Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tech Support ReGripe

PEOPLE!!!! WHEN I TELL YOU TO TYPE SOMETHING INTO THE COMPUTER, DON'T WRITE IT DOWN FIRST!

Matthew 7:21 - A question...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

SQL Server 2005 Installation Error: "Failed to find the ASP.Net Version Registration with Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS)"

Summary.txt tells you: "Failed to find the ASP.Net Version Registration with Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS)"

This error will occur with SQL Server 2005 on some 64-bit versions of Windows.

How to resolve it:

Go to Control Panel>Programs (or Programs and Features)>Turn Windows features on or off

Select the following items circled in red. Other items will auto-select as a result:


Click OK and wait for installation to complete.

Go to an elevated command prompt and do the following commands in order:

cscript %SYSTEMDRIVE%\inetpub\adminscripts\adsutil.vbs SET W3SVC/AppPools/Enable32bitAppOnWin64 1

and then…

%SYSTEMROOT%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

Now you can reinstall SQL Server 2005 and you should not receive the ASP.NET error anymore.

EDIT 5/22/17: SQL Server 2005 Extended Support ended April 12, 2016. That means no more security patches. You really should not be running this software any longer, and should upgrade to a newer version

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tea Party - All in the Family

It's sad really. What was laughable in the early 1970s has become mainstream Republican politics today. Even the racism, except the target now is Mexicans.
On an additional note, my Christian fundamentalist upbringing was like growing up around lots of Archie and Ethel Bunkers...


Friday, January 07, 2011

Facebook Scammers: You (Kicked/Ran Over/Injured) My Dog!

And now for something entirely different.

A Pakistani woman called my wife tonight from a restricted number, accusing her of kicking her dog and demanding that we pay the vet bill for surgery. She insisted that she had a witness, followed my wife back to our house, and looked up her phone number online. The woman refused to give a name or number, or say where the dog-kicking actually occurred. Before my wife hung up on her, she said she had called the police.

My wife contacted the police department, and they let us know that no one had contacted them about my wife at all.

My wife hasn't been out of the house all week! The odd thing about it was that the woman gave a description of my wife and knew we had two kids.

My wife then got on Facebook to talk to her friends and family about it, and it turns out that a friend in another state received the same type of call, accusing her of running over their dog.

The pieces began to fit together: Facebook now forces people's profile pictures to be public. That is how the scammer knows what you look like. Second, Facebook only allows you to restrict the display of your phone number down to "Only Friends," so the scammer will access your phone number through a friend's hacked account, unless they have already hacked your own.

If you receive this type of call, now you know what's going on. To be safe, replace your profile picture with something else that isn't a picture of you or anyone you care about, and isn't a picture of somewhere that would tell your location. Also, remove your phone number or put in a fake number. Unfortunately, this last suggestion disables the ability to send and receive Facebook content via SMS.

Figuring W-2 from Last Paycheck of the Year...

...don't do it! Here's why:

The W-2 you receive is a document that is also being filed with the IRS. The IRS will compare your reported W-2 amounts with what they have on file and if they don't match, you return could be rejected or you come under personal IRS scrutiny.

While figuring W-2 amounts from the last paycheck of the year is, technically, foolproof, you'll end up with a mismatch if the W-2 misreports your income. I just discovered today that my W-2 for 2009 reported my taxable income as $9.25 less than what could be figured by my last pay stub of 2009. Now, that may not have affected the amount of my tax return/payment, but it is a mismatch, and would've invited scrutiny. By using actual W-2 amounts, everything looks good to the IRS right away.

Incidentally, I went back and reviewed my 2008 W-2 and compared it with my last pay stub of 2008, and the two agreed perfectly.

I am not prepared to take the chance that my 2010 W-2 won't match with my last pay stub of 2010, so I will wait until I actually get the W-2 in my hands. Which according to payroll, should be January 19th!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Purpose and Vision = Goal-Orientation = Tendancy for the Ends to Justify the Means

I have spent some time recently reflecting on the concept of whether a church should have a "vision" or "purpose" outside of itself. Parallel to that, I have been (once again) thinking about the many scandals in conservative churches, involving not only sexual wrongdoing but running over people and general ethical inadequacy. Today, these two lines of thought converged.
As Christians, we like to look at failure and call it sin, placing responsibility on the sinner and hope in Christ, as is consistent with the Gospel message. However, in doing so, we compartmentalize the failing, seperating the event from its sundry causes and influences. We are content to have judged the sinner without asking what influenced him to sin.
Ultimately, we are content with picking at the obvious flaw without throughly discipling the fallen Christian, and taking responsibility for our part. What did we as the church do or fail to do that fell short of the edification and encouragement needed to help that brother or sister remain close to the Lord?
So the plot is set for what I consider to be one of the main reasons sin is tolerated and covered up in the church today: churches who have committed to a corporate vision or purpose.

The refrain from pastors is all-to-common: "We can't engage in full church discipline because it would disrupt the work and/or split the church." So then members are never disciplined at all, except in potentially highly visible cases, in which everything is handled behind closed doors, and the offender is quietly asked to leave, if necessary.
I've always said that such pastors just don't trust the Lord. However, I see now an added dimension to the jettisoning of real church discipline: the ends justify the means.
If the end was the fellowship and purity of the local assembly, full church discipline would be no-brainer. As it stands in vision/purpose-oriented churches, the end is effectiveness of corporate ministry. An open admission of sin in the church presents challenges to corporate image and cohesion that pose unacceptable problems for the corporate purpose.
So such a church can, in the end, brush off the truth as gossip and hide behind the curtain of plausible deniability and/or parishioner confidentiality.
Whereas true church discipline might bring corporate purpose/vision to a halt, but it would purify the body.

