Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is Comcast Blocking SSH?

There have been suspicions in the past that Comcast blocked SSH. This was supposedly selective, and geared towards blocking users "abusing" SSH for file sharing.

Well, I use SSH for work, to log into a linux box I host websites on, and I dont' share files doing this. Today, after a long successful history of use, I can't SSH into the box on my Comcast Business Class connection. Nothing on my network has changed, and I was able to connect a terminal as late as yesterday.

I can get a terminal through my AT&T Business Class DSL connection, my iPhone's 3g connection, and my Air Card's 3G connection. I rebooted my Comcast modem, and still no dice.

Is Comcast playing dirty poker and blocking SSH connections on Port 22?

It Is Indeed Happening

That time seems to go by more quickly the older a person gets is no uncommon knowledge. Children, enamored with life, often live with an undirected joyful, aggressive enthusiasm that adults envy. Were children to have the knowledge and experience to match their enthusiasm, they would conquer the world in short order.

I find myself feeling like a child the closer I get to marrying Sarah. Our goal has always been to do things right, and I think that for the most part we have. We've had our share of arguments and emotional pain, but after four years of pursuing her I'm confident that we can work through anything with the Lord's help. Beyond ability, I'm confident that we will work through anything.

With this confidence, and with the expectations of marriage growing on me every day, I can freely say that I feel like a little kid in many ways.

The first reason I'll say that I feel like a little kid is due to the sense of timing that I have. The days seem to be going by me slowly!!! This isn't a complaint, because slowness of time allows the mind to solidly articulate thoughts and accurately analyze what is happening. Right now though, when my first desire is to marry my bride, slow passage of time seems more difficult to bear than it actually is.

I listened to a John Piper sermon on marriage last night. In it, he states that God had Adam name all the animals before he made him a helper Genesis 2.

18Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone;(R) I will make him a helper fit for[e] him." 19(S) Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed[f] every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and(T) brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam[g] there was not found a helper fit for him. 21So the LORD God caused a(U) deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made[h] into a woman and brought her to the man.
Piper notes that God observed man's loneliness in prior to creating a helper for him (verse 18 was the notation of loneliness, 21 and 22 were of the sleep and God BRINGING the Bride to Adam). Sadly, until I listened to Piper's sermon I did not understand that God paraded the animals in front of Adam and had Adam name them in the middle of this story. Was it to show Adam that there was no helper for him without another created in the image of God? I believe it was. Adam's loneliness must have been compounded as he looked over all of creation's animal life and realized that he was completely unique.

The passage of time was required for Adam to see his need for a bride - because the passage of time is required for the order of God's plan to come to fruition. It would be wonderful if I could pass the time over the next few months learning those things that I need to learn to have a successful marriage: to serve my bride, please the Lord, and be a good example to others.

The second reason that I feel like a child is my sense of expectation. This is a new adventure. Though I've heard "the big kids" speaking about marriage all my life, the only thing I'm confident of is that I can't fully know what to expect. I will be challenged as a man. My bride will be challenged as a woman.

The third reason I feel like a child is due to my fear of sacrifice. Marriages that take place with a Christian understanding begin at an altar. On an altar, blood is spilled. From the temple sacrifices to the altar represented by Golgotha, altars have brought new life from pain.

No one will die due to my marriage. No animals will be killed to incur a blessing. We both live under the new covenant of Christ's sacrifice.

And yet Ephesians 5:25 says I am to follow the example of Christ. I must give myself up for a bride. There is strong potential that sacrifice and pain will be involved in that. Lord, help me to take that seriously.

I often think that the reason we have so few men willing to make sacrifices for their marriages is that we have so few good examples in our society of this happening. We require good examples, which is why our civilizations have been built around sacred texts (with the best civilizations being built around The Bible), why fables and legends are taught to children, and why we prize the examples of heroes.

Currently, there are many bad examples of marriage. By talking about these in an "objective" manner, we make them seem acceptable to children. Just because something is normal does not mean it is acceptable.

It is with this challenge that I must enter marriage: The challenge to be Christlike to my bride. I fear I am woefully inadequate to meet this challenge. It might just be time for a personal revival.

So, I am fearful, expecting, and have a bad sense of timing. God help me!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"I Cannot Learn Under These Conditions!"

There is a nice couple who lives below me. Until tonight, I've only met the husband. As I was coming back from work, he caught me and informed me that the noise from my apartment was getting out of control. Since my neighbor's wife is in school, it is important to him that she have a quiet environment to study in.

I live in a world of headsets, and the loudest things I do are run the dishwasher, run the washing machine, and misstep when I get out of bed.

That fact doesn't solve the problem that my neighbors have though, which is that they think I'm being loud. In the spirit of dealing with that, I gave them my phone number and told them to text me when they were hearing loud noises. I tried to be sincere, but like I said, I'm pretty quiet about my place.

I want to be a good neighbor, so I certainly hope they'll contact me if they perceive loudness.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Keepass for iOS 4

I've used Keepass on my desktop for a long time. As I travel, I have been hoping to find a version of it to use with my iPhone. As of yet, I have not. If anyone knows of a good keepass app, please let me know.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Adwords After The Gym

I've started a routine of hitting the gym around 1:00 and then resuming my work on Adwords campaigns. No one will convince me that the half hour to hour the workout takes doesn't double the remaining 3 hours of my day into six hours worth of work.

