I want to shift conviction from a book, if you like, to a person. As Jesus himself said, the Scriptures bear witness to me. Their main function is to witness to Christ.

Part of your implication is that evangelicals are not to be a negatively inspired people. Our real focus ought to be the glory of Christ.

I believe that very strongly. We believe in the authority of the Bible because Christ has endorsed its authority. He stands between the two testaments. As we look back to the Old Testament, he has endorsed it. As we look forward to the New Testament, we accept it because of the apostolic witness to Christ. He deliberately chose and appointed and prepared the apostles, in order that they might have their unique apostolic witness to him. I like to see Christ in the middle, endorsing the old, preparing for the new. Although the question of the New Testament canon is complicated, in general we are able to say that canonicity is apostolicity.

How has the position of evangelicals changed during your years of ministry?

I look backit's been 61 years since I was ordainedand when I was ordained in the Church of England, evangelicals in the Church of England were a despised and rejected minority. The bishops lost no opportunity to ridicule us. Over the intervening 60 years, I've seen the evangelical movement in England grow in size, in maturity, certainly in scholarship, and therefore I think in influence and impact. We went from a ghetto to being on the ascendancy, which is a very dangerous place to be.

Can you comment on the dangers?

Pride is the ever-present danger that faces all of us. In many ways, it is good for us to be despised and rejected. I think of Jesus' words, "Woe unto you when all men speak well of you."

Going back to the hapax, it's a very humbling concept. The essence of evangelicalism is very humbling. You have William Temple saying, "The only thing of my very own which I contribute to redemption is the sin from which I need to be redeemed."

We have also seen an immense growth of the church worldwide, largely along evangelical lines. What do you see as its significance?

This enormous growth is a fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-4. God promised Abraham not only to bless him, not only to bless his family or his posterity, but through his posterity to bless all the families of the earth. Whenever we look at a multiethnic congregation, we are seeing a fulfillment of that amazing promise of God. A promise made by God to Abraham 4,000 years ago is being fulfilled right before our very eyes today.

You know this growing church probably as well as any Westerner does. I wonder how you evaluate it.

The answer is "growth without depth." None of us wants to dispute the extraordinary growth of the church. But it has been largely numerical and statistical growth. And there has not been sufficient growth in discipleship that is comparable to the growth in numbers.

How can the Western church, which surely has problems of its own, fruitfully interact with the non-Western? Right now many churches are sending mission teams all over the world.

I certainly want to be positive about short-term mission trips, and I think on the whole they are a good thing. They do give Westerners an awfully good opportunity to taste Southern Christianity and to be challenged by it, especially by its exuberant vitality. But I think the leaders of such mission trips would be wise to warn their members that this is only a very limited experience of cross-cultural mission.

True mission that is based on the example of Jesus involves entering another world, the world of another culture. Incarnational cross-cultural mission is and can be very costly. I want to say, please realize that if God calls you to be a cross-cultural missionary, it will take you 10 years to learn the language and to learn the culture in such a way that you are accepted more or less as a national.

So there's really no replacing the long-term missionary.

I think not, except of course for indigenous Christians.

What about what some call the greatest mission field, which is our own secularizing or secularized culture? What do we need to do to reach this increasingly pagan society?

I think we need to say to one another that it's not so secular as it looks. I believe that these so-called secular people are engaged in a quest for at least three things. The first is transcendence. It's interesting in a so-called secular culture how many people are looking for something beyond. I find that a great challenge to the quality of our Christian worship. Does it offer people what they are instinctively looking for, which is transcendence, the reality of God?

The second is significance. Almost everybody is looking for his or her own personal identity. Who am I, where do I come from, where am I going to, what is it all about? That is a challenge to the quality of our Christian teaching. We need to teach people who they are. They don't know who they are. We do. They are human beings made in the image of God, although that image has been defaced.

And third is their quest for community. Everywhere, people are looking for community, for relationships of love. This is a challenge to our fellowship. I'm very fond of 1 John 4:12: "No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfected in us." The invisibility of God is a great problem to people. The question is how has God solved the problem of his own invisibility? First, Christ has made the invisible God visible. That's John's Gospel 1:18: "No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known."

People say that's wonderful, but it was 2,000 years ago. So in 1 John 4:12, he begins with exactly the same formula, nobody has ever seen God. But here John goes on, "If we love one another, God abides in us." The same invisible God who once made himself visible in Jesus now makes himself visible in the Christian community, if we love one another. And all the verbal proclamation of the gospel is of little value unless it is made by a community of love.

These three things about our humanity are on our side in our evangelism, because people are looking for the very things we have to offer them.

And therefore you're not despairing of the West.

I'm not despairing. But I believe that evangelism is specially through the local church, through the community, rather than through the individual. That the church should be an alternative society, a visible sign of the kingdom. And the tragedy is that our local churches often don't seem to manifest community.

Do you want to talk about preaching?

I never tire of doing that. I'm an impenitent believer in the importance of preaching. Of course, that's biblical preaching.

Biblical preaching has fallen on hard times in many places. What do you say to a pastor who is desperately trying to hold his congregation's attention and really doesn't have the confidence that enables one to just preach from a biblical text?

It's the same issue across the globe. Churches live, grow, and flourish by the Word of God. And they languish and even perish without it.

So the Langham Partnership International (see "Legacy of a Global Leader,") has three basic convictions. Conviction one is that God wants his church to grow. One of the verses that expresses this best is Colossians 1:28-29, in which Paul says we proclaim Christ, warning everybody and teaching everybody in all wisdom, in order that we may present everybody mature in Christ. There's a plain call to maturity, to grow up out of babyhood.

Second, they grow by the Word of God. I suppose you could concede that there are other ways by which the church grows, but if you take the New Testament as a whole, it's the Word of God that matures the people of God.

Which brings me to the third conviction, that the Word of God comes to the people of God mainly, though not exclusively, through preaching. I often envisage on a Sunday morning the amazing spectacle of the people of God converging on their places of worship all over the world. They're going to medieval cathedrals, to house churches, to the open air. They know that in the course of the worship service there will be a sermon, and it should be a biblical sermon, so that through the Word of God they may grow.

When I enter the pulpit with the Bible in my hands and in my heart, my blood begins to flow and my eyes to sparkle for the sheer glory of having God's Word to expound. We need to emphasize the glory, the privilege, of sharing God's truth with people.

Where do we evangelicals need to go? We've been through quite a trip in the last 50 years.

My immediate answer is that we need to go beyond evangelism. Evangelism is supposed to be evangelicals' specialty. Now, I am totally committed to world evangelization. But we must look beyond evangelism to the transforming power of the gospel, both in individuals and in society.

With regard to individuals, I'm noting in different expressions of the evangelical faith an absence of that quest for holiness that marked our forebears, who founded the Keswick movement, for example, and the quest for what they sometimes called scriptural holiness or practical holiness. Somehow holiness has a rather sanctimonious feel to it. People don't like to be described as holy. But the holiness of the New Testament is Christlikeness. I wish that the whole evangelical movement could consciously set before us the desire to grow in Christlikeness such as is described in Galatians 5:22-23.

Regarding social transformation, I've reflected a great deal on the salt and light metaphors, the models that Jesus himself chose in Matthew 5 in the Sermon on the Mount. "You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world." It seems to me that those models must be said to contain at least three things.

First, that Christians are radically different from non-Christians, or if they are not, they ought to be. Jesus sets over against each other two communities. On the one hand there is the world, and on the other hand there is you, who are the dark world's light. Jesus implied that we are as different as light from darkness and salt from decay.

Second, Christians must permeate non-Christian society. Salt does no good if it stays in the saltshaker. Light does no good if you hide it under a bed or bucket. It has to permeate the darkness. So both metaphors call us not just to be different, but to permeate society.

The third, the more controversial implication, is that the salt and light metaphors indicate that Christians can change non-Christian society. The models must mean that, because both salt and light are effective commodities. They change the environments in which they are placed. Salt hinders bacterial decay. Light dispels darkness. This is not to resurrect the social gospel. We cannot perfect society. But we can improve it.

