Been a While…

February 18th, 2008

Been a while since I posted anything. Not really sure if a blog is my style, I prefer message boards. They seem to be more conducive to my style of community focus.

Anyway, thought I’d post an update…. nothing really interesting to say, I might be updating this site a bit more in the near future. Doubt anyone comes …. why do I so often think like Eeyore?

The only nice thing about a blog is going back, re-reading your old posts and realizing how extremely talented one is at constructing genius-like prose that flows like wine at a wedding. I really should write more poetry… it was pretty good, IMHO. Anyway, hope to write something fascinating soon….Boy do I love myself! :)

Love’s Modernity

April 14th, 2006

Lately I’ve heard a number of people say that love is a choice. I think there is an error in this idea. Its easy to minimize what love is and say its merely a choice. Its so much more than that. Yes, its a choice. But there’s a power in love that is beyond most people’s apparent comprehension. Love is a very strong force in the universe. If we look at the Passion of Christ, as is appropriate for today, we see that love manifested itself for the salvific victory of mankind. If it weren’t for Christ’s ability to love us, not just to choose suffering, we would not have a mediator between God and man. We would still be in the same lot that our ancestors once were.

Love’s power is strong. For example, love gives us the ability to bond with the beloved and, in some, the manifestation results in a beautiful gift of foresight, wisdom, and strength. Personally I’ve experienced a unique gift of telepathy, if you will, with the people I’ve loved. Most have exhibited a similar gift. It seems people overlook this, or don’t see it in their lives (or minimize it as a coincidence). Minimizing love to a choice also makes it easy to say that love is selectable. It is not. We are called, as Christians (assuming you are one), to love one another as I have loved you. This is HUGE. Can you comprehend Christ’s love for us? Then you know what we are called to. Through Christ’s manifestation of love, we are able to not only comprehend His love for us, but also have been commanded to bring this same sacrificial, salvific love to others. Not just by spreading the gospel to those who don’t know Christ, but also in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting prisoners, comforting the sick, and humbly serving others. This means loving others MORE than we love ourselves. For selfish pride blinds our ability to love.

Eros love, the ‘choice,’ is much more than that. If we remove the feeling from our lives we have no life at all. Love brings about the transformation of the heart. To understand that each and every person, no matter how good or bad, is Christ allows us to open our hearts to every person we encounter in our lives. This has a profound impact on our daily lives. If we all lived as we ought, we would very well understand the paradox of love. But many do not. They simply get caught up in currents of modern life and don’t take the time to open themselves to the Holy Spirit and bring that love to others. Its sad. There’s so much disunity I’m seeing in the world right now. This disunity is not good. Whether its the huge angst over the illegal immigration in the United States, or the French youth protestation against the laws that govern employment, disunity is all around us. This is just another trick of the evil one to divide us and destroy our unity. Love is unity. Its unity of mind, unity of heart, unity of soul.

Unity in our age is dying. Is it because pride has blinded us and divided us into our ‘individuality’ that makes us all so darn special? Am I different simply because its the thing to be, not because I am really different? What’s wrong with being united? I prefer to be just like everyone else. In fact, everyone does. The problem comes in when everyone else’s standards are so sub-par that one must rise above the foolishness that exists. The world is dying, and so are we. One day you will die. It doesn’t matter what you do on earth, from a worldy perspective. You will die. Your deeds will be forgotten by men. But not by God. God will look at your deeds, and, if you’ve lead a good life, Christ will intercede before God’s judgement on your soul. This means that you need to lead a good life. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but you must try to love others as Christ has loved us. If we were all so loving as to give our lives over to everyone we met, the world would be a better place. Perhaps one day we will reach this level.

Super Discounts

March 13th, 2006

Everyone knows about sites like Tech Bargains and Slick Deals.

Well, while looking for dell coupons for a friend of mine’s recent need to get a laptop, I came across an excellent deal…. from office depot. From 3/12 - 3/18, 2006, you can get a 19″ Viewsonic LCD (no DVI, VGA-only) for about $160. In order to do it, you have to enter your cart and select in-store location to be able to add the VA902b model to your cart.

I just recently purchased it (picking it up in-store tomorrow), and encourage you to consider this deal…its almost as sweet as the two-year old 21″ wide-screen dell monitor for $600. Its replacing a very well-made 21″ viewsonic P810 CRT that I’ve had since the late 90s. Unfortunately, I left a strong magnet near the monitor over night and the next day I couldn’t get video to show up anymore :(
The price shown on is $329.99.
There’s a $40 discount on purchases greater than $200 from home depot when ordering. The coupon code is 47250577. Enter it via coupon code in your cart.
There’s a $50 Viewsonic mail-in rebate.
There’s a $30 Office Depot mail-in rebate.
There’s a $50 Office Depot mail-in rebate.

