Friday, April 29, 2005
  Tenth Anniversary
Well today is our tenth wedding anniversary. It doesn't seem like we've been married ten years, I can tell you that.

We've had major changes happen in our families; deaths, births, illness, eight or nine moves, five or six job chages.

There have been a host of things our country has been through; wars, scandals in the presidency, terrorist attacks.

We've seen new Star Wars movies, boobs flashing us from our television screens, the advent of the DVD and MP3s.

New countries have sprung into being while old ones have gone by the wayside.

And through all of this there has been no one that I would rather spend it with.

May God continue to bless our marriage and give us strenght to face all of life's challenges.
Thursday, April 28, 2005
I hate friggin spyware and so I say, good on ya!


ALBANY, N.Y. - New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sued a major Internet marketer Thursday, blaming it for secretly installing software that delivers nuisance pop-up advertisements and can slow and crash personal computers.

Shares of the company, Intermix Media Inc. of Los Angeles, fell $1.01, or 21 percent, to $3.79 in midday trading on the American Stock Exchange.

Spitzer accuses Intermix of redirecting computer users to Web sites where ads get displayed, adding unnecessary toolbars to Web browsers and delivering unwanted ads that pop up on computer screens.

A six-month investigation found that the company installed a wide range of advertising software on countless personal computers nationwide, with more than 3.7 million downloads directed at New Yorkers alone, Spitzer said.

"Spyware and adware are more than an annoyance," Spitzer said. "These fraudulent programs foul machines, undermine productivity and in many cases frustrate consumers' efforts to remove them from their computers. These issues can serve to be a hindrance to the growth of e-commerce."

Christopher Lipp, senior vice president and general counsel for Intermix, denied promoting or condoning spyware, saying its toolbars and redirect applications do not collect personal information on computer users.

He added that "many of the practices being challenged were instituted under prior leadership, and Intermix has been voluntarily and proactively improving these applications and related consumer disclosure and functionality for some time."

According to Spitzer, Intermix owns and operates such Web sites as mycoolscreen.com, cursorzone.com and flowgo.com, which advertised screensavers, games and other software available for download. Though those programs are free, they often carry other software for delivering ads and can interfere with normal computer use, he said.

One of the company's ad-delivery programs, "KeenValue," delivered pop-up ads while another program, "IncrediFind," redirected Web addresses to Intermix's own search engine, Spitzer said.

The ad software sometimes comes without notice, or if a user was asked permission, it was often through a vague reference in a lengthy licensing agreement that could be misleading or inaccurate, investigators said.

The programs sometimes omitted "un-install" applications and couldn't be removed by most computers' add/remove function, Spitzer said.

Spitzer's civil suit accuses Intermix of violating state General Business Law provisions against false advertising and deceptive business practices. He also accuses them of trespass under New York common law.

Spitzer, after taking on Wall Street and the insurance industry, is taking a harder look at Internet companies he believes are stunting the growth of e-commerce.

"We are looking across the industry at these practices because it really does go to the core of e-commerce," said Kenneth Dreifach, chief of Spitzer's Internet Bureau, "Increasingly, people don't feel in control."

The advertisers, which include Fortune 500 companies, aren't targeted.

Dreifach said negotiations with the company didn't result in a settlement, and more cases are possible.

"One of Internet users' biggest frustrations today is unwanted software that sneaks onto computers without their owner's consent and cannot be uninstalled," Ari Schwartz, the Associate Director Center for Democracy and Technology, "The practices alleged in this case are widespread on the Internet."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
  And to top it all off...

Originally uploaded by capteucalyptus.
I need a haircut and a beard trim.
  Insurance Companies
I hate them with a hatred reserved for abusers of animals and most Richard Gere movies.

I hate paying six hundred dollars a month so that they can pay seventy percent of my wife's insulin as a reimbursement. That's right, we have to pay up front for all prescriptions and send a stupid form in THROUGH THE MAIL!!!! And then we wait for a reimbursement check THROUGH THE MAIL!!!!. Welcome to the 21st century.
Monday, April 25, 2005
This is my Jungian Type. Does it sound like me?

Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging
by Joe Butt
Profile: ENFJ
Revision: 3.0
Date of Revision: 23 Feb 2005


ENFJs are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it's usually not meant as manipulation -- ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.

ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don't resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.

ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

TRADEMARK: "The first shall be last"
This refers to the open-door policy of ENFJs. One ENFJ colleague always welcomes me into his office regardless of his own circumstances. If another person comes to the door, he allows them to interrupt our conversation with their need. While discussing that need, the phone rings and he stops to answer it. Others drop in with a 'quick question.' I finally get up, go to my office and use the call waiting feature on the telephone. When he hangs up, I have his undivided attention!

