Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We've seen George Bush compared to a chimpanzee...

Could anyone dare compare another popular candidate to a chimpanzee? I'm just saying.

The question has been asked and the comments are ridiculous. No, idiots, forget that one wouldn't do it because of x or y especially because democrats have the ability to get away with things that others cannot. It doesn't matter if cognitively the candidate should or should not be compared. If pictures are pictures, why not simply compare pictures?

Yes, that's right. I'm simply saying that race has nothing to do with comparisons, until you're offended.

You know what? If you're voting for someone simply and primarily because that person's skin color more or less matches yours or because of skin color, you're a racist. If you're voting for someone because that person is actually good for the constituency, that is a better plan.

Can "Freethinking" be paralized?

Dan Barker writes
Any morality which is based on an unyielding structure above and beyond humanity is dangerous to human beings. History is filled with examples of what religious "morality" has done to worsen our lot. Whole cities can be gleefully exterminated in God's name. Society's "witches" can be eliminated. Free thought can be suppressed, squelching any hope for progress. (Why else were the Christian-dominated centuries called the "Dark" Ages?) Under Christian morality, anything goes if it furthers God's plan. In place of Lewis's Law of Morality, more enlightened people would champion reason and kindness: principles that are pliable and human, not rigid and cold.


A Christian may write:
Any morality which is not based on an unyielding structure above and beyond humanity is dangerous to human beings. History is filled with examples of what non-religious "morality" has done to worsen our lot. Whole countries have been gleefully exterminated in the process of removing God's name. Society's "preachers" can be eliminated. Christian thought can be suppressed, squelching any hope. (Why hasn't atheism brought forth its plan for the new morality? Is lassez faire good enough? Is anarchy atheism's answer to government?) Under free thought, anything goes if you want it to. In Lewis's Law of Morality, more people should champion reason and kindness: principles that are steadfast and of the nature that the Bible proposes.


Yes, it's OK to look at the glass half empty. It's also usually just as reasonable to replace most arguments and justify the position. I have hope, and I have happiness, and I have freedom of thought. I also have direction in my life. I have the ability to make decisions because I'm not a watch. I'm not a robot. I am responsible for my decisions. The difference is: if I have someone outside of myself to be accountable to, someone who is the goal of perfection, that is the path I want to take. Without that, I feel being good for good sake is likely pointless. I might as well do whatever I can to die with the most toys in this world, for the option is this life, and nothing more.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Disconnect from wireless via command prompt

For whatever reason, I have to disconnect and reconnnect my wireless as I sleep and wake-up my laptop about campus.

Microsoft's netsh program is a panacea of sorts:
Disconnect from a wireless network by using a command prompt

At a command prompt, type the following, and then press ENTER:

netsh wlan disconnect [[interface=]interface]

interface Specifies the interface whose current wireless connection is to be disconnected. Not required if you only have one wireless interface installed on your computer.

---
So, I see Identifying... and I'm impatient.
Double-click my batch file: (Pause to wait long enough for the wireless to .. do something.
netsh wlan disconnect
pause
netsh wlan connect MyWirelessSSID

Refineries? Who's correct?

This may simply be a placeholder, but US refineries are running at 89.32% as of 6/13/2008. Source: US Energy Information Administration. Essentially, *Capacity* indicates an additional 2,000,000 barrels per day can be utilized.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Censorship bugs me. Especially by Christians against Christians

Christians censoring license plates bother me. From Forbes via AP

But a Methodist pastor who joined the lawsuit, the retired Rev. Thomas Summers of Columbia, said the plate provokes discrimination.

"I think this license plate really is divisive and creates the type of religious discord I've devoted my life to healing," he said.

Another of the ministers, the Rev. Robert Knight of Charleston, said the plates cheapen the Christian message.

"As an evangelical Christian, I don't think civil religion enhances the Christian religion. It compromises it," Knight said. "That's the fundamental irony. It's very shallow from a Christian standpoint."


OK, shallow, maybe, and maybe those fish stickers on the car and the protest signs in front of abortion clinics and the plastic American flags attached to cars...

But I digress. Shallow or not, people have a First Amendment right to voice even discriminatory language. The words "shall not be abridged" means no censorship, even by you well meaning Christians and you well meaning Separation of Church and State.

Establishment of a religion is not the same as acknowledging one. Besides, even if it's annoying or cheesy or whatever, it's two words. I've got two words for you. Bet they won't show up on a license plate, either.




God Bless!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Homosexuals can marry in CA. Response: meh.

As a people, there just aren't that many homosexuals out there that want to get married. It's pretty much a "meh" thing. Pro homosexual marriage people whine at perhaps well meaning people who have a differing opinion, but the end result is that there's no there, there.

