Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Repeat after me...

An animation (with sound) for people who keep forwarding chain-letters, etc.
...If God wants me to send a message I believe that bushes in my yard will burn
before he picks up a PC to pass it on.
Pretty good. :-)

Monday, March 29, 2004

Scrolling better?

I updated my entry on posting comments. Someone told me that they had to horizontal scroll quite a bit. This was because I had done a preformatted post with quite long lines. I've added some line breaks in an attempt to make them shorter. Still some scrolling... but maybe better.

Regardless..., they'll eventually get archived and then the current screen should go back to normal.

And the amount of info on the web continues to grow.

Fundrace 2004 has a neighborhood search option. Type in your zip code and see how much your neighbors have contributed to the preseidential campaign.

I'm continually amazed at the info out there.

TheRegister: MCI to axe 4,000 US jobs

No, I'm not affected by this.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Time for bed

Well I was going to hack some CLIPS code... but its 1:00 AM and I just got done blogging, reading blogs, posting, etc. Tomorrow is another day... and besides, I'm on vacation. (Gotta love that on your vacation you work, cuz hey... work is fun). Well I love it anyway. I work for fun... and get paid for it. How cool is that?

Eastman Curtis talked tonight at Destiny. His main idea was that it is up to YOU to stir yourself up. Not up to God. Not up to the worship team. Not up to the pastor. It is up to you. Some really great stuff. A number of good scriptures (which I'll post later). Really got me to thinking. We basically talk about this all the time. On the worship team, from the pulpit. But sometimes you just have to hear it from another person, in another way. Not only are you supposed to stir you up, but you are supposed to stir others up as well... Well that is part of what I do in worship... But I gotta start focusing on it more... and DOING it more. I need to come stirred up, ready to go, ready to pray, ready to see things happen. Yeah, it was a good night!

Night all!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

A name

Its getting late (almost 1:00 AM) and I'm not super creative as it is. Michael asked about a name for his band. I guess if I was voting (rather than trying to come up with one on my own), I'd pick Frevid over Ensuing Glory.

I like the fact that Frevid stands for ardent or passionate. I think that is a great name and idea for a band. (To me, worship is all about being passionate). I also think that Ensuing Glory sounds too Christian... not that sounding Christian is a bad thing... And I'm not sure who Michael is trying to reach... But Frevid, imo will reach both worlds, christaian and secular. And that is what it is all about... It just seems to me anyone would listen to Frevid, whereas maybe only christians would listen to Ensuing Glory. At least that is my thought at 1:00 AM!

How to add comments to your blog

Michael asked me how to add comments to a blog. Rather than just send him email, I'll post it here. I could just post the several lines it takes... but I find putting context around it (so you can find it in your own template) helps. If this isn't enough info, just leave me a comment and I'll add more.

Click on the HaloScan button at the top of my page and register. It will tell you where to go from there... but just in case it is confusing. You edit your template and add the following three sections of code.

In your header area add the following which gets the javascript going.


<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Of course replace yourUserName with your actual user name. Also, there is quite a bit of text cut out... but as you can see it is in the head section and after the end of the style subsection.

I then add in the part that says "sign my guest book" which is a comment not attached to any particular post, but to the entire page. BTW: I've found these go away after about a year.


Sign my Guest Book!
<a href="javascript:HaloScan('GuestBook');"><
script type="text/javascript">postCount('GuestBook');</script></a>


And lastly is the comment associated with each entry:


<div class="posts">
<b><$BlogItemTitle$></b><br />
<a name="<$BlogItemNumber$>"></a>

<span class="byline">
posted by <$BlogItemAuthorNickname$>
at <a href="<$BlogItemArchiveFileName$>#<$BlogItemNumber$>"><$BlogItemDateTime$></a>

<a href="javascript:HaloScan('<$BlogItemNumber$>');"><
script type="text/javascript">postCount('<$BlogItemNumber$>');</script>
<noscript><a href=";comment=<$BlogItemNumber$>"


On section I cut out the BlogDateHeader section, because it was a lot of text.

I think that's about it. If you have any issues leave a comment and I'll update this post!

Hey... I'm in Tulsa

FBI arrests man, 66, wanted in bank jobs
The FBI has nabbed the second most wanted bank robber in the state, a career criminal known to the agents who pursued him as "Corporate Jim."

Sunday afternoon, James Wagner, 66, went to meet a friend in Aurora, but instead he found FBI agents and Arvada police waiting for him.

Getting your joy back

We were out at lunch with another pastor and just talking about various things. Pastor Joe mentioned that I was a chef and the other pastor asked if that was what I did. I replied that I worked for MCI, but I still cook stuff once in a while. But now it is just for fun.

