Category: Digging Deep (Page 1 of 2)

Lutheran Doctrine: Doctrinal Error

While engaging in discussion in a private Facebook group about these topics, I decided to dig out a couple theology papers I wrote in college on Lutherans and on fellowship. They are very relevant and I still believe what I wrote back in college. Experience and maturity would probably push me toward more nuance in my language, but that doesn’t mean the content of my words is wrong. This paper is on some very public doctrinal issues with the LCMS and ELCA.

This isn’t to say my own synod (WELS) is perfect. I’ve outlined one area of improvement in the past: specifically regarding the role of women in the church. Also, all synods are human institutions, and humans are sinful.  However, I believe that adherence to sound, scripture-based doctrine is important, and this is guiding this paper.

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Lutheran Doctrine: Fellowship

While engaging in discussion in a private Facebook group about these topics, I decided to dig out a couple theology papers I wrote in college on Lutherans and on fellowship.  They are very relevant and I still believe what I wrote back in college.  Experience and maturity would probably push me toward more nuance in my language, but that doesn’t mean the content of my words is wrong.  This paper is on Christian fellowship.  (The title is just a nod to Lord of the Rings, it doesn’t really mean anything.) Enjoy!

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Roofing part 3: the tools

At the beginning of July, with the help of friends and family, I replaced the roof on my house. It was hard work, with a lot of planning, and we needed all that help to get it done as quickly as we did. I’m really glad I did it myself, and would make the same decision to do it again in a heartbeat. I was fortunate to receive an insurance claim for hail damage that covered the costs (and then some). Here’s how it all went down.

Part 1 was about the knowing and the planning and part 2 was about materials.  This post will talk about the tools and other miscellaneous things needed for replacing your asphalt shingle roof.  I got many of these tools from Menard’s or Amazon.  I’ll leave some links to the exact item I used (or a very close substitute).

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Replacing my roof part 2: materials

At the beginning of July, with the help of friends and family, I replaced the roof on my house. It was hard work, with a lot of planning, and we needed all that help to get it done as quickly as we did. I’m really glad I did it myself, and would make the same decision to do it again in a heartbeat. I was fortunate to receive an insurance claim for hail damage that covered the costs (and then some). Here’s how it all went down.

Part 1 was about the knowing and the planning, this part is about materials.

Materials

There are a lot of roofing brands out there, and most of them are comparable.  Since I was doing it myself, I wanted the best shingles I could afford.  This meant standard asphalt shingles.  When doing my research, I used a combination of YouTube reviews, Reddit posts, and some ratings websites to help figure out the best option.  That research pointed me toward rubber polymer based impact resistant (Class 4) shingles.  These rubber polymer shingles resist hail impact, are more flexible, and tend to be more durable than standard shingles.

The other thing I was looking at was warranty. Most companies don’t give great warranties unless it is installed by a contractor who has a certification/partnership with the manufacturer.  This makes it hard for a homeowner to get much more than a 10 year warranty.

Finally, cost was a small factor, but it ended up not mattering in the end, due to the amount of insurance money I got from my hail claim.  After considering my options, I wanted the best shingles I could buy and the best warranty.  Cost would only be a tie breaker, but the choice was pretty clear in the end. Continue reading


How I replaced the roof on my house, part 1: the knowing is half the battle

At the beginning of July, with the help of friends and family, I replaced the roof on my house.  It was hard work, with a lot of planning, and we needed all that help to get it done as quickly as we did.  I’m really glad I did it myself, and would make the same decision to do it again in a heartbeat.  I was fortunate to receive an insurance claim for hail damage that covered the costs (and then some).  Here’s how it all went down.

The planning

There are a few major things that go into planning a project like this: timing, knowledge, materials, tools.  In this post I’ll talk about the timing and knowledge aspects.

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Spring Planting Planner

My office recently hosted a “Hack-a-thon”, where we could build whatever we wanted to build.  I spend some time on the first day learning some new technology from some co-workers, but the second day I started to build an app that I had wanted to build for a while: a spring planting planner scheduler.  Basically, the concept is it tells you when to start seeds indoors or outdoors based on your local last frost date, which is critical because a miscalculation could kill your plants.

