Archive for July, 2011

Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 11 service pack one

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 11 service pack one

My blood pressure is dropping slowly. The sweat on my brow is evaporating. My hands once again are getting steady. The fight or flight response is winding down. Why was I in such a fix? Isn’t it the same as always, a computer program upgrade. In the past 16 hours I have taken an excursion into the dark side. Less of course the 12 hours I spent with my wife and the time I was sleeping. That leaves four hours overall. Shall I tell you about my digital adventure? “Oh please do…” says the little voice in the back of my mind.

I was happily using Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 11 since I loaded it up on my new computer. I’ve been having very few problems with it. In fact I was starting to use it quite a bit. Then yesterday, when I started up the program, I got a little window open up on my screen. The message was that there was a new service pack to upgrade my NaturallySpeaking version to 11.5. “Ah,” I said to myself. Everyone likes a free upgrade. So I clicked on the link and another helpful window opened up. Clicked on that link and started a half gig/18 min. download. After the download a 5 min. install. Everything went well or so it seemed.

The moment of truth, double-click the icon on the desktop, see the splash window, and a unasked for systems window pops up and tells me the program can’t run. It advises me to restart my computer. I shut down the system and then started it up again. Double-click the icon and got the same pop-up. The pop-up window gave me a second option. I can simply reinstall the program that I downloaded. So I went looking for this mythical program and could find no trace of it on my computer. I searched high, I searched low and opened a myriad of folders. Still no trace of its existence. Guess I will have to go to Nuance and get some help.

I step through the digital portal and entered their site. Sigh, I searched high, I searched low and traveled down every link. There was only one document that was supposed to be helpful. I read the document. I read it again. It told me of the advantages of upgrading my Dragon program. It said if I had problems that I should restart my computer. Well I knew that didn’t work. The other piece of advice? Just start up the Dragon program again and download the upgrade. Hmm… But I can’t restart the Dragon program. Perhaps I can download the update from their site. No such luck. The only way to get the update is to start Dragon, and Dragon won’t start because the update corrupted the program. After two hours I went to bed angry.

Next morning I tried again to start the Dragon program. No such luck. I went to the Nuance website once again. Still could not find any documentation that could help. Perhaps if I sent them an e-mail? Searched high and low and no go. No e-mail link was available. Went to support. Jumped through some hoops. Explained the problem, in detail. Pressed the submit button and I get a little window that tells me they are going to charge me. Let me get this right, I bought the program in April. Couldn’t work on my old computer because it did not have enough memory. Got a new computer in June (?) and eventually got everything running, including the Dragon program. Everything is going fine and then I get this update. The update crashes the program so that it will not run. And now they want me to spend $9.95 for them to fix the problem. A little bit of grinding of teeth (with all the grinding of teeth lately it is amazing that I have any teeth left). I give up in disgust.

The only thing left is to uninstall Dragon. I go to Control Panel and highlight the program and click uninstall. Fortunately I was able to save my own speech files. Now I have a blank. I grabbed the disk and reloaded Dragon once again. Jumped through the hoops and it is working. I get the same window pop-up telling me I need to upgrade to 11.5. With fingers crossed I clicked the link and begin the download. It installs. It works!

Time will only tell if I will have anymore problems with the Dragon program. I hope it is fixed once and for all. Why? Because I find that Nuance, the creators of many programs, to be very hard to deal with as time goes on. I find their site hard to navigate. And I learned for the first time that they are now going to start charging for support. That they do not have an e-mail so that I can write them with a complaint. Sometimes I think that Murphy’s Law applies whenever I and a computer come together. Perhaps other people who have done business with Nuance are happy with the products, the sales and the support that they get. Sadly, I simply get more disenchanted with Nuance the longer I deal with them. Is it time for me to make a vow? Never to do business with them again? So close, oh so close…

Anders Behring Breivik

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Anders Behring Breivik

By this time in most countries, most of the people have heard of Anders Behring Breivik. He is a tall, blond haired, blue-eyed Norwegian. The first reports described Anders as a Christian. This is so far from the truth of the matter. He is a steadfast atheist. He never had a relationship with Jesus and quit going to church over 17 years ago. The news media have yet to print an apology to the Christian community for this error. Let us move on.

Anders in one day has committed two atrocious acts of violence upon an innocent people. The first group of people were those who were unfortunate enough to be passing by the offices of their Prime Minister. There was a bomb blast that killed several people and wounded many others. The second offense began an hour and a half later on a small little island populated by youths at a political camp meeting. The death toll there is approximately 76. They ranged in age from 15 to 25. Both of these acts of violence are horrendous in nature and should never be excused. One can only imagine the reason why Anders would perpetrate such an act of violence upon strangers.

