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News of the Church / BYU on the way to "party school" reputation
« on: September 22, 2017, 05:01:12 pm »
This has been ALL over the news. :D I first heard it on a national network newscast yesterday. Obviously it is a momentous event, finding its way onto media that normally cover major world events.



Technical Talk / "eBay International AG"
« on: September 06, 2017, 11:10:19 pm »
I got an email in my spam box with a sender address of eBay and a title of “Your invoice for eBay purchases.” Since I don’t even have an eBay account and have never ordered from them, I didn’t open the e-mail, but right-clicked on it for “View Message Source.” It opened a long page of gobbledygook, which I perused to see what I was supposed to have done. I found this link, with an invoice number that I am supposed to pay for a set of luggage that I ordered, which I did not:

http:[double slash]alu-bel.com/invoive[dot]html

I doctored the address here, replacing the symbols with text, so no one will accidentally open it. “Invoice” was misspelled.

Reading further, I found the company name of eBay International AG, with an address in Bern, Switzerland. AFAIK, the real eBay is still in San Jose. The eBay Community, a forum that seems to be sponsored by the San Jose eBay company, has had several discussions about eBay International AG being shady & even a scam.

Has anyone else had experience with this supposed company? Can I just delete the spam e-mail & not worry about paying them & not respond?

Forum and Member News / KetchupQueen
« on: September 02, 2017, 01:49:02 pm »
Hi, KQ - are you in the wildfire area? You're near Montrose or La Crescenta, aren't you?

Stay safe.

This is a scary story. It was a major Bay Area story last month & some folks here likely heard about it. An Air Canada flight from Toronto, arriving at SFO around midnight with 140 passengers & crew, mistakenly almost landed on a taxiway on top of 4 airliners that were waiting to take off. The taxiway is parallel to the runway that it was supposed to land on. The other flights were bound for Orlando, Singapore, Sydney, & presumably another trans-Pacific destination (Philippine Airways) – IOW, all big long-range airliners with maybe 30,000 gallons of fuel and hundreds of SOB, literally sitting ducks.

The NTSB determined that after the controller ordered the AC flight to pull up & go around, it was so low that it flew over & missed one or more of the waiting planes by as little as 59 feet before it began gaining altitude.

Investigators mentioned design aspects at SFO that may have contributed to the mistake, plus the fact that one runway parallel to the one meant to be used was closed for repair & the AC pilots may have mistaken the parallel runway & taxiway for the two parallel runways despite the different lights. Maybe they mistook the lights of the waiting planes for runway lights?





General Discussion / New Weird News Thread
« on: July 28, 2017, 06:35:02 pm »
I closed the old "Weird" thread because it was getting old & it was time for a fresh start.

If you had just bought a $288,000 vehicle an hour ago, how would you handle it on the way home? Would you be eager to put it through its paces & see what it was capable of, or would you be extra cautious? If you chose something specialized like a turbo-charged high performance car, a 4wd vehicle, a vintage car, or a car with (for Americans) a complex manual transmission or (for non-Americans) automatic transmission, by any chance would you have asked the dealer for special instructions or practice time in a safe area before going out on the street?

I don't know what this new owner did, but something went awfully wrong. :(


Doctrines & Scholarship / "It mattereth not what ye eat or drink"
« on: July 11, 2017, 08:32:39 pm »
Here is an interesting small item I just stumbled on.

The Vatican has been mulling over the use of gluten-free or low-gluten wafers for Holy Communion (their equivalent of Sacrament). The wafers, also called the host, come from manufacturers approved by the Catholic archbishops, just as kosher food producers are certified by organizations of rabbis. I imagine just as with all Christian churches that take Communion, it’s been challenging for the Catholic Church to accommodate people all over the world with a wide variety of health, allergy, cultural, or other concerns about food. We know there are people who latch onto nutritional fads, but celiac disease is a major concern for many.


