Articles by Tim Butler


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Now In Technicolor

By Tim Butler | Posted at 7:21 PM

Here's a fun little “Color test” that checks… well, it checks something. The first time I tried it, I got 88% of the answers right, and it told me I was “the master.” The second time, I got 100% of the answers right and am still the master. Give it a shot.

Talk About Pressure

By Tim Butler | Posted at 6:23 PM

I do a fair number of computer service calls, and for the most part, I'm never too worried if I cannot fix things. I try to explain problems as I find them, and that way I do not just come to the client at the end of the job and say, “well, it'd be cheaper to buy a new computer than have me fix this.”

Some jobs, though, there is a lot more pressure to succeed. Yesterday was an example. My dad called me around 10:00 and said his boss was having trouble and wanted to me to do a service call. As it turned out, the networking issue at hand (a small one — this is a small custom cabinet shop, not a place with a bunch of office computers) was solved quickly and I was able to offer some other advice which I felt hopefully merited my pay, but it was a lot of pressure! Normally, if a client wasn't happy they just wouldn't call me back (although that is rare), but in this case, my dad would have to live with an unhappy client.

At times like this, successfully completing a job is especially sweet. :)

As a side note, it was interesting in another regard. I never imagined that someone as mechanically un-inclined as myself might end up drawing a check from the same company my dad works for. Interesting day, needless to say.


By Tim Butler | Posted at 9:49 PM

Well, last week was finals week. I had four standard finals, I completed the last 13 verses of a chart that explained the parsing of (in addition to translation of) 1 John 1:1-2:13, and wrapped up a 20 page paper that connects Calvinism with modern Utilitarianism. Plus dealt with a spam problem on my server (yikes!). Phew. Overall, the last stretch of this semester (from the week before Thanksgiving to the end) was lighter weight than last year — 52 pages of papers — although they were more research intensive projects.

I'm now done with Greek for the next year. I hope to figure out a good routine to maintain what I know for when I'll take Advanced Greek Syntax at a seminary, hopefully, in January 2007. It is a relief to have made it through that. If you're looking for a Greek tutor or instructor in St. Louis, you should drop me a note for a referral. For the last semester, I studied one-on-one with a very fine teacher named Robert Wermuth (he taught the Greek I course I took as well, but I was the only Greek II student, so we met at Covenant Theological Seminary instead of LU).


By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:55 PM

You know it's funny. Time, that is. They always say as you get older, it moves faster, and I can really see that. Time goes too fast. There are so many things I meant to do, so many things I meant to tell people… but times have past for those things.

And then there are interesting times like this week. Part of me wants the week to go by really fast. With finals, a paper and a bunch of Greek translation to do, I cannot wait to get beyond that and get some of the many other things accumulating on my todo-list done. Conversely, I wish the week would go very slowly, so I'd have more time to get all of that stuff done. :)

Well, either way, it will be what it will be.

64 Questions

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:05 AM

These come from Kendall. I think there were a few too many, but some of them were fun. I started answering this on Sunday, so it the breakfast question refers to Sunday morning, but I finished it tonight, so the “last thing I ate” question refers to dinner a week later. :)

_1. What time did you get up this morning? _
7:11 a.m. (to arrive at church by 8:15 — I was running the projector today.

2. Diamonds or pearls?
Diamonds, I guess. In reality, that's not something I ponder a whole lot.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The Incredibles, last December.

4. What's your favorite TV show?
I don't watch anything current, other than CNN (on occasion). Right now, perhaps the Dick van Dyke show is what I am enjoying most, but I Love Lucy is my perennial favorite.

5. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
I actually had breakfast! That's odd. :) A Sausage, Egg and Cheese biscuit and hashbrown from McDonald's.

6. What's your favorite cuisine?
Tough. I'm a big fan of traditional American foods, such as fried chicken (but not the KFC stuff called that). I really like Mexican, but mostly Americanized Mexican (authentic is tasty, but I typically prefer Taco Bell). I also like Italian and some German stuff as well (bring on the 'kraut!).

7. What foods do you dislike?
Canned tuna (no idea on the fresh stuff), dishes that have lots of ground beef that is not pressed into some kind of patty or loaf (i.e. spaghetti with ground beef in the sauce is questionable, but meat loaf is delicious), etc. There is a bit of a theme here: I don't generally like meats that are heavily shredded, ground, etc.

8. What is favorite chip flavor?
Typically, I prefer “original” (i.e. just salted). If I'm in the mood for a flavor, I usually pick BBQ. I also like dill, pepper jack, and pretty much anything else.