Functional Analysis:

Extraverted Feeling
Extraverted Feeling rules the ENFJ's psyche. In the sway of this rational function, these folks are predisposed to closure in matters pertaining to people, and especially on behalf of their beloved. As extraverts, their contacts are wide ranging. Face-to-face relationships are intense, personable and warm, though they may be so infrequently achieved that intimate friendships are rare.

Introverted iNtuition

Like their INFJ cousins, ENFJs are blessed through introverted intuition with clarity of perception in the inner, unconscious world. Dominant Feeling prefers to find the silver lining in even the most beggarly perceptions of those in their expanding circle of friends and, of course, in themselves. In less balanced individuals, such mitigation of the unseemly eventually undermines the ENFJ's integrity and frequently their good name. In healthier individuals, deft use of this awareness of the inner needs and desires of others enables this astute type to win friends, influence people, and avoid compromising entanglements.
The dynamic nature of their intuition moves ENFJs from one project to another with the assurance that the next one will be perfect, or much more nearly so than the last. ENFJs are continually looking for newer and better solutions to benefit their extensive family, staff, or organization.

Extraverted Sensing
Sensing is extraverted. ENFJs can manage details, particularly those necessary to implement the prevailing vision. These data have, however, a magical flexible quality. Something to be bought can be had for a song; the same something is invaluable when it's time to sell. (We are not certain, but we suspect that such is the influence of the primary function.) This wavering of sensory perception is made possible by the weaker and less mature status with which the tertiary is endowed.

Introverted Thinking
Introverted Thinking is least apparent and most enigmatic in this type. In fact, it often appears only when summoned by Feeling. At times only in jest, but in earnest if need be, Thinking entertains as logical only those conclusions which support Feeling's values. Other scenarios can be shown invalid or at best significantly inferior. Such "Thinking in the service of Feeling" has the appearance of logic, but somehow it never quite adds up.

Introverted Thinking is frequently the focus of the spiritual quest of ENFJs. David's lengthiest psalm, 119, pays it homage. "Law," "precept," "commandment," "statute:" these essences of inner thinking are the mysteries of Deity for which this great Feeler's soul searched.

Famous ENFJs:
David, King of Israel
U.S. Presidents:
Abraham Lincoln
Ronald Reagan

Possible Career Paths for the ENFJ:

Social Worker / Counselor
Sales Representative
Human Resources
Events Coordinator
Sales Representative
Politicians / Diplomats

Take your test here:
Thursday, April 21, 2005
  Slowness at work...
Today has been a slow, but productive one. Tomorrow we are collecting used shoes for the Salvation Army and are encouraging folks to recycle car batteries and go easy on the paper use. This is all in the name of Earth Day. I'm not ordinarily a fan of made up holidays (then again aren't they all?), but I feel like this one and Arbor Day are all right by me.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
  Bike Ride for Leukemia
A guy I know from another website who seems like a pretty good bloke is doing a bike ride for Leukemia research. His wife is a survivor and he's doing his best to help research. I don't have the funds to help out right now, but at least I can put a link here for those few and proud that read my site and may have.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Getting back in touch with old friends rocks!!

Had a good conversation with my old buddy Bear on Sunday. We caught up a little but have much more to do. He's in the process of emerging from a bad church related situation or maybe he's emerged completely. In any case our prayers are with you and your wife.

Still searching for the third member of our unholy triumvirate. Bill Hatcher if you're out there holla back.

Leigh and I had a good convo last night about our shortcomings. It almost became a battle royale but turned constructive at the last minute.

I really want to start homebrewing and it sounds like I have a couple of partners that may come onboard. It'll cut the expense certainly. The whole setup will be about a hundred and thirty bucks including bottles.

I really need to start writing more fiction and I also want to write some articles on my faith and the Bible. Too much writing and not enough time. Sigh...

Well that's all for now.

Peace out.
Friday, April 15, 2005
  Pay what you owe...
Verse of the day -
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:6,7

For my guy who asked if I like paying taxes, I view it not as something to like, but as something I am duty bound to do.

As a Democrat and someone who doesn't trust Pres. Bush any more than I can hurl a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, I think that God put him there for some reason. Maybe it was for the same reason that he invented the duck-billed platypus. That could just be my bias talking and I'm sure Big Daddy (God not Bush Sr.) had a much better reason than that but I can't see it. Point is, God put him there. He is God's servant, every bit as much it should be said, as much as Kerry would have been and Clinton was. They have no choice.