My hope is that in the future, evangelical leaders will ensure that their social agenda includes such vital but controversial topics as halting climate change, eradicating poverty, abolishing armories of mass destruction, responding adequately to the AIDS pandemic, and asserting the human rights of women and children in all cultures. I hope our agenda does not remain too narrow.

Copyright © 2006 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.


Sunday, November 12th, 2006

Train Set Dream

I've been a fan of model railroading since I was a small child. As long as I can remember-- probably since I was 9 or 10, I have thought about building vast railroad empires to run trains around upon.

My grandfather, Earl Abrams, introduced me to locomotives, to working steam engines, and to Lionel train sets at a young age. That likely had a big part in my interest. Plus, I like the notion of playing God to a whole world: designing mountains and streams for tiny, adoring, plastic people. Twisted.

But real model railroading is time consuming. And real model railroading is expensive! And all the gear takes up so much room! Joanne complains every time we pull up house and move: "Tell me again why we lug these boxes of track, trains, and trestles from house to house, city to city, and country to country?"

I smile and mention how the kids will love it someday. Someday is taking too long to get to station.

So I can be spotted at times, trolleying the Internet in search of an alternate option to the basement empire; an option in the form of software. I haven't had a lot of luck, because there are a lot of variables at play in creating a viable alternative.

  • The program has to be cheap.
  • It has to allow customization and creativity - I want to model my own world.
  • It shouldn't be too time consuming to get a train running around the virtual track
  • Kids should be able to enjoy it with me
  • It should allow multiplayer interaction

That last point is the real zinger. There are lots of programs out there that let you run trains on a track. Many are overly customizable. I've got a couple of versions of Railroad Tycoon, and it's great for simulated train economics. Microsoft has an expensive program called "Train Simulator" (creative title, eh?) There's another cool game called Trainz. These cost money. I found a free one today called BVE. It's very cool with amazing graphics. There's another program called TrainPlayer which lets you run toy trains around on your own track plans, or the track plans made famous by model railroader gurus. Fun for a while. Again, way too expensive.

Bewilderingly, none of these make use of a multiplayer environment. Why would anyone even want multiplayer? Lots of reasons.

Model train layouts are way more compelling when there are people doing it together. Every person comes with a different skill: wiring, modelling, painting, kit-bashing, computer programming, painting or air-brushing; decals, historical accuracy, mechanics, design, sculpting, making tiny trees, tiny rocks, or tiny people. Painting backdrops. You name it, whatever your skill, there's likely a place for it in model railroading.

And running the trains around the layout can take more than one person to keep them from colliding. You've got the dispatcher, the engineers, the guy working the yard, the gal reading the schedule, the guy bringing the cookies and coffee. It's a team sport.

And some people are into modules. With modules, each person designs their own little diorama, then brings it to the clubhouse. Each module connects to the one next to it. You can bring as many modules as you want, making a huge empire for which each person is king of a four foot long section. Everyone runs their favourite locomotive and train through the whole thing... across the prairie diorama, under the mountains diorama, right out to the coastal diorama. It's kind of like sharing!

Wouldn't that be a great concept for a virtual train program? What if I could design my own module; say a city set in 1950's East Hamilton, and connect it over the Internet to my friends module set in 1950's Rochester or another friend in 1950's Toronto? We could send traffic back and forth between our modules, and the modules of others in our 'virtual club.' Picking up passengers, grabbing mail, delivering grain, whatever.

I did finally find a program that flirts with this idea. It's called Freight Yard Manager, and it allows you to take a satelite photograph of a freight yard, run trains on it, and send them off with loads for adjacent cities. I haven't downloaded it yet, but it sounds like it has potential. It also sounds complicated.

I hope some game developer out there will catch the vision for multiplayer train simulators. Until then, I'll keep dreaming of a model layout in the basement.


Tags:hobbies model_trains
Monday, November 6th, 2006

Rebels Rock Was Great

What a blast I had last night at Rebels Rock in downtown Hamilton. This little pub is authentic Irish at its best. Even the bartender and the owner both had Irish accents! And so did one guy sitting at the bar drinking. The food was terrific, everyone was way-friendly. I'll be going back, for sure. With friends!

I went on to play later than I expected. I was thinking I'd be going on right at 6, but they weren't even set up yet when I got there. Turned out I played more like 8 p.m. Unfortunately, a couple of MySpace people who came to hear me had to leave for the Elton John concert before I got to sing.

But a great audience! Everyone really listened, and I had so much fun.

Thanks to everyone who came to hear me. See you next time!


Friday, November 3rd, 2006

thePathway 2

I finally decided to spend some time re-working and improving this metaphor site, "thePathway.ca"

This is one of my favourite sites, topically, just because the metaphor is so cool and consistent. I started out with the initial idea for this metaphor, and Bryan Wylie helped connect it with our phases of discipleship. Together we really worked out the various descriptions and FAQ. As of this writing, I'm still tracking down bugs created because of the server change and domain name transfer last year... when it's all smooth again I am going to rewrite and add new content.


Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

AFU CRON Jobs Explained

Dennis Wicks contributed the following morsel of information to share with the AFU community. (AFU is my Auto FollowUp software, for automatically sending emails at regular intervals to clients and prospects).

The crontab entry for sending messages every 10 minutes is:

    0,10,20,30,40,50 * * * * $HOME/bin/run_afu.sh >> $HOME/run_cgi.log

This logs the output from the cron job to $HOME/run_cgi.log so cron doesn't object about not knowing what to do with the generated output. Some systems send email to the owning user and some just refuse to run, so it is insurance of a sort, and reduces the size of your inbox.

The shell script $HOME/bin/run_afu.sh Actually does the work.

    cd $HOME/public_html/cgi-bin/afu
    echo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    echo Starting at: `date`
    echo Finished at: `date`

This gives us some information about what is going on and when. It also tells me that on my system it takes less than a minute to send out 100 emails of typical size.

Full path names are used throughout because cron doesn't provide a very useful environment so it is easier to just point it where you know things are at and save a lot of debugging time.

Thanks Dennis!


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts autofollowup
Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

New Tent Trailer!

For the last week, Joanne and I have been shopping online for a tent trailer. No we're not just copying the Forderers, our friends Amy and Jay who bought one last summer-- we've always thought it would be neat to have a tent trailer for summer vacations.

But now the subject has become a little more urgent because our plans this summer are to travel to Saskatchewan to visit Joanne's mom and dad, camping with the family along the way.

So we found a couple of inexpensive trailers online-- they were in Toronto, so the other evening we drove in to take a look. The one we're getting is $700-- a hard top with a stove, sink, built in ice-box/cooler, table, sleeps six, and is in terrific shape. It's a little old, from the early 80's, but we don't care. It has new tires, and the man who owned it previously took great care of it.

So Saturday morning we've decided to drive back to Toronto in the morning to pick it up. I'm so excited!! I've always thought it would be neat to have my own camper trailer.

We've talked about taking the piano and doing concerts along the way... so if you live between Hamilton, Ontario and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and you want me to come play at your venue, then let's set it up!


Tags:hobbies hiking_and_camping


Thursday, October 26th, 2006

GPX Grabber Being Removed

Classic case of the big guy goin' after the little guy: I got an email this week from Geocaching.com asking me to remove my little application that I created to make GPX files.

GPX files contain GPS data to put in your portable GPS unit. My software was good because it put more extensive information in the file than you would normally be able to get from their web site, including things like difficulty, terrain, descriptions, comments, etc.

Here's the email:

Please be advised that your GeoCache GPX Grabber application violates the geocaching.com Terms Of Use Agreement.

In addition, your use of the geocaching.com Trademark logo to sell a commercial product constitutes Trademark Infringement. 

Accordingly, we are respectfully requesting that you immediately cease all distribution of the application as well as all use of our Trademark.

If you'd like to discuss this further, please contact me.  Otherwise, please respond with confirmation that the above requests have been honored.  

Thank you.

