The Greatest Form of Flattery …

From Wikipedia:

Flattery (also called adulation or blandishment) is the act of giving excessive compliments, generally for the purpose of ingratiating oneself with the subject.

Historically, flattery has been used as a standard form of discourse when addressing a king or queen. In the Renaissance, it was a common practice among writers to flatter the reigning monarch, as Edmund Spenser flattered Queen Elizabeth I in The Faerie Queene, William Shakespeare flattered King James I in Macbeth and Niccolo Machiavelli flattered Lorenzo II di Piero de’ Medici, ruler of Florence and Duke of Urbino, in The Prince.

They say that the greatest form of flattery is imitation. I hope so, because I’d like to introduce my brother, ZeKeSbRo. He started a blog recently, and the similarities between his and mine are remarkable 😉

I’m sure he’ll have some interesting things to say and things that bore the poop out of you, just like mine. Only time can tell.

In other news, my wife and I are looking at buying another car, probably purchasing on Monday.

It’s a 1997 Subaru Outback, it’s black, it’s a 5-speed manual, and ran great when I test-drove it. It is the limited edition – leather seats and a few other things I probably haven’t spotted. It’ll match our 1998 Subaru Outback nicely!

On Muslims and Ground Zero

Do I think the attack on the twin towers and the pentagon in 2001 was right? No.

Do I think those who think in the way those who attacked the United States on September 11th should be punished for any action they take in line with those thoughts? Yes.

Do I think that every muslim is a terrorist? No.

I grew up in a Christian home. I made child-like commitments when I was young, but it wasn’t until I was in my mid-late teens that I actually began to understand and feel what I’d said I believed for so many years before. I believe in Jesus, and I do everything I am able to strengthen my relationship with him. I identify myself as a Christian.

I also like T-shirts with messages, some are humorous, some are from events, some have more serious messages. I don’t always think about the t-shirt I’m about to put on in the morning, and today was one of those days. I took a quick trip to 7-11 and the girls at the cash register asked me what was on the back of my shirt. I turned around for them so they could read it, and then commented “Well, that’s right!”

See, today I am wearing a shirt that has a little cross on the front, and the message says “This T-shirt is illegal in 40 countries.” On the back it has Romans 1:10, and reads: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” My heart and my mind believe that this is the truth, that there is one way to heaven, to the father, and that is through a right relationship with Jesus Christ.

But not everyone believes that. Some believe that they must follow hinduism. Or buddhism. Some believe that they must follow the laws of the old testament, and disregard Jesus as the Messiah. And heaven forbid, some believe that Mohammed was right, and that Allah is the one true god.

Herein lies a problem. These are all religions with similarities and differences. And so we come back to the arguing point, and that is the constitutional right for every individual to be able to freely practice their religious beliefs for so long as it does not violate any other laws. The baptist church I attended for nearly 2 years would pray every Sunday morning, thanking God for the opportunity to freely practice Christianity, unlike in so many other countries in the world where Christians face ridicule (real ridicule, not just being pointed at and laughed) or even death for what they believe.

All over this country, Christians are free to practice Christianity. Hindu’s are free to practice Hinduism. Buddhists to practice Buddhism. Pagans to practice Paganism. Jews to practice Judaism. Why should Islam be restricted differently? Because a few extremist muslims took several thousand lives on one day? The problem in any society usually isn’t the vast majority – it’s the extremists. The extremists who bomb abortion clinics. The extremists who discuss or attempt assassinating the president. The extremists who seek to destroy a group of people based on their race, or hair or eye color. The ultra liberals who will kill in order to allow change, and the ultra conservatives who will kill in order to prevent it.

By refusing to permit law-abiding citizens their otherwise constitutional right to practice religion simply because of what that religion is, and because it is what other extremists claimed theirs to be, we open ourselves a whole can of worms. Do the Christians stand by the actions of the Crusaders, who killed thousands upon thousands in the name of Christianity? Do the Christians stand by the beliefs of the Westboro Baptist Church, who picket the funerals of fallen soldiers (because they believe the war is an act of God against the USA) as well as synagogues (because Jews don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah), catholic churches (because every single priest is a child rapist), the list goes on. Judging Islam based on the actions of the 9/11 hijackers, based on the actions of the London bombers, based on any other extremists acts, is not only hypocritical (for those of us who disagree with the actions of groups like WBC) but stupid, and sets us up to be exactly like the countries where I could be imprisoned or even die for wearing my t-shirt today.

And so, to the group of muslims who wish build a mosque close to the ground zero site: So long as the site would be otherwise permitted to have a Christian church built on it, and so long as you are as peaceful as the average Christian, I support you.

“What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.” — Robert F. Kennedy

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. — C. S. Lewis

If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here.
If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary,
then of course I’ll feel nude when to where I’m destined I’m compared.

