Monday, April 30, 2007

Bill Buckley makes a statement on the nature of the Iraq war. I have been of this view for a long time: The killing isn't the result of external organization, but largely driven by the pathologies that simply can't be remedied or eliminated. Bush has promised that our military can bring things to a conclusion, which simply isn't credible. The Left claims that their superior wisdom and knowledge make them far more capable of bringing peace. Given that al Qaeda's goals are to eliminate the godless immorality of the West (i.e. the core of the Leftwing religion) and impose Sharia Law, the Left's prescription is even more surreal than president Bush's. The Sirens are singing a beautiful song.

Normally I take a good rest on Sunday (at church) after a hard Saturday, but this Sunday was different. After church I went to Pleasanton Ridge Park and ran for another 3 hours 20 minutes and today I started again out to Monument Peak for a 2 hour 40 minute effort. This was one of those where I needed to take the arthritis pain medicine to get my joints moving at the start. Still 12 more days until the Quicksilver 50 mile run.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Training for the 50 mile run in Almaden Quicksilver Park.

I only covered about 23 or 24 miles of the route today. It was a scorcher compared to the cool weather we have been having so I was feeling a bit lethargic. What didn't help was finding toilets locked (opening time is 8:00) and minimal water. The Hacienda park entrance had a water spigot that took me several minutes to drip water into my Camelbak and the Hicks/Wood road entrance had none. This caused me to cut the effort short, but at least I got to explore the park a bit and familiarize myself with the route.

The main goal was to get a timing on the first section from the Mockingbird Hill Road entrance to Capehorn pass. Today's was 2:45, but I will probably be carrying about 5 pounds less during the actual event. The splits from the last 50 miler give a range from 2:00 to 3:14 with 2:45 being about the median. This looks good for a 6 to 6:30 50k run and some hope of completing the 50 mile distance in 11 hours. Many of the uphills were quite runnable and I need to work on this, particularly when I am tired.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

More Green Slime ...

This one being a note in the Economist that it took a company 5 years to obtain permits for a tidal generator in New York. My complaint with the green lobby remains that their determination to solve global warming by increasing bureaucracy and regulation is a recipe for corruption and even bigger environmental problems.
Green Slime.

The Financial Times has this article about fraud in the carbon offsets market.
Faith and Theology has a poll running on the worst theological invention. Top at this point is "inerrancy", which basically says that the Bible is right because theologians are wrong! I guess it is fitting that theologians have selected this as the worst invention, rather than all of the God and Christ denying modernism that came out of the seminaries.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Training for the 50 mile Quicksilver trail run ...

This is part of the never ending upper middle age battle of the bulge. It would certainly be nice to see my weight go down, but the most likely effect is that it simply won't go up until I relax after the event. Saturday's 42 mile training ordeal left me sore and stiff on Sunday and Monday. This is usually a good sign because I won't be getting sore the next time I cover 42 miles. A key part of my week day training is eating 1.5 meals per day with minimal calories. By the time the training starts, I have gone 14 hours without consuming any calories which means I "hit the wall" pretty quickly.

Monday started out with a 28 mile bike ride to stay loose. A faster 8-miles of running was done on Tuesday. Today was cool and windy, but a longer effort was needed. Two years ago, I hurt my knee in a snowboarding accident, and it has been bothering me periodically - including today. Thus, instead of the 12 miles planned on Mission Peak, I switched to a 40 mile bike ride. The bicycling is extremely easy on the knee, especially compared to the running. Another training ride tomorrow is probably what I will do, followed by a Friday rest. Saturday will be a long training run to make sure that marathon+ distances in the hills are reasonably comfortable.
Virginia Tech convocation.

According to this article, the overwhelmingly evangelical and orthodox Christian students and families (including the family of the killer, Cho) were comforted by an Imam, a Buddhist, a female Jew, a new age Lutheran, and a president who couldn't mention Jesus. Why am I not surprised?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Forget the whales ...
The Bible and Its Influence.

Finally, a textbook on the Bible is available that is acceptable to the lawyers and secularists who want to make sure that children's exposure to Christianity is minimized. The textbook is faulted by Biblical Studies folk for the reason that it doesn't give much credence to the prevailing opinions of Biblical Studies scholars.

My response to this is pretty much standard: From around 1800 to the mid-20th century, Biblical studies was characterized by gross, willful, systematic malpractice. On the theology side, even many semi-modernist theologians acknowledge that it took Barth to bring them back from the twilight zone to something that might pass as sanity, but was still far from orthodoxy. Biblical studies has not been nearly as honest.

