The Naked Green

2005.1.21 Friday

Problem with Floating

Filed under: Following Christ, Web Design — Mr. Green @ 11.40 am

I was uploading some content to our church website and thought of a great simple idea for the pastors’ bios. The idea was to have a border around each bio and float the header over the border. I’m sure I’ve seen it lot’s of places and it’s so simple, it only took me a couple minutes to implement the necessary CSS. That is, until I tested it in IE. It broke up all over the place! It was late, so I went to bed and didn’t sleep well leaving something unsolved.

The next day, I made up a simple html page with the same basic CSS and had the same problem. The borders from the bottom bios were mostly gone and the top bio had some of the remnants littering its content. There was also a problem when I implemented width, which caused the header to jump up over the border in IE. Take a look at the CSS floating header problem and my workaround (You’ll have to view them in IE to get the “special effect”).

What I want to know is why IE has a problem removing the bottom margin on a floating header. Actually, I really want to know why it can’t handle simple CSS. Am I doing something wrong? If anyone can take a look at the code and let me know what’s happening, I would be grateful.

I would like to thank God (yes, God) for the workaround on this one. The night before, after cell group, I prayed and realized that God wants to design websites along with me. He cares about that area of my life too and if it’s really ministry, then of course He’s involved. I had no internet connection at work in the morning and turned to God for help. I think He likes when we involve Him in what we’re doing and give Him credit for accomplishments. He made the mind after all!

2005.1.19 Wednesday

SPAMing for fun?

Filed under: Blog Publishing — Mr. Green @ 1.47 pm

What I want to know is what is up with all the blank SPAM I’ve been receiving? I guess I can’t even call it SPAM, because there isn’t a link to be found. They are all (probably the same one) commenting as “Anonymous” and have only left their email address which is not visible to the public. The only thing that resembles SPAM is their short, cryptic messages, designed to possibly fit the content. Of course they haven’t yet fit the content, so they’re obviously not really commenting. I’ve deleted all of them, but the best one.

So, What’ the deal? Is this some sort of software gone bad, like in The Matrix, some renegade program spewing random feel-good messages with no company to support them? Whatever it is, it’s sad. Thinking of it makes me wonder where that leaves me as a blogger of misguided SPAM sadness….

Update 2004.01.20: As much fun as deleting comments is, I have taken steps to stop all this madness. Let me know if you have any trouble with the new system (it may take a little while for your comment to appear). You can also email me (Philip) if you like.

2005.1.17 Monday

Working Out Back

Filed under: Web Design — Mr. Green @ 10.51 am

Lately I have been spending time researching Content Management Software (CMS) that will help automate our website, thinking of the impending redesign, brainstorming on domain names and preparing for the content on our church’s website. I’m hesitant to to use a CMS, but think if I can find the right one, it will really enhance what I’m able to do with it and hopefully alleviate some of the need for software and having a laptop handy. There may be some big changes soon! So far, it’s just ideas and some minor hacking on the back-end, but real work should begin in earnest soon.

I was going to try to use WordPress for the whole site, but it will take much more hacking than I’m prepared for to extend it to be what I need. Etomite is a light CMS that I’m looking at now in conjunction with WordPress. It’s exciting because as one user said, “…it’s really a CONTENT management system not COMMUNITY management system”*! I was about to give up the search and just go old school because I didn’t want some “hax0r community” site (as good as those can be). We’ll see if it works out after some testing.

* Posted by Mikko, on December 27, 2004 at 5:21 at opensourcecms.com

2005.1.13 Thursday

Sticker goes Extinct

Filed under: News, Obsessions — Mr. Green @ 4.48 pm

From the MSNBC article, Judge nixes evolution textbook stickers:

Granted, the sticker put into science text books in Cobb County Atlanta are probably not on the top of the evolutionary chain. In my opinion, the same sort of message should have been evolved much further down the same line, but it was a good start. The idea was killed off by a federal judge last November. So, was it just a case of “natural selection”? I think it was just another example of the stupidity of evolution.

I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be judgmental, but this is absurd. Let’s put aside the long debate between the religion of evolution and others like Christianity. Let’s ignore for a minute what the intent of Jefferson’s “separation of church and state” was. This is what the sticker said:

…Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. The material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

This is what U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said:

…the sticker conveys an impermissible message of endorsement and tells some citizens that they are political outsiders while telling others they are political insiders

Excuse me? What is the sticker endorsing exactly? That evolution may not be true? That’s hardly an endorsement, in my opinion.

This, considering the fact that the sticker has nothing to do with religion, is just religious persecution:

“This is a great day for Cobb County students,” said attorney Michael Manely, who represented parents who brought the suit. “They’re going to be permitted to learn science unadulterated by religious dogma.”

Once again, I think that the sticker is not a big deal and really a poor attempt to set some things right, but the fact that people have gone out of their way to fight it tells you something. Merely calling into question the theory these people must hold on to so dearly to escape God, results in an outright attack on religion. This isn’t surprising to me, but it certainly is frustrating.

If you, my dear reader, believe in evolution, please tell me what you think. I really want to know how a majority of people out there can really think this is not absurd. I won’t flame you, I just really want to understand what’s going on.