So, total savings is… $170. Which means its basically 50% off the price. You might even be able to use office depot’s Price Matching to get it cheaper, as Walmart lists the same monitor for $289.99.

If I could, I’d buy two of these. The price/quality ratio cannot be beat.

Microwaves and Freezer Burns

March 10th, 2006

Recently a friend of mine said something about microwaving food and freezer burn as causing a molecular change in the food itself, thus making the food harmful to those who eat it. I decided to do some research to verify if this information is accurate.

Research is a loose term, mainly trying to discover based on data and studies done whether or not these things hold any water, not doing any actual experiments myself.

Freezer Burn
According the FDA, freezer burn is a quality, not a safety issue. This is a process whereby food loses moisture in some parts, which cause those parts to dry out, and may cause them to discolor. So, there is nothing dangerous about freezer burn. In fact, it can be prevented by removing as much air as possible before putting something in the freezer.

The Dangers of Microwave Ovens
This was a bit more challenging. When I did a search on the web regarding this theory, I found a number of links to articles related to the dangers of microwave ovens. However, I did not find these types of links that contained any data or were backed up by studies. In fact, the only commonality among the articles was that 1. the articles all indicated that there were dangerous carcinogens coming out of microwave oven cookery and 2. most of the sites were some part of a homeopathic/herbal/hocus pocus site.

That being said, I changed the wording of what I was looking for and found that microwaving food is safe. The dangers of using the microwave include 1. burns or over-heating may occur when using containers that are not microwave safe, 2. that the food doesn’t always cook evenly, which could open the door to increasing bacteria in the food, and 3. that microwaves should not be used to sterilize anything. There is no molecular change to the food. However, it is interesting to note that the study in Australia concluded that plastics, even those labeled as microwave safe, may allow chemical migration to occur into the food. It recommends to not allow the food to touch the plastic, and indicates that higher-fat foods tend to increase the amount of chemical migration of particles. The FDA concluded that the amount of chemical migration is well below what would be deemed as harmful.

It also indicated that aluminum foil may be used in the microwave, as long as it doesn’t touch the sides of the microwave itself.

An interesting side-note was that, according to studies, microwaves actually help food retain more of their vitamins, minerals, and nutrition than boiling. This contradicts what the anti-microwaving sites were pointing out.

So, all-in-all, I think the people who think microwaving is bad are a bit off-kilter. Food is cooked by the agitation of water molecules inherint in the food. That is all that happens. The agitation is due to the polarity of water being manipulated by the microwaves, causing two different types of heating: dielectric and ionic.

Killing in the Name Of…

February 22nd, 2006

Apparently during Katrina, some of the staff of LifeCare Hospitals on the seventh floor of the Memorial Medical Center allegedly commited euthanasia on patients in order to evacuate the hospital. From what it looks like, there was a rule for staff regarding evacuating during emergencies whereby they must have no more patients before they could evacuate. Apparently some of the staff took it upon themselves to solve the problem by killing their patients using overdoses of morphine. Of course, the article indicates it will be very difficult to prove. There’s one thing for certain, if this is true, then they definitely didn’t live up to their name…

Converting SSL Keys to ikeyman Format

February 21st, 2006

I am posting this on my blog so it gets out on google.

Recently I had to help a colleague convert a key that was created in openssl and submitted to a Certificate Authority. I had problems w/ this in the past, and apparently 5 different helpdesks couldn’t help him. SO here goes….

First off, if you are having problems w/ ikeyman on a server, you can always install IBM HTTP Server on your windows workstation and run the ikeyman utility (called Start Key Management Utility under the IBM HTTP Server entry in the start menu). The keys are the same, and are independent of the actual server itself. Even the information you provide doesn’t really have any bearing on the key itself, except for reference from the key authorities perspective. Another common problem is not having the JAVA_HOME set to the location of your java executable. Mine’s set to the JRE directory under the j2sdk installation directory (ie… JAVA_HOME is set to c:\java\j2sdk_1.4.3.2\jre … something like that).

Another common problem with older versions of IHS & ikeyman/gskit is the JCE not found error. Try setting JAVA_HOME first, then update the files as necessary if you continue to receive this error.

The way to convert any key pair is simple:

  1. Download the IBM Keyman utility.

  2. Open the keys in keyman.

  3. Export the key as a PKCS#12 database using no encryption. This merely sets the pkcs12 file’s encryption to none. Delete this file once you’ve successfully imported it into ikeyman.