Bryan Roth
Groundspeak, Inc.

f 206.374.8161

So, I'm sorry if you were using this program from my site, or planning on getting it someday. Perhaps it's out there on one of the download sites which caches downloads, but I'm removing it from my site so I don't get lawyers calling me.

If anyone has any insight into the legitimacy of their complaint, or if you're a lawyer, I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.


This is so pitiful. Now Geocaching.com has banned my boys and I from using their web site, even though I have complied with their terms of service by removing the script.

This is all because I refuse to remove Bryan's contact information above-- he's afraid of the fallout he will get, I guess.

They banned me a couple of days ago, then minutes later, unbanned me. Now they're banning again. I'm not sure what the point of this is, eactly, since it's simple enough for anyone to sign up for another account... all you need is a valid email address.

I guess they're just trying to be mean. I don't like mean people, what about you? So, I'm not going to ask you to be mean back, even though that's what the natural reaction might be. Instead, why don't you send Bryan a nice email telling him what a nice guy he is. ;-)

Either I'll set up another account, or maybe I'll explore geocaching alternativesNavicache looks promising. :-D

Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Surname List

I added a feature to the Perl script I use for sharing my family tree online. (I don't really like this Perl script, as it's somewhat unweildy to modify, and it doesn't always display the results I expect-- but oh well!)

Anyway, this new feature displays all the surnames in the tree. Here's a copy and paste from it below. You'll need to email me for a password to get more information on these individuals.

Select a surname from the list below:

"Unknown" | Abrams | Agnew | Aiken | Albertson | Allen | Allport | Alton | Anderson | Ann | Ansley | Arnold | Asselstine | Avehousen | Ayling | Babbit | Babcock | Babcook | Badour | Baker | Barringer | Bartram | Bauder | Beate | Beckwith | Beebe | Begley | Bell | Bennett | Benson | Benstead | Bentley | Bicknell | Bilodeau | Birney | Bishop | Bishop-Abrams | Black | Blanchard | Bodway | Bolger | Bond | Booth | Boutillier | Bovey | Bowes | Breckenbridge | Bredberg | Brewer | Bridgen | Brooks | Brown | Bruce | Buck | Burdick | Burley | Burnett | Burton | Butler | Campbell | Carlson | Carr | Carter | Casselman | Chaplan | Christie | Chrysler | Cifala | Clark | Clow | Colburn | Condie | Conlin | Corneil | Cornwall | Coulter | Cox | Craig | Crapo | Crawford | Cronk | DaSilva | Dafoe | Darking | Darling | Davis | Daw | Day | Del-Mei | Demerchant | Desrochers | Devana | Diamond | Dowdall | Duffy | Duffy Smith | Dunn | Dunton | Dwyer | Easter | Ellerbeck | Elliott | Elvidge | Emmon | Evans | Ferguson | Ferris | Fleming | Ford | Forrest | Forsyth | Foster | Freeman | Friel | Funk | Gallagher | Gard | Garret | Garrett | Gazzel | Gemill | Goodfriend | Gordanier | Gordon | Gordonier | Graham | Gratto | Graves | Green | Greenstreet | Gregg | Grems | Grice | Griffin | Guittard | Guthrie | Hagerman | Halliday | Hamilton | Hanley | Harkness | Harpell | Harris | Hart | Hatt | Hawkins | Hayes | Heinricks | Helms | Henry | Highland | Highland / Hyland | Himple | Holmes | Holtz | Hoppins | Howey | Hunter | Hyland | Ilan | Jackson | Jeffrey | Jenkins | Johnson | Jones | Joyce | Joynt | Karn | Keeley | Keller | Kemp | Kenahan | Kiesel | Kilpatrick | King | Knapp | Krahermharn | Kyle | LaPlante | Lake | Lamour | Lanuza | Latimer | Lattimore | Lawson | LeBlanc | LeHeup | Leavens | Lech | Lee | Leeman | Lees | Lewis | Linau | Lindsay | Locey | Loewen | Lord | Loucks / Sedore | Lovelace | Loveless | Lowe | Lubiniv | Lyon | MacLeod | MacPhail | Major | Makem | Mandoles | Mann | Marie | Marriott | Martin | Massa | Matthew | May | McClenaghan | McCollough | McCullan | McGuire | McKeigan | McKinley | McKinnley | McNaughton | McPhail | McQuarrie/McImrie | Mcleods | Melo | Merry | Millar | Miller | Milsap | Morrow | Morton | Mulholland | Mullin | Mullins | Murray | Mutton | Nadeau | Nesbitt | Neudorf | Neufeld | Niblock | Northmore | O'Flaherty | O'neil | O'neill | Orr | Orser | Page | Passenessi | Peer | Pero | Perry | Peters | Phillips | Pocock | Poudrier | Powley | Pratt | Prosser | Pullen | Purdy | Raymond | Regan | Reid | Revell | Richardson | Ridge | Riley | Rindone | Rixten | Robidoux | Robinson | Rodeghiero | Rogers | Rollar | Ross | Ruttan | Rutter | Sands | Savage | Sawatzky | Schneider | Scott | Shales | Shannon | Sheen | Shepherd | Shier | Shirrock | Silver | Simpson | Sinclair | Sith | Sloot | Smith | Snider | Snook | Spafford | Spooner | Stantliff | Steel | Stephenson | Stitt | Stubbs | Sturdevant | Sutherland | Switzer | Teal | Teichroeb | Thompson | Thorp | Timmerman | Townsend | Tuepah | Van Camp | Van Hoek | Van Leuvan | Van Voorst | VanOrden | Vancoughnut | Vanluven | Vassal | Veley | Votery | Wagner | Wakely | Walker | Walls | Walters | Wartman | Watkins | Watts | Webster | Welch | Welsh | Whan | White | Wilson | Winslow | Winters | Wiseman | Woodcock | Woodward | Wowk | Wright | Wylie | Yeomans | Yeomans Arnold | Young | Zacharias | campbell | hutchinson | jones | macDonnell | Van der Kraats |


Tags:hobbies familytree
Saturday, October 14th, 2006

Petition PHP Script

If you want to convert the signature data to a .png file (using GD Library and the signature data) for any reason, a petition user has written a script which fits the bill.

His name is Tino, and here's his script:

   header ("Content-type: image/png" );
   $signature = "39 40 39 40";
   $points = explode(" ", $signature);
   $image = imagecreate(250, 65);
   $bgcolor = imagecolorallocate($image, 255, 255, 255);
   $color = imagecolorallocate($image, 0, 0, 0);
   for ($x = 0; $x < count($points) - 2; $x = $x + 2) imageline($image, $points[$x], $points[$x + 1], $points[$x + 2], $points[$x + 3], $color);

$signature is the signature data.

You can use this in your pages: <img src="signature.php"> where signature.php is the name of the code above.

Cool eh? Thanks Tino!

Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Fun Time Had By All

The concert tonight was a real blast... it started kinda slow, with 12 faithful fans... moving up to fourteen, then 20... but by the end we had 48 viewers watching! Thanks to each of you who came, and who brought family and friends over to watch. I hope it was fun!

I'm always humbled and honoured to hear that people are enjoying my music. Thank you.

We've already started talking about the next one, and how we can make it better. But if we're going to go to all this work in planning, then we need even more people to come! So please, spread the word!!

Love you all,

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Tee Shirts?

Man, can't believe the response I've been getting from people about tee-shirts, over at MySpace.com! They love the idea of having the train locomotive logo on a shirt!

So I PaintShop'd this photo to get an idea of what it would look like, and I sent a few links out to people who said they definitely wanted one. In that time, about 12 hours, I've already sold four!! I had sold two in the first hour!

If you would like to be one of first to buy this tee shirt (for guys or girls, in four size options)-- then just click the links below.

It's sure a lot of fun, doing this music thing on MySpace!




Saturday, September 30th, 2006

Next Web Concert - Friday, 8:00 PM EST

Get your Free Ticket!Spread the word! The next web cam concert is scheduled for Friday, October 6th, at 8:00 PM EST. I've already started lining things up, and it looks like we've got a venue, and it will be awesome. I'm planning on having a full band as well, so this will be a can't-miss event.