9. What's your favorite CD at the moment?
Well, the two getting the most play at the moment are Fallen by Evanescence and Healing Rain by Michael W. Smith (darkness contrasting against light?). Of course, there are other songs getting significant “play time,” but with the advent of the iTunes Music Store, I don't have the whole albums to go with those.

10. What kind of car do you drive?
1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

11. Favorite sandwich?
Probably a smoked turkey sandwich on a hoagie bun, with the works: cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, green peppers, pickles, olives, mayo, chipotle sauce, etc. At Subway, I vary between a Southwest Turkey and Bacon and a Cold Cut Trio, mostly.

12. What characteristics do you despise?
Hypocrisy, backstabbing…

13. What is your favorite type of clothing?
Business casual — golf shirt and micro-fiber slacks (or in the summer, similar styled shorts).

14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Typically not too far: the Ozarks. If I wanted something more exotic… I'm not sure: perhaps a tour of interesting places throughout Europe, ending in Greece.

15. What color is your bathroom?
Forest green (wallpaper).

16. Favorite brand of clothing?
I'm not picky. I seem to get along well with Kohl's private label (Croft & Barrow).

17. Where would you retire to?
Ideally near family and friends (all things presently point to staying put :)).

18. Favorite time of the day?
The evening.

19.Your most memorable birthday?
The most recent one — it was only two months ago. :P

20. Where were you born?
St. Charles, MO.

21.Your favorite sport to watch?
Baseball! (I don't watch sports, as a rule, but…)

22. Who do you least expect to send this back to you?
Anyone who lurks on my blog.

23.Person you expect to send it back first?
Someone with too much times on his or her hands?

24. What fabric detergent do you use?
It varies.

25. Are you named after anyone?
Not as far as I know. Unless you count Paul's protege Timothy.

26. Do you wish on stars?
Not really, although sometimes when I see the “first star” it will remind me to pray for something.

27.When did you last cry?
Last night, actually.

28. Do you like your handwriting?
It is kind of sloppy. The only thing that makes me feel better about it is looking at what my handwriting looked like back in middle school or earlier.

29. Are you a daredevil?
Generally, no. I don't mind taking a chance every once-in-a-while, but I'm not a thrill seeker.

30. Are you a virgin?
Yes; and with God's help shall remain one until He sees fit to bless me with a wife. (Is it just me or did this question just come out of the blue?)

31. Do looks matter?
They shouldn't, although they do somewhat. Not as much as other things, though.

32. How do you release anger?
Writing tirades, poetry and other things.

33. Where is your second home?
Table Rock Lake.

34. What were your favorite toys as a child?
Legos, and art-related things.

35. What class in High School was totally useless?
As I was homeschooled, we avoided things that didn't do me any good.

36. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Would I do such a thing — no, not me.

37. Favorite movies?
Tough. Two from last year: the Passion and the Incredibles; Home Alone… others aren't coming to me just now.

38. What are your nicknames?
I don't really have one. Unless you count my old user ids “uninet,” “dpbx52b” (Prodigy), etc. With my one professor I have adopted the handle “K.S.T.” (Kindly Student Tim). Don't worry if that doesn't make sense… it is an inside joke.

39. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Yes, of course (usually).

40. Do you think that you are strong?
Not usually. At times, I get full of myself, until I have to lift something heavy.

41. What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Vanilla (with hot fudge) or some kind of fresh berry icecream.

42. What are your favorite colors?
Green and blue.

43. What is your least favorite thing about yourself?
My overanalyzing and worrying.

44. Who do you miss the most?
Right now, I guess my grandpa. I really wish he could be around for another Christmas.

45. Do you want everyone you sent this to send it back?
Well, certainly these things are more interesting if others answer them, or at least comment on one's own answers, but this thing is so long, I really don't have an expectations here.

46. What color pants are you wearing?
Plaid (blue and white, to be specific) shorts. I was wearing black slacks.

47. What are you listening to right now?
Not much.

48. Last thing you ate?
Barbecue boneless “ribs.”

49. If you were a CRAYON what color would you be?
Forest green.

50. Last person you talked to on the phone?
A lady from church who called to make an appointment for me to come do a DSL installation.

51. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
I'll answer the same as Kendall did: a smile (or lack thereof), quickly followed by overall demeanor.

52. Favorite Drink?

53. Do you wear contacts?
No. Although I've been staring at a paper I'm working on so long today, I probably could use something. I was seeing cross eyed as I tried to look through Totem and Taboo for a reference.

