Randall McRoberts

In a unanimous vote on July 23, the House of Representatives passed a bill that withholds federal development funding from any state or local government that uses the power of eminent domain to seize property from its owner and give it to someone else in the name of economic development. The bill also prohibits federal use of eminent domain for the same purpose. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R., Wis.) introduced the bill in 2017 as a revised version of a bill he had originally proposed in 2005 after the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London. The Court had held that governments can use their eminent-domain powers to transfer property from one private owner to another in order to further a revitalization or redevelopment, since the surrounding community theoretically reaps the benefits of such efforts. The federal government may not be able to stop this abuse, but it should at least not facilitate it.

National Review, The Week.

“Context matters. If we learn to read the Bible for what it is—and not as a collection of independently assembled proverbial sayings—we’ll discover that some of our most familiar passages say something slightly different from what we’ve always assumed.”

Context Matters: Judge Not, Golden Rule via Instapaper

Whose idea is it to schedule a phone conference call at 8 am on Friday morning? Bad choice, in my opinion.


Home studio shot

I just walked from the kitchen to my desk with a cup of coffee (my third of the day) thinking about how blessed I am. I work for a Fortune 150 corporation, but I work from home. I have tons of flexibility. I get to eat lunch with my wife almost every day. I am allowed this privilege because of my cancer, but it is a great privilege. I can’t think of a better word than “blessed”.

Here is my more or less up to date platform document. Lots of angst has gone into these decisions, and there have been tons of changes over the last couple years.

Ebooks - always go with Logos first because of notes, Kindle; avoid iBooks
Kindle notes and highlights - Bookcision bookmarklet in Chrome browser
Music - iTunes Music
Making music - Reason. I’ve tried Pro Tools. Not worth the expense of a subscription. Still have Logic Pro if needed. Reason should be good for most stuff. (Tuesday, April 18, 2017)
Todo - Reminders
Read later - Instapaper Light Word processing - Microsoft Office
Academic word processing - Mellel, Mellel iPad synced via iCloud
Reading Notes - Notes→Devonthink
Shared lists - Reminders
DAM - Lightroom; I am on a path of obviating Lightroom for Photos. Just about there. I have until October to prove the concept. Done, as of 02 August 2018
Photo printing - MPix
Cloud storage - iCloud, OneDrive
Reading list - Sente stopped syncing. Using Bookends.
PDF management - Devonthink (icloud sync); Bookends
Photo backup - Backblaze and internal backups for full sized; Offsite system backup - Backblaze; Photos; Dropped Google Photos. keeping Dropbox and OneDrive; Photos backed up in iCloud.
Info database - Devonthink
Papers - Bookends
Text notes — Notes
Keep ipad minimal; load iPhone with anything you want
Text expansion - Keyboard Maestro (went away from Text Expander because of subscription model); works fine, but not as easy to set up new shortcuts; going with atext. 4 August 2018 I’m back with Text Expander.
Ultimate is great at removing DRM from Kindle books and making them PDFs. I have not yet been very successful at turning them into DOCX and then into Logos Personal Books. That’s the grail.

The document is a mess because of changes in tools and inconsistencies in the documenter.

I simplified a little further by replacing Agenda with Apple Notes. I’ve tried all kinds of notes apps. I’d prefer an app that stores notes in plain text, but Notes works perfectly well for me.

I’ve gone through Things, Omnifocus, ToodleDo, 2Do, Todoist, Kanban, and probably other stuff, trying to be sophisticated about getting stuff done. Today I decided that all I need is Apple Reminders.

I wonder what else I can simplify?

Back to Blogging

I started blogging in 2001. I had The Upward Way Press, then Bible Study Geek, and finally Postmodern Prophet. I also had a couple of group blogs that never really took off.

Additionally, I was part of another group blog for many years, The Boars Head Tavern, run by the late Michael Spencer. That was a great community of folks who could argue with one another and only rarely lose control of emotions. A real highlight of my life.

When Twitter started to take off, many of the Boars Head folks started to use it, and Michael worried that Twitter would kill the Tavern.

In a way it did. It was greatly diminished in the final years before Michael died of cancer. We tried to keep it going post-Michael, but gave it up after a year or so.

I myself have been a big user of Twitter. Facebook was for keeping up with family and friends, but Twitter was for good and meaningful conversation. I relied on Twitter and all my blogging really dropped off.

I didn’t see the danger of Twitter. I thought of it as a neutral platform. But it turns out that Twitter wanted to be the whole internet. So did Facebook. I got out of both of them.

On reflection, I think we had things pretty much right before Facebook and Twitter screwed it all up. People I wanted to converse with about serious—mostly—subjects had blogs, or at least commented on other blogs. The conversation took place in the moderated comments, or sometimes in linked blog posts.

Most bloggers also provided a blogroll that allowed me to find other interesting people to converse with. Discovery happened rather organically.

I was among many other bloggers who took it a little further and tried to provide directories to useful websites for my subjects of interest. When Google came along, directories like mine were pretty well obviated. And who knew that Google would also become a problem, with their mantra of “Do no evil”?

Now that more and more people are observing the issues with Twitter and Facebook, we are starting to see a move back to blogging as we knew it ten years ago. I am happy about that. I am hoping that 2010 will be reproduced in 2020. I rue the wasted years.

I think I’ll set this up to crosspost to my dormant Twitter account, just in case someone there hasn’t got the word yet.

Freedom of speech entails freedom of crazy speech. It also entails freedom to listen, or not.

Any mode by which I listen must include a way to turn off the crazies.

Isn’t it true that everyone has a religion?

It might be environmentalism, or capitalism, or some other ism.

I guess even atheism is a religion of sorts.

Leaving and Joining

Leaving Twitter and Facebook and putting all my online content into micro.blog is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I thought just now, I haven’t even seen an online argument since I left Twitter.

I haven’t had such online peace since I decided to stop reading and watching the news.

A030938 Edit

Our Banshee

I’m not much of a portrait photographer, but when Banshee plopped down in my thinking chair with a bit of backlight from the window, I grabbed my camera.

Moralistic therapeutic deism is the religion of our day. We worship so we can feel better about ourselves rather than to brought out of ourselves, to see the bigger picture, and to see where we fit.


Come on, Mets. Get those Yankees.

My blood cancer is not getting worse and my broken tooth is fixed. Overall, a good day.

Lillie’s and Such

Had to try posting a photo with Icro. CE2A1C5E-99C4-4BB8-A061-7EF4C77F4981.jpg

This morning I have blood tests to see if my cancer is getting worse. This afternoon I see the dentist about a broken tooth. I’m more scared about the dentist.

This could be a good day. At least it hasn’t negated the possibility yet.

I like Fruit of the Loom because the apple is fat. Jockey never uses fat models.

Went for the cherry pie.

Today we are planning our semi-regular lunch at Gray Brothers Cafeteria in Mooresville, Indiana. I’ll probably have the country fried pork tenderloin with white gravy and a slice of pie. Maybe lemon meringue or butterscotch cream. Or maybe a slice of carrot cake instead.

After that, the afternoon is dedicated to chasing down sewing supplies for Carol’s projects.

It’s a football game in Baltimore.

I must have the mnemonic plague.

Randall McRoberts