And that's another topic, choice. But perhaps that'll be Monday's scripture.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
  No Wal-Mart
They changed their mind. No Wal-Mart in that part of town. Score one for the town's folk.
  Sad, angry, joyous, disappointed....
I finally found the web presence of my best friend from high school. Work carried him out to Nebraska and we sort of lost touch. I tried to maintain, but never got an answer back. I also found out that he went and got married. When that happened (as I knew it would) I wanted to be there almost as much as I want to stand in front of the Throne on the day of my judgement. Now I won't get that.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
  Wal-Mart to Put Two New Stores in Forsyth County
Here's the whole story. Forsyth county put a zoning ordinance in place to make it examine each case of a "big box" store coming to roost in our fair city. Now, I'm not the biggest Wally World fan, but we shop there due mostly to price. Feeding five on one income is a big driver. I'm glad that according to the article it may not hurt the other grocers in the area. Competition is good and we are a capitalist society so it's not horrible form that end of things, but the location near Reynolda is a nightmare. It's a two lane road with no easy access to the highway and smack in the middle of a historic district. None of that makes the idea of a two-hundred thousand plus square foot warehouse store sound really yummy. Pray that the city council will see the light and make Wal-Mart rethink their decision.
  Giving Illegals a Break on State School Tuition...
SO the legislature wants to give the children of illegal aliens a break on tuition provided that they qualify to get into the state school, have attended high school for four year, and apply for legal status. Where's the harm?

These kid's parents more than likely can't even afford tuition with the price break, but it puts it within range. If the kid does make it in then they become a legal citizen who will certainly make more money than they would've otherwise, thus increasing our tax base. Even on a purely humanitarian level it lets them pursue a dream that's the reason their parents are here.

Will it prevent other students from coming in? Maybe so, but odds are good that these students have more options available to them then the illegal kids do. It certainly won't prevent anyone from going to college.

This isn't a free pass to the college of their choice so how it will displace "thousands" I fail to see. I would imagine that the entrance standards are set lower for the Hispanic kids and righfully so, but once in everyone is held to the same standard. If they get in and can't perform then they'll wash out.

If all of this is really an issue then it means that the state will have to build more schools, provide more classes online and generally find ways to get more North Carolina grads into classrooms. Hey, maybe we could make it impossible for Virginians to attend! That would free up some room and I've met more obnoxious folks from just up north than any of the ones I've met from way on down south.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
  "Real" Lightsabers

Originally uploaded by capteucalyptus.
I want these!!!

Anyone got a hundred bucks I can borrow? ;-)
  Study Shows Cell Phones Don't Cause Brain Tumors...
The good news is that you won't die slowly. The bad news is that talking on your cell while driving down the freeway does make you stupid and could get you a .ticket.

Now in the interest of full disclosure I do use the phone while I drive, but I try to use it hands free at least.
Monday, April 11, 2005
  Weekend Retreat
It was a excellent experience. Had a bit of a headache from sleep dep on Saturday, but I didn't let it ruin the experience. The speaker was awesome, his topic was how to have hope in a broken world. Even better was the fellowship with the guys and an opportunity to get some things off my chest.

I watched Forrest Gump Friday night. We had a HUGE cookout on Saturday. Cigars were smoked. The only thing missing was good beer.

Got some work done in the yard when I got back on Sunday.

Overall I feel good right now. My biggest struggle (non-sin related) is where I need to put my time in regards to the church. I'm back in the choir which really doesn't take that much time. I want to help with the men's ministry and see what I can do for our youth pastor. I want to teach Sunday School, but there won't be a need there until after the summer as a new semester has just started. I want to get involved in the prison ministry again and I have my Tuesday night group. Of course most important of all is having good quantities of time with the family. HELP!!!!!

Oh and the speaker at our retreat has a cool ministry that works with Christian artists. Porter's Call

I know return you to your regularly scheduled lives.
Friday, April 08, 2005
Leaving in just a little while for my retreat. I'm REALLY looking forward to this. Hope y'all have a fantastic weekend.
Thursday, April 07, 2005
  Cryptozoology and other strange things...
Been surfing on a couple of interesting sites todayUnexplained Mysteries and an Atlantis website. Pretty interesting stuff.

I don't know whether or not Atlantis ever existed but this guy seems to have his head screwed on pretty well. I'm not saying he convinced me or anything but who knows? I mean, I believe that the world is fairly old (older than young earth creationists but younger than current science indicates, a broad spectrum I know) so a "lost continent" is feasible.

The idea that all races, philosophies, art, etc originated here is pretty kooky, but consider Babel. If I as a Christian, conservative in my religious views anyway, believe that the Bible is true then we did all speak one mother tongue of the Tower story is historical. Nothing I found so far runs contradictory to my faith or to my level of scientific knowledge (both it should be noted are full of holes, big ones). Sooooo I say that I can keep a fairly open mind about the whole deal and consider it.

Did mankind used to be more advanced in some ways? That would go a ways toward explaining a lot of "magic" that our ancestors put so much faith in. Whether magic is strictly myth, pseudo-science along an early psychology wavelength, or some sort of ancient tech that let folks throw fireballs around it wouldn't be any less interesting to me.

