# Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I have used Bloglines forever to keep the “Blogroll” on the right side of ricoblog. Like, since day 1.

If you haven’t heard, Bloglines is dying. Presently on life support, they’re pulling the plug on Oct. 1.

I’m taking the opportunity to significantly prune the blogroll before I save out OPML for use elsewhere. I’m sure something at some point will end up back in the blogroll slot, but I’m unsure what and when.

If I axed your blog, and you really think it should be there, please tell me at text geek at gmail dot com, and I’ll reconsider.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 8:25:29 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Monday, April 13, 2009

I read an article on ABCNews.com this morning titled “Parenting Blogs May Be Held Liable for Product Reviews”. The article is a brief examination of “Mommy Blogs” that involve a blogger receiving free products and then blogging about personal experience with said products. For companies, the idea is that personal recommendations and word-of-mouth carries more weight with potential customers than traditional advertising.

And that’s true, word-of-mouth normally does have a better effect; and I can see that blogs can be a good method for advertising. The concern, apparently, is that folks who receive free products for review are perceived as more likely to give glowing false testimonials in the hopes of keeping the gravy train alive than they are to give incisive, critical reviews pointing out the bad things in the product. Picking up in the middle of the article:

"But the concern is about those instances when [testimonials] are delivered and it is not made obvious that it's an advertisement for a company."

Whether these revisions, should they happen, will affect particular bloggers will depend on their relationship to the company whose product they're promoting, Cleland said. If a blogger reviews items in return for payment or free products, they may be held liable because the bloggers, unbeknown to their audiences, could be seen as shills for the companies.

"It would only affect bloggers who are paid to write reviews but the sticky issue that is raised is what happens if a product is given for free," Cleland said. "That's something we're going to have to address."

The bold part is the sticky wicket. I say this as one who has received several books from different publishers (Hendrickson, Eerdmans, Oxford, Baylor and perhaps others) at no charge for the purpose of reading them and then blogging my thoughts.

I have no idea what all of this means (will they want to tax books received for review as income?) but I do see that it is time to clearly state my own policy/ideas when it comes to reviewing books on this blog. Here they are in no specific order:

  • I am under no obligation to give a positive review. I’ll tell you what I think about the book, positive or negative. Indeed, I’ve done that already (I was very negative on Ehrman’s gospel of Judas book, which Oxford asked me to review). But I’m mostly positive because … well … many times I’m able to request books or at least refuse books if I’m not interested in them. For example, I don’t plan on ever reading any more of Ehrman’s popular literature because it is ill-conceived and poorly argued (though well written) drivel. I have no time for it.
  • I will disclaim in each post that reviews a book if the book was provided free of charge. That way you know the situation and don’t have to wonder. There are some books that I buy personally and also review; if that’s the case I’ll let you know that too.
  • If I have an review or mention of a product from Logos Bible Software, I will disclaim that I am an employee, and that any comments/opinions are my own and not that of my employer. Indeed, I already have a blanket disclaimer for the site that says as much, and that is linked to every post ever made on this blog.

I think that’s it. I don’t want a lot of rules for this sort of thing, but I do want you to know that I’ll let you know what I think about what I read, be it good or bad, whatever the source of the book.

I’d like to know what you think about this stuff. Use the comments to have a discussion, or if you’re a blogger please interact with me via your own blog, and link back here. Send me an email (text geek at gmail dot com) with your link and I’ll provide whatever links I can at the bottom of this post to keep the thread going.

If there is some sort of concise code of conduct for book reviews that we “bibliobloggers” (or “biblicabloggers”) can devise and agree to, I’m all for it. I think that will help us and also help any publishers we may individually work with so we’re all on the same page when it comes to book reviews.


Post Author: rico
Monday, April 13, 2009 12:15:16 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to you if you're in the US; Happy Christmas if you're in the UK.

Either way, it's Christmas time! And it is a pretty happy time here in the Brannan household. It is Ella's first Christmas, and while she doesn't quite get the whole unwrap-the-presents thing; she sure does know how to play with wrapping paper. Celebrating Christmas will never be the same.

Thanks to all who read ricoblog, whether you've just stumbled here or if you faithfully read and aggregate posts. I'm still overwhelmed when I think that y'all are out there, and flattered that you read what I write. Thank you, all.

Blessings to you and yours as we celebrate the birth of our Savior; the one who gives us hope; and the one who will return to take us home.

