May 22, 2005

It Seems Like Just Yesterday…

One year ago today, Rita and I were married in her parent’s yard on a beautiful sun-shiny day. So began our life together—“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, NIV)

One whole year—a year together with the love of my life, trusting God to take care of us in all things. He has shown Himself faithful in so many ways, and provided for our every need.

I can hardly believe that the year has passed so quickly. It seems like just yesterday that we finished planning the wedding, that we packed up the car and made our big cross-country trek, that we found a job and a place to live and could really learn to be on our own.

It hasn’t been without its challenges. No marriage ever is. From learning each other’s deepest secrets to learning each other’s annoying quirks (just ask Rita: I have plenty), hardly a week has gone by without us asking what in the world we got ourselves into.

In so many marriages in the world today, that would be enough to call it quits. But not once, Rita, have I wanted to leave. What great love can there ever be without great pain? I can’t stand to be away from you—you are my best and most trusted friend. You help me through so many times of uncertainly, when the things of this life discourage me—you help me see once again the bright shining of daylight and know that God does give good gifts to all who love Him, who are called according to His purpose, just like He gave me you on our wedding day. You point me toward the Truth, toward the Cross, toward our Savior, and remind me that His way is the only way worth living in this life.

Rita, my love, I’m so excited to be married to you. I’m so glad that we have had such a truly beautiful year together, and that we have years and years more together (God willing), to grow in maturity and in our love. There is no one better for me to live and learn in this life with, knowing that Our Lord, Christ Jesus, is guiding us every step of the way.

Thank you, Rita, for marrying me.

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Marriage]

May 17, 2005

Declining European Population

The EPPC has an excellent article posted entitled “Where have all the children gone?” Despite all the hyped concerns about over-population, it seems that most developed countries are not even replacing the people they have. (The United States is an interesting exception—there are probably others; I have not done any sort of an analysis of the statistics.)

The article is actually a review of two books discussing the problem—but it also points out some of the philosophical issues that might underlie this surprising information.

And while many individuals and couples believe they are having fewer children (or none at all) because of the expense of raising children responsibly, their behavior has much deeper roots: It is not fundamentally an economic issue, but a cultural one. For those who see children primarily as sources of personal fulfillment, other routes to happiness may seem more trouble-free. Children will often lose out in this utilitarian calculus, even if the state makes raising them less expensive.

Yes, we want to live in a world in which we are free to live, think, and do as we please. I certainly am not suggesting that everyone must go out and have more children. But I wonder if this is just another area in which humanity is not willing to be content with the consequences of its choices?

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Culture]

May 16, 2005

My First Entry!!!

Hello Everyone! Welcome to The Hjelle Web page. We finally got it up! :) David has been working hard on it for the past 9 or more months, with a few breaks in between ;) Although I think he would tell you he has been working on it longer than just 9 months. We are glad that it is up.

So much as happened in the past year I don’t know where to begin. Most of the exciting stuff has already been passed around through my mass e-mails, but the last one was at least 5 months ago or more. (I have put the mass e-mails in the calendar if you would like to read them.) Did you Know that our one year anniversary is coming up?!? Exciting isn’t it?! Just a week away! Horray!!!!

What a year it has been! Our unexpected 5 month honeymoon in Canada, living in my parents 5th wheel trailer in their yard. Living with David parents for a good month and then learning how to live with each other in “normal” circumstances. David working and me filling in my time as I need and will.

We love our apartment. Even though living with all white rooms from floor to ceiling is a bit of a nuisance, it does make for easier decorating. I can add colour where I want and it doesn’t clash with what is already here. So I’ve been able to add a lot of colour, surprise, surprise! ;)

I took a class at Dordt for kicks this past semester. And I’ve been training to work at the Family Crisis Center in Sioux Center. and I’ve been accepted to to volunteer with the abstinence program at the crisis pregnancy center in Orange City, but I haven’t been there at all since the first day :( I’ll have to get on that now that it is summer.

My friend Allison has been in town so we have spent a lot of time together. Making friends with a number of other people. David and I host a bible study on Friday nights. We adopted a fish a month ago or so, and just bought it a new friend yesterday! I’m attempting to see if I have a green thumb by growing some violets and chives. Next I’ll work on Gladiola and Sweet Williams. pretty exciting! We also have a bird feeder on our balcony and get a stead stream of birds every day. Especially when it’s stormy. And we have had a quite a few spring storms so far! I love it!

God has been good and we are blessed! I hope to keep you more regularly updated in the future!

In Christ Rita

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / Rita]

Fixing the Calendar

I finally was able to figure out how to fix the calendar display so that it will change the month and the year appropriately as you scroll through—now it is easy to get to posts from the past!

I’m using Todd Larason’s Calendar plug-in for Blosxom, which has worked wonderfully except for that one little issue. That is now fixed.

All I had to do was find the lines that looked like this (with ~ signifying that the line continues—don’t type them!):

param('-quiet') or print~
my $fh_w = new FileHandle ">~
    $static_dir/$fn.$flavour" or~
    die "Couldn't open $static_dir/~
    $p for writing: $!";  
$output = '';
print $fh_w 
    $indexes{$path} == 1
    ? &generate('static', $p,~
        '', $flavour, $content_type)
    : &generate('static', '',~
    $p, $flavour, $content_type);

and change it to look like this:

param('-quiet') or print~
my $fh_w = new FileHandle ">~
    $static_dir/$fn.$flavour" or~
    die "Couldn't open $static_dir/~
    $p for writing: $!";  
$output = '';
($path_info_yr, $path_info_mo_num,~
    $path_info_da) = split '/',$p~
    if ($indexes{$path} != 1);
print $fh_w 
    $indexes{$path} == 1
    ? &generate('static', $p,~
        '', $flavour, $content_type)
    : &generate('static', '',~
    $p, $flavour, $content_type);

It was actually documented on the Bloxsom mailing list, but unfortunately, not very clearly. A little experimenting cleared it all up.