Do I believe that there are critters out there that we haven't discovered yet? Well it's a big world boys and girls. And as a great man once said
Now I'm not saying that I've been everywhere and I've done everything, but I do know it's a pretty amazing planet we live on, and a man would have to be some kind of FOOL to think we're alone in THIS universe
. We could have aliens, big feet, chupacabras, and Nessies around and I would rather live in a world where I thought that it was at least possible, rather than in one where they were proven to not exist.

In any event it's a good way to kill some time.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
  Nice bumper sticker.

Originally uploaded by capteucalyptus.
Doesn't precisely fit my theology but I can grok it.
  Remnant Theology
Rom 9:"14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f] 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy

Hunter preached on Chapter 9 Sunday. Powerful stuff. A bit difficult ot wrestle with though, no doubt. This, to me, dispels any notion of free will as it pertains to salvation. The Israelites had every advantage, saw God working physically, and yet still did not believe. That's why I always find the atheist that tells me, "Show me proof." funny.

Now the mistake that historical Christians made is assuming that "the Church" is the new Israel and that Israel has fallen out of favor. Either that or there's the new belief that as American Christians it is our responsibility to prop the "nation of Israel" up to fulfill prophecy. Silly us. If God wants a whole nation, He can do what needs doing. "Israel" is simply whatever group of people God chooses.
  Long night...
or short one depending on how you view it. Leigh and I stayed up until the wee hours discussing something that needed discussing. It started out a little ugly but ended beautifully.

I'm not as tired as I would've thought, though the drive home may be dicey. Oh well, price you pay I guess.

I can't wait to go on the retreat this weekend. Oh yeah for those not in the know, the men from our church (and some unafilliated) are going on a retreat to Camp Haynes. I've been to the past two the second time being for part of a Saturday. Lots of good fellowship, teaching, napping, singing and movie watching to be had. I'm going to try and leave Friday at 4:00 if I can make up the hour before hand. It's very near Pilot Mountain and there's any ultra steep trail that some maniacs run up at full tilt only to run back down again. I've never made it to the top and with the weather (and the physical shape I'm in) leads me to believe that this is not the year for it.

I can't wait to see The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The fact that it got made doesn't surprise me. The fact that it's getting made well does.

King Kong needs to hurry up and get made.

That's all for now.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
  Google to offer personal video searching[
Google on Monday announced it is set to begin archiving video clips in order to trial a video search service. The company plans to put out a call for personal video clips as a way to experiment with ways to expand the reach of its search service.

"In the next few days, we're actually going to start taking video submissions from people, and we're not quite sure what we're going to get, but we decided we'd try this experiment," Google co-founder Larry Page said at a conference in San Francisco.

Page told ZDNet that there are "tons of issues, but we have found in experimenting not to try to have too many barriers. It's hard to predict what will happen, but we have done this ten times and we figure out ways to make it work."

I predict LOTS of amateur porn.
Monday, April 04, 2005
  The Rules
So I went to Dunkin' Donuts for my caffeine/sugar fix and I ran into a lady in line.

She says to me, "Good mornin'."

I say to here, "Good mornin'."

"How're you?" she says.

"Fine. Yourself?"

"Well not so good." And she proceeds to tell me about how miserable her allergies are making her. I commiserate and this just seems to encourage her.

I guess no one told her the rules of engagement.

If a complete stranger asks you how you are doing, if you aren't doing well, lie. I mean I loved this woman in the way I love all mankind, which is to say not much before my morning joe, but well enough afterwards, but I don't want to here about her nasal drippings.

If you are in an elevator then you do not make eye contact except perhaps briefly when you first get on.

If someone you barely know shows you a picture of their kid then ooooh and ahhhh appropriately, even if they're as ugly as that brown stuff that collects under your fridge. (oh come on, no one mops under there)

Understand that I don't think this is lying per se. It's good social skills, in my humble. No sense in starting a war without provocation, unless you happen to be Republican.
  New Fiction Blog
Today I am launching my original fiction blog Scott's Brain.

It will largely be old stuff until I get the kinks worked out and I will continue this one for life stuff. Enjoy!
Friday, April 01, 2005
  Stuff I learned today...
More than 50% of the oil sold is never accounted for by the EPA. Apparently those oil change places need to dispose of the oil appropriately and this involves telling our government when this happens.

The technology for engines that do well with 15,000 miles between oil changes has been used in Europe for a decade.

Ford Motor Company pays through the nose every year for failure to meet EPA standards.

I hate the fact that our country is largely clueless about the environment. This is the only world we got folks. Treat it well.

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from capteucalyptus. Make your own badge here.