Today was pleasant, because my fiance joined me at the gym (she has spring break off). It was truly joyous to work out with her.

The No Name Pastor

Out of respect for the Pastor this article is about, I won't mention a name. This isn't being written in an angry or vengeful spirit, but rather as a reminder to myself to not be arrogant and unteachable.

I was watching television late last night, and a well respected Christian Pastor came on the television. This is a man that I have always respected and thought well of.

The show was done in an interview format, and the leader went into attack mode when asked about his thoughts on Charismatics. He stated that all the church's problems in America today stem from the Charismatic movement, because it allowed bad theology to go mainstream. He then stated that if God still moved today in the same way he did in the early Church, that God would only move through people with sound theology. The tone of the conversation lead me to believe that those people would be, of course, folks like him. Really, Pastor?

The issue here isn't one of Cessationism vs. Continuationism. That argument is largely dead (much to the chagrin of the Pastor I'm referring to). The issue here is one of spiritual pride. This Pastor honestly doesn't see how his words parallel the words of the Pharisees of Christ's day! By making a claim that God would only move through people with good theology he is essentially saying that God would only move in a way that he understands and approves of, and that unclean spiritual lepers are unusable.

As I watched this man speak, I thought of the wonderful books of his that I've read, the lives this man's ministry has impacted, and the great works he has done for the Kingdom of God. I then realized that were the Kingdom about man, it would be a kingdom made in vain.

Lord, we each have flaws and in each of us their is a vanity and an arrogance. Help us!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Little Fiber In the Morning Helps

About a year ago, I googled something along the lines of "Does Fiber Help you feel fuller?" I've found that when I eat fiber in the morning with my breakfast, I seem to stay much fuller for the rest of the day.

I know, I know - "Duh. Everyone knows that." Many people know it, but it impacted me enough that I felt it was worth repeating.

In my research, I found that besides giving one a feeling of satiation and helping to digest food properly that dietary fiber also helps your body release nutrients more evenly from the digestive system, keeping you more even keeled throughout the morning.

When You Leave, I Miss You

Sarah is in Nashville for the next two days. I can't remember exactly when she moved to Memphis so I won't lie and throw a date out, but it's been over six months. We've been engaged since late December, and have enjoyed seeing each other nearly every day. She often travels past my apartment on the way too and from her various appointment and she teaches private lessons at a school near my office.

A two day interruption is thus a major change to the status quot, and I find myself already missing her.

I woke up very early this morning. 5:30 AM early. Sarah had planned to wake up at 4:00 AM and I was surprised she hadn't called me like she normally does. A frustrated nervousness immediately crept into me, and I couldn't help but worry that she had forgotten to plug her phone in and hadn't been woken up due to a dead battery.

So, I called her, and her phone went straight to voicemail! Ruh-roh. Several phone calls yielded the same result. At that point, it became clear to me that I had a duty as a man to drive to her apartment and wake her up. I grabbed the dog, ran to my car, and drove to her apartment. No car. She called me back as I was leaving her apartment complex, informed me that she had gotten my voice mail, and was driving through an area with bad cell coverage.

She then told me that she turned her phone off because she knew that in areas with bad coverage cell batteries were drained more quickly (due to them trying to find a cell tower). It then hit me: She listens to what I say! I told her that a few years ago and she remembered! And that feels really good. So thank you, sweetheart, for making my morning.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Thoughts and Prayers Are With Japan

The devastating situation in Japan has been weighing on my heart since I received news of the earthquake and Tsunami. I did relief work in St. Bernard Parish (New Oreleans) after Katrina, and could not fathom the scale of the damage before I arrived in the area. My mind's eye imagines that Japan makes the Katrina Aftermath look like a walk in the park.

There are several troubling things about the global response to the crisis in Japan (and I won't address them all). The most troubling thing to me is the fact that a relatively minor incident with a nuclear power plant is receiving most of the attention. I said relatively minor on purpose. My reasoning is simple? There is a confirmed death toll of around 3500 from the earthquake and subsequent Tsunami that will easily top 10,000 and billions (if not hundreds of billions - or trillions) of dollars in property damage from the same event.

And, as of yet, there has been one confirmed death from the nuclear power plant incident in Fukushima - from the explosion, not radiation.

The truth of the matter is that we don't need to be focusing on the nuclear situation in the country. Instead, we need to be focused on supporting established relief organizations do what they exist for: help these people. Japan doesn't need an influx of people, they need an influx of relief supplies. I recommend giving through Convoy of Hope which is one of the most cost efficient charities in the world.

Rather than focus on fears of a nuclear disaster that is being overhyped, let's focus on helping Japan rebuild.

Friday, March 04, 2011

My Calendar Doesn't Say When Spring Is... But I Know It's Close!

I was surprised yesterday afternoon when I looked at my calendar to see when spring started this year. No mention of it - though St. Patrick's Day made the cut.

Looking on Wikipedia yielded no easy results either. I found out that the answer to the question "When does spring start in 2011" is March 20.

Where has the year gone? Having officially never had a sense of time or date until recently, I've not been one to ask that question until now. The year is going very quickly! So quickly, in fact, that I'll have to leave this blog as it is, lame, and get read to head to the office.