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Calm Before the Storm After the Storm Before the Calm

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 8:34 PM

I'm not quite sure what to do. This week has been a frantic mess trying to take care of several deadlines, desperate clients, and various other matters that I fell behind on last week. And now I'm done.

I can see the tidal wave that will probably be next week already on the horizon, but it is still too distant to worry about. So, I sit here enjoying a few minutes of peace and blogging. I must say I am very appreciative of this time today.

In other news, I sold off some of to allow market pressure to play with the price a bit. Christopher already noticed this and bought some shares. Thanks Christopher!

Now if Blogshares would just correctly calculate incoming/outgoing links so that my blog wouldn't seem to be on the edge of being overvalued…

Ah, and other good news. MandrakeSoft shipped me a Mandrake Linux boxed set for review at Open for Business. Much to my surprise, they didn't ship the PowerPack edition I expected (7 CD's, $69). Instead, they sent me the ProPack (8 CD's, 1 DVD, $199). I had been wanting to have the opportunity to give that edition a review, but knowing Mandrake's current financial problems, I wasn't expecting to receive that. Thanks, Mandrake!

(The free Download Edition, which I am currently running, has been excellent so far in its 9.1 iteration, so I am sure the ProPack — which just has “more stuff” — ought to be quite good too. I highly recommend downloading a copy and then joining MandrakeClub if you like it.)


By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:37 AM

I was so busy today, I didn't even have a chance to check my BlogShares performance or read my Blogroll. :-( Maybe tomorrow…

A World Away

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:51 PM

I don't generally attend the small group, but I decided to come to the group meeting because of the occasion. It worked out well, I was able to serve as the photographer, while the group went on about with their normal meeting after a delicious BBQ. It was a nice evening, although it was filled with an aura of melancholy feeling.

The member who is leaving had been here for a one-year project at the Danforth Plant Science Center (which is located next to our church and is sponsored by Monsanto, whose world headquarters is just across the street), and during that time she joined our church, participated in prayer groups, joined the aforementioned small group, and even helped with our stewardship drive in November (demonstrating the traditional tithing method of her culture during one of our services). I didn't know her very well, but it was still really saddening to come to the realization that as she pulled out of the driveway afterwards that I'd probably never get the opportunity to talk to her again.

At the end of the small group, the one member read a piece of scripture that had come to his mind earlier today. It was hard to maintain composure as he read it:
When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. {37} They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. {38} What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship. (Acts 20:36-38 NIV)

The now departing member brought many things to my church, and while I didn't know her very well, it is still hard to say good bye. I regret not having the opportunity to get to know her better. I regret that her time here was so short.

It is almost like a death has occurred. Not exactly, but like the Ephesians, accompanying her to her car, I realized I would probably never see her again. Being that she is heading back to her country of Nigeria, that I can be pretty sure of.

But, I do hope she realizes how much she has blessed this congregation, and that God blesses her as she returns to the life that she left on hold to do research here in St. Louis.

Sick again.

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:45 PM

Well, I've been meaning to say something, but I've been under the weather (I think its the pollen getting to me) and haven't been motivated enough to actually say anything. Uhg… I'm not sure what I'm doing, but I've been bit by some kind of bug four times in only about six months. sigh Anyway, I am still here… I'll probably post something substantial tomorrow. In the mean time, take a look at this.

"Last" Friday Five

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:27 AM

1. What was the last TV show you watched? I Love Lucy on TV Land, about thirty minutes ago. Before that? I Love Lucy on TV Land, last night. Before that? Hmm… I think NewsNight with Aaron Brown during the same time slot as I Love Lucy, just on a different channel (needless to say).

2. What was the last thing you complained about? Linus Torvalds' use of non-Free (as in Freedom) software to develop the best Free Software operating system, GNU/Linux, even though he doesn't need to.

3. Who was the last person you complimented and what did you say? Jeff, a sportscaster in training, who I listened to a speech from this morning. He did such a good job, I enjoyed his presentation even though I'm not much of a sports guy.

4. What was the last thing you threw away? My bottle of Dasani water from yesterday.

5. What was the last website (besides this one) that you visited? I was at Pressed's web site. Before that I was at the site of one of my clients, doing some updates to that site — Drew Stevens.

What Christian Sites Do You Visit?

