Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Cat: Sophie

I'm really sorry I haven't posted sooner. We have a new guest, and Cathy has named her Sophie.

We don't really know much about Sophie. The vet indicates that she is about seven years old. She came to the shelter as a pregnant stray. So that's how Sophie came to be with us on Saturday, March 17th -- as a shelter mommy. Cathy was told she would deliver any day now.

When we got Sophie she was almost bony, although her stomach was truly very big. She was very friendly and has no fear of humans, so it seemed unlikely that she was always a stray. The vet indicates that she is in good health, except for being really hungry.

Cathy made a next for her in the "office" of our apartment and set it up in the large cage we keep around. Sophie delivered five kittens, we think three girls and two boys, but we're not really sure. (We thought Zechariah was a boy...)

The kittens are a week old now, with the youngest being one week old at 3 A.M. Sunday. You can see the album of Sophie's Kitties here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Love of God for Sinners Like Me

Nicole posted a reflection on sin. Part of what she said is as follows:
...So often, even though I'll recognize my sin, I want to say, "Well, it's because so-and-so is acting like that" or I'll try to justify it by saying that it's because "I had a bad day" or that my actions/attitudes are just one of my "personality traits," "weaknesses," or "struggles." When the bottom line really is that it's, plain and simple, SIN. The sooner I admit that and repent, the sooner the joy and rejoicing will come. :)
I have an additional problem. I, too, justify sin in my heart. However, I tend to admit my sin quickly and pray for God's help. My problem is that I get in my own way when it comes to repentance.

Too often, my tendency is to avoid going to God with my sin. I do admit it, and I go to Him in prayer. But instead of asking God to deal with the sin in my heart, I try to do it myself. I have a tendency to attempt to stand in my own ability. Too often, I don't let God fix my brokenness. Instead, I try to deal with sin in my life, in my own ability, before telling God about it.

As if He didn't already know. He is my Creator, I am the creature. He knows what is broken in me. And there is very little that I can fix myself, and those are cosmetic.

Fundamentally, I avoid God with my broken self, my sin, due to believing a lie. It may be a belief that God doesn't love me as I am. I have long been afraid that I am simply not good enough as I am. And it is true, I am not good enough as I am to earn God's love. I cannot earn God's love.

Fortunately, I don't have to earn His love. God already loves me, broken as I am.

The notion that "God loves me" is the reason we can go to God and tell Him, "Father, this is broken. Would can You fix it?" God probably responds the say parents do when children asks them to do something. God, our my heavenly Father, responds in love.

God responds out of love to our sin.

We can go to God with our sin. He knows, He loves us anyway. And only He can fix what is broken within us. And God is willing.

Oh God, what a wonderful God You are!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cat & Dog wet food recall

Menu Foods, which manufacturers quite a few brands of cat and dog foods, has issued a recall.

Some of the wet food is calling renal failure in pets! An unknown number of cats and dogs had suffered kidney failure and about 10 died after eating the affected pet food, the company said.
Menu Foods is recalling dog food sold throughout North America under 48 brands and cat food sold under 40 brands including Iams, Nutro and Eukanuba. The food was distributed by major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kroger and Safeway. Two other companies — Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. — said Saturday that as a precaution they were voluntarily recalling some products made by Menu Foods.
For Recalled Cat Product Information, call 866-895-2708
Here's a list for your convenience (link to MSNBC list)...

Cat Food
  1. Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
  2. Authority
  3. Best Choice
  4. Companion
  5. Compliments
  6. Demoulas Market Basket
  7. Eukanuba
  8. Fine Feline Cat
  9. Food Lion
  10. Foodtown
  11. Giant Companion
  12. Hannaford
  13. Hill Country Fare
  14. Hy-Vee
  15. Iams
  16. Laura Lynn
  17. Li'l Red
  18. Loving Meals
  19. Meijer's Main Choice
  20. Nutriplan
  21. Nutro Max Gourmet Classics
  22. Nutro Natural Choice
  23. Paws
  24. Pet Pride
  25. Presidents Choice
  26. Price Chopper
  27. Priority
  28. Save-A-Lot
  29. Schnucks
  30. Science Diet Feline Savory Cuts Cans
  31. Sophistacat
  32. Special Kitty Canada
  33. Special Kitty US
  34. Springfield Prize
  35. Sprout
  36. Total Pet
  37. Wegmans
  38. Western Family
  39. White Rose
  40. Winn Dixie
Dog Food
  1. Americas Choice, Preferred Pets
  2. Authority
  3. Award
  4. Best Choice
  5. Big Bet
  6. Big Red
  7. Bloom
  8. Wegmans Bruiser
  9. Cadillac
  10. Companion
  11. Demoulas Market Basket
  12. Eukanuba
  13. Food Lion
  14. Giant Companion
  15. Great Choice
  16. Hannaford
  17. Hill Country Fare
  18. Hy-Vee
  19. Iams
  20. Laura Lynn
  21. Loving Meals
  22. Meijers Main Choice
  23. Mighty Dog Pouch
  24. Mixables
  25. Nutriplan
  26. Nutro Max
  27. Nutro Natural Choice
  28. Nutro Ultra
  29. Nutro
  30. Ol'Roy Canada
  31. Ol'Roy US
  32. Paws
  33. Pet Essentials
  34. Pet Pride - Good n Meaty
  35. Presidents Choice
  36. Price Chopper
  37. Priority
  38. Publix
  39. Roche Bros
  40. Save-A-Lot
  41. Schnucks
  42. Shep Dog
  43. Springsfield Prize
  44. Sprout
  45. Stater Bros
  46. Weis Total Pet
  47. Western Family
  48. White Rose
  49. Winn Dixie
  50. Your Pet
Update: The risk is 1 in 6 pets who eat get sick. The contamination appears to come from a new distributor of wheat gluten. See this link for more...