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

Am I lost or just less found? On the straight or on the roundabout of the wrong way?
is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?
‘Cos my comfort would prefer for me to be numb
And avoid the impending birth of who I was born to become

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath, so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you
Hope is coming for me
Hope is coming for me
Hope is coming for me
Hope, He’s coming

Speak to me in the light of the dawn
Mercy comes with the morning
I will sigh and with all creation groan as I wait for hope to come for me

The Chicken and The Egg

To quote Chicken Run:

Nick: Here’s a thought. Why don’t we get an egg and start our own chicken farm? That way we’d have all the eggs we could eat.
Fetcher: Right. We’ll need a chicken, then.
Nick: No… no, we’ll need an egg. You have the egg first, that’s where you get the chicken from.
Fetcher: No, that’s cobblers. If you don’t have a chicken, where are you going to get the egg?
Nick: From the chicken that comes from the egg.
Fetcher: Yeah, but you have to have an egg to have a chicken.
Nick: Yeah, but you’ve got to get the chicken first to get the egg, and then you get the egg… to get the chicken out of…
Fetcher: Hang on, let’s go over this again.

Once again, I have a predicament. I came to a small realization today, and that is I have no formal qualifications or certifications in IT, and while I am getting interviews with my current skill-set and experience, I still come out underneath in terms of finding a position to utilize them in.

So I was looking around at A+ and wondering what it would take to become certified. I found a couple of “free” online tests that would allow me to see if I could (in theory) pass the exams. Turns out that with a little training it wouldn’t be all that hard. The reason I say “free” is because it asked me for contact information, and I knew as soon as I clicked “submit” that I’d get a marketing call asking if I’m interested. Turns out I am! But once again we have a chicken-egg scenario.

The organization in question have a (limited time) offer whereby if I am unemployed they can take off 40% of the cost of the program, taking it from $1000 down to $601 (so.. 39.9%?). They also offer the possibility of an interest-free and non-credit-checked payment plan, and have testimonials of specific people who got jobs within a few days of signing up to take the class (simply based on the prospect that they would have the certification within X days).

Once again my problem is having a job with which to fund such a proposition, and requiring the certification that it would provide in order to land said job.

Clearly I need to sit down and reanalyze our options, and maybe drive up to food lion or something for an application there. I just feel bad (and worried in terms of resume) about holding short-term jobs while trying to get “the big one.” At the same time, I can’t just sit around doing nothing while waiting for it either.

Silence is Golden

At least, that’s what they tell me. I haven’t posted for a while, and I don’t really have a whole lot to say.

I’ve been whining recently about trying to find work, I’m still looking for a full-time IT job while I continue to apply for anything I see in a two-hour radius from where I live.

I applied recently for an IT position via fax, because the organization’s mail server wasn’t accepting emails. This amused me. I also forwarded messages I’d printed with the error messages so they could look into fixing it.

Yesterday and today I worked high ropes, yesterday with a church retreat from in/near DC, and today with a bunch of kids from DC’s Public Schools. A few funny things were said, but the one that stood out was a girl yesterday who said the 3 places she wanted to visit before she died were Argentina, Australia and Alabama. On querying her wish to visit Alabama, she explained her desire to visit “The South” and drink “Real” sweet tea. I tried (in vain) to suggest she could get real sweet tea just by visiting this far south in Virginia, but she wouldn’t have any of it. The only place, in her mind, where she could get such a delicacy was if she went to a “Real” southern state like Alabama.

I had a great time, today I got to try out the new gloves I got for doing ropes work with (and they were amazing!), and had a good laugh or two with some really cool people.

The other day I set up a new website on a domain that has been empty for a few weeks, is now a quote board for amusing or moving quotes from Christian chat rooms all over. Not necessarily UCCN, or even IRC. They can be from Yahoo! or anywhere else for all it matters!

Tonight is a thanksgiving dinner at church, and tomorrow morning Kelly and I leave to house-sit for two weeks! I’m sure many photos will abound.


So, I was surfing around this morning, looking at free/cheap stuff (as I do..), and noticed two things that reminded me once again how stupid the human race as a whole is.

Now, I caught up with the whole Kanye thing yesterday, and to be honest I think it was rude and uncalled for. Unless of course, it was a publicity stunt, in which case it wasn’t a very good one. I heard rumors last night that he’d offed himself, which again is another stupid facet of the human race. More on that later. Maybe.

Yesterday I also read that Kanye had written all kinds of apologies to people, and this is where I get confused and frustrated (and to a degree, hypocritical). When someone does something wrong, and they apologize for it, and have been punished by the appropriate authorities, I believe that should be the end of it. This is where I have a problem with capital punishment too, because if anyone believes the United States is a Christian country (which I don’t believe it is or should be, by law at least), then by Christian nature we have an obligation to show forgiveness to those who have sinned against God and against us. That is, if I kill your daughter, and I’ve served my required prison sentence under law, and I’ve shown regret, apologized and asked forgiveness of both you and of God, then our religious obligation is to forgive and forget. Anyway, getting off-topic.