We’re blessed to have the gift of continuing revelation, & a prophet who was tuned in enough to God’s voice to hear that He doesn’t care what specific items we use to represent the body & blood of Christ. All He wants is that we recognize the symbolism & take the Sacrament with an eye single to His glory & remember His Son's sacrifice (D&C 27).
The revelation included both the bread & wine, adding that we should not use wine purchased from enemies but only “new made” among us. He did not specify why, & we could come up with a number of reasons. In 1830, it might have been literally dangerous for the Saints to buy food or drink from enemies. We would have no control over the potency or alcoholic content of such a drink, or it could have been tampered with. It might simply be unhealthful because it wasn’t made properly or in sanitary conditions (the best way to know that anything is done right is to do it yourself). Maybe, recognizing that the use of wine or spirits is often for unrighteous reasons like getting drunk, seduction, or building up the courage to do evil, He did not want us to be complicit in those purposes. Or perhaps by “new made among you,” He meant fresh grape juice or plant extracts or infusions, not fermented beverages.

I hope the Catholic Church comes to a solution that helps all their folks who want to renew their covenants & remember the Lord’s sacrifice in a way that’s healthy & they don’t have to worry about side effects. In taking the Sacrament (or Communion) more than in any other situation, people need to feel safe.

Home Preparedness and Food Storage / Home exercise equipment
« on: June 28, 2017, 03:53:45 pm »
I've been looking for a compact body weight exercise device that can work in a 1-bedroom apartment without taking acres of space or making it look like a gym or health club. None of my interior doors will accommodate TRX or similar systems - the hall door will but that would mean propping it open during use (ha ha, mini Cirque de Soleil for the neighbors :D) & taking everything down each time.

I was surfing idly & came across this handy little thing, which comes from the U.K. It looks ideal for small-space situations & even taking away from home. It weighs a bit over 20 pounds & dismantles into a portable package.


Has anyone seen anything like it available in the U.S., or has anyone actually used this Porta-Gym & have an opinion of it? Even though the shipping charge is a reasonable $45, I don't want to rush into ordering it to be sent across the ocean to me if I won't like it.

Church Callings & Experiences / Duration of Callings
« on: April 24, 2017, 02:54:58 am »
What is the usual duration for various Church callings? We know that bishops usually serve for 5 years, but what about other ward callings?

Several people I know have had (both recently & at other times) callings that they accepted because they felt duty-bound, but didn’t feel inspired about them & wondered how long they’d have to wait until they could look forward to being released. Not teaching callings where we prepare from standard materials, teach at specific times, & have control over when we do our homework & the time we spend & no one is bugging us during the week, but major leadership callings. For instance, YM, YW, RS, or Primary presidents, who put in huge amounts of time & effort not only for meetings or events, but also intangibles like planning, reaching out to members, determining people’s needs – & they often don’t know when something will come up that's out of their control. I daresay the RS or YM president might devote a lot more time to prayer about their calling than I would in preparing a Sunday School lesson.

I know ... we aren’t supposed to second-guess the revelation that comes to our leaders about callings, & the law of consecration (our acceptance of it, if not its actual implementation) governs our work in the Church. But I know people who do struggle with them, especially folks with families and/or jobs that also require their time & energy. They may not come right out & ask to be released, but is it wrong to do their best while hoping the Lord will relieve them before it wears them out?

Technical Talk / BBC (Befuddled By Computer)
« on: April 14, 2017, 05:24:19 pm »
I have a general computer question that I’d bet a bundle of other Nauvoodles could answer. It probably sounds dumb, but it has me baffled. ::)

On all versions of Windows, you can check your hard drive (or solid state drive, now) capacity by right-clicking the drive & selecting Properties. A box opens up showing Used Space, Free Space, & a Disk Cleanup button. When you select that button, the HD is scanned for temporary files, delivery optimization files, thumbnails, & other unneeded stuff that you can choose to delete to clear more HD space. I do this now & then, I guess the same way we sweep the floor now & then. My current laptop is a cheapie that I bought when I needed a quick replacement & it has only 30 GB, & much of that is occupied by programs & apps, so I try to be conscious of how much space I have.

