Love as Witness

First published May 2012 in the Minnesota Christian Examiner.

The recently released movie Blue Like Jazz is an interesting genre-challenging movie that will, or at least should, stir up some excellent conversation. Based on Don Miller’s semi-autobiographical book by the same title, it deals with Christian spirituality without being what would commonly be thought of as a Christian movie.

Some controversy surrounds the movie. It has an honesty and authenticity that connects with some and troubles others. It’s easy to understand why. Seeing uncomfortable or embarrassing church moments played out, or secular college campus life portrayed (albeit not condoned), are things you don’t expect from a “Christian movie”.

These were conscious decisions by Miller and director Steve Taylor. They, along with lead actor Marshall Altman, discussed this approach after a pre-screening of the movie at Macalester College in Saint Paul. Taylor spent some time describing some of the difficulties he encountered in making this movie. At one point, he emotionally described how some in the broader Christian movie industry had made statements and decisions that (it seemed to me) broke his heart. It was a sad moment.

Continue reading Love as Witness

Problems with Blade Nano QX 3D Replacement Motors

We recently got a Blade Nano QX 3D and it’s really quite cool. However, after not really very much flight, and no poor treatment, we had to get replacement motors as one of them just stopped working.

I got official replacements from a local hobby store, but they seem… weaker. We tried both new motors in the front right spot. The motor works but the help can’t get off the ground anymore.

Anyone have ideas on how we can resolve this?

Tasty fish and chips @ Ward 6

Ward 6 fish and chips

Really tasty fish and chips last evening at Ward 6 on Payne.

I’ve been trying fish and chips at a lot of places over the last couple of months, in Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Charleston, SC.

Other favorites (no particular order):

Oddly, I haven’t found a great place in Charleston yet, but even though they’re oceanside, Charleston is more “low country cuisine”, which doesn’t seem to be my thing.

Saturday Morning Nerdery

Will and I have been working on some electronics fun, mostly because I wanted to try this Instructables using a microprocessor.

Of course, this was one of those things where you need to complete some projects in order to do the project. In this case we needed to build an AVR programmer so we could program the microprocessor (an ATtiny85). Building the programmer was fun, and Will did a whole bunch of the soldering!



Once that was done, we tried programming the chip…


…and the trashing began. It turns out I didn’t understand how to read the pinouts from the programmer. But once we got help and re-wired and re-tried, we finally got it working! We were able to make our NeoPixel Ring do cool things via this nice code.

One of the things we want to do with all this is help Jack have an “arc reactor” and “repulsers” for his Iron Man suit, so we needed an easier way to program and test our chips, because it was a little hard to work with wires for programming vs. wires for trying things…

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So this morning I made this…

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…which let’s me program and test easily without a bunch of jumpers and without having to keep moving the chip back and forth. Pretty sweet, and cost about $2 in parts (the board was $1.25).

And now we have easy-to-use joy. :)

Fixing a disconnected Samsung HW-F450 Wireless Subwoofer

I had a hard time of fruitless Googling trying to find how to fix my subwoofer. Turns out it’s very easy. Here you go. You’re welcome.

In case the URL goes bad one day, turn off the sound bar, plug in the subwoofer, stick a paperclip into the “ID Set” hole on the subwoofer and hold for five seconds,  then press the mute button on the remote for five seconds, then power up the sound bar.

Replaced Windshield Washer Pump on 1993 Toyota Paseo

Some quick notes in case anyone find themselves having to do this:

  • I used the Trio replacement… seems nice
  • It is in the driver-side wheel well, and you’ll need to remove a couple of bolts from the mud guard to get at it
  • Turn the wheels all the way left (in) not right (out), counter to what the instructions say
  • You’ll need to cut the wires… no big
  • Blue goes to positive (HT

$20… 20 minutes… happy repair.

Get this, and get it straight: Crime is a sucker’s road and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison, or the grave. There’s no other end… but they never learn.