Congratulations, I guess? The rhetoric flies to the extremes on all sides, but certainly thoughts like "Why can rapists get married and homosexuals cannot?" seem to invite some interesting commentary. I wonder, though, when should it stop? It's not the same as interracial marriage, at all. Yes, it was frowned upon for no good reason, but at least it was heterosexual marriage. With no definition of marriage being heterosexual, marriage is now being bantered as either a religious institution or a civil ceremony. Wait a second. Civil ceremonies are already allowed.

But is marriage doomed? It depends whom you ask, I suppose. It's not going to be as if the homosexual marriages are going to show up the hetero marriages for longevity, is it? If there are up to 100,000 homosexual marriages in 5 years, I'll be surprised. People always want what they can't have, and don't always like it when they have it. Meanwhile, it's only a matter of time before pedophilia and polygamy become possible for marriage as well. If marriage isn't about a man and a woman, but rather "two (or more?) people who love each other", then there can't be any real argument against it, can there? "But it's illegal!" So was homosexual marriage.

I'm not at all stating that homosexuality leads to pedophilia or polygamy. I'm saying that pedophilia or polygamy or perhaps bestiality is now next in line for this thing called marriage. What is there to stop it? If you are homosexual, and you disagree with pedophilia or polygamy or bestiality, under what criteria do you suggest that the line for extra-hetero marriage be drawn just for homosexuals and no other sexual inclination?

Meanwhile, I *will* go on with my life, not protesting, not boycotting, but also realizing that there are some doors that can't easily be shut once opened.

A return to del.icio.us

I haven't been on Del.icio.us in just over a year. I haven't bookmarked in such a long time because I have been using StumbleUpon to find new stuff. Today, I went back, because I care about the other people in StumbleUpon. OK. Maybe a stretch. However, I know that for every thumbs up that I make, 100+ people are sent to that site. Sometimes I don't want to be that guy. I'm currently researching room reservation/facilities management solutions. Not exactly stumble-worthy issues, and I wanted to track where I've been. Del.icio.us helps me organize my bookmarks in tags and I don't force people to go where I've been.

As well, I've recalled one of the other great reasons to use Del.icio.us: If I'm tracking and tagging these places, and I see others have, too, I can sniff and learn from their lists.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Printers sometimes don't print completely. Try a different printing processor

The call goes out, "Gerald! I can't print properly!" I look -- sure enough, only part of the printout actually showed up on the page. I tried mono, then color, then landscape, then portrait and ... nothing.

"I called tech support of the software vendor and the printer vendor. They said it's a network admin issue."

I'm baffled. If the software vendor can't figure it out and the printer vendor can't figure it out, what am I going to do? Ah. I remember. I've encountered strangeness before. I changed the Print Processor from RAW to something... anything else. What do you know? It worked. Fun day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hope is empty without action

The idea of Hope is audacious. When first I heard on a radio talk show about hope being useless, I felt, "How dare you! That's rather heretical talk, there." Of course, not in so many words. But then, I realized that the point is about those that sit on their hands and hope for a better something. Yes, yes. God is our Hope and Salvation. Got it. But our hope being in the Lord or a Presidential candidate isn't quite enough. Yes, I know. That's rather heretical talk, there. It isn't quite enough because if it was all, nothing would be accomplished. Churches built, lives saved, good works being accomplished -- these things require a slight bit more than simply hoping that they'll come to pass.

No, the idea of Faith, Hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is Love -- this idea is about the only one of these things that actually requires action: Love.

So, as we get all worked up about climate change (weather happens!), change one can believe in (dooty occurs!) and the great new hope, remember to start with one step in front of the other. Being paralyzed with hope or faith or life leads you nowhere. I wonder ... is that worse than change?

Right-click, New freeze in XP

I've tried shellex, shellnew, tweakui, and a whole host of other things that wouldn't fix a freeze or hang when trying to do a New context menu, either in right-click, new, or File, new.

Then I found it worked on another logon. That was enough for me.

For non-domains, it's pretty obnoxious, but you can simply create a new user and transfer stuff between old and new. Outlook Express is in a special case.

For domains, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. An admin can go in and in this particular case probably move or rename the ntuser.dat for the affected user so the user can get a new profile. Once that is accomplished, it should be rather trivial to move favorites, etc. If the old user folder was in c:\documents and settings\username, the new user folder will be in c:\documents and settings\username.domain.

Hope this helps someone. At least it prevented me from having to do a full reinstall of OS.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Meetings are a waste of time

If you can't tell me what you want me to do in an email, why bother? I've got a call ...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oh, noes! The climate isn't just changing ... it's in crisis!

So the ad says at We Can Solve It. It's not just changing. It's in crisis.