Post Author: rico
Monday, December 24, 2007 9:11:12 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, November 09, 2007

[NB: It's high time for a new "about ricoblog" entry. The old one will remain, but I'll now be linking to this one under my picture to the right.]

“rico” is Rick Brannan. Somehow, folks at the office started calling me “Rico”, and it stuck. So there you have it. You can check out my personal web site for more info.

I work for Logos Bible Software as an Information Architect. Yeah, we made up that title. I'm what I like to call a text geek; I write programs to munge text from one format into another or even create alternate views of data or even completely different data sets. It is a hoot; it's a job I love, and I'm very lucky to be able to do it, get paid for it, and work with the great folks at Logos Bible Software.

I'm also a bibliophile. I love books and I love to read them — particularly books that have to do with the Pastoral Epistles, Apostolic Fathers, Greek of the New Testament, Corpus Linguistics and Styleometry; as well as Syntax and Grammar of Hellenistic (Koine/NT) Greek. My academic interests lie in the realm of the intersection of time, culture and development of the church between the Pauline corpus (so, let's say between 51-64 CE/AD) and the post-apostolic literature (so, let's say 80 CE/AD). If this is your interest, or if you have references/books/articles etc. to point me toward in this area, I'd love to hear from you.

To learn more about me, you can read (or listen to!) the following:

In addition to ricoblog, I also blog at:

Lastly, I have posted some papers that I've presented at various academic conferences on my personal web site.

Post Author: rico
Friday, November 09, 2007 3:36:45 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, August 06, 2007

After a few years, ricoblog's original orange scheme is tired — and besides, it clashed with my new profile pic. So I changed the color scheme to blues.

There may be the associated item here and there that still needs to have its color properties changed (see some of the titles on the sidebar ... ). Maybe someday I'll even get to 'em.

Post Author: rico
Monday, August 06, 2007 5:14:21 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, March 03, 2007

The blogging engine I use (dasBlog) isn't that popular, so I haven't had many problems with comment spam. However, I awoke this morning to comment spam of an unsavory sort on one of my entries. It has been deleted, but it also has spurred me to enable comment approval.

So, when you make a comment, now I'll be emailed, and I have to actually approve it before it gets posted on the site. Apologies for that, but that's how it's gotta be.

Blasted spammers. We need to pray for their souls.

Post Author: rico
Saturday, March 03, 2007 11:25:31 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Please note that the software that runs this blog, dasBlog, has been updated (to v1.9). Therefore I'll likely be attempting an update of the server later today (Tuesday). If strange things are afoot, that is likely the culprit.

I'll post again when the update is complete ... or when I've reverted back to v1.8.

Update: I think the update to 1.9 stuck. If you have problems, please drop me an email (address on sidebar ... ) Thanks!

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 3:45:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, August 14, 2006

So I just remembered -- it was a two years ago (on Aug. 13) that ricoblog commenced. Here's the momentous first post.

67000 visitors later (110000 pages served), and here we are.

Since my mind has been out of this for a few weeks, I don't really have anything else to say. Maybe you'd like to read the post I wrote a year ago for ricoblog's first blog-iversary

Post Author: rico
Monday, August 14, 2006 9:04:15 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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Yes, it's true. After a 3+ week blogging hiatus (which included 12 blissful days that were computer-free and 3 weeks that were email-free and blog-free!) I'm back.

The honeymoon was awesome. Thanks to all who have wished Amy and me well; we do appreciate it.

I hope to return to some Didache blogging in the next few days. I think rather than try to catch up on all blog readin', I'll just mark everything as read and wait for the August carnival to fill me in on what I missed.

Note that blogging will be sporadic at best. I've returned to work but I also am responsible to uphold my civic responsibility of the dreaded "Jury Duty". I reported to Whatcom County Superior Court jury pool today. The case that was to be heard was settled (the defendant reached a plea agreement with the prosecution) but I could (and likely will, given the state of man) be called back for duty any time in the next two weeks.


Post Author: rico
Monday, August 14, 2006 4:50:11 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, February 23, 2006

The "light blogging ahead" sign is formally in place. I'll be on a short holiday. I may blog, I may not. We'll see what happens when I'm not golfing over the next few days.

I will, however, be thinking about the Biblical Studies Carnival III. So get your submissions in!

Post Author: rico
Thursday, February 23, 2006 12:14:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Sometime, perhaps even before the new year, ricoblog will log its 40,000th visitor.

That's about 39,995 more visitors than I'd anticipated.

Thanks to all who happen by this place, on accident or on purpose. And thanks even more to those who come back.