To help share the stream, you've got to download PeerCast software before we start. It can be obtained at www.peercast.org.

Once you get it, you can watch the concert in Windows Media Player, WinAmp, or likely whatever software you prefer.

Feel free to take this logo, and advertise my concert on your web site!

Hope to see you there!


Thursday, September 28th, 2006

Concert in a Web Cam

Wow, I just had the most amazing experience.

I put a "trial" concert together for my friends on MySpace. I knew there was a potential for real problems connecting too many people to my web cam, as MountainCable.net, my ISP, told me I had limited bandwidth available for that. They said I might get 4 or 5 listeners and that's all.

So I set out to find the solution, which came in the form of a peer-to-peer broadcasting tool called PeerCast.

Tonight was the trial launch of a concert I want to have for my MySpace friends and other fans, and it was AWESOME. Over 150 people tuned in to hear me play and sing. About 80 were logged into the chat room and conversing with me and each other about my songs. HOW FUN!

My piano is broken, and awaiting repair, so I sang and played guitar. It was quite an intimate affair, with joking and laughing, helping people get connected. After a song, I'd get this torrent of WHOO HOOs from everyone. Very encouraging.

So the next video concert is being planned, but this time with (hopefully) a full band, and a better-looking venue. It's going to take some planning, so if you want to help, let me know.

10 years ago, no one would have guessed that a guy could start his own TV station from his PC. With web cams, peer-to-peer streaming, compressed audio and video streams, and a little creativity, the future comes into appalling focus.

See you next time!


Sunday, September 24th, 2006

10000 Friends

10,000 friends are a lot. I'm not sure I could ever learn the names of 10,000 people. Especially when they don't wear their name tags.

Most MySpace users comply with the whole name tag thing, but many instead put something like, "Tonight I'm Going to the City!" in their name spot. Ugh. I always feel stupid writing, "Hey Tonight I'm Going to the City, did you like my new song!?"

Anyway, I'm not quite at 10,000 fans yet-- but I'm close. I'm planning on giving my 10,000th friend a free signed CD. Who will it be??? We'll know in a couple of weeks!

Update: Lots of people have asked, so here's how it works: When I hit 10,000 friends, the first person to message me on MySpace.com will win the free CD.


Sunday, September 24th, 2006

Categories Come to Fantasy Betting

The beginnings to my Fantasy Betting script are kinda neat. Back in about 2000, a couple of young college students emailed me about making a script that their friends could make wagers with...

They had launched a superheros web site called UltimateBattles.com where they put strange combinations of fictional characters upagainst one another to see what might happen. They used computer simulation to put the likes of Jeffrey Dahlmer up against Dr. Hannibal Lector, or the Hulk again the Thing. They had designed software that would predict the outcomes of these battles.

...they wanted to lay down fantasy bets on these virtual battles, and wondered if I could  help. They weren't able to pay me, so I told them I'd program it for free, and then resell it to try to make back some of my investment. I had no idea how much of a hit Fantasy Betting was to become!!

The latest evolution includes a category system, paid for by Meylin Taylor.

Now you can create any categories you want, and assign these categories to bettors and bets. If a particular wager isn't assigned to a category, then any bettor can see it. However, if it is assigned a category, then only those bettors who are subscribed to the category are able to see it, and make a virtual bet on it.

Included in this new version are lots of great features!

  • set bets to expire after a certain time (updated slightly)
  • set the bet amount to a predetermined cost
  • include/exlude a 'draw' option
  • make certain, or all items 'compulsory.'

You may also limit the number of bets a user can make per term-- say, each week. At the end of the week you can login and reset everyone's bet count with a simple click.

UltimateBattles.com hasn't been updated since 2005, and they never really made use of this FantasyBetting script-- but I hope you do, joinng hundreds who have already bought it -- and let me know how you're using it!



Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Thursday, September 21st, 2006

New "Popular Scripts" Feature

I was curious as to which scripts were the most popular -- I know which ones are selling well, but which ones are getting the most views? So last night I added a feature to the FileCABINET program, which is the backbone of Intelliscript.net.

This new feature allows me to click a 'popular' link to view the number of views each script is getting. So far the results are actually somewhat surprising!

Since some of the popular scripts are not the ones being most-often purchased, I must assume that something about the script isn't quite right. Maybe it's too expensive, maybe it doesn't have all the right features... maybe something else.

I'm often surprised that I don't get more emails from people about this sort of thing. It can never hurt to request a customization from a software author. I do it all the time, and many authors are glad to add a new feature if it will enhance the usefulness of the program.

So if you're reading this, and you want to see a feature added to Questionnaire, HomePage2, Dictionary, or another script-- please feel free to ask! :)


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

MySpace Scraper

I wrote a new Perl Script and I'm giving it away for free right now-- It's a MySpace RSS scraper script, which grabs some info from your profile and formats it for RSS news readers.

Not a very fancy name; I called it MySpace Profile Feed. Right now it displays the number of "friends" you have, the number of "comments" made, the date of your last login, and for musician accounts, the number of visits made to your profile.

I plan on adding a few more details to the script, such as the latest posts to your blog, and upcoming gigs (again, for musician accounts). It would be great if I could get the number of 'plays' for songs too, but that information isn't readily accessable for scraping.

It's cool, because you don't actually have to install the script to use it-- just put your myspace ID in the URL and it will make a custom feed for you. For example, here is my feed:
and here is Joanne's:


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Thursday, September 7th, 2006

Check In Family Tree

I've been doing a lot of updating on my family tree over the last month, and have a lot of new information and newly discovered connections.

If you're related, or are interested in the branches I'm researching, then you can login and check it out yourself.

You'll need to contact me for an access password if you don't have one already.


Tags:hobbies familytree
Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Free Atrac

The coolest thing happened to me on Sunday.

After church we were driving up to our house, when we noticed our brand new neighbours were having a garage sale. Joanne didn't want to stop, but I thought of it as an opportunity to meet people, and to explore junk... two very fun things to do! :)

So we started snooping, started picking up, putting down... you know, sailing through the garage. Suddenly I spotted a cardboard box on the ground under a table... it had some sort of cool looking gadget in it, so I picked it up and inquired.

Apparently my neighbour had bought it a year or two ago for $365 and never used it... so I asked him what he wanted for it now, and he said I COULD HAVE IT. Free!

It's a digital mini disk recorder! I've already recorded some parts on the grand piano at the church... tomorrow I hope to import those parts into my recording software and lay down some vocal tracks... if this works, I'm very pumped!! I've got a way-mobile recording studio for getting little parts and ideas anywhere!

Thanks neighbour!


Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

The Count Is On

Wow, yesterday's count for individual plays on my music was at least 827! That's the highest it's been.

MySpace is quite the tool! I mentioned to my 'friends' on MySpace that it would be cool to make a request at Hamilton radio stations for some of my songs, and I couldn't believe the response! Talk about mobilizing a marketing machine! :)

And it's a lot of fun meeting all these people too!

Yay MySpace!