So how much credence should be given to Biblical studies people now? Certainly it is much better than a half century ago, but they still have a lot of baggage and they are not yet prepared to address the abuses of the past. Admittedly, I like to read what these researchers are writing, however, everything must be taken with a large grain of salt.
I should post a link to Andy Moss since I had a little discussion with him. He thinks that proplems of personal morality are licked in the UK, but poverty is a scourge that needs our full attention. My point being that the beggars of today are better off in food and health care than the rich of Bible times, but personal morality is near an all time low. i.e. I think he got everything backwards.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Gaming the Greenhouse Emissions Regulations.

The Economist has a nice article on this. Apparently the scheme is to ramp up greenhouse emissions of certain types unnecessarily before regulations kick in so that you can sell credits to cut back later. This is just the beginning of the entrepreneurial creativity that will be unleashed to exploit regulations that have "no controlling legal authority".
Hanging out in the Cargill Salt Pond.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell." - Matthew 5:27-30

This is the second command in the Sermon on the Mount (after the command about anger) and the one that has the most extreme suggestions for dealing with the problem. A new gospel emphasizes that this kind of personal holiness isn't important, but rather we must look to social morality such as taking care of the poor and be accepting rather than judgmental of GLBTs.

My problem with this view is that probably most of the violence in the world today stems from the lack of sexual purity that infects Christianity. In one day, 33 people died at Viriginia Tech. In one day 3,700 babies are aborted in the US. How many marital fights and divorces took place? How many people will be scared for life due to the infidelities of a partner? How many lawyers will gloat over having taken the assets of a fighting couple through court proceedings? The Sermon on the Mount begins with personal holiness. We will not get to the advanced stages by rejecting the basics.
Pain and Flowers.

I finally got a long mileage trail run in to prepare for the Quicksilver 50, although the last mile was a bit more like a limp than a run. The distance was 42 miles with 9,500 feet of elevation gain. Conditions were nice early on, but an afternoon rain storm brought wind to the high peaks.

The route went from Fremont, over Mission Peak and up to Rose Peak. Near the top of Rose Peak the wild flowers were at a peak bringing a lot of color to the run. From Rose, the trail drops down to the North Fork Indian River and back up another hill before reaching my turn around point a quarter mile beyond marker 31. Then it is back to the camping site beneath Rose Peak to refill the water and up Rose Peak one more time before heading home. The total time was 9 hours 30 minutes to cover the 41 miles and 20 minutes to limp the last one due to a nasty blister that developed on my heel. Next time I need to use my multi-layer socks.

This gave me some encouragement that I can finish Quicksilver within the 12 hour cutoff time. The terrain isn't as nasty and I won't need to carry 2+ liters of water between some of the stops. There is even some hope of finishing within the 11 hour qualifying time for the Western States 100.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Gathering statistics ...

For a little talk. Avert.org gives some numbers on AIDS and other STDs. Much is made of Africa for obvious reasons. Something that I found interesting from the statistics is that in Africa, 46% of the cases are men, in Europe 73% and in the US, 77%. They list a MSM (Men having Sex with Men) category. In the US, more than half of the 2005 transmission was MSM, while heterosexual transmission was about 1/3rd. This is the obvious reason for the ratios of infected men being so high in the US and Europe relative to Africa.

The one thing that this group remains clueless about is that STDs are primarly transmitted by non-Biblical S.

Friday, April 20, 2007

AIDS, Aid, and Africa

This article discusses AIDS in Africa and the competing solutions. One option that is loathed by the Church of Esau (ref. Hebrews 12:16) is a relentless focus on abstinence and monogamy. Unfortunately, this is the only thing that will work, but it won't work when the children of Esau are receiving the bulk of the funding and proclaiming their gospel.
France goes to the polls this weekend. It will be interesting to see where this goes. For the first time in memory, they actually have a serious conservative option in Sarkozy who is also the front runner. Sarkozy has stirred the pot with a statement that France should not renounce 2,000 years of Christian civilisation and heritage. Of course, I would be happier if he simply said that France should not renounce Jesus as Lord and Savior, but he is off to a promising start.
The engineering school open house at UCLA featured this movie regarding the meaning of engineering. They also stayed pretty close to my definition of engineering: engineering =science+ID. The words they used for ID were creativity, design, intelligence, but not specifically ID in that order. They also made a big deal about engineering start salaries being much better than science. Maybe the ID is the reason?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Darwinistas are getting more opponents, according to The Economist. Of course, they don't seem to get the notion that Darwinistas are a small, vocal group of narrow specialty researchers together with a big group of noisy theologians and non-scientific intellectuals. What will be interesting is to see if Islam gets better treatment in the schools than Christianity regarding teaching God's creation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sometimes small things catch my attention while I am running. This little guy is something new to me. The patterns on his wings look much like the summer dry grass.
More on the UCLA visit ...