Cheers, and have a happy and blessed new year!

Update (2006-01-01): Visitor 40,000 arrived at 2:58:55 PM PST from a yale.edu IP address via Google searching for information on homoeoteleuton. Excellent. Hope you found what you were looking for!

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, December 28, 2005 2:40:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, December 23, 2005

I'm just about to head to Amy's house and spend some time there this evening. Saturday and Sunday are fully booked with Christmas events in Bellingham and Oak Harbor.

So don't expect too much blogging from me. Maybe after Monday.

Merry Christmas to you and yours as we celebrate the glorious fact of the incarnation. God became man. It blows my mind. Praise be to God for his love, his mercy and his grace.

Post Author: rico
Friday, December 23, 2005 6:20:52 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, November 14, 2005

Folks --

I'll be on the road all day Tuesday. I hope to blog from the conferences, but I don't plan to have much structure. That is, I won't be giving daily wrap-ups. I believe I'll have internet access at my hotel(s); it all depends how bushed I am from the day's duties.

Big days for me: Thursday I present a paper on Greek Syntactic databases at ETS. Sunday I present the biblioblogging paper at SBL.

If you're at either (or both) conferences, make sure to stop by the Logos booth and say "hi". I may or may not be there, my schedule is filling up fast.

Post Author: rico
Monday, November 14, 2005 4:43:31 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, August 19, 2005

Folks —

I've updated the blogging software I use (dasBlog) to version 1.8.

I think things are stable. I don't know that y'all will see much on the outside apart from PermaLinks that are based on post date and title instead of mondo-long GUID strings.

Please let me know if you happen across problems or strange things; email (as always) is in the sidebar.

 — The Management

Post Author: rico
Friday, August 19, 2005 6:42:36 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Friday, August 12, 2005

[as I have a very busy weekend ahead of me (and most likely blog-free, at least until Sunday night), I thought it best to post this today, one day early]

It's true. One year ago (Friday, August 13, 2004) ricoblog went live on the internet to the world. Here's the very first post (I think!).

This past year has gone better than I expected. Last time I checked the ol' Site Meter, there had been over 22,000 visitors (and who knows how many pages actually served!) to my humble internet backwater. Then again, maybe that means I'm not really such a backwater anymore.

Anyway, thanks to all who visit. And thanks in particular to a few bibliobloggers who put up with my questions and even on occasion find something I post worth linking to. I'm thinking specifically of:

  • Stephen C. Carlson of Hypotyposeis, who linked to ricoblog early and has encouraged me often.
  • Mark Goodacre of the NT Gateway Weblog, who links frequently and is always complimentary and encouraging.
  • Jim Davila of PaleoJudaica.com. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim in San Antonio and look forward to seeing him again in Philadelphia. I'm particularly jazzed to be presenting a paper in the same session with him, the CARG Biblioblogging session.

There are many I haven't mentioned; it would be tough to come up with a comprehensive list. But thanks for your encouragement nonetheless. I've learned a lot over the past year in my own areas of interest (NT Greek, Pastoral Epistles, Apostolic Fathers, Textual Criticism) and I think it can be directly correlated to the feedback and encouragement I get from the folks who read and interact with me through ricoblog. I can't say "thank you" enough.

Now, as seems typical for these sorts of posts, time for the retrospective!

[insert fanfare here]

Notable Posts of the Past Year

Favorite Post: Complutensian Polyglot Coolness. I had an entire series of posts on typography of early printings of the Greek New Testament. Click the "textual criticism" category, I think they're all listed in there.

Biggest News: New Project: PastoralEpistles.com. This soon morphed into a paper on biblioblogging that I'll present in November 2005 at the annual SBL meeting. I blogged about the latest title/abstract of the paper here: SBL Paper on Biblioblogging.

Most Popular Post: Balsamic Vinaigrette. Based on the frequency with which I see the search terms "balsamic" and "vinaigrette" show up in my referrals, this has got to be one of the most frequent search terms that brings folks to ricoblog. Come for the vinaigrette, stay for the musing! BTW, I still get compliments on this recipe from folks when they come over for dinner, so if you need a quick & easy salad dressing, this could be it.

Sentimental: The Scholarly Omnivore: Knowledge in the 21st Century. I've liked this one ever since I wrote it, so I just have to bring attention to it again.

If you have nominations, please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Epistle to Diognetus Posts

Finally, some of the longer-term ricoblog readers know that I've blogged off and on about the Epistle to Diognetus. I have two more chapters to blog about still, but now does seem like a good time to bring attention to the entire group of posts that I've written while superficially working my way through this work.

