Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

WordPress and Tabular Stats

One of my commenters once said “You are very random!” and I thought, “Yes! I am!”

It took me a long time to start blogging because I couldn’t limit myself to one sort of topic, like Life in Kuwait, or Religious Musings, or What Caught My Eye in the Newspaper Today, or Recent Studies Show . . . .

see what I mean?

I am such a geek. Today WordPress put out a bulletin: Tabular Stats.

The introduce it thus:

Tabular Stats
Today we present to our beloved stats addicts a new way to perceive numbers: stats tables! Tabular data is arranged in convenient grids so you can easily compare values along two dimensions: columns and rows. Headings along the top and left edges provide context and orientation. Alternating rows are faintly shaded to improve readability. Surely you have seen these things before.

Three new tables are available today: Months and Years, Average per Day, and Recent Weeks. They were modeled after tables Matt created for displaying top-secret metrics. Each one resembles a calendar in its own way. You probably won’t want to refresh these as often as some other stats pages—only a few of the table cells will be updated—but I won’t try to stop you. I know what it’s like.

When you WordPress users go to your stats page, go down to the bottom, where it shows things like your all time high day, and a small summary of your stats. There is a button there now – press it. It will take you to a nirvana for stat buffs, where you can see your average daily count for any given month, they have computed percentages – like the stock market – for when your stats are up or down – it is so much fun. Well, fun if you are a numbers and stat geek.

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Education, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Statistics, Technical Issue | 2 Comments

Dick Cheney and Darth Vadar

As I was leaving Barnes and Noble today (they are out of Orphan Pamluk’s My Name is Red) I heard this on National Public Radio:

(Actually I found the exact quote on The Huffington Post.)

Vice President Dick Cheney cracked a number of jokes Wednesday night at the Radio & Television Correspondents’ Dinner In Washington D.C. Cheney got some laughs when he told the audience that he had asked his wife, Lynne Cheney, whether the label Darth Vader applied to his personality. According to Cheney, his wife said it “humanizes you.”

Don’t you just love a woman with a great sense of humor?

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Character, Communication, Entertainment, Friends & Friendship, Humor, Joke, Marriage | 3 Comments

Breathtaking Morning and The Olympics

What? You think I am going to talk about the China 2008 Olympics, but you are wrong, wrong, WRONG. After slogging through two days of on-again-off-again drizzle, light showers, and downpours, the sky cleared late yesterday, the sun broke through, and this morning, we had a breathtaking view of the Olympic Mountains. You might even notice there is a trace of SNOW on the mountains.

You gotta dress in layers. One minute you will be shivering, the next, when the sun comes out, you will be sweating. None of that matters – once the sun comes out, this place is gorgeous.

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Beauty, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Photos, Seattle, Weather | 10 Comments

Job and Islamic Tradition

One of the things I learned later in life, like when I lived in Doha, is that you (my Gulf and Moslem readers) have many of the same characters and stories in the Qur’an that we have in the Bible. Interesting, to me, the stories are not always exactly the same. Today’s reading in our lectionary (Old Testament) is from Job (you call him Ayoub, I think.)

First – if you read this, will you tell me if the story in Islam is similar to our story – that Satan is allowed to torment Job, because God believes him to be a faithful servant who will not turn away from him in times of hardship? Satan believes he can demonstrate that Job will be faithless?

Second – why is Satan called “the accuser?” I know Arabic is very close to the old Aramaic; is Satan always called Sheitan? Do you have other names for Satan? (These are not rhetorical questions; these are things I really don’t know) For example, Satan, in our tradition, is called The Father of Lies, The Great Deceiver, etc. But I don’t understand him being called The Accuser.

Third, toward the end of this reading his wife says essentially, give it up, Job, curse God and die. But the little asterisk says “bless”. This is a great puzzlement to me – a curse is the absolute 180° opposite of a blessing, I think. And then again, sometimes what appears to be a curse can be a blessing, and what appears to be a blessing can end up really being a curse. I just don’t understand why, in this context, the word curse could also mean bless? Do you?

Job 2:1-13

2 One day the heavenly beings* came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (*Heb the accuser) also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan* answered the Lord, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.’ 3 The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.’ 4 Then Satan* answered the Lord, ‘Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives.* 5But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.’ 6 The Lord said to Satan,* ‘Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life.’

7 So Satan* went out from the presence of the Lord, and inflicted loathsome sores on Job from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8Job* took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.

9 Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse* (bless) God, and die.’ 10 But he said to her, ‘You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?’ In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. 13 They sat with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Books, Communication, Cultural, Family Issues, Language, Random Musings, Relationships, Spiritual | , | 22 Comments