He replied that yeah, he guessed it would be more fun now (because restauraunt work is hard). He then started talking to us about doing things for the fun of it... and that so many times you forget that it is fun. Driving to the conference he had pretty much made up his mind that he was going to close his church. It was just so hard. But after hearing what Jim had to say the first night, and then all the speakers the first morning, he had decided that he wasn't going to. He just needed to quite focusing on the negative and on all "the stuff" and remember why he was doing this in the first place. Because he was called. Because he loved people. Now he was all jazzed, just thinking about it.

So many times in the ministry we start focusing on "the ministry" and "the stuff" rather than the real reason we started it in the first place. We do it because it is who we are. Pastors will preach... whether they are in a pulpit or not. Worshippers (those called to worship teams) will worship, whether they are on a team or not. Its just in you. So... there is no use trying to run from it, you can't. You will do it, no matter what.

But more importantly, keep your eye on what it is you are called to. Keep the joy in what you do. The real meaning of it. And don't get bogged down in the mechanics, in the politics, in "the stuff".

Like I said before, Jim Richards provides a hugh service by holding these conferences. Day one and a pastor has already got a new hold on life. Already had a heart and mind change about how he looks at stuff. Decided to keep going, and is jazzed about it, rather than returning home to close his church.

Pretty awesome stuff.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Check the shower curtain!

Warning... for some reason when the maids clean the bathroom they pull the shower curtain out of the tub and leave it on the outside. If you aren't a morning person and you just blindly get in the shower and start it to wake up, and you don't pull the curtain back into the tub, when you get out the floor is all wet!

I'm not sure I get the point of pulling the shower curtain out... unless it is to start the floor soaking. ;-)

Monday, March 22, 2004

Blogging - a community

(I know... I said I was logging off... but I just got email from Heather and I'm waiting for my mail package to come up).

So I'm on vacation and I'm blogging and reading other people's blogs. Its a way to be away... but still not. I still see what is going on in people's lives (friends and people I've never ever met before). Blog back (talking to them), email, etc. Just all a way of "keeping in touch". Non-cyber people just don't get it. But its part of who I am. Anyway... mail came up. Time to go see what Heather had to say.

Good night all...

Its going to be a good week

The reception/welcome/whateverYouWantToCallIt dinner was good. We registered and then had dinner and Dr. Jim spoke a bit. He is always amazing. His conferences are a great investment in self, the ministry and the church. I live (for a majority of my time) in such a technical world. Technical concerns, technical problems, technical training and solutions. Its all good and I love it. But it is cool to also feed the minstry side. Especially being married to a pastor. You just have to go there as well and grow that side. Otherwise you can't help in those areas... And more and more I feel that is what it is all about. The technial/job side of my life is great, and a tremendous blessing... but so is the pastoral side. Anyway... the conference should be really good. A few thoughts already (I may or may not make these brief... as Tina is already going to bed and I need to quite playing around on the computer and go to bed too, so I'm ready for tomorrow.)

I live in what I believe is a unique situation. Not that I'm in it alone, but that a majority of people aren't in it. I'm very much a career person, with a secular job. A job that takes my attention, requires a lot of focus. Focus that is not on ministry related issues. I'm also married to a pastor, so I see that side of life. The two lives are very different. To me, church is not a job. It is a place I go to get refreshed, hear the word, worship God, etc. To many pastors it is a job. Not in a bad way... but it is what they do for a living. I can take my job stress, issues I have with people, etc. (every day stuff) and leave it away from church. I mean, even if I take it home, I don't take it to church. For pastors, church is part of there strees. They don't get away from stress there. In my situation I get to see the blessings of the ministries, but still be able to separate ministry and my job. So I kind of have the best of both worlds. I'm a blessed person.

Being at such a conference, you see that pastoring is a tough job. Not just at ICC, but everywhere. "I just needed to get out of town and relax for a while". "I'm turning off my cell so no one can reach me this week.", "It is so important to get away, invest in yourself, so that you can deal with issues at home." and similar comments. It is probably true in other professions as well... but ministry is such a 24x7 thing. Even if I'm on call 24x7 - for the most part (being a technical lead, not a manager) I don't have to deal with emotional issues, people issues, etc. A great thing about this conference - without even the content - is seeing these pastors come together and just get refreshed. Hang out. Talk to each other, etc.