Update (2005.01.14): Gervase Markham at Hacking for Christ has some more in-depth ideas and discussion on the evolving sticker. This is great stuff:

“Make no law respecting an establishment of religion” seems to have been replaced by the nebulous concept of “separation of Church and State”, which has then been broadened into “anything any government or state body does which is even concerned with religion is unconstitutional”, and then on to “anything any government, state or otherwise publicly-elected body does which might even be perceived as having something to do with religion is unconstitutional”.
–more–

Reading the many comments on the article has got me all riled up.

2005.1.12 Wednesday

New Blog Home

Filed under: Blog Publishing — Mr. Green @ 11.40 am

I have a new domain that I bought as a birthday present to myself (actually, I realized it was for my birthday after I bought it). It’s now TheNakedGreen.com if you haven’t noticed already. Amazingly, everything worked without a problem after I figured out what cPanel wanted. The old location can still be accessed, but all the links point to the new one. How’s that for not knowing what I’m doing?

2005.1.11 Tuesday

Vision in the Laundry Room

Filed under: Following Christ, Personal — Mr. Green @ 4.06 pm

Almost exactly 24 years after I was born, I sat down in the laundry room and saw a headline in The Denver Post. Over a large picture of two young guys wearing hospital masks outside were the bold words, “Thailand: a mission redefined*”. I don’t ever read the paper nor had I ever seen one in the laundry room, but I had to wait for the towels to get done and the article looked interesting. Flipping the newspaper over to see the bottom, I noticed the sub headline, “As Springs-based Christians race to help, what they find horrifies and transforms them.*” The caption for the picture was also visible: “…They are volunteers with Colorado Springs’ Youth With a Mission, which plans to send 120 teams to the country to aid in rebuilding.*” By the way, the guy in the article is 24 years old!

Wow! That was enough to catch me. I grabbed the laundry and the paper and headed back to the apartment. I showed Jamie the article and she got excited about the possibilities. I thought she might have just thought, “hmm…”, but she began talking about the possibilities. Could this be the direction we’ve been looking for? Perhaps the semi-closed doors we’ve been experiencing were God’s way of making us wait. Just earlier that night I was pondering the difficulties I was having becoming an electrician. I was thinking about taking a risk and leaving my job which seems like a dead end. Not wanting to make a rash decision or get all superstitious about events, I went to bed, deciding to call YWAM today about it.

All the work I’ve had today, kept me busy until I took my lunch break. I called YWAM and an enthusiastic girl took down my information and was exciting that we were interested. She explained some of what they’re looking for: individuals and groups for short-term trips to help rebuild as well as long term missionaries willing to commit to the effort. The more I talked, the more excited I became at the possibilities. I knew it was more than possible if it’s God’s idea and I started thinking about getting my church involved. In fact, just last Sunday, our pastor announced that this year will be the “Year of Outreach”. The girl mentioned that they have community nights on Tuesdays and that we could stop by some time.

I called Phil, a good friend, our cell group leader and the worship leader in our church. I told him what had been happening and suggested we attend the community night for our cell group some time (also on Tuesdays). He was fine with the idea and mentioned that he was just telling the pastor two weeks ago that he felt a burden to go help out in Thailand! We think the church will definitely be on board if we plan something.

While I spoke with Phil, I got a message on my phone. It was from Jonathan, one of the leaders of the Tsunami Relief effort at the Colorado Springs YWAM base. He had gotten my information and was getting back to me. I called back and we shortly discussed where Jamie and I are at and what is happening with YWAM. He will know more information at the end of the week and will keep me posted.

I will be spending some serious time in prayer about this to try to determine God’s will. The excitement I’m feeling is the highest it’s been in quite a while and I look forward to what God has in store. I know it will be hard work and tough on us, but I always seem to be most fulfilled when I’m ministering to others. Just yesterday, I asked God that He would make my heart like His, giving me His love for those affected by the tsunami. He knows I’m a hands on person and this may be His answer (so soon)!

*All quotes: Meyer, Jeremy. “Thailand: a mission redefined” The Denver Post. Sunday, January 9, 2005. Page A1

Rollercoaster Birthday

Filed under: Personal — Mr. Green @ 3.19 pm

Yesterday was a roller-coaster ride that thankfully ended well. The work day began with work from last week and continued on heavier than usual. It would have been nice to have a light day on my birthday, but it wasn’t to be.

I went to the local Community College to finish up my math test. Instead of doing that, I found the testing area full of people and several waiting. I turned around and came back to work, frustrated that I had wasted half an hour just driving. I called the College and they refused to take an appointment, but did say they were open until 7.30pm for two days before registration.

I got a lot of work at 3.00pm which was annoying and carried over to today, but by the end of the work day, I was feeling a bit more optimistic.

After work, I picked Jamie up and went to the college. One computer was open, woohoo! Unfortunately, my test was gone! They told me the system only holds them for two weeks, which would have been nice to know before I spent the time on the test. They were closed for a week as it was for the holidays and I couldn’t even get in every day on my lunch break. The worst thing was there attitude. They could’nt care less about me as they said I could take it again. Frustrated and angry, I left. How will I even know that something else won’t go wrong if I take it again. They obviously don’t care enough to do anything about it.