Maybe someday I'll write a book on it, and I'll look back here for inspiration ... and I'll conclude "what in the world was I thinking when I wrote that tripe?!!"

Update (2005-08-15): Thanks to all who have sent thier blog-iversary greetings to me, left a comment, or posted on their blog (Biblical Theology, NT Gateway Weblog, Hypotyposeis, and James Tauber's Weblog, at least that I've seen). It's been a fun year, and hopefully the upcoming year will be as fun if not more fun.


Post Author: Rico
Friday, August 12, 2005 3:48:32 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Hi folks.

I just added another new entry to my blogroll that I've been reading for the past few weeks. The blog is Tyler Williams' Codex Blogspot. Tyler's range is awesome and the posts are good to boot. He's got stuff like:

Going Potty in Ancient Times

But seriously (and more importantly), he's got stuff like this:

New Picture of Leviticus Scroll Fragments
A Step-by-Step Reconstruction of the New Leviticus Fragments

How cool is that?

Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, August 10, 2005 8:50:02 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Friday, August 05, 2005

I like to keep the biblioblogger blogroll on this site lean and mean, reflecting the biblioblogs that I read regularly.

I've rearranged a little. First, I've added Jim West's blog Biblical Theology. Jim is a posting machine -- I've no idea how he does it. But the posts are typically short (well ... shorter than my marathon blather sessions) and more often than not are quite informative. And Jim is a big fan of Zwingli, which immediately means he's gotta be a good guy. I mean ... Zwingli died on the field of battle, in armor, fighting for the reformation!

You may also note that I've removed the Better Bibles Blog. This was tough to do, but I was simply not reading it because there was too much stuff going on. I just couldn't keep track of it all and fell out of the habit of reading it. Because I only want to list the blogs I actually read on a regular basis (otherwise the list would be well out of hand) I thought it best to remove the link. Wayne, keep it up -- I just can't keep up with your posting prowess right now.

You'll also notice I've added the Logos Bible Software Blog to my "other blogs" blogroll. Hey, it's my employer, and I write articles for the blog. I've got to link to it, right?

Post Author: Rico
Friday, August 05, 2005 7:21:08 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, August 04, 2005

Hi folks.

I woke up this morning to find 243 trackbacks magically appear, all linking to the same place. In other words, trackback spam.

One the one hand, it's nice to know that I've reached a threshold where I'm an attractive trackback spam target. On the other hand, it's spam.

So I've disabled trackbacks. Again. Trackbacks are such a cool idea, I hate to do it — but I also hate to schlep diet pills.

In other news: Ricoblog passed the mark of 20,000 visitors sometime on Tuesday. Woo Hoo!

Post Author: Rico
Thursday, August 04, 2005 8:31:52 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Monday, August 01, 2005

Hi folks.

Most of you know that I work for Logos Bible Software. Internally we've thrown around the idea of having a corporate blog for a few months now. We finally decided to give it a shot.

So head on over to the Logos Bible Software Blog and check it out. Put it on your aggregators. Post links on your blogs — tell the world! Not much is there now (and there will likely be introductory posts for a bit to introduce the "Logos Bloggers") but we hope that it will be a place where we can let our users know what's going on in an informal way.

As a result, I'll probably start to post the more Logos-oriented items over there instead of here at ricoblog. And if you have any suggestions for stuff that we should explore on the Logos Bible Software Blog, send me an email (email link is on sidebar).

Update (2005-08-02): Finally, we're out of the default template. I'm sure more will be changing, but the Logos Bible Software Blog looks significantly better. Phew.

Post Author: Rico
Monday, August 01, 2005 11:12:17 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, July 27, 2005

 ... this is not me either. I pretty sure it's not my doppelganger, but I won't rule out "long-lost evil twin brother". It may, however, explain that German spam I've been receiving lately.

And this still isn't me. You know, just in case you thought it was.

(For context, check out this previous post.)

In other news, thanks to Brandon Wason of Novum Testamentum for adding the real ricoblog to his blogroll! And cheers to David Ritsema for doing the same!

Update (2005-07-28): David Ritsema says some nice things about me. Thanks for the enouragement, David! I don't know if I'd take on the mantle of "computer guru", but I sure like to munge text. On a side note, apparently dasBlog (the blogging software I use) automatically pings WordPress (the blogging software David uses) with a trackback when an article is linked. The trackback gets stored as a comment. Now that's cool!

Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, July 27, 2005 7:08:31 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Monday, July 04, 2005

Update (2005-07-06): Comments are re-enabled. I've been able to configure dasBlog such that I am emailed when comments are made; this means I can check them more reliably and remove comments if trolls begin to ply their trade.

I've re-enabled trackbacks as well. Please use them as you're able!

Thanks for the patience while I worked this out.

[original post]

I just got back from watching Star Wars III; I hadn't seen it yet. Just when I thought Lucas' dialog writing couldn't get any crappier ... well, it did.

I wasn't really tired, so I turned on the computer. Checked referrer logs. There have been problems logged with comment posting; I'm not sure why -- it works just fine when I try posting comments using either IE or FireFox. I do have MT-Blacklist enabled; perhaps there are issues with this individual's domain and MT-Blacklist.

Suffice it to say, I'm going to turn off the comment feature for awhile. There have been some problems in the biblioblogosphere with a particular individual trolling comment feeds and making silly unsubstantiated accusations both by email (yes, to me too) and in comments on other biblioblogs. He's been making repeated attempts to comment on posts here (yes, your IP address was logged when you did the blog search, so I know it's you). For now, I'd rather not give the guy a free forum. Apologies to all who have responsibly used the comments here in the past.

As always, if you have an actual, bona-fide comment on a post, I do want to hear it. Send me an email, the address is in the sidebar (scroll down, look for the envelope icon). If you give me permission to post and I deem it appropriate, I'll pop your commment in the body of the blog post after the post. If you don't state permission, I'll assume that the email was meant to be private.

Sorry to have to handle it this way. Perhaps comments will be back in the future. Sheesh, just when I was considering re-enabling trackbacks ... but it's late. I'm gonna catch some Z's.

Post Author: Rico
Monday, July 04, 2005 1:03:40 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, June 04, 2005

Hi folks.

This morning (Saturday, June 4) PastoralEpistles.com is having some problems. My host did some firewall upgrading, it caused me to have to change an IP address. Access may be sporadic as this change filters through.

Apologies, hopefully it'll be back to normal by Monday.

Update (2005-06-06): There were issues with both ricoblog and PastoralEpistles.com. I think both are back in fightin' form now, though.

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, June 04, 2005 10:10:31 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, May 25, 2005

 ... and a time for play. I'll be "playing" for the next few days, far away from computers and the internet. My time away will involve much golf and hopefully a decent amount of reading. I'll be back on Monday, May 30 but may not post until Tuesday.

Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 3:08:30 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, April 13, 2005

In a de-anonymizing move inspired by Mark Goodacre, I've decided to place a small picture of me on the ricoblog front page. Actually, it's on every page. You won't be able to get away from my watchful eye ...

The pic was taken in January 2005 when photos were shot for the article about me (and ricoblog) in Nortwestern College's alumni publication, The Classic, though this particular photo wasn't used in the magazine. I've lost a little weight since then, so that picture really is "larger than life".

Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, April 13, 2005 1:44:20 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, April 02, 2005

Amy and I had dinner with my brother and his fiancée on Friday. It was the first time Amy and anyone in her family met a member of my family. All in all, it was a pretty cool night.

During the dinner conversation, talk turned to blogging and ricoblog in particular. I found out that my brother now checks ricoblog with regularity and that his fiancée plans to as well. So that means that ricoblog readership has officially doubled!

Ok, there are more readers than that (currently at around 100 unique hits a day mostly from searches for balsamic vinaigrette; with aggregator hits on top of that) but you get the picture. So I figured it was time for a welcome message for the new ricoblog readers.

If you're new to ricoblog, you probably want to read the about ricoblog article. That should cover most of the bases. If you're interested in the Apostolic Fathers, check out my Apostolic Fathers Lookup Tool. Or do a blog search for "Diognetus" or "Polycarp" or perhaps "Ignatius" for bloggin' on those sort of dudes using the search box in the sidebar. Or check out the different topic listings in the sidebar. Or the comprehensive site Table of Contents, organized by subject. Lots of fun stuff, just a click away.

All in all, welcome to the party. If you have questions, feel free to comment on articles or drop email to me at the address listed in the sidebar.

Thanks for readin'!

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, April 02, 2005 1:16:29 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, March 25, 2005

If you're coming to ricoblog as a result of reading the article in the spring 2005 issue of The Classic, check out this post for more info.