Update: Rat poison! The source was probably rat poison on wheat gluten bought from China.
Yes, another update: it was probably melamine, used in plastics and pesticides, not rat poison.
Update, 04/06/07: There's a new theory that the melamine was added by a manufacturer... see this link.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Daylight Saving Time

Note: this is an email I sent my church staff. I figured it would be helpful for those of you reading the blog.
Daylight Saving Time rules have changed. Feel free to pass this along to anyone else who may need to read it.

In August of 2005 the United States Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, which changes the dates of both the start and end of Daylight Saving Time (DST). This law goes into effect in 2007. Starting this year DST will begin three weeks earlier (2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March) and will end one week later.

As a result of this change, Daylight Saving Time will begin on March 11, 2007, so please review your appointments so you can prepare for this change before that time. Pay special attention to:
  1. appointments between the Second Sunday of March and the First Sunday of April
  2. appointments between the Last Sunday of October and the First Sunday of November
  3. appointments with recurring schedules
If anyone has a large amount of appointments which require modification, use this link ( to get the patch for your computer.


Monday, March 05, 2007


Initially, I told everybody that SCO UNIX 5.0.6 and older systems has no patch and to try ntpdate. Forget NTP; it won’t help us. For an explanation why not, see the very end. However, there is a workaround for 5.0.6, 5.0.5, and perhaps all 5.0.x systems.

For my UNIX clients, the following notes apply. All patches listed below are installed with “custom” so you can run “custom” to see if the required patch is already present.

SCO 6.0.0 – oss706c and mp2
SCO 5.0.7 – mp5
SCO 5.0.6 – workaround, see below

SCO 6.0.0

SCO 6.0.0 must have MP2 installed before applying the DST patch (oss706c). If the client already has MP2 installed, then you have a small patch, only 4.5MB in size. This can be applied while the system is up, and the patch takes effect after rebooting. If you have to install MP2 as well, then you should probably ship a CD. MP2 is 332 MB compressed. After applying both MP2 and oss706c, the system will need to be rebooted.

SCO 5.0.7

SCO 5.0.7 requires MP5. MP5 is 245 MB compressed, so you may want to ship a CD. This can be applied while the system is up. After applying MP5, the system will need to be rebooted.

SCO 5.0.6 and prior

SCO 5.0.6 and prior versions of UNIX do not have an official patch. Instead, a custom time zone can be configured to adjust for DST. For more information, look at the man page on timezone (man timezone). I tested this on a 5.0.6 and 5.0.5 and I suspect it will work on 5.0.4.

To set the custom time zone, edit /etc/TIMEZONE and append the following to the TZ variable:


So, if the file /etc/TIMEZONE had TZ=EST5EDT, make it TZ='EST5EDT,M3.2.0,M11.1.0'

Manually adjusting for DST

Of course, people can always adjust the time manually. The easiest way is probably to login as root and run “asktime” to set the time. Or, the client can also shutdown and reboot, and enter the time during the startup process.

NTP time synchronization

Using ntpdate in cron will sync your system time to UTC. Note that ntpdate will not adjust time if the difference is greater than two hours. Note that ntpdate will not correctly set the date/time in the event of a DST change.

Below is a command using a public time server that should work on systems
with an Internet connection and name resolution. Make sure the system time is at least CLOSE to correct before you begin. You can test the connection with:


If that works, you can automate it. In root's crontab, input the following to automate this.

0 3 * * * /etc/ntpdate

Why NTP won’t work for DST changes

NTP synchronizes clocks on different computers based on the UTC. UTC does not change regardless of DST. For instance, the Eastern Standard Time in the Unites States is five hours behind the UTC time when DST is not active and four hours behind when the US is observing Daylight Savings Time. DST configuration is specific to your timezone, so NTP does not help.