When the first news reports of violence started coming out it was quickly attributed to Jihadist terrorists. Upon hearing of the news I reserved judgment. For some reason I was remembering the Oklahoma bombing where two people planted a car bomb outside a government building. At that time it was thought that it was an attack by Al Qaeda. I however thought that the attack may have been by homegrown terrorists taking retribution for the government’s attack on the Branch Davidian compound. I was right then. I was also right to hold judgment on the Norwegian attack. Anders is a homegrown terrorist. Now the whole world knows that this lone gunmen is a murderer of children.

Why? Why would such a man, raised in such a caring nation, bring such grief to the heart and soul of his neighbours? The answer can be found in his electronic book and on the video which he published on YouTube. The knee-jerk reaction, of the politically correct and the emotionally injured, to remove the video from circulation, is according to YouTube’s policy yet it is a disservice to those seeking the truth. I eventually found a copy on a Russian server. I expect that also to be deleted fairly quickly.

So what did I see? I saw a 12 min. commercial for his manifesto. His manifesto? I downloaded the manifesto as a 750,000 word PDF document. The document is a compilation of three books. I read the first 25 pages of the document. He described the relationship between Marxism and political correctness. There were lots of quotes from known Marxists. I only saw the tip of a long sword. Generally what he wrote about came as no surprise to me. In some ways it mirrored my own thinking. I only know a little bit about Marxism. Only a little bit about the redefinition of words to bring about a justification for rebellion. What I found of interest was how Anders strung together various Marxist authors to point out that the way to overthrow a nation was through the minds of the elite and not at the point of a gun in a peasant’s hand. Political Correctness is a tool that is used to overthrow traditional beliefs and the institutions built upon them.

I did not get far into his manifesto but his video commercial shed a strong light on what I could expect if I continue reading his e-book. I find this whole exercise interesting, for it reminds me of another manifesto I read, that was written by someone who most people consider to be evil. Who is this author? None other than Adolf Hitler in his book titled “Mein Kampf” and translated “My Struggle.” Anders has written far more than Adolf but at the heart they are similar. The scapegoat for Adolf were Jews and the scapegoat for Anders are Muslims. Adolf was not justified in how he portrayed the Jews. Anders however, can see a problem on the horizon that will only get worse with time. I believe that the answer at this time for this perceived problem is for Muslims to rise up and interfere, block and/or throw out the Jihadists among them. If the Muslim community does not do what is right, then the conflict which Anders sees in the future has a strong possibility of occurring.

One of the things that I worry about is a politically correct West laying down its arms and becoming too weak to fight for the rights of their people. There is a fight between old traditional values and the new mindthink. How will this all turn out in the end? I do not know, I am not a prophet. I do believe that when the struggle for survival comes, if the politically correct are in charge, and the Jihadist theology is not curtailed, then America and the West will lose the battle for men’s souls and what will remain is a worldwide Caliphate based on sharia law. Personally I do not believe that this would be a good result. I do not believe that it can even happen! But stranger things have occurred on our little planet and it is only one of many possible futures.

Anders is asking for people to stand up and become an army of righteousness. He is looking for people to join in a holy crusade. Yet there is nothing righteous or holy in what he wants to do. I can only hope that reason will overcome a bad philosophy (Political Correctness) and a worse theology (Jihadist Islam), and we can pull back from a conflict that could engulf all the nations of the earth. For if reason fails then Anders future Crusade will take place.

I know…. too vague… I could write a lot more but I am not in the mood to add my own manifesto. Specially at this time of grief.

Pushy Sales – The Bane of Manners

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Pushy Sales – The Bane of Manners

Nobody likes a salesman who keeps pushing their products long after the potential customer has decided to leave. Don’t get me wrong, the salesman is trained on how to close the deal. In some senses it is even an art form. Those who are really good at it can manipulate the socks off of a dead man’s feet. My gosh, the very best can do that even to the living. Fortunately most salesman are not that good. Most of us can keep our money in our own pockets.

Then we come to the Internet, a sales pitch in a can, which has absolutely no entertainment value. Oh I’m not talking about the content of the page. That can be very slick. It can be entertaining. It might even be educational. What I don’t like, is when you decide to leave the page, you get the unending pop-up windows. Today I received a visit to my Webpress blog page. I was left a comment by someone named Angelina about how she considered my blog site was ranking too low on the Google search engine. She then offered me a link that would help me with my site, to raise it to the stars of heaven, so that all may see my blog and come and visit me. What the heck, I clicked the link and went for a visit.