Update: Responding to my Mom, yeah -- a few folks have emailed. I know the copies are still being mailed (just rec'd my own regular copy on Friday), so if you're reading this, and you know me from those NWC years, drop me a line at textgeek (a-t.) gmail (do t.) com.

Post Author: Rico
Friday, March 25, 2005 11:42:51 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, February 07, 2005

Hey — thanks for reading ricoblog!

I wanted to make a quick announcement for regular ricoblog readers:

With the advent of PastoralEpistles.com I'll probably be spending more of my energies over there than over here. So posting to this blog will slow down a bit, especially since a fair portion of what I posted on in the past involved the Pastoral Epistles in some way. But I do want to keep ricoblog going too, I just don't think I'll be able to keep the pace up on two blogs and keep my employer happy (not to mention my own sanity, though some would say that's long gone).

Unless I can tie it into the Pastoral Epistles somehow, blogging on the Apostolic Fathers at sporadic intervals will continue happening here (yes, I know, it's been awhile since I posted on The Epistle to Diognetus ... ). As will blogging about whatever else strikes my fancy. Heck, this might even end up making ricoblog even more eclectic ...

Post Author: Rico
Monday, February 07, 2005 8:44:22 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Folks —

I noticed some trackback spam starting to crop up in some older posts on ricoblog. Therefore I've disabled the trackback features.

Not that big of a deal; nobody was using them anyway. But I thought I'd mention it in case somebody actually noticed and was wondering why.

Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, February 02, 2005 8:09:25 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Some may have noticed my "furled" links in the sidebar in the past.

I've decided to move them out of the sidebar and into an RSS feed. There is also a link to my Furl page where I've entered link descriptions.

Not familiar with Furl? Think "Filed-away URL". If you're browsing the web, and you run into something you'd normally bookmark. Instead of bookmarking it, Furl it. You submit the URL using the Furl Toolbar. You categorize it, rank it, and enter comments. Furl takes a snapshot of the page and stores it for you and also stores the URL. That way, if the page moves later on, you've still got the cached page in your Furl list and can always go back to it. And (assuming you're dilligent in entering comments) you'll also remember why you bookmarked it.

I don't furl links frequently; sometimes it goes in spurts. I don't have an established metric for when I'll furl something as opposed to blog about it. Sometimes I'll both blog and furl.

Don't know about Furl? Check it out and see if it's for you.

Post Author: Rico
Wednesday, January 26, 2005 8:47:44 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, January 22, 2005

I use the blog engine dasBlog for this site. In browsing their wiki page, it appears that version 1.7 of the dasBlog engine has been released.

I'll be in the process of updating; if things go wonky that is most likely the cause.

Update: Blog engine updating completed. Not much will be visible on the outside, most of the updates are in handling site logs and such, along with some solutions to handle the ever-growing problem of referral spam. You will see a groovy little RSS logo/graphic in your feed readers now. I've wanted this for a long time. Here's the picture:


This is from a small lit sign at a Mexican restaurant in Port Angeles, WA.

Also, there is some very groovy comment spam prevention going on. It uses MTBlacklist and also allows me to specify keywords and such to block. But coolest is the confirmation code. You really need to click the "comment" link below and check it out, even if you don't leave a comment. An image with a code is generated; the value entered in the confirmation box must match the code, otherwise the comment won't be accepted. Very cool.

Another enhancement is the Archive view. I'll be adding a link on the sidebar for this soon. There's also a larger month calendar view, but it looks pretty dumpy so I won't be highlighting it.

All in all, it seems all right, though the updating process was a bit tedious. If you have problems and think it might be due to the updating, please, by all means, drop me an email to let me know (address in bar to right).


Post Author: Rico
Saturday, January 22, 2005 7:47:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, December 24, 2004

I'm heading down the road to my folks' house for a few days, so I won't be posting anything here until perhaps Sunday or so.

Cheers and Merry Christmas to the small (but growing!) group that pokes around ricoblog on a semi-regular basis.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

— 1 Timothy 2:1–6 (ESV)

Post Author: Rico
Friday, December 24, 2004 9:39:33 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, December 06, 2004

First, after long last, I've updated my blogrolls. See the column on the right. I'm pretty conservative with my aggregator these days; these really are (pretty much) the blogs that I read on a regular basis.

Second, I needed an excuse to post to this: Luthers lavatory thrills experts. No, it's not a joke. It is an article from BBC Online, posted near the end of October of this year. I came across it a few days ago. Here's the lead paragraph:

Archaeologists in Germany say they may have found a lavatory where Martin Luther launched the Reformation of the Christian church in the 16th Century.