Thursday, August 17th, 2006

Reading List 2006

I've got a huge pile of books on my nightstand to read in 2006. I'm working my way through them, and the following is an update:


  • A Movable Feast - Ernest Hemmingway
  • Understanding How Others Misunderstand You - Ken Voges
  • John Piper: The Pleasures of God
  • Roman Catholicism - Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Divides and Unites.
  • The Confessions of St. Augustine - St. Augustine


  • John Steinbeck: Tortilla Flat (good so far)
  • The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning


  • Charting a Bold Course - Training Leaders for 21st Century Ministry by Andrew Seidel


  • The Street lawyer - John Grisham - (Amazing, especially in light of the Forty Days of Mercy we just held. Fantastic.)
  • The Book of the Duncow - Walter Wangerin Jr. - (Excellent! I really loved this book, but it took me 103 pages to start to 'get into' it. Then I couldn't put it down.)
  • Timothy Findley: The Wars (really interesting beginning, though slow reading - Ultimately I hated this book. Where was it going? I think you have to study it in English class to -- to even care.)
  • Invitation: The Search for God, Self, and Church: A Catholic Learning Guide for Adults (Did this in catechism class)
  • The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown (pretty dull-- what's the fuss?)
  • Choose the Life - Exploring a Faith that Embraces Discipleship (Really quite good, which suprised me)
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (AMAZING)
  • A Touch of Mortality - Ann Granger (Pretty bad, actually)
  • Florian's Gate - (Great start, real mystery, sort of boring ending.)
  • The Devil's Feather - Minette Walters (Such a page-turner!! I LOVE IT, and will read more from this author)
  • The Scold's Bridle - Minette Walters (Fabulous! Loved it, and read it in 2 days.)
  • Zane Grey: Riders of the Purple Sage
  • My Utmost for His Highest – A chapter a day for a year


Tags:books list
Sunday, August 13th, 2006

Google Videos Better

I uploaded the videos from Huntley Street to Google Video, and though the sound is better on YouTube.com, the picture is out-of-sync with the sound. Here are the Google videos... enjoy!


Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Alice Cooper Believes?

I saw a newspaper article while I was at my mom's this summer about Alice Cooper. This is the shock rocker from the 70's, reputed to bite heads off of live chickens. The article was about a teen center he's put together to help youth make good decisions for life.

Apparently he's become a believer in Jesus Christ-- I just Googled, and found out he was "born-again" in the 80's. See Wikipedia.

A quote mom sent me:"Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's rebellion."

You go, Alice.




Friday, July 28th, 2006

Huntley - Hope Has Taken Me Video

Here's the video of Hope Has Taken Me from 100 Huntley Street:


Thursday, July 27th, 2006

TV Was Fun Today

Well, it's over! Ugh, I was pretty nervous for the last few weeks! I'm glad I don't have to worry about that anymore. :)

Things went well-- I forgot my words twice, but in insignificant places-- and it wasn't very noticable. I was a little embarrassed that I cried a bit in the interview-- I get so teary really easily sometimes!! Especially because I was so tired, I think. But it was cool. It really moved some people (I've already got a number of emails and phone messages from people I don't even know who were moved to tears themselves!).

Hopefully I'll get a video of this up on youTube.com soon. Until then, you can watch it here. (You need RealAudio).


Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

100 Huntley Street Tomorrow

Hey! For those who have missed it, I'm on 100 Huntley Street tomorrow at 9 a.m. Tune in!

I'm being interviewed, and am playing two songs as well. I'm nervous!!


Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Mozy Backup and My Laptop

I just discovered a great site that has 2 gigabytes of free backup storage space!! And a cool little application that constantly monitors your files and backs up your files in an encrypted way as they change!!

It's called Mozy (https://mozy.com/?ref=DM4326) and it's awesome-- and everytime I refer 4 friends, I get an extra free gig of space!!

So please, sign up, even if you don't use it, so that I can get a few gigs free.

They do have a paid feature, where for 5 bucks a month you get 30 gigs. That's pretty awesome, even at the cost, and it's relaxing to me, to know that my files are always backed up for me automatically!

I just went through a bit of a disaster with my laptop, because the power cord's little barrel connector broke off the back of the motherboard, and I had to solder another one on. That laptop had a lot of crucial data on it, and I couldn't access it the whole time it was down. And to fix it, I had to take the whole thing apart, right down to the bones!! I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to fix it!!

So anyway, try Mozy!



Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Public Consultation Re: Marriage - A Two Act Farce!

Public Consultation Re: Marriage - A Two Act Farce!
By Pat O’Brien

In January, 2003, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights took up the emotional issue of marriage and the demand that its definition be expanded so as to include same-sex relationships.

Between January and May, 2003, the Committee visited 12 different Cities covering every region of Canada. It heard 475 witnesses and received 250 briefs and literally thousands of letters expressing every conceivable point of view.

For the most part, the hearings, chaired by Andy Scott, MP, were conducted in a respectful and professional manner with MPs and witnesses on both sides of the argument disagreeing agreeably. The only exceptions I witnessed were a few times when witnesses and even MPs were quick to hurl the “intolerant homophobe” epithet at anyone who dared to challenge so-called “same-sex marriage”. What intolerance of the core moral beliefs of others from some people demanding tolerance for gay and lesbian couples!

In late May, 2003, its hearings process completed, the Standing Committee began an intensive series of “in camera” meetings to consider its draft report. We considered and often debated this report, clause by clause, sometimes line by line. The work of the Justice Committee had been highly publicized and often televised live so that there was great anticipation and interest in the report the committee would table in the House of Commons.

Suddenly, early in June, 2003, three appointed judges on the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the heterosexual requirement for marriage discriminated unfairly against gays and lesbians. Incredibly, they also ruled that effective immediately, in Ontario, the definition of marriage would be expanded to include same-sex couples.

This unprecedented judicial arrogance and activism was a gratuitous insult to the people and Parliament of Canada. The Ontario Court’s ruling pre-empted the important work of the Justice Committee which as every informed Canadian knew was in its very final stage.

It rendered as irrelevant all of the public input re: our most important and fundamental institution; marriage and the family.

At the final meeting of the Justice Committee, every dirty trick in the book was used, by some Liberal MPs, with the support of N.D.P. MPs, and B.Q. MPs, in order to prevent any attempt to have the committee recommend that the Chrétien Liberal Government appeal the rulings of provincial courts in favour of “same-sex marriage”.

Veteran Liberal MPs who found themselves in an uncomfortable political situation, skipped irresponsibly the vote on whether to appeal or endorse the Ontario Court ruling. Liberal MPs with little or no involvement in the committee work were willingly substituted for those missing in action so that they could vote as ordered by the Liberal whip, not to support any appeal motion.

Even with the deck stacked so unfairly, the vote on whether to endorse the Ontario Court ruling was still tied 8 to 8. The Chair broke the tie voting in favour; or, in effect, against recommending an appeal.

Then, to the surprise of some, the Chair, ruled properly that a subsequent motion by me, to recommend an appeal of a very similar decision by the B.C. Court of Appeal, was in order. On this motion, we had a better chance for victory as some Liberal “substitutes” had left.

There then ensued a ridiculous farce in which antagonistic Liberal MPs, N.D.P. MPs, and Bloc MPs, hid in the hallway and refused to enter the meeting room so as to deny quorum. This nonsense continued for some time as the committee was prevented from completing its work by some of its own members. And so ended the work of that Justice Committee on marriage in an undemocratic and irresponsible charade. The final report of that committee was never finished, though I still believe it should be finalized and made part of the public record.

The 2nd Act of the sham of a public consultation process on the issue of marriage focused on Bill C-38, the bill of the Martin Liberal Government which removed the heterosexual requirement for marriage. A Legislative Committee was struck and given very limited parameters within which to operate in order to rush this Bill into Law.

There really was no good reason why Bill C-38 could not have been sent to the Standing Committee on Justice for proper hearings and a revisiting and completion of the work of the previous committee described earlier. Because considerable pressure was applied, the Government agreed to limited public hearings but imposed an unnecessary and artificial deadline of early June, 2005, for the committee to report to the House of Commons. Hearings began in May and even though I had the personal assurance of Prime Minister Martin that they would be full and fair hearings, they quickly degenerated into a travesty.

Witnesses were sometimes given less than twenty- four hours notice to appear. Some witnesses were berated and insulted at Committee by MPs who were not properly disciplined by the Chair. Witnesses were grouped into delegations with too many people to allow for thorough questioning by MPs.

Although I was not a member of this committee, as I was then Chair of the Standing Committee on National Defence, I personally attended several hearings and witnessed the farce I described.

In fact, I was asked to be a witness at that committee, which I did, using the opportunity to object to the farcical process which was rushing Bill C-38 through this committee while trying to create the appearance of a proper public consultation.