One thing that I did find quite positive about this was the presence of Campus Crusade for Christ advertisements prominently displayed along some of the major walking routes.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rejoice in the Lord always ...

But how can this be? We live in a crass and pathetic world full of violence and immorality. Even when I find something to rejoice over, half the world will view it as bragging. A happy family? Grrrr! More than enough income? Health? Stop bragging!

So what can I truly rejoice in? That Jesus saves sinners like me is certainly something to rejoice in. I will also rejoice that I get to see Him working in the lives of young people at church. In spite of all the chaos in the world, God is working to bring people to Him, and for this I will be happy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

She's so cute! This little toddler was enjoying the warmth and exploring the trails with me today.
Visiting UCLA ...

Hopefully I can stop traveling for awhile. As usual, a visit to UCLA means going to the technical books section of the book store. This was rather weak, but I did find two things of interest. On the way to the books, however, I noticed the poster section. What was visible were two posters of Che Guevarra. For those of you who don't know, Guevara was an international communist terrorist. He was a bit like Osama Bin Laden, except that communism promises 72 social programs instead of 72 virgins.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rev. Sam had this link to an interview between Richard Dawkins and the Bishop of Oxford.

The one point that they got right is that the literal interpretation of much of the Bible had been rejected in the 1830's and 1840's. By the 1870's, the theological community had already embraced evolution. Of course, biology wasn't a science until well into the 20th century, so the mental disconnect should be obvious.

The part that I find especially interesting is their discussion of homosexuality. They take the view that the Bible was wrong about evolution, therefore, it is also wrong about homosexuality. That is certainly refreshing compared to the theologians who argue that the Bible doesn't condemn homosexuality.

It does, however, confirm my theory that Charles Darwin was the founder of post-modernism. Evolution has amazing explanatory powers. In fact, evolution can evolve to explain anything. There is no set of data, whether real or imaginary, true or false, that a practitioner of evolution cannot explain. Once we apply this logic to the entire Bible, we have a world view in which anything can be justified by the Bible, even when it is explicitly condemned.
Depravity vs. Morality.

The Duke case brings things into a nice contrast. As we all know now, the Duke lacrosse players were accused of rape, for which the evidence was zero. What bothers me, however, is that the players had hired the young lady to do a striptease show. Is it OK to treat women as nothing but sex toys as long as we don't rape them?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Half Marathon Training Run.

The 2 hour, 57 minute time was a bit weak, but the conditions weren't the best either. The wind was blowing hard over Mission Peak which made the footing a little more tricky than usual for running over the rocks near the summit. I am preparing for a 50 mile trail run which is almost 2 marathons end-to-end, except for the minor detail of 8,800 feet of elevation gain. Today's route took me from Fremont to about 1.25 miles short of Sunol Park. This looks to be about 13.5 miles with 3,500 feet of climbing. The picture below is of the second climb up Mission Peak from the back side. There is still a month to prepare and the mileage will need to be extended considerably.
Sarkozy stirs the GBLT debate.

He suggested that paedophilia might be due to a genetic pre-disposition. This is adapting the rhetoric of the GBLT groups who argue that what they do is right. Furthermore, to become a normal, monogamous heterosexual is simply impossible, because they are physically wired to be who they are. Of course, any group can use this kind of rhetoric, including psychopaths.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fremont to Sunol Park

This route starts at the Stanford Ave. parking lot, crosses Mission Peak, and then follows the Ohlone Wilderness Trail to Sunol Park. The round trip is about 16 miles (17 according to the Ohlone Wilderness Map). Of course, there is no logical reason to not keep going on the Ohlone Wilderness Trail, so you can make this much longer. There is a water stop at mile 3.5 just after the peak. If you want to go further, drop by the park ranger office in Sunol Park and pay the $2 for the Ohlone Wilderness Trail map. This will take you on to the 3,800 foot high Rose Peak.
Mission Peak to Monument Peak