There's an etching of the good doctor with the caption “Martin Luther was candid about his constipation.” True, but still — it makes me laugh when I read it. The story goes on for awhile. Another gem:

The scholar suffered from constipation and spent many hours in contemplation on the toilet seat.

You can tell that whoever wrote this article had fun with it. Maybe too much fun.

Post Author: Rico
Monday, December 06, 2004 10:10:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, November 14, 2004

Not that I blog on a regular schedule anyway, but from now until Thanksgiving, blogging will be sporadic as I'll be at the 2004 conferences of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature in San Antonio, Texas. I'll be there thanks to my employer, Logos Bible Software, to discuss all sorts of groovy new stuff that we've been working on.

If you're a Logos user (or not) and you're going to be at either conference, I'd enjoy talking with you, especially if you're into the Greek New Testament, lexicons, morphologies, secondary source material, etc.

Unless there's wireless access at my hotel and I feel inspired to blog in the late evenings (hey ... it could happen ... ) you may not hear much from me.

Ok, I'm going to break my “non-Logos blogging” policy, just this once. (Sorry, Bob, I can't hold back! ;) )

If you haven't kept up with what Logos has been up to for the past year — and even if you have — you may be very pleasantly surprised to learn what we've got cookin'. You should at least stop by the booth (at either conference, or both of 'em) and see the new stuff in the hopper, and let us know what you think about what we're doing.

Also note that if you are at the ETS Conference, there is a special “Bible Resource Breakfast” hosted by Crossway Books, publishers of the ESV, and Logos Bible Software. It's on Friday morning, and is early (6:15-7:35 AM), but you'll get to see some of the stuff Logos has been working on with Crossway. Hey, it's free food! If you don't spend money on breakfast, that means you can spend more money on books (or software!) at SBL — what could be better? See page 27 of your printed ETS program for more details on the breakfast.

See you there!

Post Author: Rico
Sunday, November 14, 2004 5:07:49 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, September 10, 2004

I'll probably be playing around with different colors this weekend on ricoblog, so if something looks particularly hideous ... don't be alarmed. I like the default dasBlog layout, but want to differentiate a little from JIMMYBLOG.

Oh, yeah — You may have noticed my list of furled links on the side of the page. Furl is a service (freebie) that is like bookmarks on steriods. It's pretty cool; I've been meaning to get the list on this page for a few days and finally got 'round to it.

Update: I think I like the new colors. I still need to figure out the calendar (don't like the grey background) but there are five different shades of gray there to replace. I need to figure out the right combo.

Post Author: Rico
Friday, September 10, 2004 8:49:24 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, September 02, 2004

I changed a few things with the Apostolic Fathers Lookup.

It still works exactly as it did before. However, instead of defaulting to English when no language (or an invalid language) is supplied, it now defaults to a two-column presentation, with English on the left and Greek on the right.

There are a few cases where this is problematic (e.g. MPoly 22.1-4, where the English has four verses but the Greek has three), but overall it should not be noticeable.

So, if you use the tool to display readings from the Apostolic Fathers, you shouldn't have to change a thing. If you'd like to display the two-column text, simply remove the “lang” attribute from your jump string. For instance, like this:



Post Author: Rico
Thursday, September 02, 2004 6:31:09 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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I'm going to be playing around with the Apostolic Fathers Lookup tool, so if you use it, you may end up with some strange results. I'll post here again when things are back up ... along with any news on added features.


Post Author: Rico
Thursday, September 02, 2004 5:27:31 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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Thanks to the generosity of a Logos Bible Software user (thanks!) I now have a Gmail address. I'll use it for blog contact; the contact address on the email link in the column on the right has already been updated.

The address? textgeek@gmail.com. So let's test that Google spamfilter as well as the one gigabyte storage limit.

Yeah, I probably should've made it 'ricoblog' instead of 'textgeek', but it's too late now.


Post Author: Rico
Thursday, September 02, 2004 4:22:42 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Monday, August 23, 2004

If you've just arrived here from Hypotyposeis, thanks for droppin' by. You're interested in the post immediately below this one: Apostolic Fathers Lookup Tool.

I can sense there will be some questions, so I'll try to head them off:

1. Mr. (Dr.?) Carlson indicated that I am a “programmer for a Bible software company”. I do work for a Bible software company, dealing with text conversions and whatnot — writing code to create electronic resources from existing data in print and such. I'm not a formal “programmer”; I don't work on the interface or search engine code at all. I leave that to others. And no, please don't forward resource suggestions my way; I'll lose them. But do please send them to our standard address.