  4. Import the key into ikeyman using previously defined passphrase for the PKCS12 database

And that’s it. You should then be able to setup ssl in IHS using the ikeyman db and everything should be smooth after this step. You might have to import the Trusted Root certificate used to sign the ca cert into ikeyman, especially if its not a mainstream CA.

Good Luck!

Privatization at the United Nations

February 12th, 2006

Apparently the UN is thinking of privatizing part of its general assembly. The US has put some pressure on the UN to clean up its act and to make the General Assembly more efficient or it will withhold 50% of its annual dues (which come to a whopping total of 22% of the UNs annual dues, at least 16% more than its closest contributor).

Privatize? Why don’t we just disolve the UN and instead use the money to help Katrina victims? Or better yet, let’s disolve the UN and move the money to someplace useful, like beefing up some of the proposed budget cuts for this year?

After all, do we really want to keep an organization around that was the purported brainchild of a KGB agent? I think not. Let’s get rid of it once and for all.

Abortion Ban Passes House in South Dakota

February 11th, 2006

An interesting story showed up on Drudge Report for only a few hours last night. I was fortunate enough to not have a life to see the headline and read the article.

The jist of it is that the South Dakota House has approved a bill to ban abortion in all cases, with an exception if the mother is dying. According to the story, this ‘loophole’ prevents Doctors from being prosecuted in these instances.

According to my roommate, this is how it was across the nation prior to Roe vs. Wade. So, this is probably a good sign. Of course, the bill still needs to go to the state Senate, so we shall see if it passes. Makes me think I should move to South Dakota because its so very progressive….

Hopefully this will be just the first of many to pass anti-abortion laws that look to the protection of the mother and the child, rather than just the mother’s rights to have an abortion. I think now would be a great time to pray for the people who are looking at these bills.

Shooting Oneself in One’s Foot

January 19th, 2006

Hillary Clinton made a mistake. A big one. Apparently she’s pissed off a lot of conservative, and not so conservative, African Americans. Her plantation comment was rather poor taste. But then, to top it off, she added you know what I’m talking about. The irony is that the Democrats have had strong ties to racial problems in the US. I’ve done some research, and while both the GOP and the Democrats are guilty of racial collaboration, to some degree or other, we must not forget that they tend to play the race card, have had much closer ties with the KKK, and tend to think they can say whatever they want without recourse.

According to Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes last night, Clinton has been invited for 3 years to attend the MLK Sharpton event, but has declined every year…until now. It seems that Clinton decided this would be a perfect opportunity to insult…err…rally the African American voters. Considering she has set her sights on the Presidency in 2008, its a bold move. I mean, to alienate a large number of intellectuals based on racial divisions is a rather intriguing way to get noticed. The funny thing is, the two guests on last night’s show were both pissed off at Hillary. Usually Hannity & Colmes is balanced, but apparently Mrs. Clinton crossed a line that most politicians try to stear clear of. I, for one, hope she runs and wastes millions of dollars, and, of course, loses.

We all want Condi to run. Let’s see if those Democrats are really as diversity minded as they let on. Condi is sharp, she’s agile, and sleek. She’s what people want in a modern decision maker. She’s not perfect, but at least she puts more emphasis on doing good for the country than her counterpart, who only cares about voters and her ability to sustain her celebrity status, and her senatorialship. Is it me, or does it seem like Republicans are often playing political defense, while Democrats are playing political offense? Of course, one might argue its because the Republicans are ‘in control,’ but I wonder if that is really true. Why do politicians remind us of babies who are fighting over a toy? hmmm.

When I see and hear Condi, I feel proud that she’s in the position she’s in. I feel safe that she’s Secretary of State, and she gives the impression of a cool, collected, straight shooting son of a bitch. When I see and hear Hillary, I hear a lot of hot air, and usually feel like I need a shower afterwards….she leaves the impression that all of this is a game, not to be taken seriously. Afterall, she’s trying to go from one of the left-most senators to one of the middle of the road senators. Unfortunately for you, Hillary, one of our most evolved traits is to see and not trust phonies. May you lose gracefully.

The Chinese Discovered America…well, First.

January 19th, 2006

According to a map recently brought to the attention of the world, China discovered America first, but never exploited her. It seems a Chinese map collector, Liu Gang, came across a map from 1763 that is a copy of a map from 1418. The map was drawn by Mo Ti Tong, and was derived from a book, The Marvellous Visions of the Star Raft, written in 1418 about Admiral Zheng He’s explorations around the world. The map is currently being analyzed for authenticity…if proved to be an original, we shall soon hear that the Chinese first discovered America, and, apparently rejected exploiting her. Hmm…. sounds a bit fishy to me.