This adds about 8 miles to a Mission Peak climb. I added a little side trip to the spring near Mission Peak. The spring is about a half mile from the top of Mission Peak along the route. THERE IS NO WATER BETWEEN THIS SPRING AND THE PARKING LOT IN ED LEVIN PARK. Be prepared. The chances of meeting someone else out here are also pretty slim, so be sure and have your final will complete. The loop goes over to the Monument Peak hang glider launching point and then up to the top of Monument Peak. Next, it heads down into a valley and along Weller Road until it connects back to the 4 wheel drive track that runs along the ridge at Mount Allison. It is a beautiful place to run. There is a herd of wild horses that I have encountered a few times.
Ohlone College to Mission Peak

This is an 8 mile loop beginning from Mission Boulevard in front of Ohlone College. Parking here is free, but not on the campus. This route goes over the top of Mission Peak. Around mile 4.5, there is an outhouse and a well with water.
Coyote Hills Big Loop #2.

This route doesn't have any water stops. About 3.5 miles follows the bicycle trail so you need to be a little careful. I also don't like running on pavement, but the route has other nice features such as the run through the cane fields at the end. The total length is 8 miles.
















WARNING: Levy work makes part of this route inaccessible.
Coyote Hills Park Big Loop #1

Be sure and do a Forest Gump by running to the end of the pier where the Dumbarton Bridge crosses the bay. There is also some water available at the pier so you don't need to carry too much. This one is about 11.5 miles of flat.
Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge short loop to Coyote Hills.

This is a 5.2 mile loop with a bit of gently rolling stuff.
Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge salt pond loop.

This is almost dead flat and one of the easiest places to run. The total loop length is 5.5 miles. Parking at the Wildlife refuge is free.

UPDATE: The trail has been dug up, so this won't work.
Pleasanton Ridge Park Trail Run

One of my favorite moderately hilly routes is this one from Pleasanton Ridge Park between Pleasanton and Sunol. There are several variations. What I like about this is the easier, runnable grades compared to Mission Peak. I was also pleased to see that the route which I thought was barely 15 miles was actually closer to 16 miles.

The first 2 miles of this course get incredibly muddy when it rains, so be prepared to handle an extra pound or two on each foot if you like the bad weather. The last few miles are in a valley where it is rare that you will encounter anyone, other than the occasional mountain lion feeding on her kill.

At about mile 3.75 near the top of the hill is a water fountain on the trail. This means that you don't need to haul too much up on the initial climb. The trail that cuts to the right at about mile 3.5 follows a long gentle grade down the mountain into Pleasanton. This is part of the Augustin Bernal Park and the dirt road isn't marked on the Pleasanton Ridge Park map that is available at the parking lot.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Share the road ...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

From the Bah Humbug department, we have Intel doing a new microprocessor release on Easter. It is one thing to try to steal the thunder out of an AMD press release, but why would they try to compete with the risen Lord of all creation? Probably they made the mistake of believing the secularist propaganda.
I was lazy this morning and stayed in bed, so this picture is from a few months ago. It is still a great day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and his Lordship over all.

"that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." - Philippians 2:10-11

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Today's 42 mile bike ride left me feeling a bit weak. I only made it half way up Sierra road meaning 900 feet of elevation gain in 1.5 miles. It is a bit steep. The deer are hanging out in Alum Rock Park in San Jose. This made a fairly easy loop to extend the miles. Tomorrow, I should try to get an Easter sun-rise photo to celebrate Jesus from the top of a mountain.
Finally back from Mississippi. This was quite unusual with the entire faculty able to openly talk about their faith in God. The attitude of engineering as inferior creators compared to God as the supreme creator/engineer was refreshing. For those of us who work in this profession, it is always an obvious fact that the more complex a system is, the more in need of Intelligent Design it is. Evolution was always a belief system for people who rejected both God and His evidence.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Welcome to Mississippi State University. They sure are a friendly bunch. The hotel gives out a pass so that guests can use the exercise facilities. I took advantage of this to swim at the pool this morning at 6:30am with a run around the campus. Fortunately, MSU students are lateowls like most students, so there wasn't much competition for swim lanes. I will need to visit here more often to take advantage of the facilities.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Good morning Fremont. Time to get up and do some exercise to get the blood flowing and oxygen to the brain before heading off to church.