2. If you're looking for the inside scoop on Bible software and stuff, you should look elsewhere. Like Rubén Gómez' Bible Software Review. Or Bob Pritchett's blog. I don't plan on posting about Bible software here.

3. Have fun with the Apostolic Fathers Lookup tool. I wrote it for my own relatively narrow needs, but hopefully y'all will find it useful.


Post Author: Rico
Monday, August 23, 2004 8:54:13 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, August 14, 2004

The blog software I'm using for this blog is called dasBlog. It does most things quite well, it's a .NET thingie, and it is completely and totally free. Overall, I like it.

However, one thing I can't figure out is the application of content filters to RSS feeds. That is, in the post on Public Prayer, I've got some Bible references. I think it's handy to enable such things as links, so I used dasBlog's content filter feature to do this. In other words, instead of just typing “Jn 17” and manually adding a hard link with the HTML <a> tag, I created a macro (used $esv (Jn 17) ) and am then using a content filter to convert that into the necessary HTML (e.g. Jn 17).

But this doesn't work in the RSS feed, so y'all reading only by RSS end up seeing the underlying macro. I've checked the option that seems like it should convert that in the RSS feed, but it doesn't. C'est la vie. You'll need to go to the site (CTRL+S to go to the current item in SharpReader, folks) to get, as Dave Kaplan would put it, “the full flavor of the pringle”.

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, August 14, 2004 2:31:24 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Friday, August 13, 2004

Who is rico?

“rico” is Rick Brannan. Somehow, folks at the office started calling me “Rico”, and it stuck. So there you have it. You can check out my personal web site for more info.

I work for Logos Bible Software as an Information Architect. Yeah, we made up that title. I'm what I like to call a text geek; I write programs to munge text from one format into another or even create alternate views of data or even completely different data sets. It is a hoot; it's a job I love, and I'm very lucky to be able to do it, get paid for it, and work with the great folks at Logos Bible Software.

So, why a blog? And what can you expect to see here?

I have no hard and fast rules for this blog. I do have some ideas, though. Here they are in brief.

Content Blog vs. Link Blog

The answer is: Yes. Entries will sometimes be long, thoughtful posts. Sometimes they may even be long incoherent rants. Posts may be short pointers to other articles. Or they may be all of those rolled into one. Or something else. Maybe. I dunno. But I do know that I've been keeping an internal-to-the-office blog for almost a year now and it's time to split off the non-work-related stuff into the proper environment. And this is the proper environment.

Subject Matter

What sort of content will I post on? That's a good question. The answer: Whatever the heck interests me. The “categories” list on the side there will probably grow; and I won't make any effort to pre-fill it with things I think I'll write on. The taxonomy will be ad-hoc. That said, there are some topics you can count on coming up sooner or later:

  • Christianity/Religion in general.
  • Greek, primarily Koine/NT.
  • NT Textual Criticism
  • Pastoral Epistles (I've been studying them for awhile ... )
  • Apostolic Fathers (the 'proto-orthodox' writings from, say, 80-200 AD)
  • Politics (US Politics in general, election stuff, etc.)
  • Economics (I have a BA in Economics from Northwestern College)
  • My digital photographs when I happen to think they're especially cool.
  • Reviews of books I read.
  • Links to books I want to read.
  • Whatever else I durn well feel like ranting on.

I'm sure you get the picture. While I do work for a prominent producer of Bible Software, I won't be posting directly on the topic of Bible Software as I just don'tthink it would be appropriate.

Inside Jokes

While I won't do such things on purpose, you may find you'll better understand cryptic references if you have some knowledge of the television show The Simpsons. I'm sure there are several other sources I draw on, but that seems to be the prominent one, even though I haven't seen a new episode for years.

Last but not Least ...

Before you read anything I write, there are two other sources you need to add to your daily/weekly reading diet:

  • MarginalRevolution. This is the best blog you've never read. Set yourself up on the RSS feed. Do it now. Do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200.00.
  • Victor Davis Hanson (weekly on National Review Online, typically on Friday)

That's it for now, though I'll surely be bloggin' over the weekend now that this dude is set up and ready to rock & roll. So watch out. You've been warned.

Post Author: Rico
Friday, August 13, 2004 5:58:25 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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ricoblog appears to be live. Welcome to the party.

Post Author: Rico
Friday, August 13, 2004 12:18:46 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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