“The praise that comes from love does not make us vain, but more humble.” –Sir James M. Barrie

I have a friend who doesn’t believe in complimenting others, because it will entice them to vanity. When he is complimented, he will only say, “Thank the Lord!,” attempting to deflect attention from himself to the Lord, which in itself is a worthy and righteous goal. But … he fails to recognize the worth of praise in a person’s life.

This is a fundamental problem with most information retrieval approaches: you only know what you’re getting, not what you’re missing.

There’s got to be a spiritual application in this remark somewhere. In the world, people don’t even really know what they’re getting, until it’s too late. Nor do they have any idea of what they’re missing. In Christ, you know what you’re getting, as well as what you’re missing — and you’re glad of it!

“Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.” –Truman Capote

Is anyone born knowing the rules of writing? I think not. Some, for sure, have innate qualities and sensitivites thanks to their personalities.

The direction of modern writing is to rearrange the rules to suit oneself before actually learning them. The ignorance shows through, all the while author and fans congratulate themselves on their sophistication. The culture of ignorance, and the ignorance of culture.

After eight and a half hours, including lunch and breaks, we finished the second half of my Total Transformation course today here in SJC. More people returned today to finish it than I expected. (Oh, ye of little faith!) Three new ones appeared today. All total, I think 25 participated in some part of the course.

I was pleased with the results and responses from people. At times we were crying and often laughing. Everyone successfully kept sleepiness at bay and followed throughout the course.

Often those who need it most don’t come, and today was no exception, but I was focused on those present, and we were able to work through the material with good interest.

Time will tell how well the participants will practice the principles expounded.

… and when it comes to being a geek, I’m out of it. Have been trying to update a dokuwiki software for a while, and completely bombed. Fortunately, I did a backup, but I’m going to do a clean installation, since the good sister only had three pages so far. I have the text, so it won’t be a problem to recreate the pages. I’m tired, going to take the evening off and go watch a movie with the family. Whew!

The scales this morning said 71 kg. Dropped another kilo the last couple of days. When Vicki and I started our green juice diet (raw fruits and veggies), I was at 74 kg. About a 6 1/2 lb. loss, for Americans, in two weeks. Not bad, I guess. Sounds better, though, in pounds, doesn’t it? Bigger number.

I think if I see another poet’s “corner,” I’ll croak. Why a corner? Are we not good enough to take the main stage, occupy the middle of the room? Why relegated to an out-of-the-way place, cramped, where children are sent to sit when they’re bad?

Get the poet out of the corner. Front and center!

Sunday night, a party for Amanda, only daughter of Anibal and Ana Paula, friends with whom we’ve studied the Bible. We met them through our neighbors down on the corner, Edson and Denise. So the latter were there Sunday, too. Edson works for a major food manufacturer, that make M&Ms here in Brazil.

We got back from Taubaté around 7 p.m. Party had started at 5:00. After making the greetings, Edson said he needed to change his life. We talked for an hour and a half about spiritual matters. At a kid’s birthday party.

So last night, Vicki and I traipse down to their house, and we study for two hours. I hope we can be helpful to them both. They are good people and we consider them friends.

Our next study is set for Thursday night.