My question is: Over time, I notice significant variation in the amount of free space on the HD, even if I am not doing anything that would seem to need much space. I may go for days without creating & saving anything big, but the free space can vary a half to even a whole GB, maybe more. More than once I’ve seen a sudden rise or drop of up to 25-30% from one boot to the next. Also, after I do a disk cleanup, I may end up with less free space than before. :-\

So I’m wondering if the very act of just using the computer, starting a draft that I never save, accessing the internet, etc. eats up that much HD space, & is there a remedy? (No, I don’t want to reformat if I don’t need to).

General Discussion / Another school shooting :-(
« on: April 10, 2017, 07:15:29 pm »
There’s been a shooting at a grade school in San Bernardino CA, with reports of 2 adults killed (possibly a domestic dispute murder-suicide) & 2 kids in the hospital. I haven’t read all the latest about it, but in my worst imaginings, a class of 7-10 year-olds saw their teacher killed by a spouse or partner who also shot their innocent bystander classmates, & this makes me want to scream my head off.  >:(

San Bernardino has had its share of trauma, with the terrorist mass shooting at the county offices not even two years ago & an ongoing struggle with crime. Last year it had 63 homicides, compared to 59 in San Francisco which has almost 4x the population.

We have Nauvoodles in that general part of the state & I hope no one you know was impacted by this violent act.

General Discussion / We now have a full Supreme Court
« on: April 07, 2017, 07:22:43 pm »
 – but at what cost?

In the midst of all the crises & messes that have beset us since January 20 (not counting those before, which are out of play now, & Trump is making enough new ones), the one over the Supreme Court nomination has some of the most long-term negative implications. More than some of the other partisan brawls we’ve seen, it bodes very ill for compromise, consensus, lady-and-gentlemanly conduct among leaders of our nation, & just plain civility.

It starts a year ago, in fact a bit more, when Obama appoints Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy caused by death. The Republican Senate majority refuses to bring the nomination to committee or to the floor for a vote, arguing that it’s “only” 7 months before the election so the next POTUS should make the nomination. They are betting on a Republican POTUS, even though neither party has selected its candidate yet.

So thanks to partisanship, the SCOTUS goes without a 9th justice for not 7 months but now over a year.

Come spring 2017, & a totally toxic political atmosphere caused by both parties’ refusal to compromise or even listen. We have had an 8-judge court since March 2016, & Trump appoints Neil Gorsuch for the vacancy. The GOP has increased its Senate majority but not enough for the 60-vote majority needed to confirm a nominee. No problem – McConnell & Co have already changed the rules repeatedly to push through some very questionable Cabinet appointees. In the recent presidencies of both parties, there has rarely been such controversy over so many Cabinet nominees, their qualifications, experience, ethics, private entanglements that could compromise their public service, how much they truly represent the people rather than special interests. No problem, though; in the world he used to live in, what Donald wanted, Donald got, so why should life-or-death power over the American people be any different?

This past week, Senators again proved their intractability & overriding partisanship. The Democrats at first managed to filibuster the Gorsuch nomination to stall it temporarily. Then the GOP “went nuclear,” again doing what poor sports do when they can’t win clean by the rules: they simply used the majority to change the rules to confirm by a simple majority. In California, a two-thirds vote of the people is needed to pass a bond or revenue ballot issue. Is a Supreme Court nominee that will impact American law & justice for possibly decades less deserving of a similar standard from the 100 elitists who claim to represent all of us?

Back in 2012, McConnell said, “A serious threat has been quietly gathering against one of the most cherished safeguards of liberty in our government — the right of a political minority to have a voice. Until now, this has always been the defining characteristic of the Senate.” Of course, the GOP was the minority then, but with the chance now to gore someone else’s ox, McConnell won't let it slip by.

Just this week, McCain said of the rule change, “It’s a bad day for democracy I think it’s a terrible mistake that we will regret for many, many years to come.” He called the rule-change a “slippery slope” that “will clearly lead to more extreme appointments for both sides.”