IF Kanye had messed up, realized, regretted, apologized, and we’d all said “OK, don’t do it again..”, all would be swell. But that’s not what’s happening. In my search for cool cheap stuff this morning I came across two “one-day-only” deals for T-shirts. Let me show images, because I doubt the links will work too long into the future..

kanye1kanye2These two shirts are the epitome of my dislike for todays societal culture. Sure, one of the side-effects of being famous is that everyone sees everything you do, and they all get in line to either crucify or congratulate you. And commending is fine, everyone needs some love, crucifying also has it’s place – noone likes the stuck-up people who are never wrong. But I mean, really guys. Are T-shirts professing your ‘hatred’ for someone you’ve probably never met necessary?

Just for reference:

From Dictionary:

v., hat·ed, hat·ing, hates.

    1. To feel hostility or animosity toward.
    2. To detest.
  1. To feel dislike or distaste for: hates washing dishes.


To feel hatred.


  1. Intense animosity or dislike; hatred.
  2. An object of detestation or hatred: My pet hate is tardiness.

[Middle English haten, from Old English hatian. N., Middle English, from Old English hete.]

And from Thesaurus:


    To regard with extreme dislike and hostility: abhor, abominate, despise, detest, execrate, loathe. Seelove/hatred.


  1. Extreme hostility and dislike: abhorrence, abomination, antipathy, aversion, detestation, hatred, horror, loathing, repellence, repellency, repugnance, repugnancy, repulsion, revulsion. See love/hatred.
  • An object of extreme dislike: abhorrence, abomination, anathema, aversion, bĂȘte noire, bugbear, detestation, execration. Informal horror. See love/hatred.
  • Now, many people might say “THAT’S HOW I FEEL!” and this last point is aimed at you (although I doubt you’ll get it..):

    “Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” — C. S. Lewis


    Alot of people don’t seem to consider the following, particularly females when begging their boyfriends to propose.

    Marriage doesn’t really change anything.

    Marriage is a lot like turning 18 or 21, or any other age really. All that really changes are a) your religious standing as far as having sex, and b) your legal rights as a married person.

    You’ll have a big lead up to the wedding, and the wedding and reception will be as big or as small as you want it to be, much like a 21st birthday party.

    You’ll go to bed that night (possibly doing something you’ve never done before), and you’ll wake up the next day and feel as though nothing has changed.

    I know of a few people getting married soon, and Kelly was asking for advice to give to the bride at the showers she’ll be at. This is the biggest piece of advice I could offer to anyone obsessed with getting married to their significant other (whether they’ll admit their obsession or not).

    It. Doesn’t. Change. Your. Relationship.


    If the relationship changes, either you or your partner changed. Which shouldn’t happen. It’s that simple.

    April Fools

    Nearly 2 months ago I posted about what I had planned to do to my brother-in-law (see Now I’m going to run through briefly what happened.

    At Kelly’s suggestion I changed his desktop background to one of the pictures used, this worked amazingly well to lure him in, as the first thing he did (after yelling my name in annoyance ;-)) was open firefox to google images to find something to replace it with.

    This was met with “what the…”‘s from Matt, and laughter and high-fives all around from me, Kelly, and Matt’s friend Gary who was in the room also. Matt quickly saw the funny side and started laughing, pulling up Youtube and MySpace to see how they looked as well. I think the best quote from the evening was “That is probably the best April Fools prank I’ve ever seen. I’m calling Will!”

    I was also credited as having “Probably the most creative” joke he’d ever observed. All around a good 15 minutes of fun, and I lived to go to choir practice (remind me not to agree to singing with them again..).

    In Keeping With Regularity

    This is another boring post. Just for your warning.

    Today my 3com cards arrived. These are two identical network cards (linux compatible) that I will be putting in my new Compaq that should arrive Friday.

    “Ah, my birthday. Normally I’d put on a festive hat and celebrate the fact that the Earth has circled the Sun one more time; I really didn’t think it was going to make it this year, but darn it if it wasn’t the little planet that could all over again.” — Gregory House M.D.

    No, it’s not my birthday, just working on the first two seasons of House, currently on season 1, episode 7. Last episode was House’s birthday, and had several amusing quotes – only that one related to his birthday.

    “Turns out your best judgement isn’t good enough. Next time, use mine.”

    “He’s really talking to a patient?” “I don’t know who I am anymore..”

    “Clearly you’re not interested!” “Oh, I’m interested, I’m interested in how voices in the head are affected by mal-position of the uterus.”