A question was asked not too long ago. Who does a pastor have for friends? Who can they hang out with and just be themselves? Unfortunately there aren't a lot of people they can do that with. Whether people intend it or not... some times a pastor being "themselves" influences them in ways they wouldn't be influenced by other people. Maybe hard to explain... but anyway, it is good to see them just be able to hang out. And I'm not talking specifically about our pastors. I'm saying this based on things I've overheard other pastors saying. Dr Jim is providing a great benefit by just providing the atmosphere that he provides, and then he adds great teaching too!

Do you focus on the good or the bad? Dr Jim was discussing that he sees it all the time where a church will have 100 members, 500 members, a 1000 members. And there are 5 people that don't like what is going on. That complain all the time, have issues, etc. They don't leave though. And pastors will start concentrating on those people. Instead of seeing the 95, or 495 or 995 that love them, that support them, etc.; they just see the 5. And it gets them bitter, puts their heart in a bad place, and makes them ineffectual. He says when he teaches, sometimes not everyone will welcome him. And people will ask him, "Man, how could you handle that crowd. They were so against everything you were saying" (something like that) and he will say, "Huh... I didn't even notice."

I think that was awesome... not just for pastors, but for everyone. Don't focus on the bad. Say you are a worship leader, or on a softball team, or in a job situation. Are you going to let one person that says, "You didn't enter in" or "you sucked today" or "You never know what you are talking about" effect your entire day, week, year? Are you going to let them control your life? Or are you going to listen to all those people who tell you how great you are, that love you, that think you are such a great friend. Are you going to listen to them and to God! and know who/what you are.

We all get so caught up in the negative, and give negative people such power in our life.

Anyway... Dr Jim already has me thinking... and things haven't hardly started yet. Its going to be a great week... A great week of non-technical learning. Of great heart learning. Soaking things up. Little by little seeds of wisdom being planted that will change my life.

Cool stuff.

P.S. sorry for any misspellings, grammer, typos, etc. Its 11:00 - time to call it a night! :-)

I agree

Good post by Vicky about people witnessing in comments where they weren't asked too. So many people miss the point (imo). How is that showing them His love...

Its a sister thing

In a comment Erika mentioned protecting Jaime from the owls...

The other night we (Tif, Brian, Tina and I) were somewhere and we heard an owl.

Tina: Too bad Jaime isn't here.
Tif: Why does she like owls?'
Me: No, she hates them. She thinks they are demonic or something.
Tif: Well yeah!

Sunday, March 21, 2004


We're here. Trip out was uneventful (which is always nice on a plane trip). Got in, got to the hotel, called the kids (Tif and Brian are "the kids" - Jaime is "the kid") :). They came over in their new car and we went out to dinner then spent the evening back at the room playing cards. Was great to see them and catch up.

Going to spend today eating and site-seeing. :-)

I also spent some good time on the plane, airports and this morning while Tina was sleeping writting a C++ code generator in CLIPS. Fun stuff (for a geek). I should have it easily finished this week while I'm out of the office, so that is cool.

Well... gotta get ready, the kids are on their way over - also have to go filter through some of the 138 mail messages I got since logging off Friday night. Man... busy weekend for spammers.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Always connected

Don't know much of the technology/reliability/etc behind this. But it sounds kind of cool. Just open your laptop and you're on the internet from anywhere (anywhere you can get a T*Mobile connection anyway), for $29.99 a month.

More info on the card.

I missed that AT&T and Cingular were merging

Someone mentioned to me that AT&T Wireless and Cingular were merging. I didn't realize that... but when out on google and checked. Sure enough, quite a few articles popped up.


Tina and I are leaving for Tulsa tomorrow at 3:30 AM!!! Yikes. But it will be cool. We are going to the Impact Ministries Spring Leadership Conference. Should be very great. We are going a few days early to spend time with Tif and Brian for the weekend. Which will be awesome. I *think* I'm going to be on-line part of the time and posting... if I get motiviated to do it. Lately I've noticed when I'm not home my on-line motivation is fairly low. Usually goes something like, "Should I get on line, or... sleep/stare-at-the-tv/chill" with not getting on-line winning every time. But we'll see.

As a side note... Erika - take care of my baby! Or maybe its Jaime, watch over Erika... or watch over each other. Well you get the idea. Have fun!

The color of your info

Ev has a post on the color of your info. Interesting idea. The fact that it costs $7 seems prohibitive for something that is just "cool"... I'm not sure what you'd do with it for real. But still, and interesting technology.

Happy Birthday

My Mom's birthday today! Happy Birthday Mom. And tonight is the beginning of Spring. Coincidence??? :-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004


This provides a little more info. And for those who really care, here is the paper (in pdf) they published.
News: North Carolina Scientists Develop Breakthrough Internet Protocol
Dr. Injong Rhee, associate professor of computer science, said BIC can achieve speeds roughly 6,000 times that of DSL and 150,000 times that of current modems.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Its not just *software* architects

So I'm having coffee with Steve (my brother) and a friend and we start discussing computer jobs. Steve is a fire-fighter and does part-time construction.