54. Favorite Day of the Year?
That's tough. I think, hmm, maybe Christmas Eve.

55. Scary Movies or Happy Endings?
Probably of those two, happy endings, but I consider tragedy the height of drama. This is an odd question since “scary movies” is not the antithesis of “happy endings.” You could have a scary movie with a happy ending…

57. Hugs OR Kisses?
Hugs, as a whole, I guess.

58. What Is Your Favorite Dessert?
Lemon Meringue Pie.

59. What Book(s)Are You Reading?
I just finished The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics by Stanley Hauerwas. I'm reading the Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey, the Great Passion: An Introduction to Karl Barth's Theology by Eberhard Busch and a few others I've forgotten (I've been so busy I've not had time to get back to several books in recent times). I was just given a copy of Letters to a Young Catholic by George Weigel, which I hope to read soon.

60. What's On Your Mouse Pad?
A silver Dell logo.

61. What Did You Watch Last night on TV?
I watched an episode of All in the Family. Tonight I watched an episode of Leave it to Beaver.

62. Favorite Smells?
Evergreen, ionized air, potatoes cooking…

63. Rolling Stones or Beatles?

64. What's the furthest you've been from home?
The Olympic National Forest in Washington.

Brief Semi-Hiatus

By Tim Butler | Posted at 5:54 PM

It is a long story, but for the next few days I'm going to be around, but have spotty internet access. It has nothing to do with anything bad (petty or otherwise) — it is not only a long story, but also not terribly interesting. But, if y'all are wondering where I am, I'm still around. I might try to type up some entries while I'm offline and post them when I'm by a Wi-Fi hot spot in the morning.

Thanksgiving, etc.

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:23 AM

It's been a emotionally draining week for reasons I may get to in another post, but that's not why I've been quiet. I've been quiet because I was trying to fix a few weaknesses in SAFARI and managed to break my ability to login to the administration interface. With the week as it was, I didn't feel motivated to fix it, and hence I've just remained locked out… until tonight. :) I believe that as of now, SAFARI has completely shed its old flat file database self and is completely running of its MySQL database. That has been the major thing I wanted to accomplish before deploying SAFARI for others. This is something I'm very thankful to have done. Speaking of which…

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all.

I was going to make a really nice Thanksgiving post, but I spent my end-of-Thanksgiving-Day time trying to get myself logged back in instead. Maybe I'll do a belated Thanksgiving post tomorrow.

Egw Legw Ellenikan, ouk Latinikan!

By Tim Butler | Posted at 3:34 PM
Like Kevin, I am "Latin." I think this quiz is a bit hard on Latin. I wonder what other antiquated skill I could have been? Why not post yours below? Calliope, Muse of epic poetry
You are 'Latin'. Even among obsolete skills, the
tongue of the ancient Romans is a real
anachronism. With its profusion of different
cases and conjugations, Latin is more than a
language; it is a whole different way of
thinking about things. You are very classy, meaning that you value the
classics. You value old things, good things
which have stood the test of time. You value
things which have been proven worthy and
valuable, even if no one else these days sees
them that way. Your life is touched by a
certain 'pietas', or piety; perhaps you are
even a Stoic. Nonetheless, you have a certain
fascination with the grotesque and the profane.
Also, the modern world rejects you like a bad
transplant. Your problem is that Latin has
been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Bring Back the Challenge

By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:41 PM

It's been about six months since the last asisaid Challenge question set was published. The contest expired before anyone nabbed my prize of six months of free web hosting and a domain name. I'm thinking about reviving the challenge with a new prize (maybe an iTunes gift card…). Anyone interested, or is this something I should just let die?

Numa Numa Dance

(That is, Dragostea Din Tei)

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:41 PM

I'm not sure if I'm the last person on the planet to be referred to this, but just in case I am not, y'all must go watch the Numa Numa dance. Tell me if you aren't happier afterwards. Chalk it up to happiness through the somewhat absurd.

The actual words, when I find them in translation, aren't exactly as happy as the music sounds, and its a bit strange, but hey, who cares? Well, for one, a friend of mine who happens to be Romanian and doesn't exactly appreciate this phenomenon taking off as a representative of Romanian music. I recalled her telling me about a song that had become popular, that contained the following, “I sent you a beep/and I'm so buff” (her Romanian to English translation to the best I can remember it from six months ago), but I only realized after looking up a translation of this song that this was the same song. Heh. :)

Enjoy, but just keep in mind it shouldn't be taken as a representation of Romanian musical taste.

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