Going home thinking about doing laundry did not help matters. I did do laundry, though and Jamie went to the store for groceries. I got to spend some time on the computer and received a very encouraging email from two girls that were in our DTS wishing me happy birthday. I also found out that we should get back all the money we put in for taxes this year!

Jamie came home, started on supper and while I went back to the laundry room, she set up a nice birthday meal for me! There was cheesecake with 24 candles on it, a Winnie the Pooh balloon and Henry Weinhardt root beer. She sang happy birthday to me and we had a wonderful dinner with ice cream as an added bonus. That put me in a good mood.

I went back and finished up the laundry and then we called it an early night. So much for working out last night, but we both needed some sleep.

Today, I feel much better even though I have had non-stop work until now. In fact, I just got another order. Some exciting things are brewing, though.

Edit 2005.01.14: I changed “could care less” to “couldn’t care less”, because as Jamie pointed out this morning, the former doesn’t make sense.

2005.1.6 Thursday

A Happy Birthday!

Filed under: Obsessions, Personal — Mr. Green @ 2.52 pm

My A printer just turned 300,000 impressions old! Pretty impressive, huh? Right now it’s at 300,146. This milestone is a great precursor to my own birthday.

Speaking of which, my Mother-in-law just told me I could pick my birthday present from the internet! That’s style! My own parents already gave me my present too: some money for the REI garage sale! Jamie still has some things hidden up her sleeve (or somewhere) that should hit the spot for birthday enjoyment!

Naked I Go

Filed under: Following Christ — Mr. Green @ 8.10 am

Today is January 7 and here is the verse on my new Bible verse calendar:

He said, “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
-Job 1.21 [WEB HNV]

That’s a great verse for realizing the proper perspective and attitude on life. It’s also a good one for this blog (Naked Green).

Update 1.50pm: …except that I pulled off two pages which, unfortunately, does not make it Friday. I can’t believe I didn’t look at the very large date above this post. All day I’ve been writing the sixth on orders. I got caught up on one order and thought, “wait, it’s the seventh, that’s what I wrote about”. Oops! Well, it’s still a good verse, just ignore it until tomorrow if you want.

2005.1.5 Wednesday

My Computer History

Filed under: Obsessions, Personal — Mr. Green @ 11.22 am

Yesterday’s post may bring up the question of why I would even be interested in an OS designed for Windows® users. The answer is that I am a Windows user. “But why?” those anti MS zealots cry. Here is (part of) the history:

Our family’s first computer was a Commodore 64 and I learned enough to run a few games which was all we had on it anyway. I don’t even remember how to run it, but a friend actually has a working unit at his home. The IBM® compatibles came to the scene and we mostly avoided computers for a while preferring the good ol’ books and outdoors for entertainment. We even did our homework with pencils.

I think it was junior high that I got more interested in computing. I was a DOS man, as most were, and could get around quite well. I played around with batch programming and became fairly proficient in Q-Basic building games and “screen-savers”. I put together a computer for myself out of a warehouse full of old ones at my Dad’s work and paid $50.00 for it. It was a 286 with 256k of RAM and a 20 MB hard drive. It even had a low density 3.5 inch floppy drive (if you have no clue what that is, don’t worry, you’ll probably never see one.) along with the 5.25 inch drive. In high school, between bouts of excessive drug use, I became interested in programming with C, though it was short lived. It was around then that I borrowed a dial-up connection from a friend and got lost in the world of online chat for a while.

[This paragraph belongs somewhere in the middle of the former as far as time is concerned] I was an adamant opponent to the Macintosh® computer. A graphical UI? Bleh, who needs it? At this point, my only contact with a Mac was at school (enough said). When Windows came along, I disliked it even more as the cheap imitation of the Mac it was. At least I could still run Windows only when needed as a DOS shell, but that quickly changed.

So what happened? Why didn’t I revolt? I don’t know, I was young and ignorant I guess. The OS I knew was changing…fading away and I went with the flow. I never had money for my own computer and didn’t know enough about any other OS. I didn’t hear of Linux for many more years. DOS was not powerful enough any more and the GUI was an easy way to accomplish tasks and to play those increasingly complex games.

The first “real” computer I bought (after the 286, which I still have even after trading it for a backpack) was an iBook® running OSX. I took the step to a better OS, but realized that I didn’t have the time to learn it. I was working on learning basic web design and with the loads of information to retain just in that field, I didn’t want something that I wasn’t comfortable with. [hanging head] Let’s face it, I’m a DOS man…all washed up. I sold it (made some money too) and eventually bought the laptop I have now.

I bide my time now…watching, waiting and dabbling. Soon, very soon I may be able to leave the OS considered to be so evil for a Linux flavor. I guess I’m getting old, but I don’t want to just rush into headaches. I’m working on my OS Mobile Home slowly and will have more options then. I want to stay open to “better change” while still making sure to manage my time well.

Not much in the way of history, due to my mixed up memory, but there you have it. Something.

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