Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pride Goeth Before Destruction, and a Haughty Spirit Before a Fall

I tried one of those "What Theologian Are You?" quizzes today.

I admit it: I kept coming up as Karl Barth and I could never figure out why. I got through theological college without even reading much if any Karl Barth!

So I tried being more decisive about my answers. And came out as Jonathan Edwards.

Well, that's a fine thing indeed.

Look at the way our quiz-makers describe him (and hence, me) below: "Passionate about preaching," very good. "Accomplished theologian": I can't claim that honor, but it'd be a wonderful commendation to deserve.

But oy vey! "The original fire and brimstone preacher"? Not what you want said about you if you're trying to convince a church or a presbytery of your pastoral abilities!

I know good and well that Jonathan Edwards' reputation as a fire-and-brimstone preacher is vastly overrated. "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God" was preached to an assembly of pastors and theological students, who probably needed to be taken off their high horses and would know how to receive it. Edwards in his pastoral ministry and congregational preaching was more likely to emphasize the "religious affections" and a Scripture-mediated experience of the love of God.

Sounds pretty pastoral to me. But in this world of "perception is reality," again I go, Oy vey!

But I can put up with that. Being compared to Jonathan Edwards! That's really great!

. . . Hey, wait a minute. Where did this 33% worth of Schleiermacher come from? And this 7% share of Charles "Evil Eye" Finney? Yuck!

What a dumb quiz this must be!

Which theologian are you?
created with
You scored as Jonathan Edwards

You're the original hellfire-and brimstone preacher and you take God's justice very seriously. You are passionate about preaching and an accomplished theologian.

Jonathan Edwards


John Calvin




Martin Luther


Friedrich Schleiermacher


Karl Barth


Charles Finney


Paul Tillich




J├╝rgen Moltmann


Friday, October 19, 2007

Whoops! Spoke Too Soon

Concerning the AutoCAD 2008 class I started yesterday morning:

The "Oh, golly, everybody knows this!" phase ended very quickly. Like right after break.

I perceive that even though this class is considered an introduction to AutoCAD 2008, it's not an introduction to AutoCAD or computer drafting itself. A lot or most of my young fellow students encountered some earlier version of the program in high school or wherever.

Me, I'm thinking, thank God I did those last two projects at the architecture firm last winter by the seat of my pants in AutoCAD 2007. Otherwise, by now I'd be completely washed out to sea.

As it is, I'm barely keeping myself out of the riptide. It doesn't help that my middle-aged eyesight makes it difficult for me to see both what the instructor is doing on the main classroom demo screen and what I've got in front of me on my own classroom computer. Once I asked the teacher, "Where did you get that?" when he swooped up and brought down a menu from some fuzzy and indiscernable icon. He said, "Up here." I can't see what's "up here"!

I'm not asking again. Obviously, it's something we're supposed to know from Before, and for that I can play around with the student version of the program I now have installed on my home computer, or I can look in the great, big, fat textbook.

So far, I'm not sure what we have the textbook for, except for reference. Or maybe because the software came bundled with it. The syllabus seems to bear no relation to it, and the second exercise (which is due Tuesday) is out of the manual for AutoCAD 2002.

This morning the regular teacher couldn't arrive till the beginning of the second hour and we had a sub up until break. I have to say I liked her technique better. She was much better at taking things step by step and having us do them two or three times so we could really get them into our eyes, ears, minds, and hands.

Well, no griping, no moaning. This class cost good money, I need to get good value out of it, regardless.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Keep an Eye on the Road Ahead

Currently in the break period for the new AutoCAD class.

I see it'll be like those math classes in junior high: we start with the "Oh, good grief, everybody knows this" stuff in the first day or the first week-- but if you let that put you to sleep, you'll get left in the dust.

I just completed the first Activity assignment, just now during break. It was only setting up folders. Big deal. But I see that the next one gets serious, using some techniques I didn't use when I was teaching myself CAD at the architectural firm.

So let me be warned.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I'm Going to Learn Remote-Control Drafting!

So far, nothing solid has come of my resume broadcast in August. I have one firm that's very interested-- if and when certain potential clients sign on.

Otherwise, not much of anything.

I have concluded that my lack of AutoCAD expertise puts potential employers off.

So thanks to a general mailing, I became aware of a local two-year tech college that offers architectural CAD training. And thank God, they were able to put me on a Personal Track and let me take AutoCAD 2008 only for a fee I can manage. Otherwise, it would have been the whole two-year associate's degree course with transcripts and trying to get credit for previous work and practically a full time course load and fees of over $40,000.

No, not now. Not at my time of life. Overkill, for sure.

I go in on Monday to pay the fees, then I start at 8:20 AM this coming Thursday. Two hours a day, four days a week, for the next five weeks. I could have taken the 10:30 section, but no. If this one job comes through, coming to work three hours late will be bad enough.

And I do need to relearn some day/night discipline . . . getting to bed at 1:00 AM is not early.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What Have I Done?

You look at this picture, and what do you see?

You see me tackling the long-put-off task to remove the thirty-year-old linoleum from my drafting board so I can lay down the new vinyl cover I bought from Charrette a few weeks ago.

You see me discovering that there's a lot more nasty stuff going on under that vinyl than I ever imagined.

You see me wishing I could have just put the new vinyl over the old linoleum-- if not for the nicks and mars and bumps that'd be sure to telegraph.

And you see me thinking that, even though I have had this board since 1977, even though it was a gift from a friend and colleague I used to know in Philadelphia, even though it's always fun to fiddle with the pull on the edge of this old converted pocket door, I may just give it the chuck. I can get a nice smooth piece of birch plywood cut to size at Lowe's. Do I really want to waste time and energy getting all the lino and crap off of this?

Not particularly.

God! this is frustrating! Is nothing ever simple?