I entered gates of the site called SEOPresser. So that you understand SEO is short for search engine optimization. It is either a program or a person who can look at your website or blog page and make suggestions on how to change the content of your site so that search engines will read it, give better emphasis to your words, and place you higher in the search results. Something like that can be useful if you’re trying to sell something over the Internet. However it gets in the way when you’re content is educational. If you want to share your heart and/or what’s on your mind SEO’s get in the way of good form. On the other hand, if you want to sell your heart and/or what’s on your mind, SEO’s are a potential way to go. If ranking and not content is what you’re after you can learn how to change your site and get better results.

All this is a given. Whether you want to share what’s on your heart and/or mind, or whether you want to sell something, I have no problem with that. But the SEOPresser page on the Internet does not want you to leave their site unless you purchase their product. When you decide to leave and click on the link to go elsewhere the Presser site will use a pop-up window to stop you from leaving. If you reject that pop-up window it will pop up another one. Still want to leave? It will pop up another. This is extremely annoying. It is a breach of good manners on the Internet. It is the main reason for creation of pop-up blockers. Now pop-ups can be fine. They can have their uses. But when it is used to get in your face and keep you from leaving it is like being imprisoned. No one likes to be jailed.

In the pursuit of money good manners are too often left at the curb, to be picked up by a garbage truck, and hauled off to the dump for burial. It is done by pushy salespeople who don’t have the grace to quit. They are the bane of good manners and their weapon of choice are pop-up windows. I thought content creators finally stopped using the stupid process. It seems however that some people will not let a bad idea die.

Well, so much for the rant of the day. Enjoy what’s left of it.

Recovery Group – 5th Anniversary

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Recovery Group – 5th Anniversary

Those who know me understand that I’m quite limited in what I can do. With all the injuries over the last two years going out for a couple of hours is pushing it. Yet life goes on. There are a few occasions that I would put up with the discomfort, and later the pain, to take part in. Last night was one of those events.

Five years ago the support group that was meeting at Crossfire came to an abrupt end. In a matter of days Karl stepped into the breach and formed a new support group with the help of Sheila. At that time I volunteered my services to lead worship. Over the years we faced a lot of struggles. Over the years we came to trust Jesus, more and more, and learned to rest in his strength. The burden of leadership never ends but thankfully it can be shared. Sadly, for myself, I have not been able to participate in the activities of recovery group due to injuries and health problems over the last 18 months. I have a deep respect for Karl and Sheila, to continue steadfastly in this ministry, bearing the burden and turning it into a great blessing for those who joined our little family. And a blessing they truly are, for with the help of God, they have given new life to individuals who were struggling with life.

Last night there was a mixture of smiles and tears as many of us spoke of our own personal experience. The lives changed and the marriages saved are a testimony of personal courage and a program that works.

Enough said…

NuB1’s – The Way Station, End of an Era

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

I was looking at the main page of my website,, and when I came to the bottom of the page I found a small paragraph written. It was an announcement that I finally moved all of my material that I had hosted at called NuB1’s – The Waystation, and moved it to a company called Netfirms under the domain name of

The first page I ever created on the Internet was my homepage for NuB-1s – The Waystation. That was back in July of 1998. I had hopes of creating a special little site on the web that would open the door for people to enter into ministry and also a place for people to receive ministry without judgment. Sadly, it never became what I had envisioned. Oh I had plenty of links out there and quite a few number of contact points but it never bore fruit. The vision never died, it just got folded in to a different dream, a different hope.

Last night I did a search of the web to see if there was any evidence, any links remaining, of that first website. You can find NuB1 listed but now it is only listed for sites that use that term as an antibody. A lot of science has gone into NuB1 and there are many pages on the web. The only place on the Internet that doesn’t use NuB1 as the short form for an antibody is found on my new site, at the bottom of the page, as an indicator that the site is now here. Today, it is more a memorial to that first attempt to bring God’s love and God’s word to the net.

This small personal era is over, yet the dream still exists in a small corner of my heart. Perhaps someday, someway, God’s Spirit will visit me and what is hidden in the heart, like a little seed, will once again begin to grow and the two edged ministry will come to light. I am reminded of that Scripture, “unless a seed die, it cannot bear fruit.” Whether hope or wishful thinking, I watch the ground and wait.

