Learning Clojure

December 5, 2020

So, for various reasons, I have decided to take a look at Clojure. It is a programming language that implements LISP yet runs on top of the JVM (Java Virtual Machine). For those with long and geeky memories, LISP is one of the programming languages that ESR recommends every programmer learn.

It is a requirement that when learning a new programming language the programmer is obligated to write as their first program the iconic hello world program. While normally a breaker of rules, this one makes sense. Further, I recall writing about Learning Projects and this seemed to be a good time to put my own words into action. Naturally, I will start with hello world.

Caveat: I'm still very much at the early stages of figuring this out, so everything after this caveat may be less than 100% correct. I'll come back later and correct mistakes as I find them.

If you use Leiningen as your Clojure build and project management tool (as seems to be strongly recommended on the Clojure homepage), you get a free hello world program everytime you start a new application. This is helpful in that it is guaranteed to work, but unhelpful that you don't have to find a version of hello world and type it in yourself. (Copy and paste vs. typing from printed when learning a new programming language is a whole topic for another day!) So, like it or not after typing:

Continue reading →

Cover Song - Ole Time Religion by Joe Bonamassa

November 22, 2020

Here's one to wake us all up on a Sunday morning. I love many of the old time Pentecostal church songs, but most of the versions on YouTube are slow and warbly and fail to catch the joy that the lyrics of the song are trying to convey. So when I find a solid, uptempo cover of those classics, I just have to share it.

Continue reading →

Working on my Good Habits During the Lockdown

April 23, 2020

With some extra time, I've been trying to build and maintain some good habits. Some I already had, but have tried to take them further.

Mornings now start by sitting with my wife, drinking tea and reading my Bible. I've completed my reading of the New Testament already this year, so my initial plan of reading through the New Testament twice during 2020 has now been upgraded to trying to read through it three times.

After that, it's off to pick up heavy things and put them back down again as a former co-worker used to say. The heavy things in this case are kettlebells. I've done kettlebell exercises before, but a mostly minor shoulder and elbow injury had caused me to back off from using them and now that everything seems good to go in my joints, it's time to get back to working out with them. To ease back into my workouts, I started with my 36lb kettlebell, but now with a successful month of exercise behind me, I have started incorporating my 54lb kettlebell here and there. I shall include it in more of my routines over the next couple of weeks until it has completely replaced the use of the 36lb kettlebell. I do also have a 72lb kettlebell (because "reasons") but it will take a significant amount f work before I'm ready to start transitioning to that one.

I blogged about my start of learning Greek for the purpose of translating the scriptures yesterday, but it's part of getting on with stuff that I should be doing, so I'm including it here.

Continue reading →

The Bad Automatic Translation of the Bible

April 22, 2020

The Lord has been talking to me about a big project. Really big. Big enough to make me nervous enough that I've been procrastinating it for longer than I feel comfortable admitting. My mission, if I should choose to accept it is to work on a translation of the Bible. As one does.

Now that I've surrendered, this means a number of things. First, there's the matter of learning Biblical Greek. Second will be Biblical Hebrew. I will need to learn each of these languages far better than average. Translation is tough work and excellent language skills are required in both the source and target languages. Third, I will need to upgrade my publishing skills. I have a number of self-published books already under my belt, but a Bible (even allowing for just starting with the New Testament first) is a more complicated undertaking. And fourth, I gotta find a way to have fun in the process.

How does a guy have fun with Bible translation? I don't know how anyone else does it, but my plan is to translate it twice. The primary way will be the official way that other translators do it, lots of books and scratching my head and fussing over individual Greek words. The adding some fun into the mix will be to run a parallel translation where I do everything programmatically. Yes, this is crazy, but it's for fun. Even the name is fun. My current project codename for this is the "Bad Automatic Translation". Which makes it the BAT Bible and who doesn't think that isn't a fun name?

So, with the help of the Interwebs, I scrounged up a copy of the Scrivner 1550 Textus Receptus, grabbed the first chapter of the gospel of John out of it and whipped up a quick program in TCL. The input looks like this:

Continue reading →

The Apocalypse Is Cancelled

April 12, 2020

Expanded notes from my Easter sermon.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57

My title is a reference to a line in a movie, but I think that it is appropriate for the occasion. Let me tell you why.

The devil (a.k.a. Satan or Lucifer) is a very evil being. And not the smartest one, thinking that he could be like God and even after he was cast out of Heaven, he is still fighting against God. He is still fighting in this modern age and still going to lose. But, he's persistent and devious and willing to callously use people. He uses them by either influence or possession and I think that a source of many of the world's conspiracy theories arise from their behavior. Their behavior is bizarre to us, but then we are not possessed of influenced by evil spirits.

Continue reading →