Stop trying to scare me. Wanna buy some carbon offsets? I have them next to some swamp land and a bridge.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

17 inch Laptop Case

I tell people who'll listen to not purchase a 17" laptop if you think you'll be mobile with it. In spite of this, some people still want to lug around 10 pounds of notebook, but have limited ability to carry it, because 17" carrying cases are hard to find.

Here's one "17 Inches Black Laptop Case ENJ1617YBK" that's even reasonably priced.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Change you can believe in" is a stupid slogan.

Why not say, "Poop will happen!" "Tomorrow will come! Count on it!"

"Change you can believe in" is one of the blandest rally cries of all time. It is the epitome of the horribleness of the word "change." It's amazing to me that this is the political slogan of a highly popular candidate. "Hey, I'm for change! The candidate's for change. I believe he can make change!"

Some people think Christians are stupid because they believe in the intangible. Tell me, oh ye who do not believe in God, what makes "change" believable? I tell you what: I believe in change. I believe that things that happen in the next moment will be different from the things that are, now. Change I can believe in? I don't have to rally around a presidential candidate to bring about change. If the rally cry were "Toward a better future", *that* I can hang my hat on.

What if I believe that the change will be demonstratively bad? Heck, the candidate isn't telling me that the change I can believe in is a Good Thing. I'm supposed to fill in the blanks, right? What if I believe in a good change and it goes bad? Oh, that's politics for you. And lawyer-speak: "I never told you what kind of change in my slogan. You only *assumed* it was going to be change for the better."

Yeah. I believe I need a new slogan. Care to change it?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A great read, and a response to a comment

First: A story of friendship A great read in and of itself, and quite an interesting journey.

I have to take particular exception to a comment, because it comes from the same vein of anti-religious religious fervor that idiot Christians tend to do: be annoyingly petty and assume that, because they read something somewhere, it's all that needs to be said to people who don't *get* the reference, or don't respect it.

The comment:
do you honestly believe you wouldn't know how to act this way without the watchful eye of one of the most vile, selfish, vengeful creatures man has imagined (Yahweh)?
quick little quote that hope will spark debate and not name calling:

"is god willing to prevent evil, but not able?
then he is not omnipotent.
is he able, but not willing?
then he is malevolent.
is he both able, and willing?
then whence cometh evil?
is he neither able nor willing?
then way call him god."


People who pose such questions don't consider these questions in the context of being a parent.

Is a parent willing to prevent a child from being hurt? Probably.
If he's able to prevent the child from being hurt, but not willing to do so, is that possibly because he's allowing the child free choice? Is that malevolent?

Whence cometh evil? The same place as "cold" comes from. It doesn't exist. Evil is simply the removal of good from a situation in the same way that cold is the removal of heat. People who view God as vile because God allows free will are using the wrong argument. One could be fed intravenously in a bubble in a box and kept from all harm and if this argument was applied to a parent, the parent would be evil. If this argument would be applied to God, according to the quote, God could be considered not-malevolent.

Another point raised in the comment is whether it took God as supernatural to make the events occur rather than simply the goodness that is (apparently, according to the commentor) inherent in all mankind. I have yet to find any great number of people who do things merely out of altruism -- or mere Christianity, for that matter. However, I'd consider that the idea of doing good to uphold an ideal of Good is a worthy cause, even if it doesn't make sense because Good can't be quantified or measured or "sensed".

Friday, June 6, 2008

Number 10!

"Surprise from a sister in Christ!"

That was the instant message that started the chain of events that lead to today, the 10th anniversary of the starting day of our marriage. I'm so glad to be married to my wife, Tracee. It's been a really great 10 years, and I'm so much looking forward to many, many more. I am truly blessed with a great family, including a very awesome 4 year old. :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Love and Sex -- The Movie

Just finished watching the movie Love and Sex about a woman who has problems maintaining relationships. It's difficult to build a strong relationship and maintain it, as this film would have you understand. I can follow that premise. It's not that I have had long term relationships in the past -- unrequited love notwithstanding. I have really the evidence of my past dealings with my own family, my current positive relationships, and the renewed friendship of a past ojet du d├ęsir gone wrong, made aright.

People are complicated, strange creatures. Many have layers and layers of baggage and insecurities that interfere with the progression of good relationships. For good or naught, the leads of this movie must part before they can reunite stronger than ever. That is the hope promulgated by movies of this genre: absence makes the heart go fonder. I can't really put that in context of my own life. I'm currently in the longest relationship I have ever had, soon to enter its 10th year. And that relationship started with a simple instant message ... (more to come.)

Monday, June 2, 2008

MySpace is pretty much useless to me

MySpace users who eschew accessibility for cool theme-ness do not invite real people to return.

Don't put white text on a variable background.
Don't make music start immediately.
Don't use really tiny fonts.

For the time being, I'm staying with Facebook. and Twitter.

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