S: What is it you do again?
M: I'm a software architect... Using a Grady Booch type analogy... it is similar to building architects. Say I was building a skyscraper, I'd specify how the plumbing, parking structures, electrical, etc. all fit together and then other people would build according to that spec.
S: Oh... you're one of those. I hate those guys. They are always giving us plans that when we look at them we say, "Is this guy clueless? That isn't going to work". They have no idea how things really work, have never actually BUILT anything.

And so on. Well, its interesting to see it isn't just in the computer science field. That others see these same problems. Of course, it isn't industry wide. There are good architects (I hope I'm one), good designers, etc. Usually you run into this problem when you have someone that has never actually worked in the field. Software architects and designers who have never coded. Luckily I've coded (and continue to do so) and so know what we can/can't do, etc.

Anyway, made me laugh and also gave me insight into other fields.
Reuters: Spanish Election Tests Bush's Global Coalition
"I don't think Bush's aim is to lead a coalition. His aim is to defeat terrorism. The loss of Spain as a partner is a substantial loss. But even if we have to fight terrorism alone, we have no choice but to fight," May said.
I agree we have no choice, and I think his aim is the right one.
"The people of Spain had every right to get rid of their government and I also have every right to say that they have made a terrible mistake and handed the terrorists a major victory," he said.

Now, three days after a series of train bombings killed 200 people, Spanish voters have thrown out a pro-Bush government and replaced it with one committed to withdrawing Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq
Yeah, give in to them. That will help. So, if terrorists want anything else from Spain, they just kill another 200 people and the country gives in??? I don't get it.

Daniel and Lindsey's registry

In case you know Daniel and Lindsey and are going to their wedding... they are registered at Target and REI. (Maybe others, but those were the two that Nick knew about).

The modern age... ain't it great! Just click on the link, pick something out, and there you go. No fuss, no muss. :-)
Robots fail to complete Grand Challenge

Cool stuff. This is one of the areas of computer science I almost went into. Did some grad work in AI. Nothing in this exact discipline - just very introductory. But I always thought this kind of thing was cool.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Just a few times

Someone at work asked me today if I'd ever seen The Little Rascals.

Yeah... I've seen the remake (1994) a few times. When Jaime was little she had the entire dialog memorized, including the voices. You could ask her to recite any scene and she'd do it.

I think she watched it at least once a day, if not 3 times a day, for a few months. :-O


Sunday someone asked me about the Winning the lost to Christ... NOT entry I had written. They were confused by it. When writing it I wondered if some might be, although I talked to Jaime and she understood it. If it was some smart-aleck post or something, I probably wouldn't bother clarifying... but the post was serious and the picture disturbed me when I saw it. So, I'll clarify.
  • I don't believe condemning the lost, going to events with picket signs, etc., wins any souls. I think it is worse than a waste of time, I think it hurts the cause, because it doesn't show Jesus' love, it shows hatred. Even if that isn't the intent, that is how it comes across. I'm not judging the people that do it, I'm just stating how I see it.
  • I understand the point of the picket sign is to say "God did not create homosexual unions, he created heterosexual marriages". I get that... But it can come across as hatred. And so I was just trying to state that God DID create every human being and that we are all His children... That is something we all need to keep in mind.
  • This isn't a pro-homosexual marriage statement. It is a pro-people statement. We all (no matter what the sin) are his children. We may not all be saved. But His desire is that we are. And it is our job, in fulfilling the great commission to try and lead ALL His children to him, not just the ones we don't have issues with.

A little deeper than my usual posts... but I thought it was worth discussing...

Saturday, March 13, 2004


Up at 4:45 this morning, so stuck quite a few pictures out on the web. You can get to them off my picture web page, which has links to the cruise, the wedding and some new pictures of Belle. The Topic listing contains repeats of the other links, just arranged differently.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Winning the lost to Christ... NOT

I'm sure a gay couple saw this, realized the errors of their ways and immediately got saved.

When will we learn to show the world His love instead of our disdain?

And as a side note... God did create both Adam and Steve. We are all His children, even if we don't know Him.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Life's been good

Listened to Life's Been Good on the way in.

Yup... Got the music blaring, hacking CLIPS, drinking Diet Mt Dew. Life's good.