Inspiration and Data: Patrick at One Yard Revolution

There are similar apps out there, but the data from mine is from a YouTube gardener named Patrick Dolan.  His channel is called One Yard Revolution and he’s my favorite YouTube gardener due to his philosophy of using free, local resources and using the least amount of effort for maximum yields.  Patrick is willing to change his practices based on his own trials and peer reviewed research and he shares his success and failures on his channel.  He transformed his backyard into a yearlong garden with raised beds, low tunnels, and a hoop house.  That’s impressive since he lives in a suburb of Chicago.

A few years ago he released a similar tool, but it is build in Excel/Google Sheets and isn’t the most user friendly if you aren’t comfortable in Excel.  It was supremely valuable to me, and was the main inspiration for my app.

For the location-based frost-date data, I’m using the Farmsense API data to get the nearest NOAA station and then the average last spring frost date.  I’m going with the date that has 30% probability at 32 degrees.

The app

This app was a labor of love, but if you want to support me and my efforts, you buy one of my garden tool recommendations or just send me some money via PayPal.

https://jimmypautz.com/plants/

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The role of women in conservative Lutheranism

I’m a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and have been my entire life. I didn’t really get a solid appreciation and knowledge of what that meant from a historical and theological perspective until my college theology courses at Wisconsin Lutheran College (WLC). Through my study in coursework and research for papers, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of my faith body and why we do some of the things we do. This deeper understanding includes the origin and traditions of our liturgy, as well as the concept of fellowship. More recently I’ve been thinking and reading more about why women aren’t allowed to vote or serve as voting members on boards in our church. What I found was more than I expected.

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My Updated Budget Home Media Server Setup

Five years ago I wrote a post detailing my media server setup.  The post is woefully out of date from a hardware standpoint, but only slightly out of date from a software standpoint. The endpoint of my systems is still a Roku with the Plex app, but now I have a almost three-year-old Roku 2, which is significantly faster than my old Roku HD.  Currently I’d recommend the Roku Stick or Stick+.

When we moved almost 4 years ago, the old laptop I was using for a server would no longer turn on.  Instead I’ve been using a low-powered Windows 8.1 HP Stream Mini desktop combined with an external hard drive.  If I were to buy one today, I’d get a similar cheap PC or maybe a refurb desktop, since the HP Stream is discontinued. Since all of my media is directly played by the Roku/Plex, the computer can be wimpy since it doesn’t do any transcoding, just serving.

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Amazon Affiliate Linkerizer: Firefox and Chrome extension

Since I do product reviews and lots of product research, I’m frequently posting Amazon links.  To help me send better links and make me a small amount of affiliate money, I made a new Firefox and Chrome extension.

If you use it without adding any affiliate code, your purchases support me and this blog.

Based on a project I found on Github, Amazon Affiliate Linkerizer puts a button in your browser on Amazon pages.  When you click it, it cleans up the link and add an affiliate code to the end.  The code is customizable per the options page…otherwise it supports me with my affiliate code.   If you use it without adding any affiliate code, your purchases support me and this blog.

If you want to try out this plugin, get it for Firefox or Chrome:

             

I could release it for Microsoft Edge, but I don’t want to pay the $25 developer fee.  (My company paid the $5 developer fee for Chrome, since I had a work-related extension first.)

If you are a programmer, check out the project on Github.


What I’ve learned about soil-less gardening: hydroponics, aeroponics, etc.

Every winter I get excited about gardening and get eager to start growing.  A couple years ago I almost bought an Aerogarden. I didn’t because of its cost, but I resolved to learn about how it worked and if I could make one myself.  As it turns out, the “Aerogarden” doesn’t actually use aeroponics, but “deep water culture” hydroponics.   Not everyone agrees philosophically that we should be using hydroponics, but the science behind it is fascinating nonetheless.

Hydroponics

Hydroponics, simply, is growing plants in a nutrient solution, without soil.  There are various methods to do this, and the Aerogarden is an all-in-one consumer kit. Continue reading


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