Why does the weekend end so quickly?

Quite a bit going on this weekend. The primary task was to get a project for CenterWatch finished, including using a combination of MS Word's Table of Contents feature and some Excel formulae to generate an index of Companies by Therapeutic Specialty. I discovered a goof on my part; I needed to have one specific named style for the therapeutic specialties on each page, but not use that style for anything else on the page. Every time I would do a search-and-replace to fix this, Word would crash. Finally I gave up, created a second copy of the file, and deleted everything but the therapeutic specialties that was in the style I was trying to index. The section was, of course, 350 pages long! I'm making a list of notes for next year.

We had some good family time for a change (with Nichelle sick/me overworked for the past couple of months). We watched the newly remastered Chitty-Chitty, Bang-Bang, which should have been in Widescreen, but has not been issued that way (except for the opening race scene and credits and closing credits). The sound and picture quality are superb, and the DVD features a cool “sing along” feature for the musical numbers. I need to start a Web petition going about the widescreen/pan-and-scan issue … I’ve e-mailed MGM’s customer support several times, but not once received an answer.

Sunday afternoon we watched the new Veggie Tales Jonah film. I should add that Nichelle and I both fell asleep partway through. The kids liked it. Big Idea did a good job of explaining what the job of an Old Testament prophet was. David, after his class on Sunday night, presented me with his coloring sheet of the 10 Commandments, and said, “This is a message from the Lord.”

Sunday night I jumped over to Shine! to make a quick edit (remarking out a live performance that had past). When I went to check my work, I discovered that the site had been defaced by some juvenile crackers with an obscene anti-war message. Apparent Interland had a little security problem sometime early Saturday morning. Other evidence indicates their mail server was commandeered as well. Just what John Harris needs—his site defaced on a day when people were likely to be visiting the site to get directions to the performance Saturday evening.

The war news was negative for the first time so far. We have six people from our church on active military duty, plus another moved-away friend (he started riding our bus to church when he was in fourth grade—right now his neice is in Nichelle’s and my 4th grade Sunday school class.

I am reminded of Robert A. Heinlein’s essay, “Pravda Means Truth”:

“Iraq's Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf scoffed at the American statements declaring that the coalition forces have continued advancing into Iraq.” (From http://reuters.feedroom.com)

Here’s a rough transcript of remarks by Iraq’s Information Minister:

“Therefore, what had been mentioned in some stooge’s media is completely unbased, in regard to Kufasa [sp?], in regard to Kafou [sp?], and in regard to their stupid columns moving and now stopped fully, and they will be surrounded near Nassaria and near Ur, historical antiquities there.”

That being said, I am reminded of the human cost of this war, both with the servicemen and woman who have died, and in the inevitable collateral damage.

“The causalites on civilians up to now we have in hostpitals 207 injured children, women, and other civiliians. We are going to take you, if you like, to visit them.” (Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf)

This, of course, pales in comparison to the millions of his own people Saddam has been responsible for killing, including the 500,000 exterminated after the Gulf War.

Regarding how accurate the specific targeting of regime facilities for propaganda, the KGB-like secret police, communication, and military sites, has been (at the exclusion of civilian infrastructure), U.K. Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said, “The lights stayed on in Baghdad, but the instruments of tyrrany are collasping.”

War, indeed, is a depressing subject. I continue to hope and pray for a rapid end to this conflict.

“Shock and Awe” Has Begun

Brian Cortez directed me to the raw video feeds (some are live; some are looped) at http://reuters.feedroom.com/.

The views of the explosions are terrific—in the older sense of the word (causing extreme terror).

We continue to hope that the campaign will end quickly, and that Iraq will know freedom and democracy.

The Wilcox Family BLOG is Up and Running

For those of you who were wondering, a BLOG is a weB LOG.

Lots of news to report:

  • Best news we've had in a while: Nichelle is feeling better, and consistently so. She still needs quite a bit of rest, but is starting to return to her workaholic tendencies.
     
  • The first ultrasound of the upcoming addition to the Wilcox family is done. The creature appears to be human, and doing well. Due date is sometime in October.

    Isaac believes this is much too long to wait, and says a month should be enough. I explained to him that babies take a long time to cook. He replied, “You mean develop, Dad.” I tried to weasel my way around that by explaining that he had to cook in an incubator for a month after he was born, but he didn't buy it.
     

  • We are probably going to take our house off the market when our contract expires in 10 days, and do some cosmetic work to bring it as close to perfect as we can, including the long-postponed finishing of the upstairs bathroom and probably replacing the kitchen cabinets and countertop. We still hope to move to Nashua before the baby is born.
     
  • Today the US began its campaign to free Iraq from their oppressive dicatatorship. Interested in what kind of regime we are trying to topple? Consider this article from the New Zealand Herald.
     
  • The Iraq war is a complex subject, and I'll post some more of my views on this big issue later. I am not really a fan of war, but there are times when it is necessary. Remember that Israel was severely criticized for taking out Iraq's nuclear research facility years ago, which proved to have been vital when we were forced to get the Iraqui's out of Kuwait. We pray that our leaders would have wisdom in this matter.
     
  • We have a new pet in the house. Isaac's leopard gecko died, apparently from old age, a few weeks ago. We now have an absolutely adorable crested gecko. This guy can climb smooth or rough vertical surfaces, change colors (light-green, sandy, or dark brown we've seen, and we expect to see red as he gets bigger). There are some fairly decent photos of these critters here.
     

Trivia Question:

Which American President said the following:

“If Saddam Hussein fails to comply and we fail to act or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop his program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of sanctions and ignore the commitments he's made? Well, he will conclude that the international community's lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on doing more to build an arsenal of devastating destruction. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow. The stakes could not be higher. Some way, someday, I guarantee you he’ll use the arsenal.”

Isaac – Early Childhood Anecdote

I found this note in our cellar, dated May 13, 1993:

Today Isaac was talking about Andrew (my newphew/his cousin) and asking, “Is he three?” while holding out three fingers. I said, “No, he’s thirteen.” Isaac immediately asked, “Where’s the thirteen finger?”