The hazards of blogging

So I'm sitting in my cube, reading blogs, following links, and then trying to update my own blog, while I'm eating lunch. I read something, reach behind me and grab my sandwhich w/o looking, raise it to my mouth (still reading) and bite my finger.

I guess I need to take my eyes off the screen long enough to see what I'm actually sticking in my mount. :-} GPS bicycles used to bait thieves
In Amsterdam alone an estimated 80,000-150,000 bicycles are stolen every year.

Remember 1957?

Yeah... I know most of you don't. Anyway, some sayings from 1957.

  • I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, its going to be impossible to buy a weeks groceries for $20.00.
  • Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long when $5,000 will only buy a used one.
  • If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous.
  • Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?
  • If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.
  • When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage,
  • Kids today are impossible. Those ducktail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls,
  • I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying d**n in "Gone With The Wind", it seems every new movie has either h**l or d**n in it.
  • I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas.
  • Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday that they will be making more than the President.
  • I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now
  • It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.
  • It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.
  • I'm just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.
  • Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes.. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to Congress.
  • The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.
  • There is no sense going to Lincoln or Omaha anymore for a weekend. It costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel.
  • No one can afford to be sick any more, $35.00 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood.

Elvish would be cool.

A very geeky comic. A glimpse into my life. :-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Your reputation, as a team that delivers well tested, on time, software is worth a ton. If you have a good reputation, people are willing to cut you slack, help you out if there are issues every once in a great while, etc.

On the other hand, if you always deliver late, always have bugs in your stuff, etc., people cut you little slack. At the first sign of trouble they reject your code.

I'm very glad we've worked hard to build a good reputation, and maintain it. It makes life so much easier when playing with others.

I'm sure this is something true in many fields - maybe not the same terms (on-time, low defect rate, etc.) - but generic terms like integrity, respect, etc. That's something the UofM was always very big on pushing in their computer science classes. Yeah... its important to get it to work, but the biggest goal is to do the right thing Ear print database to finger criminals.

Learn something new every day. Gator Goes for Ride on Fla. School Bus

Hey Vicky, you'd ever do that while you were down there? ;-)

I sent this link to my junk-mail list as well and got a reply back:
You know, I don't have a problem with that.
Done it myself. Not from a school bus though.
My mother used to stop for every alagator or rattle snake in the road.
Brought home many when we were kids. Killed them and skinned them.

NY NY Roll

Tried a NY NY Roll from AI Sushi today. Asapargrus, cream cheese, cucumber with salmon and tuna on top - and that orange "spicy tuna" sauce drizzeled across it. I'm not a big fan of cream cheese in sushi, but wanted the aspargrus. Not too bad!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Blogging can be career enhancing.

Traditionally I kind of ramble when I write. (Like that is news to anyone that reads this blog!). I always do very good on my performance reviews (praise God), but one thing my boss usually gives me constructive critisism on is my writting style. I could be more concise, less rambling, etc. Lately we've been exchaning information less via documents (of 100 to 600 pages) and more via the wiki... which is a collection of pages.

Yesterday on my review he said my writting was getting much better and he thinks it is because of the nature of the wiki. I think it is partly that... but I think it may also be because I'm blogging. How cool if this "hobby"/"thing I do", actually has helped me at work.

So... all you other bloggers out there... when asked, "Are you just goofing around?", reply with, "No... I'm improving my writting skills". :-)

I think the SVX is on its last legs

Have had some major work done in the last 6 months... and now it needs another $800 or so done. I think I'm just going to pour power-steering fluid into it for the springs/summer and then get a new car next fall. Well actually I'll probably take the Jeep and Tina will get a new car. Either way, looks like the SVX doesn't have long to live. :-(

Flat Tire

Friday, driving home from the movies and coming up powers, I hit *something*. I'm not sure what it was, but it made a big noise. I'm almost home when I turn the radio down low enough to actual hear something besides the music, and I hear a thump-thump-thump sound... That can't be good. I get home and air is leaking out of the tire. I spend the next hour or so changing the tire. (Yeah, mechanics is not my thing... although - hey, I changed it).

I take it to Firestone on Monday and they fix it along with some other things.

Me: hanging out in Firestone, waiting for them to finish
Mechanic: I'm not sure I can get this out. Points to metal rod sticking about 1/2 inch out of my tire.
Manager: Why?
Mechanic: Its stuck. I'm not sure what it is, but it isn't coming out.
Manager: Grabs it and tries to pull it out
Mechanic: leaves, returns with pliers
Manager: Grabs rod and starts pulling

I stand there and watch as it comes out an inch, then a few inches... and they just keep pulling. At last it is about 6 inches and it comes out.

Its a screwdriver! How bizzare!

