Monthly Archives: July 2011

Picasa Web Albums – it’s complicated

This is a vent and not a “how to” post.

For years I have had both a personal and church Picasa web album. I managed both from the Picasa3 software on my home computer. I’d just sign in to either my personal gmail or my church gmail account.

When they came along with a nifty Google Apps feature, I signed the church up — works great, letting us use gmail and other features with the church web address.

Then, they decided to do a bunch of merging of services. The lines between a regular google account and a google apps account were blurred.

One result is that I somehow ended up with two church picasa albums web accounts. The thing is that I never knew which one a new album would end up in. Then, once it was in a particular account I couldn’t get access to it. Sometimes the same album ended up in both web albums.

Today I spent a couple of hours trying to resolve the issue once for all. I finally managed to on purpose log into either of the two accounts. I then migrated all the albums in the old pre-google-blurring-the-lines account to the new setup. I had to delete several albums because they were duplicates.

Now I have an empty web album and one that *should* work okay. I made a graphic with just the church web address and put it as the lone “picture” in the old album to help people find their way.

All this done having to constantly log out of one and into the other and then back because Google decided to blur the lines between regular accounts and apps accounts.

Then, I had to go through my church web pages and change the links to the photo album.

I’m not going to try to explain how I did it because (1) I’m still not sure I understand the process and (2) I’m not sure I did it right.

Again…just venting.

Quote from P.F. Bresee concerning Nazarene doctrine

P.F. Bresee is considered to be the founder of the Church of the Nazarene.  He was one of the people instrumental in helping the various groups who came together to form the denomination to find common ground.  They didn’t agree at every point, but they agreed to allow people to arrive at their own understanding on a broad range of doctrinal issues while holding fast to certain core beliefs.  To find out what those core beliefs are, check out the “Agreed Statement of Belief” section around page 37 in the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene.

Concerning all the other stuff, Bresee urged tolerance governed by love.  I recently read something written by Fletcher Tink in which he quotes Brezee on this topic:

“On the great fundamentals we are all agreed. Pertaining to things not essential to salvation, we have liberty. To attempt to emphasize that which is not essential to salvation and thus to divide forces, would be a crime. An unwillingness for others to enjoy the liberty that we enjoy in reference to doctrines not vital to salvation is bigotry, from which the spirit of holiness withdraws itself.” (Bold by me)

I’ve heard various versions of the first part of this quote several times, but the second is new to me.  Apparently, Bresee isn’t just all warm and fuzzy on this topic.  Rather, he’s rather stern about it, saying those who insist on loading other stuff into the equation are practicing a sort of doctrinal “bigotry” and, because of that are operating somewhere outside the “spirit of holiness.”

I can’t help but wonder what he would think of some of the debates and finger pointing we see within our number today.

Electricity, forums, and internet misinformation

I’ve been reading about electricity. Now, I’m not an expert on electricity, although I guess I’ve learned more than the average person in passing several FCC exams on my way to my Amateur Radio Extra class license. Still, I make no claims to knowing about electricity.

The thing that started me down this line of thinking has to do with using in Europe a simple multi-outlet power strip with plugs for our USA 110 outlets.

Most electronics these days, like phone and laptop chargers are built for 110-240V~50/60HZ operation. That means that aside from the plug being different, the device is just as happy being plugged into a European outlet as being plugged into an American one. You can use the right plug adapter and it will work just fine, no transformers or other converters necessary.

I want to know if its okay to take along an American power strip, plug it in using the adapter, and then plug the devices into the power strip.

As I surf around the internet looking for answers I find more “junk” answers than reliable ones. On one forum the question is asked and a thoughtful reply from someone with a degree in electrical engineering is given. Just use a cheap power strip without lights or surge protectors (in other words, with no electronics of its own) and it will work just great.

In that very same thread people give dire predictions of smoke and destroyed equipment. They say the wiring isn’t sufficient for 220 and the EE replies that, actually, higher voltage means lower current – the wiring will do just fine. They ignore him, as though he never posted, and conclude, “Well, I’d never take that chance.”

On another forum a person links to pictures of how he’s done it for years. No power strip, just one of those little multi-outlet blocks with a plug adapter. That way he plugs in three chargers at once, using just one outlet and plug adapter. Again, others warn against it – ignoring the fact that he works for the State Department and has done it for years in multiple countries without a problem.

Some cautious soul says, “don’t do it – you might accidentally plug something in that’s only 110/60Hz.” Of all the things to worry about – including being run over because you stepped into traffic that drives on the “wrong” side of the road – they’re worried about that!

Okay, enough of that – what all this brings to mind is how easy it is to give and receive misinformation on an Internet forum. If we were around some people for 10 minutes we’d realize that they might be well meaning, but we’d never take their advice about some things. If we were around others that same 10 minutes we’d know that they know what they’re talking about, especially on certain topics.

On one hand, then, we need to be careful who we allow to influence our thinking, especially when we’ve never even met them in person. On the other hand, as “opinion-givers” we need to be careful we don’t state with certainty things that we actually know little about.

As someone in good humor and fine sarcasm said: “It has to be true, I read it on the Internet.”