Michel Thibodeau? Troublemaker or Crusader?

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Michel Thibodeau has recently won a judgment against Air Canada for failing to provide French language services. News media have jumped all over Michel Thibodeau for standing up for his rights under the official languages act. What must be known about Mr. Thibodeau is that he is a crusader. Most people think of him as a troublemaker but to most French-Canadians he is a defender of their rights. I know, I know, that it is hard for the English speaking community to grasp the concept that Thibodeau is like a minor hero… Small “h.”

When I was a child growing up in Ontario in the 60’s it was not easy for French-Canadians to receive services from the federal government in French. To receive French language services in Ontario government institutions and corporations was very difficult. There was an organization called l’ACFO that took it upon themselves to fight for the rights of French-speaking people in Ontario to receive French language services from government institutions and corporations. I have seen their representatives in action. It was always an uphill struggle. Over time they won hard earned concessions. Eventually, it became a quasi-right for Francophones to receive services from the government in French. It became mandatory in areas of the province, where 10% of the population were French, to receive government services in French.

Let us go back to the birth of the nation. Two major languages were spoken, English and French, in Upper and Lower Canada. These two colonies strove to enter into a union that would benefit both French and English speaking people. In the act of 1867, that made two people one, it was established that in Parliament, the justice system and other government institutions, that services in both languages would be, and have to be, provided. This was a small government with a small reach. As the decades slipped by the size of the federal government increased. Many corporations came into existence and extended the reach of the federal government into the lives of all Canadians. French language services were not guaranteed in this larger mega-government. In 1969 legislation was enacted extending the right for French-speaking Canadians to receive these government services in the French language. But it is not all one-sided, for the law that gave the right to the French-speaking Canadians also enshrined the same right for English-speaking Canadians to receive services in English. This Official Languages Act was amended in 1987. Under the Charter of Rights protection of French and English Canadians were enshrined. Since then, the courts have ruled on various cases and further defined the limits and obligations of the federal government and its Crown corporations to provide services in both languages.

Michel Thibodeau versus Air Canada is an example of the protections given to all Canadians whether they speak English or French. Many people will complain, especially the English-speaking Canadians, that this was unfair. Yet this ruling is the natural outcome based on the long history of two peoples, two cultures, two languages, that united us in the beginning.

The majority of people, English-speaking, want to see an end or at least a revision of the Official Languages Act. They do not wish to live up to the obligations that helped found our country. They think it a nuisance, something that is unfair, fundamentally wrong… Yet it is the one thing that keeps our country strong and united. The sad thing is, most Quebeckers also think it is a nuisance, something unfair, fundamentally wrong! They want to see their French culture thrive. Fortunately for Canada, in the province of Québec, there has never been enough discontent to tear the country in two. Yet I can tell you now, that the whining and complaining that is currently being generated from the results of this court case, is helping the cause of “Separation.” My country is not French and it is not English, it is both. We are two people made one.

Michel Thibodeau? Troublemaker or crusader? A little of both. Annoying? Yes! Yet his nitpicking is important to all those whose major language, and possibly their only language, is French. To others, it was a nuisance suit and he is a nuisance, a continuing drip that sets the nerves on edge. I do not want to praise him, nor do I want to belittle him, he is simply a buzzing fly that is necessary.

New Computer… Argh!!!!

Friday, July 8th, 2011

So Linda and I bought a brand-new computer about two weeks ago. And we picked it up at the beginning of the week. And it has been an agonizing and frustrating experience. The monitor would not work because we have the wrong cable. Three days later we finally get the cable. Then we find out the speakers will not work. Another day and a half of teeth grinding. And then we come to the point of loading new programs, well not new ones, but ones that I have loaded on my previous computer. Now I find that they can’t load, they can’t run, they can’t do anything. So what is a guy to do? The good news, is that at least some of the newer programs work.

Here is where it gets interesting. I also have to set up all the old e-mail accounts and bring them over to the new system. That has been another experience of frustration and grinding of teeth. It appears that all of my e-mail clients that are based at Christianmuse are not functioning. Oh we can get them but we have to use a browser, go online, and work using an inferior program. So I want to apologize to all our friends who have been sending us e-mails and not getting any responses. I am hoping to have this problem resolved soon.

So have patience with us, with me, as I learn how this new Windows 7 program works and how it changes the way I do things. Perhaps, in a month or two, I will begin to think that this is a wonderful computer and a wonderful program. But that certainly is not today.

God bless and have a beautiful weekend.