The Lutheran Reformation

Today marks the 495th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation begun by Martin Luther and his now famous posting of his 95 theses on the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg.  Luther chose this particular day, not because it was Halloween as we know it in the USA, but because it was the eve of the church holiday All Saints Day and his theses were his attempt to guide the straying Roman church back to the Scriptural truths the saints who would be celebrated the next day had died for.

While his boldness and conviction of Scriptural truth gave rise to much more than it is likely that he could have ever imagined, it was certainly not his intention to do so.  Still, when it became obvious that the Roman church had no intention of mending its ways,  Luther did not shrink from had he had begun but, rather, with the strength given by the Holy Spirit continued to boldly preach and confess the truth of Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, and Sola GratiaScripture alone, Faith alone, and Grace alone by which man is saved from sin, not by his own reason or strength but by the grace of God through the perfect life, death by crucifixion, and raising from the dead his son Jesus Christ.  Neither indulgences, human will, nor any earthly thing can provide this precious salvation.  This is what Martin Luther rediscovered through reading the Holy Bible and took the Gospel of salvation from the exclusive realm of priests and provided it to all sinners by translating the Latin Bible into German.  This is the basis of the Lutheran reformation–other “reformations” now termed Protestant occurred later in time.

Besides a scholar, Martin Luther was also a skilled composer, writing a number of notable hymns including A Mighty Fortress is Our God and From Heaven Above to Earth I come.  Along with these hymns and many more the Lutheran worship service is one of liturgy–scriptural readings and singing that hearken back to the earliest days of the Christian Church–with prayer, preaching, and signing.

From  the Reformation came the Lutheran Confessions, most famously the Augsburg Confession and later the Book of Concord and a number more (see left sidebar of the Book of Concord link).  Martin Luther famously wrote his Small Catechism which most likely every Lutheran confirmand has memorized prior to confirmation (the confirmation of instruction in Holy Scripture and Luther’s Small Catechism given before one may partake of the sacrament of Holy Communion in the Lutheran Church).  He also wrote a Large Catechism which is a far more in depth treatment of the six chief parts of Christian doctrine.

Martin Luther’s boldness in faith set in motion a chain of events that continues to this day.  I am thankful to God for placing him in a critical time in history.  Would it always be that faithful servants be placed in this sinful world to preach the Gospel in it truth and purity!


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KZ650 with its new livery

As more or less promised, here is the KZ650 with its new livery and a luggage rack.

More images can be found in the gallery.

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KZ650’s old livery

I stopped at the Marysville airport this evening.  The weather was so nice and the place so serene that I decided to snap a couple of pics of my KZ650 in its current paint job.  This is the paint is has worn since I put it back on the road in 2007.  Now newly painted bodywork is on its way here so these may be the last pics of this color scheme.

Some time afterward a small plane did a few landings and take-offs before landing and taxiing not far from the observation bench I was sitting on and went to the hanger.  As it was almost sundown I saddled up and rode home.  A rather enjoyable evening with a nice machine.

The new livery is going to look very nice.


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Weather Underground bought by The Weather Channel Companies (NBC)

Some reading this may know that I have been contributing weather data from my local weather station to the Weather Underground site–Marysville, KS forecast–since early 2005.  Yesterday I, along with, presumably, many other weather station owners received the following email:

Dear Weather Station Owner,

As an invaluable member of our Personal Weather Station (PWS) community, I wanted you to be the first to know that Weather Underground, Inc. has become part of The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC). Your weather station data will remain an integral part of our forecast modelling, and we expect that the combined forecast technologies of the two companies will enable us to provide even more accurate custom forecasts for your station. The service that we provide PWS owners on will remain unchanged for now, and will
only be improved in the long term.

With the increased audience reach that our union with TWCC provides, we hope to considerably expand our PWS community to further enhance the quality of our weather forecasts. With extra resources at our disposal, we will also be able to provide a greater level of support for our community members.

As always, we thank you for being part of our PWS network, and greatly appreciate all of the data you share with us. You can read my latest blog post for more information about the sale of wunderground to TWCC.

Kind regards,

Dr. Jeff Masters
Director of Meteorology

Well, that was quite a shock!  Now, I am not a fan of The Weather Channel at all.  Their TV broadcast is many times bordering on irresponsible and the Anthropological Global Warming agenda they push is well known and, I believe, a fraud being perpetrated on western civilization.

I found this blog entry from Weather Underground meteorologist Shaun Tanner and posted the following comment in response:

I have been contributing weather data since early 2005 when I put my weather station online. I am not one bit pleased to hear that Wunderground will be subsumed by TWC. I have enjoyed Wunderground’s independence and have enjoyed being a contributor, at least until I received the email yesterday.