When this committee report was tabled in the House of Commons in June, 2005, the government reversed its’ original intention as explained to me by the Government House Leader, Tony Valeri, and decided to ram the Bill through the House before the summer recess. The Liberal, Martin Government, with the hypocritical support of the N.D.P. and the Bloc Quebecois, (who had always prided themselves on opposing closure), invoked closure, cutting off debate and denying dozens of MPs their right to speak on the most vital issue of marriage.

The Martin Government did not want this legislation hanging over their heads during the summer recess. Why Liberal MPs might be pressured and lobbied by their constituents re: Bill C-38. We couldn’t have that now could we – in a democracy like Canada.

So with the completion of Act II, the farcical and undemocratic process was finished and same-sex marriage became legal in Canada.

Unless we reverse course quickly and rescind Bill C- 38, all that will remain is to await the very real and negative consequences that many experts predict will surely flow over time from this enormous legal and political mistake.

Tags:politics marriage
Friday, June 9th, 2006

On iTunes

I just found out from a friend that I am on iTunes already! I heard it took months and months to get listed, but apparently I've been on since May 30th (according to a Japanese link I found of top 100 songs - no, I'm not in the top 100!)

So I guess I'll take all of the mp3's off this server (from the 12 Girlfriends CD). If you want them, get them fast-- or even better, help support me by buying them on iTunes!

Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement!


Monday, June 5th, 2006

I Appeared on The Boutique Cafe

My music appeared on a podcast this week (May 27th), which I thought was really cool! :) The Boutique Cafe is a site for hip moms, and I just listened to this one show, and thought it was great!

They played "You and Me," the song I wrote for my wife five years ago. Check it out here.




Monday, May 29th, 2006

Yee Hah at Markham Rodeo

The whole family drove up to Markham to attend the rodeo, and we had a lot of fun. I didn't see any animals getting abused, though.

It's weird, because I got three emails before the show, saying, "HOW COULD YOU!!!!???" Some individuals thought I was so insensitive to be playing at the rodeo because animals were being abused there, and it was billed as entertainment!

I kept my eye open but didn't notice any abuse. I did see some horses who didn't want to jump over the knee-high obstacles. And I'm not so sure the ponies were into all those little kids riding on their backs. Maybe that's what they were talking about.

Anyway, the shows were fun. A myspace fan, named Wynne, came to the second show I did. It was great to meet her, and introduce her to my family. Thanks for coming Wynne!

Next show is at the Freeway. I  hope lots of people come to that one.


Tags:music gigs
Thursday, May 18th, 2006

Church In the News

Hey, our little old church was in the news! :)


Thursday, May 18th, 2006

New Pricing Structure

I've decided to develop a new pricing structure for ServiceBuilder. Instead of a yearly cost which would cover database updates and unlimited support, I've changed it to be a one-time cost, with an optional support and update fee.

This makes it much more affordable for most churches, and is more similar to other software on the market. Now the one time cost is $379 USD.

Updates come out regularly-- usually about once every month or two. These updates will cost only $35.00 USD (bug fix updates are free). If you want unlimited access to all updates then the optional yearly fee is $100.00 USD per year.

I hope this makes ServiceBuilder even more accessable to churches who need it.


Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Geek Factor

I had a really interesting conversation recently with a friend about some web sites I've designed in the past-- I thought it was worth blogging about, mostly so I don't forget, and partially so I can hear from what other people think. Please comment, whoever you are. :)

He thought the site in question had too many RSS feeds. Fascinating. I didn't think there was such a thing! And he thought there wasn't much need for a pocket version of the site.

Actually, I can see his point. He said that most people have no clue about RSS, aren't using it, don't want to start, and it just complicates things. And come on, who really wants to visit a web site on a pocket pc? I think I agree with that last part, anyway. The screens are just way too small, so content is usually diminished. And most web sites haven't adjusted for screen size variances, so it just gets irritating.

It brings up the age-old question of audience. Who am I designing web sites for? In this example, there are many different people who visit and use this site, from various backgrounds, education levels, even language abilities.

I tend to create an RSS feed for just about anything I program anymore. Almost every script I design has some way of reporting its content back to any user interested in subscribing to it. But who really cares?

Tell me what you think. Do you like RSS feeds? Do you know what they are? Do you use them? If so, how do you use them?

Come on, comment.  :-)




Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Bottled Inside

Bottled Inside
Bottled Inside was written in the basement of the Wriston's house-- a place I stayed for a year or so while working at Lakeview Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchwan. It was written in response to a girl (what else) who wanted to date me "in secret." When I think about it now, my reaction is PULEEASE! but at the time, well... I guess I was desperate or something and I just put up with it. Her mom wanted her to marry a doctor or a lawyer or some other rich, smart, wealthy type-- and I just didn't fit the bill.

I recorded this one about four years ago at Tom Bigas studio when it was still in his basement. I recorded the piano on the grand at Philpott, then in his basement I added bass and strings. He added percussion, including an Ocean Drum (a cool drum with marbles in it that sounds like rolling waves), djembe, a snare, and more.

Click to Listen

Bottled Inside
by Jason Silver

I have a secret, I must tell no one.
This is a secret I really must hide.
Oh how my heart yearns to scream it aloud
But I must keep everything bottled inside.

Imagine a soldier trained to perfection
In tactics of war he's the best of his kind
Led to a battleground there he is changed
And he must keep everything bottled inside.

Oh how the moon shone clear on the water
The still air was crisp and each nerve so alive
All of my senses were tingling with joy
But I keep all of this bottled inside

Oh how she kissed me and my mind wandered
Ahead to a life so in love, so sublime
But secrets are secrets only in time
So I'm keeping everything bottled inside.

I have a secret, I must tell no one.
This is a secret I really must hide!
Oh how my heart yearns to scream it aloud
And I must keep everything bottled inside.


Tags:music song_bios
Friday, April 21st, 2006

Da Vinci vs The Real Jesus


Sunday we started a fun new series (well, at least I thought it was fun!) where we discussed Gnosticism, the modern myths of Christianity, and other relevant topics. This 30 second video is different than last week's -- it has a new sound track. It will be used as a trailer before the message each week of this series.


Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

Morning Plays

This morning I checked my MySpace plays for yesterday-- 434! My songs were listened to 434 times yesterday! So cool.


Update: 474 this morning. Looks like this is the new baseline. Cool.
Update Again: hit 494 individual plays in one day last night! It's so cool to be responding to people's comments, and to hear that they've got my songs as their background music!! Ok, enough about this for a while--

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

The Screwtape Letters

I was a busy boy today! I also finished the book by C.S. Lewis, "The Screwtape Letters." In contrast to Dan Brown's novel, this was fantastic. In fact, I believe I need to re-read this book.

As most people will know, Screwtape is a demon, uncle to Wormwood. He and Wormwood are exchanging letters during World War II, and we get a peek at their conversation as the uncle coaches the nephew in how to best tempt a newly converted Christian.

What makes for such brilliant writing is the way he explains complex spiritual truths from a demon's perspective-- whereas I might normally begin yawning through a boring sermon, when told in the negative, by a demon, as a bad thing, I suddenly perk up and listen.

Here's an example:

He's (God) a hedonist at heart. All those fasts and vigils and stakes and crosses are only a façade. Or only like foam on the sea shore. Out at sea, out in His sea, there is pleasure, and more pleasure. He makes no secret of it; at His right hand are "pleasures for evermore". Ugh! I don't think He has the least inkling of that high and austere mystery to which we rise in the Miserific Vision. He's vulgar, Wormwood. He has a bourgeois mind. He has filled His world full of pleasures. There are things for humans to do all day long without His minding in the least-sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, making love, playing, praying, working, Everything has to be twisted before it's any use to us. We fight under cruel disadvantages. Nothing is naturally on our side.

I highly recommend this book. C.S. Lewis is known as a great author for good reason.


Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

I finished the Da Vinci Code today. It was palpably bad. I read it for our upcoming series at church, after Easter, "Da Vinci vs. The Real Jesus."

I could go on and on about all of it's inaccuracies, but I don't want to get caught up in that too much-- this is fiction, after all; and people keep reminding us all of that.

