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Saturday Six on Photography

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:25 AM

Here's a meme on a topic near and dear to me. Photography! Feel free to put your answers in the comments.

  • Do you use a Digital or Film camera?

Digital — I've been all digital for seven years now.

  • Do you print the photos yourself or get them printed for you?

Usually, I'll send them to Walgreen's. But I print very few photos.

  • Do you upload your photos to sites such as fickr or photobucket?

I typically use my own photo album that I host, but it is down for the moment. I do post some photos to Facebook, since it helps with sharing them.

  • Do you photo anything and everything or does your camera only come out on special occasions such as birthdays etc.?

Everything, of course. I feel sorry for cameras that only come out on special events. :(

  • When was the last time you upgraded to a new camera?

December 2007 was when I moved up to my current Canon EOS 40D. It has been a great camera so far, with well over 10,000 photos shot on it. I have every intention of seeing how its 100,000 picture shutter rating works out.

  • If you could have any camera on the market which one would you choose and why?

Probably the Canon 1Ds Mk III. Why? That's easy. It is one of the most powerful cameras on the market, fully weather sealed and full frame. And, since price wouldn't be an issue in this question, I might as well go for the top, right?

More practically, I'd probably lean towards the Canon 5D Mk II. Like the 1Ds series, it is full frame. But it is lighter weight, smaller, has the new DIGIC 4 processor and has a HD movie mode that really intrigues me. It would be a nice compliment to my 40D with its APS-sized sensor. In many ways, I'd probably use the 5D Mk II far more than I'd ever use the 1Ds Mk III.

The Times: Does Love Make You Sick?

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:01 AM

One of my news hound friends who sends me whatever is going on in the news sent a quirky little piece from the Times of London appropriate for this weekend. The article is disappointingly cynical about love, but some of the quotes were good for amusement. I do have to deconstruct the conclusion and provide my own take on the matter, however. :)

Romantic love can be so confusing that sometimes you simply want to give up on the whole thing and concentrate on the nature of dark matter, or macroeconomics, or something else less tiring.

Any article that realizes that macroeconomics and love are roughly as comprehensible has something right. However, while macroeconomics has done vastly more harm than good (I'm looking at you, Lord Keynes), love is — despite the pain — ultimately a good thing as part of the creational intent for human beings. The pain may be a result of the Fall, but the Fall has not managed to totally corrupt God's handiwork.

Plato said that love is a mental disease. Modern researchers agree enthusiastically, categorising love as a form of madness and echoing what psychologists have been telling tearful patients for years. (There are certain shrinks who refuse to treat people in the early throes of love because they are too insane to do a thing with.) Currently, scientists are having a genteel academic squabble over whether love most closely resembles the manic phase of bipolar disorder or the characteristics seen in obsessive compulsive disorder.

Insane, indeed. For my money, I think OCD fits better than manic phases. Either way, if that was all one thought about love it might be reason to argue against it. Sadly, the author seems to find the whole idea of love troublesome enough to start arguing that at least certain key parts of it are mere cultural baggage,

The idea that every human heart, since the invention of the wheel, was yearning for its other half is a myth.

Well, maybe the author was right; that yearning doesn't go back to the wheel. It goes back further, to the Garden, to Adam. For all the splendor and goodness of God's creation, not everything was good. “The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him'” (Gen. 2.18 NIV). One of the three creational mandates for humanity from God is marriage and really the yearning of the heart is the yearning for Eden, the yearning to achieve the creational intent God has for us.

Some have questioned that intent's validity post-fall, especially in the present era. Yes, Adam and Eve enjoyed for awhile something more perfect than can exist in the fallen world, but that doesn't invalidate the creational design here any more than the difficulty of labor eliminates the properness of working or separation from God argues against worship. While the article raises some interesting points, outside of a creational understanding of the world, it ends up missing the point.

But, come on, the macroeconomics reference was amusing, wasn't it?

A Good Start

By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:44 PM

The bug I caught a few weeks ago still has me moving slowly, but the New Year is off to a good start for me, I think. My parents, my uncle and I had a nice little party with a nice meal accompanied by a nice, friendly Wii competition. :)

Happy New Year, everybody!