I find TWC/NBC push an agenda that I disagree with and cannot in good conscience provide them with my weather data for free–zero cost to them. At some point I will shut down this feed which is the only one in this area and provided solely at my expense because I enjoy it. Whether I self host a weather page or find another site that I feel comfortable contributing to, I have not decided which I will do at this time.

Sadly, I have seen this sort of thing occur too many times to think that Wunderground will retain its former independence as a part of TWC. What I see is another media company thinking they’re going to get a bunch of new eyeballs to sell to and a whole bunch of free weather data. Well, from this person they won’t.

– Nate

As I wrote, I don’t yet know where I will be posting data from personal weather station.  Whether I take the time to write up a page and then set up a database for the data on this site or find another site remains to be seen.  Stay tuned.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment has a new home!

This past week moved to a new hosting provider,  The hosting  site is owned and operated by Scott, KA9FOX, and offers a combination of personal and commercial accounts.  A number of amateur radio suppliers have been hosted on for years so it’s nice to be in good company.

Scott expertly handled the details of transferring my files and database information and then provided a foolproof process of transferring my domain to as the registrar.  Everything worked smoothly and much faster than I had planned.  Even though the account with the previous Web host didn’t expire for six months, I wanted to start early to avoid Mr. Murphy’s best laid plans.  Well, we got the jump and Murphy didn’t even know what hit him!

Another bonus is getting consistent answers and responses from one person with a vested interest in my business.  The support by committee approach probably works well in the board room, but when I deal with a different agent each time on the same issue, I get the feeling that sooner or later the ball will be dropped and it probably won’t land in my court.

Best of all is that I’ll no longer be helping to pay for advertizing of questionable taste nor funding a company that at times seemed to oppose an open and free Internet, at least until it was clear that supporting PIPA/SOPA earlier this year would cost them business.  Guess what guys, it just did!

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A QEMU image for Debian armel

My interest in the Raspberry Pi has led me to setting up an ARM based virtual machine in QEMU.  A bit of searching turned up instructions on setting up QEMU on MS Windows 7, which, in turn linked to instructions on doing the same thing on Debian which I follow here.

Continue reading

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Disabling the touchpad on a Dell E6400 with Xubuntu

I dislike touchpads.  Okay, that’s not quite true, I truly despise touchpads!  Given the choice between a trackpoint (the knob pointer control in the keyboard) and a touchpad (a.k.a. scratchpad), I’ll take the trackpoint every time.  I absolutely love the IBM Trackpoint on my Thinkpads.  So it was with some angst that I found that booting the work Dell E6400 into Xubuntu using a USB hard drive for travel that both the trackpoint and touchpad were active.  Finding a solution was a few search pages away.

The Random Shiznit blog held the solution:

xinput --set-prop "AlpsPS/2 ALPS DualPoint TouchPad" "Synaptics Off" 1

Now, where to put it?  Another search led to the XFCE Wiki and the section titled, “How to customize starting Xfce” where it is advised to copy /etc/xdg/xfce4/xinitrc to ~/.config/xfce4/ and customize it.  Upon editing the file to add the line above I found the lower section of the file has a comment that advises that code below the comment won’t be executed if xfce4-session management is used.  So I added the line above the block that looks for and executes the session manager and Voila! the touchpad is disabled whenever I log into XFCE.


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Restoring screen brightness step size on XFCE4

I’ve been annoyed by the behavior of recent Debian/XFCE4/GNOME3 releases that have reduced the number of screen brightness levels from the T60’s default of 8 to 4.  The problem seems to stem from the removal of hal from recent desktop standards development.  I posted this question to a couple of related mailing lists and learned the above from Debian bug report 627336 and XFCE bug report 7541.

The work-around is to disable XFCE’s handling of the screen brightness hotkeys as follows:

xfconf-query -c xfce4-power-manager -n -t bool -p
/xfce4-power-manager/change-brightness-on-key-events -s false
xfconf-query -c xfce4-power-manager -n -t bool -p
 /xfce4-power-manager/show-brightness-popup -s false

The first command disables XFCE’s handling of the hotkeys and the second disables XFCE’s On Screen Display.


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Father Time is gaining

Call me “four eyes” now.  I had to give in and get reading glasses since my arms weren’t getting any longer.  Snort!

OTOH, it’s nice to have reading material in such clarity again.  I probably should have done this years ago.  Hopefully I can stave off the need for full time corrective lenses a couple of decades.  Sigh…


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Is money the root of all evil?

So you think that money is the root of all evil?  This excerpted essay from Atlas Shrugged argues otherwise.


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