Some cool little poems

Vicky thought these poems she wrote were a little odd... but I liked them!

Sunday, March 07, 2004


Googled 'define: hypocrite' and one definition was:
One who, professing virtues that he does not respect secures the advantage of seeming to be what he depises". [DD] Among Christians, perhaps most evident in Fundies preaching while trespassing in Atheist chatrooms.


We are working Pharisee by Big Daddy Weave on the worship team. I went out to the web site the other day. The lyrics/music page has a song description, lyrics, guitar tabs and mp3 cuts of each song. Very cool. Its great when musicians do that.

c| As scandal dies down, MCI fights for a comeback

Discusses our offering for DoS and some VOIP stuff. Both of which I've come in contact with. And we are the ones offering them first with AT&T working on it as well. (Nice to be first in some instances).

Also talks about the state of the company.
Despite MCI's attempts to get back on track, some analysts are still skeptical. Patrick Comack, an equities analyst with Guzman & Co., said the cards are stacked against MCI. ... "MCI is under the gun, with so many negative forces against it," Comack said. "They've still got a very rough road ahead of them. The only recourse I see is to sell the company."
Well we'll see. Mergers (getting bough, whatever) has been good for our group in the past. But it is always a stressful time. Personally I hope it doesn't happen. Haven't heard anything, but we are usually the last to know.

c| GOP clerks nabbed Democratic data, says probe

the investigators concluded that many accounts on the Judicial Committee's server had been improperly set up by a novice system administrator.
I'd think that someone on staff would have a stinking clue as to how to protect their files. I've had more protection than this from day 1 of working, and this was to protect files from someone in the same group, let alone someone in a different poltical party. Like I'd leave it up to a sys-admin to set the protection! Well I'm sure their security will be a bit better now.

Thursday, March 04, 2004 McSupersizes to be phased out

They are getting rid of supersize fries.


I'm a routine kind of guy. I put my keys in the same place every day, I put video's that need to go back right by my keys, etc. This way I don't have to think about (or remember) the small things. Which is good because I'm frequently thinking about work, church, etc. and easily forget to "take that movie back", etc.

In light of this, if I'm taking leftovers for lunch, I get them ready the night before, then I put my lunch box next to my keys. That way I won't forget I made lunch.

Given that, here is an example of how my mind works.

Get to work and realize "Hey, I forgot to bring my lunch in from the car". I figure I'll wait a bit and then go get it. As I'm sitting at my desk doing other things I realize that:
  • I might have left my lunch in the car, or
  • I might have left my lunch at home on the counter - (saw the lunch box, put the food in it, then set it down and left w/o it because I was in a hurry to get Jaime to work), or
  • maybe I was in such a rush that I didn't even notice my lunch box, and thus it is still in the fridge.

Try as I might, I wasn't sure which option it might be. Did I remember putting it in my lunch box? Did I rememeber taking it out to the car?

The great thing about setting up things so you can do them on auto-pilot is that it becomes second nature and I don't have to think about it. Given I don't think about it (and given I brought lunch yesterday), there was no way I could recall what I did this morning.

Went out to the car and it wasn't there... So... it's either choice (2) or choice (3). At this point I have no clue which. I'm leaning towards (3) - left it in the fridge. Guess I'll know when I get home.

Its all about His love

Went and saw The Passion of The Christ last night. I was really worried about seeing it because I had heard so much about the violence, etc., that I was worried about how it would effect me. Violence usually doesn't bother me all that much. Perhaps a bad thing to say, but different things effect different people, and I like war movies, etc. Not slasher violence, or violence just for the heck of it, but I can handle "realistic" type violence I guess. Anyway, I heard so much about people sobbing through the entire thing, and as Tina said, "Heck, you cry at reality shows!", so I was kind of worried it would tear me up.

Oddly enough, it really didn't have that kind of effect on me. I'm still trying to figure out exactly why. Yeah, I teared up. In fact I teared up in the opening moments... and nothing had happened yet.

The biggest thing we are supposed to take away from this movie (from what I've heard from others, Mel Gibson and editorials) is the suffering that Jesus went through to pay for our sins. The struggle he went through to make a way for us to the Father. While that was very evident, I think what effected me the most was the callousness of the human race.

The two major controversies that I have heard are: a) it was too violent, and b) it makes it look like the Jews killed Jesus - and we'll all turn into Jew haters. And then a minor controversy was how much time the movie focused on Mary.