I just received a comment on my blog last night containing several allegations against a church in Arkansas, whereby some people left the church after committing serious sin. The poster came back and deleted it, but the original comment remains in my email. I do not know if any of it is true. My point here is that it fits a pattern. I tried to find out some info on these allegations and the "official" story relates to "personal decisions" to move to another location. Like I said before, everything is hidden behind plausible deniability, but I have seen the same pattern before in other churches.
The church in question is a decent size church that, of course, is very program-oriented.
You may object that my conclusions are based on circumstantial evidence and personal conjection. I would reply that there is NO reason to avoid full church discipline unless you are trying to protect the organization. There is, on the other hand, EVERY reason to engage in full church discipline if your objective is the spiritual health of the body.

When you give the organization a corporate purpose it takes on a life of its own and becomes greater than any of its parts. Consequently, the parts only thrive within that organization to the extent that they advance the group objectives--become cogs in the machine. Those whose spiritual walk with the Lord are taking them in a different direction become isolated and leave. Those who live in sin are left to their sin unless their activities threaten organizational image/stability at which point the pastor passes judgement either to quietly demote from a leadership role or eject from membership. Nobody gets any real spiritual help.
This is the hard, evident, fall-through-the-cracks reality of a purpose-driven, vision-driven, and/or program-oriented church.

There is a softer yet even sadder reality that exists: outside of the machinery of corporate ministry there is no identity except that of a prospect. You become a bystander. You float in a sea of people. You punch in on Sunday morning to work in Sunday school class and punch in a few hours on Saturday to visit the members of that class. During these times you do experience a sort of fellowship and comaraderie in the ministry. Outside of that, though, you are on your own. The fellowship of the saints has become synonymous with the work of the ministry. You want more fellowship? Increase your involvement. You don't have friends? Get more involved.

Why does this happen? Usually the pastor gets discouraged by a lack of growth, or the static nature of his congregation. He may have been at the church for a while. He may be confusing a personal call to ministry with a call to get the church involved in a ministry. In America today, it is difficult to separate success from growth. Our entire capitalist system is built on expectations of continued growth. Much material on church administration assumes that growth=success.
There is also the concept that evangelism numbers matter (number saved, baptised, etc.) You wouldn't feel like you had to do more if you didn't think your numbers were too low. And yet we are told in Scripture that God gives the increase.
Pastors stop trusting God to lead their parishioners in individual ministry in their own sphere of influence, and decide that more could be done together. Here is the problem. You can't effectively disciple outside of a 1:1 relationship. To the extent that your group ministry fails in throughly discipling every single convert you are filling your congregation with tares and terminal babes in Christ after losing the shallow ground converts. The pulpit gets watered down as the pastor tries to group disciple. Lower Biblical understanding results in more wood, hay, stubble and less gold, silver, precious stones.
The local body becomes hollow as personal spiritual development takes a backseat to church growth.

I love how one blogger put it: your family has no purpose for its existance except to nurture those inside. The church family should likewise have no purpose except to nurture those inside. New members are added as God wills, through His Holy Spirit in the conduct and witness of individual believers.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

ICR and Xmas

The December 2010 issue of "Acts & Facts", the periodical produced by the Institute for Creation Research, had as its cover article, "XMAS/Removing the Reason for the Season."
"Oh good grief," I thought. What truck does the Institute for Creation Research have with "Xmas"?
And closer to home for me, a stack of these prominently displayed on the literature table at my church. Arrggghh!
Anyways-- "X" quite simply, has always been an abbreviation for "Christ." Sometimes, you'll see the term "Xianity," but nobody is trying to strip "Christ" out of "Christianity" when they use that term.
Even in the Acts & Facts article, a FOOTNOTE says:

"X has long been a mathematical symbol for an unknown variable. X later came into use as an abbreviation for the name Christ because it is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστος (“Christ”). To the vast majority of people in our culture, however, the X in “Xmas” would be completely meaningless, effectively removing the Reason for the season."

Way to utterly play down the non-sensational truth of the matter! Additionally, the use of X as a variable in algebra came much later after Christ, so ICR is flat out wrong here. Instead of informing readers about what "X" really means, historically, they confirm people's utter ignorance by using the article to blather on about the ACLU, Halloween, Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

...as if the "Xmas" pseudo-controversy wasn't SO ignorant to begin with. I have lost nearly all respect for ICR.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Series: Consequences of Adding to the Bible

I want to post links to a series written by Chris Brown of East Coast Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, VA. He writes on not adding to Scripture. Very solid, anti-legalistic stuff coming from a KJVO church who is (at least used to be, I don't know) independent fundamental Baptist. His theme verse is Proverbs 30:5-6:

"Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or else he will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar."

I also would direct the reader to I Cor 4:6:

"I have applied all this to Apollos and myself for your benefit, brothers and sisters, so that you may learn through us the meaning of the saying, "Nothing beyond what is written," so that none of you will be puffed up in favor of one against another."

(Above quotations NRSV, apologies to Br. Brown. I Cor 4:6 is fairly mangled in the KJV so I can't fault him for not recognizing its applicability here, I suppose.)

If you come from a conservative Christian background of any sort, you can't come to an understanding of the things he is writing about without some changes taking place in you.

"MORE IS NOT BETTER - Consequences of adding to the Bible"