Yeah, but is anyone listening? I've got some friends who are conspiracy theorists. They're suckers for this stuff. They love a juicy cover-up to bite into-- and that's fine, I guess. It's their life. If they want to put their head in the sand, I guess that's their choice.

Libelous? I guess freedom of speech allows each of us to say whatever we want about organizations like the church... and freedom of speech is great-- don't get me wrong. But I would hate to think people form serious opinions about Jesus and his church based on some trashy pulp fiction.

It wouldn't have been so bad if he'd stuck to a story. But the characters kept soliloquizing into preachy sermons -- it was like listening to my conspiracy friends rattle on for hours. BOOOORRRRIIINNNNNG.

I read it in Microsoft Reader, and kept Wikipedia open. Every time it made some historical claim, or mentioned some group I never heard of, I did a quick google. Dan Brown is almost never telling the truth in this book. Take nothing at face value.

Or just leave this book on the bookshelf.


Priory_of_Sion Knights_Templar 
Cryptex Mona_Lisa

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006


Click to enlarge...Today someone painted a picture after being inspired by my "Until the Train Comes" song... cool eh? Check it out (click to enlarge):


Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Free CD

I'm giving away a free CD to the first 25 people who mention my music on their blog. Not just a "oh, Jason's got a new CD," but help in spreading the word-- with enthusiasm. Maybe put this snippet of code on your page so people can hear "Until the Train Comes" from your own site... whadayasay?


Update: 16 left - Comment here when you've added my link and include both your link and your mailing address so I can send your the CD.



Friday, March 31st, 2006

MySpace - Disturbing and Addictive

Wow, MySpace is strange. I signed up a couple of weeks ago and I find myself addicted to it...

Which is really funny, because it's so bad, mostly. I mean, we've got people designing web pages without a clue to web design...

But the neatest thing about it is how easy it is to promote my music! This morning I was the number 2 artist in Ontario in the pop caregory. My song, Until the Train Comes, was hovering around number 20.

It's gone up and down a bit since then, but generally number 6.

It's so easy to find people who are into piano music, and some of them even want to buy CDs. I'm really pumped.

Thanks God,

Sunday, March 19th, 2006

I'm Worth A Lot

I am worth $3,037,290 on HumanForSale.com
Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Design of JasonSilver.com

I redesigned JasonSilver.com yesterday to coordinate with the release of my new CD, 12 Girlfriends.


Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

Cobourg Was Great

12 GirlfriendsI had a fantastic time in Cobourg last night. Joanne and I drove together to the small city, about two and a half hours from here. We loved it. The architecture, the history, the quaintness of the downtown. What a nice place. Maybe we'll move there someday! :)

I played in a cute little coffee shop, called "Meet You at 66 King Street." The crowd there was so fun and friendly, and it was a pleasure to play for them. Thanks to all the wonderful people I met, who asked me to come, and who helped support my music by buying a CD. It really meant a lot, and it was a great time. (Thanks to mom and dad, and sis and bro-in-law for coming to listen too!)

The CDs were ready just in time-- the new album I recorded last week is called "12 Girlfriends," and it's full of old love songs from the past and present. I sold a boat load of them, so I guess things went well. I was pretty pumped about that.

I am thinking of putting together a parallel project, full of another twelve songs recorded on just the piano-- but this time songs of faith. I'm going to wait a bit to see how this project sells first.

If you want a CD, I'd love to get one to you. If you see me in person, they're $10.00. If I have to mail it to you, they're $12.00. You can send me money via PayPal or you can wait a bit because I'm about to set up a credit card section on this site for buying my CD. Stay tuned!

Thanks again to everyone behind my music. Your support means a lot to me.


Tags:music gigs
Monday, March 6th, 2006

Til the Train Comes to Take Me


A couple of nights ago I was listening to Scott Orr's amazing new CD. It inspired me so much that I've written two new songs so far. Here's the lyrics to the first one.

Believe it or not, it started out just me wanting to write about my train set in the basement! :)


I've been waiting for the train
I've been standing at the station.
Every whistle call has beckoned me,
But here I stand.
I've tried sleepin' in the rain
Covered with the Sunday paper
Yellow windows shining in the street
And here I stand.

I can't move, I won't bend
I might break if I get up again
I can't sing, afraid I'll cry
I can't live because you said goodbye
Darkness holds me in her arms
I can't see a way to leave her charms
I'll keep holding on,
Until the train comes to take me.

I've been packing up my bags
Holding onto every moment.
Loaded down with painful memories
So I can't move.
The baggage man has got my ticket
Luggage piled all around me
I would love to travel light
But I'm too scared.

Here the whistle blowin', see the steam risin', smell the coal burning, baby
That's my soul hurtin'
Maybe I can flag this engine down, get the break-man on the ground,
Find my way, All Aboard, this train is leaving town.

Click to Listen

Tags:music song_bios
Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

On Television!

I forgot to mention this before! I got a telephone call from the Life Network the other day. How weird to be getting telephone calls from big companies, eh?

They were calling to ask my permission to use something I created on a show called "The Mom Show." Did I get that right? Is there something called The Mom Show? (I just Googled it... I got it right.)

Anyway, they were covering a story of a mom who is addicted to playing Crossword, which is a game I wrote! In fact, it's the first Perl script I ever wrote. I made it back in 1999 so that Joanne and her family could play Scrabble with each other over the Internet.

It's these little blips that keep the smile on my face. How funny that a game I wrote is keeping a mom from doing laundry!


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts crossword


Friday, February 24th, 2006

Markham Fair

I played a gig at the Home Show, held at the Markham Fair this afternoon. Tom Bigas, my pal from the 'Fonic Factory,' asked me yesterday if I wanted to come and perform. He said I might sell some CDs, and it was a fun experience to boot.

I took the family along, and we made it a bit of an outing. You know, sample fudge, and get harrassed by insurance agents desperate for new clients. Lots of fun! :)

Acutally it was. For my set I played Elton John's, Your Song, Eagle's Desparado, Walking in Memphis, I Could Not Ask For More, and a bunch of originals. I sold ten CDs, all to the same guy, someone named Ron McKeown who is planning the Markham Rodeo in April.

Tonight I'm playing with Scott Orr, for his CD release party at the Frwy Cafe in downtown Hamilton.

On a completely different note, I've got a MySpace account set up now, at http://www.myspace.com/jasondsilver.


Tags:music gigs
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Clueless Power

This is a great article about the power of being dumb. Okay, maybe not dumb, but at least clueless. I would say the success I've had on the web and in almost all areas of my life is because I'm naive enough to think anything is possible.

The clueless accomplish amazing things--not necessarily because we're bold, brilliant innovators, but perhaps because we just don't know any better. We see the simplicity of the forest while Those Who Know are overanalyzing the complex subtleties of the trees (and miss the point). Sometimes NOT knowing about a "problem" weakens (or eliminates) it...

...What if "clueless" is simply a label the glass-half-empty folks give the glass-half-full folks. If we're optimistic, we must not have a clue. What if we simply see the world through a different lens? A lens that opens doors and windows the cynical and pessimistic are too busy dissing to notice?

Read the whole article (2 minutes).


Sunday, February 19th, 2006

2006 - Hamilton's Best Valentines Party

A long tradition of Valentine's Parties hMe as Corey Hartas seen many, many visitors to our church, and almost as many tacky songs from the past. Each year there's a different theme, like favourite songs from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's. This year we did top Canadian songs, covering artists like RUSH, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Sarah MacClaughlan, Blue Rodeo, Bare Naked Ladies, Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray, Joni Mitchel, and many more.

Last night was the last of three shows, and we're all pooped, and a little bit sad that it's over. This thing takes eight months to prepare-- picking the theme and songs, charting and arranging for all the instruments, memorizing parts, practicing -- so when it's finally over, it is truly an ultimate climax.

Visit my Flickr site to see some pictures that others have taken. Maybe you can come to 2007 Valentines!!