One of these days, I’ll learn Perl for real. Or any number of other languages I’d love to learn. :-D

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Web Site]

An Apology

Figures, doesn’t it? The moment I think I get all the kinks worked out of this site, I find out that I created what is known as an “infinite loop” that made the page reload forever for anyone who tried using Internet Explorer. Oops.

I seem to have an incredible knack for creating infinite loops as of late. As long as it doesn’t show up in my real job…

My sincere apologies, everyone. That problem is now fixed.

I hope that I could get the calendar working correctly at some point in the near future, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Web Site]

May 14, 2005

Fixes for Internet Explorer

I realize there probably aren’t many of you that interested in the internals of how this site works, but for those that are, I’ll give you the low-down about the most recent updates. Sorry for the recent lack of updates—I was fighting to keep off a cold most of the end of last week. Oh, and playing trumpet in a wedding. And a busy week at work. The usual.

Anyhow, I think I have things figured out for the JavaScript errors and the logo not appearing in Internet Explorer—e-mail me if you are still having problems, and I’ll give a shot at fixing them. I also made a few CSS stylesheet changes so the calendar text wasn’t far too small for everyone to read. And, perhaps most excitingly for me, I was able to get sitecopy to work with my iDisk. That means that I only have to dial-up for a maximum of about a minute for each new post—maybe longer if I update a graphic or HTML template sitewide. It takes a bit of configuration—but once it is configured, it only uploads changed files, using a local database of checksums. Sweet!

If you are wondering about the “rcfile” configuration for sitecopy and an iDisk, here’s what worked for me:

site TheHjelleJar
    protocol webdav
    username username
    password password
    local /Volumes/iDisk/Sites
    remote /username/Sites
    http expect
    state checksum
    checkmoved renames

I don’t suppose I’ve mentioned this before, but my tool of choice for creating this site is Blosxom. I’ve had to tweak quite a few bits and pieces, but the end result is a blog and CMS scripting system that fits Rita’s and my needs just about perfectly. (By the way, if anyone knows how to get the Calendar plug-in working properly in static rendering, drop me a line.)

Enough of this technical mumbo-jumbo. Hopefully on to more interesting things before too long!

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Web Site]

May 03, 2005

A World of Spin

It is interesting how much of our world is full of spin. Almost everything we take in, every bit of information, needs to be analyzed and assessed as to where it is coming from.

My favorite example of this occurred last year at the capture of Saddam Hussein. The news anchor said something to the effect of, “Iraqi support for the American presence in Iraq is decreasing,” and then continued on his news reel. Interesting…we know very few actual facts from that sentence. On top of that, the implications most people would draw from a sentence like that are profound. Let me demonstrate…

  1. Support…is decreasing. Fair enough. But from 98% to 7%? Or just from 98% to 97.5? We have no idea.
  2. Iraqi support… Hypothesize for a moment with me. What if, just maybe, the Iraqi people don’t necessarily know what is best for them? (What if, for that matter, we don’t know what is best for ourselves…but that’s another question.) This sentence clearly implies that the Iraqi’s must know what is best for themselves. But I think each of us can think of a dear friend of ours who made foolish decisions—and clearly did not know what was the best for themselves.

It just goes to show that it doesn’t take much work to spin what started as a fact into a phrase riddled with implications.

In a related note that sparked this whole discussion, Paul Graham writes a whole article on the art of spin as related to PR.

I guess it just shows that we all need to be carefully critical of all we read—Christians especially, as we’ve been given a task to be salt and light to the nations.

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Public Policy]

May 01, 2005

Updating all the Code…

Well, someday I’ll be ready to start commenting on news and other issues regularly—right now, I’m working primarily on getting all the back-end code working properly. It’s definitely getting closer!

Interestingly, one of the biggest issues that I had to deal with was Apple’s iDisk synchronizing mechanism in Mac OS X 10.3. For some reason (and this apparently started only recently), custom pages uploaded to an iDisk’s Sites folder would not display correctly in Mozilla-based browsers, such as Firefox and Camino. Instead, they’d prompt the user to download the file. To make a long story short, this was apparently due to Apple changing their servers to use the MIME-type specified when the file was uploaded, rather than ignoring it all together. Unfortunately, the iDisk syncing procedure seems to specify ‘application/octet-stream’ for any uploaded file, regardless of its type. Uploading directly to the iDisk in the Finder seemed to solve the problem—and I think using the rsync Unix command will also work and spare me from manually updating changed sites.

I found both a user’s report on the problem and a discussion on Apple’s discussion lists to be useful.

I also found that I could use the command-line tool caDAVer, from the WebDAV project, to change the MIME-types as necessary.

Maybe this all had something to do with the new file type architecture in Tiger?

Comment~ permanent link ~ • Category: [News / David / Web Site]

© 2005-2007 David and Rita Hjelle