I don't think it was too violent. Yes, it was very violent. But there violence was less than actually happened. He was beaten and tortured so badly he wasn't recognizable (that didn't happen). Also his beard was ripped out in chunks (that didn't happen). So although there was a lot of violence - and in the form of torture, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I definitely wouldn't suggest taking a child to see it. I think a child can grasp that Jesus died for them, without seeing what people can do to another human being.

Does it make it look like "the Jews" were responsible for Jesus' death? Yes and no. Given that the city was an occupied city, I'm assuming that it consisted mainly of the occupying forces (the soldiers, etc.) and Jews. There were other people that traded and lived there, but I'm assuming most of the people that didn't look like Romans were Jews. Not every "common person" was against Jesus. Yes, when Pontius Pilot asked what should be done with him, there was a crowd of Jewish leaders and many "common people" that said to kill him... but there were also many people along the way that reached out to him, that had pity on him, etc. Was it because of Jewish people that he died? Definitely. Was it all Jews? No. And it was 2000 years ago! Its not like it was the person a few cubes over from me who is Jewish. So, it was some Jewish people that called for his death, 2000 years ago. On the other hand, looking at it from a spiritual point of view, it was everyone who caused his death. He died so that we'd be set free from our sin. From that point of view, I'm just as responsible as a Pharisee was 2000 years ago. So I don't get the whole anti-Semitic connection. I don't see how a reasonable person would go there. And if you aren't reasonable... then you'd find a way to hate someone anyway. You don't need this movie to do it.

As for the amount of time focused on Mary... I definitely wasn't done in a "she was a saint" type of way. It was showing her as something super-natural or special... other than it was showing the struggle a mother would go through, watching her son tried, tortured and killed. I think because the movie dealt so much with the torture, and because we all know "the story" so well, it didn't do much character development. It didn't emotionally involve us in these people's lives. I think it counted on the fact that we already know who Jesus is. That we already have an emotional and sported connection with him. Mary brought a "human" side to him. She got us involved... At least she got me involved. The pain and suffering she went through as she watched this. Not because she is a saint or should be revered, but the way she went through it as any loved one would. Especially any mother. For me, it helped make it real. This wasn't "just" the Son of God - who is supernatural and knew what he was doing and was willing to pay the price. This was someone who really was a human as well. Someone who was a little kid, fell down, scrapped his knees. Someone whose mom loved him with all her heart, watched over him and tried to protect him the best she could.

So, that is how I feel about all the controversial things. But what really got me about this movie was the callousness with which a human can treat another human. In one respect, I don't see this in my everyday life. Yeah, I hear about it, but I don't see it. The Nazi's were an example. The ancient chime's. The Romans. Saddam. But it isn't in my face. And it came in three forms. The Pharisees, the Romans, and the common person.

The Pharisees. People whose "job" it was to carry out the law and understand the love of God. How come someone in that position stand there and watch what they did to Jesus. Not only watch it, but ask for it? And then when they brought him back all covered in blood, rips all over his body, say, "Hey... that isn't enough. We want him crucified.?" It really got me how they just stood by and watch it and kept asking for more. And yet we as Christians do this all the time. We are supposed to understand the love of God. Not only are we supposed to understand it, we are supposed to show it to the world. And yet we gossip about each other, we tear each other down. And we go to the world and tell them how much God hates them. We picket and scream at people. We take people who are hurting, suffering, and we yell in their face and tell them they deserve to die. We drive the nail in deeper. And that is just because we feel we are just. Because they have come against God. They have blasphemed him in some way. At least the Pharisees were trying to protect their jobs.

And how could the Roman soldiers do what they did to him? Striking him over and over like that. Laughing and drinking as they ripped his body apart. But again, people do this all the time. There are people that do the exact same thing in other countries, when they torture people. Iraq is a great example of this. We have heard the kinds of things Saddam and his family did to people, just "for the fun of it." But we do it in more subtle (and not so subtle) ways as well. A group of guys get drunk and rape or "just harass" a girl. Not because they have anything personally against her, but "just for the fun of it." Or even a bunch of bullies beat up on some poor kid. Again, nothing personal, but just "to be cool" or for the "fun of it." Or even more subtle, a bunch of "a crowd" talking about someone else and making fun of them. Nothing personal, just "being funny". To the Roman's, it wasn't anything personal. They were just "having fun", "doing their job". We do it every day. They were no more responsible than we are.

And the common people. Some who reached out to him. Some that went along with the leadership. And some that just watched it happened and didn't want to get involved. Again... that's us. In so many ways, we see people in trouble and don't want to take the time to get involved or help. Or we see leadership (in many forms) do things wrong but we don't want to come up against them because of the trouble it might cause us. Would we have told the Romans to stop? Would we have gone to the Pharisees and told them they were wrong? Or would we have just "felt bad" for the person, but "there is nothing we could do"?