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 6:35 PM

I'm stumped… or maybe I'm lazy, but I can't seem to find a good site for my monthly The Navigator Christian site review. Does anyone here have some good sites to recommend (blogs, political promos, etc., excluded)? If you take a look at that link, you should be able to get a feel for what's par for the course.

But wait, there's more! If you give me a link I decide to publish a review on, you will receive credit in the article which is distributed to 700+ church members and displayed on and You'll be famous! Christianity Today will be knocking on your door to get your opinion on things! Rush Limbaugh will have you fill in when he is on vacation! In a matter of weeks, you'll be able to retire comfortably to a tropical island and spend your days blogging in leisure. Okay, scratch that part about being famous…

Hail, Hail, The Plants Were Here...

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 2:06 AM

What a mess! The second storm pulverized the flowering trees breaking off branches and leaving dozens of just opening dogwood flowers on the ground under the piles of ice. The Zuni Crabapple was also hit hard with hundreds of little pink buds lacing the sidewalk… what a shame, it would have been a spectacular showing on that tree this year.

Trees were not the only thing left damaged either. The guttering on my western wall has a new indentation going in about an inch from its original (flat) position and the neighbor's dingyless van is dingyless no more (my neighbor, who works at Ford, had just repaired the van from last year's hail damage). Fun.

Anyway, the oddest thing of all was how it came and went. During the whole ordeal, the sky was partially blue and we only got a short spell of rain right before the first batch of hail, so it was a rather interesting weather pattern to say the least. The Zuni still has some buds, so I'm hoping an encore presentation doesn't do those in too.

I wonder if anyone else in the region got hit by this storm?

Week off!

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 10:17 PM

Well, I took this week off and I'm already feeling much better. I got enough of the work of my current clients done that I haven't needed to take on any projects this week — something I'm very happy about. If it wasn't for the fact that I can't keep away from CNN, it would be a completely relaxing week.

I'm working on an interesting project at the moment that will cause some more changes to beyond the (formerly unannounced) ability to view messages by topic, but I'm not quite ready to mention what it is yet. It'll be pretty neat though, I think. More on that later…

Getting Highly Effective

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 12:26 AM

Covey is the author of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and one of Time's 25 most influential people. He was really impressive. Never during the lecture did you get the impression that Dr. Covey was speaking “down” to the audience — in some ways it seemed almost like a 1-on-1 conversation.

He emphasized integrating one's life and setting a personal missions statement. To set goals and stick to them. To not compromise when working with others but listen to each other until you can “synergize” instead. To “live, love, learn, and leave a legacy.” Lots of good stuff in there, to be sure.

The jist of his message breaks down to these four points which I thought were excellent:
  1. Body: Assume you've just had a heart attack and eat and live accordingly.
  2. Mind: Assume your career has a two year “half life” and act accordingly.
  3. Heart: Assume that everything you say about anyone is heard by them, and speak accordingly.
  4. Spirit: Assume you have a 1-on-1 quarterly discussion with your Creator, and live accordingly.

All of this sounds fairly simple, but a heathy dose of common sense is perhaps what this nation needs. It seems that one grade school back east that adopted Covey's program saw their standardized test results go from the 62 percentile (IIRC) to the 92 percentile in just 18 months.

Dr. Covey made some really good points. For example, on leadership, he noted that leadership isn't a position, it's a way of working with people. Management is a position. Leadership is “showing people their value so that they feel motivated to live up to it.” He noted that some of the greatest leaders of all time didn't even have an official title or position. How true.

I just happened to get a third row seat in the auditorium it was in, which gave me the opportunity to walk up and meet Dr. Covey afterwards. I even got a signed program! :-)

Anyway, it is getting late and I'm tired, but I wanted to write a little something about the event. While most of his lectures, I think, are somewhat focused on the business management world, I really don't see any reason why you shouldn't attend if you get the opportunity, even if you aren't in that sector.

It's snowing again...

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 11:58 PM

…yes, it is. Amazingly, it seems that everytime the snow melts this year, it snows again. It's at that point where everyone (around here in Missouri, at least) I think is ready for spring (hi Christopher!). I must admit though, barring unforeseen traffic issues tomorrow morning, it was quite beautiful in its icy whiteness, and I enjoyed it tonight. The motion sensor light came on earlier and the snow just glistened on the hill.

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