Unwell Cleaning

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:13 AM

Well, I seem to have caught some bug that's held me down the last few days — I even had to miss teaching Sunday School yesterday. I had a few symptoms for most of last week, but kept thinking it was allergies; apparently it was a bug of some sort that was just taking its merry time to attack.
It finally hit early Sunday morning. I think (hope) I am on the mend, but it has been a bit frustrating moving so slowly just a few days before Christmas.

On the bright side, I've continued to catalog my books (I now have 212 of my books in a computerized catalog) and I've sorted through about two years of unsorted papers from classes and put them in appropriate (real) file folders.

So, at least I can feel like I accomplished something, right? ;)

Semester Finished

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:43 AM

Well, another semester is checked off, and with it, I am ever so slightly past the half way mark of my seminary career. I find it amazing I've been at Covenant for two years now, or — more properly — will be so in January. I have learned a lot, been pushed hard, been worked on by God and have had the pleasure of getting to know many brothers and sisters in Christ. It has been hard, even painful, but good.

And speaking of pain, I have completed the first part of Hebrew. That feels tremendous, and means I can look forward to… the second part. The first two weeks of January, I will be in an accelerated Hebrew class dealing with weak verbs and other nasty things. The class itself is for two and a half hours per day, but it comes coupled with an estimated six hours of out of class work a day. It will be Hebrew Bootcamp. And that makes me nervous.

But, once I get past that, hopefully I will have completed most of the “feared' milestones at Covenant. Others include Greek, of course, and Acts and Paul, which I completed this semester.

Still, there are two years to go and undoubtedly many surprises therein.

Too Many Things at Once

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:45 AM

Tomorrow is going to be crazy, as will be at least part of Tuesday. Going into it, I am already tired and I have much more I need to get done. But, at least then we will be at Tuesday night and I can hunker down for an exciting night of election coverage.

Remember: Vote John McCain on Tuesday, November 4!

Quarter Century

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:10 AM

A week ago, I passed the quarter century mark. It strikes me as an interesting number. I cannot say I feel any different, but there is something fascinating when I think about the number. Perhaps more than feeling older, I do feel sort of like I should have accomplished more thus far than I have.

Many of the great poets had written their master works by the time they were 25. On the other hand, many of the great poets were dead within ten years of their twenty fifth birthday. Keeping that in mind, perhaps it is quite good that I keep plowing along, slowly but surely. ;)

Revisiting a Bad Day

By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:49 PM

September 19, 2005 was one of the worst days of my life. I am reminded of that day today, partly because it was 3 years ago today and partly because like that day, I've been fighting a cold (or allergy attack) for the last few days.

I keep coming back to the issue of time on my blog. Time fascinates me. Three years ago seems like such a long time ago, and yet I can picture September 19 almost as if it were yesterday. Perhaps in part that is because that which became unsettled on September 19 remains unsettled — more so than I expected, then — even to this day. In some ways, perhaps time's distance is not so much about the amount of minutes that have passed by; rather, it is about how relevant and active a given time is to the present time.

September 19 is still quite relevant.

One of the things I like about blogging, especially when I am on an active posting spree, is that it leaves markers of days like today. Looking back to the post I linked to above, I received a snapshot of what I felt by my own words then and not by three years of framing things in my mind. That's rather interesting.

Blogging will certainly change the way we remember things in the decades ahead, I suspect.

Customer Service

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:27 AM

I've spent far too much of the last two days talking to customer service representatives. What have I accomplished? Not one iota. Normally it takes forever, but I get something done. But dealing with customer service at two different companies this week has not worked out for me. I was making myself feel better having delusions of sending the companies bills for my time. ;)

Anyone else having fun with those who consider your call important?

Tim Russert Dies at 58

By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:11 PM

One of the few really good journalists of this era has died today. Tim Russert, by the estimation of pretty much everyone on both sides of the aisle, was a journalist's journalist. His work was, whenever I encountered it excellent — well researched and fair. His reporting was an encouragement to strive for excellence. It is a sad day for the nation, as one of the real keepers of the Fourth Estate has passed away.

How sad too, for his family, particularly right after a celebratory vacation for his son's graduation from college.

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