That is what struck me the most. I didn't cry that much... but I jumped a lot. After a while, every time they struck his body. Every time they hammered a nail. I jerked. It wasn't like they were physically hitting me... It was just, "Man... how can you do that?" And yet I know it happens in "real life" - both physically, and perhaps worse (because it is so much more subtle) spiritually, every day.

Sounds pretty bad. Does that make "us" scum? No it doesn't. There are good and bad in all of us. And above all else... He died for each and every one of us. He knew what we were like, and yet "while we were still sinners, He came and died for us." As He was getting beaten. As He was hanging on the cross... He knew. He knew how we'd reject Him. He knew how we'd spit in His face. But He also knew that some would turn to Him. That some would love Him. That some would reach out to Him and accept the gift that He freely gave. And for that He died. So that right now, right here on earth, we could have that relationship with Him. And that one day, He'd see each and everyone who accepted that gift, in Heaven. And to Him it was worth it. Therefore, we can't be all bad. In fact we must be pretty special.

The thing to do is remember the kind of love He showed us... and try to show it to others, rather than show them what the people showed him in his day. Their callousness, hatefulness, and just complacency. Instead show them His love.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Anything is possible... its only software

Finally, I fixed my homepage. I finally got tired enough of not seeing my "title" because it was replaced by ads. I added some code to automatically scroll the title page to the bottom (since the ads are at the top), and now my title appears again. I'm happy.

AP: Volvo Reveals Car Designed by Women

Cool... Only needs an oil change every 31,000 miles. That alone would make me think about getting one!

You're eating what?

Standing in the break room heating up leftover Stuffed Proscuitto Chicken Breasts from last night. A co-worker is waiting to nuke his cold pizza. My boss comes in:

H: Having pizza for lunch, huh?
C: Yup
H: And what are you warming up?
M: Chicken breast with leeks, smokey swiss cheese and provolone, wrapped in proscuitto with a chicken/sage sauce.

The looks on their faces was great. :-)

Wedding photos

Elizabeth has posted pictures of Melissa and Alan's wedding. Check 'em out!


Up at Mellisa's wedding this weekend and Elizabeth was talking about this blog and mentioned that she likes my recipes. I hadn't created anything new for a bit, so I figured it was time to try something new: a) because I started work at 4:30 yesterday I figured I'd get off early and do some cooking, b) I was in the mood to make something new, c) the pressure was on to blog a new recipe. ;-)

Made Stuffed Proscuitto Chicken Breasts last night. I was going to make Tarragon Chicken with sauteed Leeks and Garlic, but the store was out of fresh Tarragon! I then remembered making a chicken/sage/proscuitto dish before. So, I figured I'd combine the sauce (pretty much) from the Tarragon Chicken dish and add in some cheese. I was going to just do provolone, but then I saw the Smokey Swiss and though that would add a nice flavor as well. I didn't use the garlic in the leek mixture this time. Probably would have worked... but I already had the leeks, shallots, sage, proscuitto and cheeses... Didn't want the flavors to get too overwhelming.

Elizabeth - thanks for the "pressure" - dinner turned out great!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

News updates

My So-Called Blog

My So-Called Blog, from the NYTimes Magazine by Emily Nussbaum. Haven't finished reading it all... Blog entries (that I follow) have been pretty quite as of late. So I checked it out. Interesting look at what blogging means. MP3 players for AK-47s

Just what every terrorist needs. An MP3 player for their assult rifle.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Checking in

Been pretty busy today. We went up to Melissa and Alan's wedding yesterday, which was pretty cool. (I'll have to post some photos). It was at the T's house and it was very cool looking. And the deserts were great (of course). I'll have to post some food photos as well. I got to see some folks that I hadn't seen in a LONG time. I was really looking forward to it, and it was very cool.

Anyway, didn't get back till fairly late and had to be at church at 6:00 AM this morning before coming into work... so its been a long day.

I probably wouldn't have posted other than *someone* told me yesterday that they get antsy when I don't post for a day or so. It is their daily blog fix. :-)

Ah... here is something funny.

My cell phone rings on the way to work...

T: Did you let the puppy out this morning?
M: No
T: Well around 8:00 I woke up and heard something downstairs. Waited a few minutes and heard it again. Went down and she was running around downstairs. I guess she opened the door to her kennel!

So... either Tina forgot to latch it tight (which she said she may have done), or Belle has figured out how to open her kennel door.

Hey... Jaime just called to see what time I'd be home because her and Tina are cooking dinner. Cool. Better go... catch ya later...