Tags:church_work valentines
Saturday, February 18th, 2006

Small Town Stories

My mother-in-law has been writing some really funny stories-- memories from her past. She's been sending them to Joanne to edit, and yesterday we decided we would set up a blog for her.

Please visit her site, SmallTownStories.blogspot.com read her first post, and leave a comment. I'm sure she'd appreciate your thoughts.


Friday, February 17th, 2006

Lifeway Called Me!

Wow, I just got the coolest telephone call from a big company in the US, called Lifeway. They are in a five-year process of building a giant web interface for music directors, similar to ServiceBuilder. They're curious about my program, and told me today that they'd like to fly me down to Nashville to demo it for them! The gentleman I spoke with even mentioned that they might put me in charge of the project, if I was able to find the time!

Wow. I don't know what to think about that. I'm probably not qualified to lead a project of this magnitude! It does sound like fun-- what an exciting prospect to consider!

For God's glory,

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Low Whistle Lament

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I've been making my own penny whistles lately. I guess I've made about five so far, and they're starting to sound pretty good.

A penny whistle is a pretty simple little instrument. I've made them out of broom handles, tent poles, and now my favourite material: PVC pipe. I use some drills, a sharp knife, and a couple of different kinds of files to shape the actual whistle part-- called a fipple. Then I use a cool JavaScript formula I found on the Internet for placing the holes in the correct spot.

I made this Low E whistle to use in our upcoming "Hamilton's Best Valentine's Party" event this weekend-- we're doing "Favourite Canadian Love Songs," and the Titanic Theme has a haunting whistle part at the beginning.

I thought it sounded good enough to record, so I plugged my mic into the laptop, rested it on the arm of my chair, and started whistling. Then I ran for the guitar and added a bit of chord structure. I'm making this up as I'm going, so it's a little random, but nonetheless pretty good-- do you think?


Click to Listen

Tags:music song_bios
Monday, February 13th, 2006

Amazing 12 Year Old Drummer

 Check out this amazing 12 year old drummer! Man!


Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Playing in Cobourg

Jason Silver in ConcertI've been asked to play at a coffee house in Cobourg, Ontario-- I'm looking forward to getting away with Joanne, enjoying a little trip, and maybe selling a couple of CDs.

How did this come about? It was the weirdest thing-- I received an email from a woman who attended my church last year. She is dating someone who apparently is a 'HUGE fan' of my music! (It's kinda cool to think I have fans... wow, that makes me feel important!).

She wanted to suprise her boyfriend by taking him to hear me sing somewhere-- and as it turned out, I'm going there-- to play at something called the SoulHouse Cafe.

If you're able to come to hear me play, that would be terrific. I'm on Monday, March 13th, 7 p.m., at 66 King Street E., Cobourg. Hope to see you there!


Tags:music gigs
Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Ineen Telephone Software

I have finally found free software for my pocket pc, desktops, and laptop to call and talk with people over a wireless connection. It's called Ineen, and it works really well. It supports conferencing with 10 people or video conferencing with four people. You can even set up 'distributed' conferencing with unlimited amounts of people! Pretty cool.

All I need know are a few friends to download it to their pc's and send me their phone number. Please give it a try and let me know.

My number: 2044143


Tags:computers software


Tuesday, January 31st, 2006


www.kingclancy.caThe 2006 version of KingClancy.ca is just about wrapped up. I am doing this for the band in exchange for some recording gear and free studio time. Doing web work-- or any work for that matter-- in a barter exchange is an interesting approach. It can be hard to quantitatively measure things like studio time, custom programming, etc.


Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Walk This Path

I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow You.

Click to Listen

Tags:music song_bios
Thursday, January 26th, 2006


www.lagerlad.comAll this time in bed I've been trying to keep up with the web sites I've been asked to design lately. Today I was able to almost wrap up LagerLad.com, and it has been quite fun.

LagerLad is based on the idea at www.milliondollarhomepage.com, where visitors can come to the site, select an area where they want an ad to appear, pay for the spot, and upload their ad.

The program infrastructure I wrote, which runs this new site, is for sale and will be available for download shortly at Intelliscript.net. If you're interested, be sure to check it out.


Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

2006 Election

I've been quiet this election-- I've tried to put less emphasis on the importance of politics. There are just other things way more crucial to me.

But, I am fascinated by it all and am so excited that the Tories won this year. I pray that social conservatism is redefined and gains general acceptance in our society.

I stand for traditional family and moral values, smaller, less intrusive governement, freedom of choice, benefits (not punishments) for hard-working small business owners, and a careful balance of sensitive social programs.

Concerning the latter, I believe that Canada is more passionate than some countries about the government's role in social issues, and I agree that this is an important, and Christian value. I think the new conservatism must somehow embrace social welfare systems while maintaining the strong ecomomic platforms conservatives are known for.


Tags:politics canadian
Sunday, January 15th, 2006

Bronte Creek Ride

Luas and Daddy on Bikes in Bronte CreekJoanne is away with Seth and Grace to visit family in Saskatchewan. Lucas and I stayed behind, and we've been filling up our time with lots of fun activity!

This morning we loaded the bikes on the back of the van and drove to Bronte Creek Park. We met at Gary's house, had a snack, and then rode through the park for hours. What a lot of fun!

When we were done, we had amazing hot soup with Gary... altogether a fantastic day!

(I won't mention running out of gas and having our battery die on the way home this evening!)


Tags:hobbies biking
Saturday, January 14th, 2006


This is a note to myself to download this:


Friday, January 13th, 2006

12 Angry Men

Lucas and I just saw the most fantastic movie I've seen in a very long time. It's called 12 Angry Men, and it looks to be filmed in about 1955. (57, actually-- just checked). If you get a chance to see this flic, take it!

I'd argue it has much better acting than most modern films, and the story and turn of events is riveting.

It's about 11 jurors who want to convict a young man for killing his father-- and one juror who disagrees. Absolutely fascinating.


Thursday, January 12th, 2006

I Created My Best Penny Whistle Yet!

Last night Lucas and I went to Canadian Tire (on our way to Tim Hortons for donuts and coffee!) and I bought a $10, 12 foot length of 3/4" CPVC pipe.

"Why," you say? I'm glad you asked!

I'll give you the background first: In February we're doing Favourite Canadian Artists as the theme for Hamilton's Best Valentine's Party, and one of the songs has a low whistle in it (Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On). I didn't have this key, so I thought I'd build my own.

I started out with the lathe, and turned a beautiful recorder shape, the bored a nice chamber down the center of it, but I couldn't get the fipple-- the whistle part-- to make a very loud noise. Back to the drawing board.

So I decided to use PVC.

Wow! I can't believe how much easier this is to work with! The fipple was quick and simple-- in fact the whole whistle was completed in about 2 hours! It's perfectly in tune, (and tunable, thanks to a coupling in the middle) so I know my flut-automatic program is working! This JavaScript program tells you how big the holes should be, where they should be, etc.

It's not very loud, so I have to figure out how to get more volume-- especially on the low notes.

To buy this whistle, also made from CPVC pipe, it would cost me anywhere from $80 to $160 USD. This cost me about $15, and I have enough pipe to make about 6 more whistles.

Anyone want to commission a low whistle?


Tags:music whistles
Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

Intelliscript Downloads No Longer Free

For the last number of years I have made my Perl scripts absolutely free to download, and have depended on the honour system to encourage people to pay for the scripts if they use them. I sold a few scripts--maybe once a week or a couple a month. I wasn't keeping track of how many scripts were being downloaded each day, which I should have been-- just lazy to add that feature.

But a week ago I decided to stop allowing free downloads and ever since doing so have started getting a lot more purchases. So sorry to those of you who are inconvenienced, but I had to start paying for that web site if I was going to keep it going.

It's a lesson to me: people won't pay for something unless they have to. I guess I'm the same way, so I shouldn't be suprised. :)


Tags:webdesign perl_scripts
Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Why Do I Fall?

Why Do I Fall? The answer to this question is the whole point to life. Do you know what it is?

Guesses in the comments.
Click to Listen

Tags:music song_bios