Which is exactly what I expect. One of the ironies of the rancor over the SCOTUS is that neither Garland nor Gorsuch is the absolute worst possible appointee. Neither will satisfy everyone (who would?), but there are much less qualified, far worse extremists at either end of the political spectrum who could have been chosen. Without the disgusting Donkey & Elephant freak show, a Senate of reasonable, temperate, consensus-minded, more patriotic & less stubbornly partisan people might see its way to confirm either of them, as Senates once did in the days of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, and other less polarizing, divisive presidents.

The next time the Democrats have the Senate majority – which will happen, maybe as soon as 2018 if Trump doesn’t get his act together or if he shows more clear grounds to impeach – they will remember this day. And the next time after that when the Republicans are the majority – which will also happen – they will remember that. And so & on. And We The People will continue to chafe under the tyranny of corrupt parties that have lost their way, forgotten they are servants of the people, & only know how to distort, pervert, & manipulate our political system in the pursuit of wealth & power.

General Conference / So far ...
« on: April 01, 2017, 10:02:34 pm »
Simple & straightforward, like the women’s session was.
As the world gets more complex & sometimes befuddling, our leaders simplify life even more for us. Back to the basics: Love God, love your neighbor, avoid judging, have charity toward all even if they aren’t people you really want to like, make & keep covenants. The Atonement doesn't save us - through the Atonement, the Savior saves us. The plan of salvation & our Father’s love for all His children & our duty to offer His blessings to the living & dead.

Favorite talks? One that really spoke to me was by Elder Cordon, the Seventy from Costa Rica who talked about losing language. He mentioned Hispanic folks but said he was not limiting his reference, & since I have some Asian DNA & many Asian friends, I could identify with this. He had observed how offspring of immigrants gradually become less fluent in their mother tongue over a few generations, & likened it to how we can grow further from the “language of the gospel” if we don’t guard against that. Nephi needed to get the plates so future Nephites would not lose the language of their fathers, but also because they needed the scriptures to keep them close to the Lord.

As for predictions, N3urotypical was right – we heard the dissenters calling out “Opposed” & Pres. Uchtdorf inviting them to take their concerns to their SPs. I wonder how many of them ever do. I mean ... that would mean going through the proper channels, wouldn’t it? And simply by calling out rather than signifying their opposition in the prescribed manner, they’ve already shown their lack of interest in the proper channels.

Please, please, folks! Don’t text or make phone calls or do other distracting tech stuff while driving! Tell your driving-age kids the same thing.

This terrible tragedy happened (by the driver’s own admission to a passerby) while he was texting behind the wheel. :(  He survived, but he killed 13 of the 14 people in the other vehicle who just happened to be minding their own business in the wrong place at the wrong time.


General Conference / Predictions for the coming General Conference?
« on: March 29, 2017, 01:21:22 am »
We already know the Oakland & Washington temples are closing for a year or more for major renovation. So … what new temples be announced? Maybe the first ones in the Middle East & China (other than Hong Kong – which was dedicated before Hong Kong became part of the PRC), a result of sensitive negotiations between the Church & the governments in those areas that couldn’t be made public.

The White House, Capitol, & Supreme Court will be dedicated for missionary work. The dedication will be done by Elder Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice.

The Apostles & all the general auxiliary presidencies will sing as a choir.

What non-English languages will be used by speakers this time?

General Conference / March 2017 Women's Conference
« on: March 27, 2017, 01:20:22 am »
General Women’s Conference this year was short & sweet. just about an hour & a quarter, with messages from Counselors in the General Primary & YW Presidencies, General RS President Sister Burton, & President Eyring. Basic principles on how to become closer to Heavenly Father & our Savior & be better people. Faith, trust in God, seeking peace in an unpeaceful world, seeing each other as children of God. I heard the Holy Ghost mentioned over & over.

I think our leaders were telling us KISS: “Keep It Simple, Sisters.” Living the gospel isn’t complex & it doesn’t have to be stressful. Back to basics, folks. Now, to put that into RW practice ...

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