Archive for July, 2010


Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Analogies by the excellent XKCD

I love the English language.

Pray for me, Daddy

Friday, July 9th, 2010

I have been wanting to write about something for a week or so but, at the same time, have been avoiding doing so because, I suspect, I want what I write to be deep, impacting, important and perfect.  All these reasons are shallow and, sadly, will tell you more about me than I’m comfortable admitting.

This being the case, I’ll simply tell you that one of our daughters was taken ill recently with what turned out to be bacterial meningitis.  Over five days, she complained of headaches and tiredness, running a fever and generally feeling unwell – nothing, as parents of four, we hadn’t seen and dealt with before.  However, while she is usually the fittest of us all, she was definitely not herself and, by the evening of the fifth day, she was very drowsy and in great pain.

As I sat holding her late in the evening, I silently wondered what else I could do to make my child better.  I recalled my own childhood illnesses and the soft promise of my Dad saying ‘if I could take it away, I would’ as he cuddled me, while my district nurse Mum took my temperature and gave me medicine.  While grateful for my Mum’s knowledge and experience, like every kid I wanted whatever it was to go away and alwayshoped my Dad’s wish would come true.

As all this was swirling round my head, very quietly yet very clearly I heard my daughter say ‘Please pray for me, Daddy’.  As I fulfilled her request, in that one moment, my life shifted irrevocably.  As I prayed, I knew that without a shadow of a doubt my daughter was gravely ill and I shouted for my wife to call an ambulance.  Secondly, I finally knew the raw enormity of a parent’s love for their child and the aching truth of the promises my Dad made all those years ago.  Lastly and most importantly, in those five quiet words, I experienced the vast and humbling depth of my daughter’s faith, in her asking for prayer above all else.

Thankfully, she was diagnosed and treated promptly by the good folk at North Shore Hospital and then transferred into the equally good care of the The Rangitira facility at Waitakere Hospital.  Within three days, she was sent home with an IV drip and daily visits from the home care nurse and discharged three days after that.  For all the exemplary medical care and the expertise of the doctors, I take most comfort from knowing that He not only watches over us but that he answers prayers – even from broken sinners like me.

A Tail of Two Mice and a Rat

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Thanks to an understanding boss and CEO, I have had the blessing of being able to work from home this week so that I can get a few personal matters sorted while still covering my work.  However, a day working at home can throw up things that are unlikely to happen in corporate life – like having my very own Rodent Day.

Open-mouse surgery on my iMac's Mighty Mouse

The First Mouse was the Mighty Mouse on my iMac that decided that it was going to stop scrolling altogether after threatening to do so for a month or so.  Having solved the same problem before and tried almost every other trick without success, I grabbed my trust Swiss Army knife, a craft knife, a Phillips’ and jeweller’s screwdrivers and performed open-mouse surgery on the ailing Mighty Mouse.  After decrudding and decrusting the ball assembly and putting it all back together in the right order, it was working more reliably once again.  That said, the interior workings were showing wear & tear so, knowing that the family were just heading to the mall, I asked around a few friends and checked the forums to get ideas for good replacement.

Dude, don't look now but...

I encountered The Rat at the mall when we ducked into a pet store next to the computer store to buy a plant for our fish tank.  I noticed one of the staff doing a strange, wriggling dance as he walked down aisle and thought he might be either listening to his iPod or having a seizure.  As he got closer, I saw a tail flick from behind his ear and discovered that he had a small white rat poking out of his collar, who was hitching a ride back to his cage after a little walkabout time.  Just as the guy was about to relieve himself of his passenger, his passenger relieved himself – down the guy’s neck!  After securing his very personable and inquisitive stowaway, the guy grabbed a handful of paper towel and cleaned up while we paid for our plant and laughed at his unintended sideshow.

Let the weapons-grade mousing begin!

The Second Mouse was the awesome replacement mouse that I found a few stores along from the pet store.  After looking at a few of the high-end wireless offerings, I went for the highly-regarded Logitech MX518.  When used in conjunction with one of the many third party mouse driver app (for there’s no Mac driver out of the box), this seven-buttoned and superfast scroll-wheeling will do everything the Mighty Mouse did and more besides.  One of the reviewers was spot on when he commented that the mouse glides like it’s coated with melted butter.  What more could I ask for?  It takes a little getting used to after the smaller Mac mouse but seems well made and does the job very nicely.

NB: For my understanding boss and CEO, it is perhaps worth pointing out the shopping took place during my lunch break and this post was written after the working day ended – honest!