Friday, November 27, 2009

NaNoWriMo I did it

I did it. I successfully wrote 50,000+ words in less than one month.

My novel is not finished but I completed the NaNoWriMo goal.

I am looking at options for self publishing now.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Kristen and I are going to do the National Novel Writing Month. We are each going to try to write a 50,000 word book during the month of November. This means I will be putting my other writing and misc projects on hold for November.

Come join us if you dare:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nebo Station Part 6

“With less than half the self-destruct charges working, we can’t count on anywhere near a full self destruct. The best we can hope for is that the Durement Nebo will break up into pieces, and with all those life pods out there we’re likely to kill more of our own people with debris from the ship caused by that kind of uncontrolled explosion.”

The bridge engineering officer’s report was succinct and to the point.

“Ok people, it looks like the self destruct charges aren’t an option at this point, but I don’t want to just leave the ship here for the enemy to salvage either, give me another option to consider!”

When the captain demands something you give it to him, even if what he is demanding seems impossible, so we threw out options from the top of our very tired heads and nothing seemed workable until I hit on an idea.

“What if we set the auto-pilot to jump the ship out of here?” I asked and could tell from the looks I got that the bridge crew thought I had finally snapped under the stress. “I know the ship can’t actually jump out of here.” I replied to the looks I was getting. “The hyperspace engines are probably shot even if the real space engines could reach jump speed. But if I set the realspace engines to over-max on the current course, override what’s left of the safeties and set the hyperspace engines to engage in fifteen minutes there’s only two possibilities that I can think of. One the hyperspace engines fail and without the safety lockouts they feedback and explode in a small nova, taking the ship with them. Two, the hyperspace engines work if only for a microsecond and the ship makes a semi random if very very short hyperspace jump. Still, that should be enough to make it hard for the enemy to find at the very least.”

The bridge engineering officer agreed with my assessment and the captain liked the plan well enough so that was what we did. With the captains key and some quick jury rigging we turned off the few safety systems that were still working, setup the blind jump in the autopilot, the captain recorded the last log entry and we pulled the backup log recording, pushed the engines back up past redline, and took the bridge life pod.

We spent the next twenty minutes watching the ship recede and waiting for it to blow up. When the explosion never came we concluded that against all logic the jump had been a success, and then spent the next several days waiting to be rescued.

After the Nebo ‘disappeared’ as it were, the battle pretty much ended. Our five remaining capital ships jumped out soon after that and jumped back in a few hours later after the enemy ships had collected their life pods and left. Then what was left of our squadron jumped for regional headquarters where ships and crew would be re-assigned into new squadrons.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Multiple DataKeyNames in GridView

I like to post links to programming tips I find helpful so here is one for a problem I was having today.

and in VB Dim SID As Integer = StudentTextbooksGrid2.DataKeys(StudentTextbooksGrid2.SelectedIndex).Values("SID")

Saturday, July 11, 2009


My grandmother died last night. I am going to miss grammie.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nebo Station - Part 5

Right after I realized we were going to loose the ship, the captain gave me an order.

"Pilot, do whatever you have to do to break away from this battle to give us some space to launch the escape pods safely. You have forty minutes before we launch the first pod. I am going to be organizing the evacuation of the ship. I'll order engineering to keep the engines running as long as they can at the expense of every other ship system, even life support if they have to. Just get us to a safe distance from this battle to launch the pods!"

Then the captain was gone to oversee the evacuation and I was spinning the ship, as much as it is possible to spin something that big, to avoid another attack, and looking for a vector with a somewhat clear path to some open space. A few minutes later I heard the order go out for a phased abandon ship. Non-essential crew would head for the life pods first, then any fighter pilots who made it back in time, then the weapons crews would fire every missile they could back at the enemy and set the ships guns on auto, with orders to shoot at anything that did not read as a life pod. Then the damage control crews, engineering, crews, and lastly when everyone else was off the captain would set the ship to self destruct and the bridge crew would be the last to leave the ship.

That was the plan. Nothing in war ever seems to go according to plan. We took a three more solid hits right about then and we lost engines for a couple of minutes and were holed to atmosphere on several decks. However, I found that piece of open space the captain wanted, and the remaining capital ships in the armada covered our retreat as I pushed what was left of our engines past their max to get us some distance. After the damage control crews along with everyone else who could help, rescued all the people they could from the holed decks, most of the rest of the evacuation went according to plan. Right up to the point where the captain set the ship to self destruct and the computer reported that at some point in the battle the control lines to the over half of the ships self destruct charges had been severed. It probably happened during that last attack when the ship was holed, but right then we had a problem.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Nebo Station - Part 4

In the end the battle lasted a little over five hours for us. We fought hard but our ships were in no shape for a battle at that moment. We should have been having a complete re-fit at a space force orbital shipyard, not doing voyage repairs at an out of the way piece of supposedly safe empty space. I never found out if it was just luck that they attacked right then or if they had timed the attack somehow for when the ships would be in the worst possible condition for a fight. How they knew where we were was a question that bothered me for years afterward, but the answer to that question belongs to another part of the story.

Mothership class carriers never actually traveled alone, there were eight other capital ships traveling with the Durement Nebo along with the fighters and small freighter sized missile carrying Mosquito Boats we carried. Only the presence of those other ships kept us fighting as long as we did. We were down almost half our complement of fighters at that point in time, and three of our five assigned mosquito boats.

We took a lot of hits early in that battle. There just wasn't any way to avoid fifty incoming missiles from one direction, and twenty more plus the ships that were firing them coming at us from another. I know they didn't from the three other capital ships we lost in that battle, but the enemy seemed to be targeting the Durement Nebo almost exclusively. No matter where we turned, no matter what we tried, no matter how hard we fought, the enemy was always there pounding us.

A little over four hours into the battle we knew we were going to loose the ship! I remember looking over at the captain and seeing this look of such utter despair on his face and at that moment I knew. Up until then I had been too busy piloting to realize how bad a shape we were in.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nebo Station - Part 3

We had seen nearly constant battle for the last month and a half. Fifty-four days with only a handful of those not having seen some conflict. According to the SF news our side was supposed to be winning this war. According to the battles we had actually fought in, nobody seemed to be winning. We killed a few of their ships, they killed a few of ours. We seemed to be fighting a war of attrition with the key question being who would run out of ships, ammo, or pilots first.

Hoping for a few days break to calm frazzled nerves and make some critical repairs, we had jumped to some empty space, chosen seemingly at random for no other reason than that it was empty, with no stars, planets, space stations, or most importantly enemy ships.

It was two days into our planned week long repair sabbatical, just about the time the repair crews had things taken apart and were starting to put them back together again, and I had just come on shift as the duty pilot when everything went to hell. The first warning came from the jump sensors, alerting us to first one, two, four, then a dozen incoming ships. Then the weapons sensors started blaring, "incoming missiles . . . incoming missiles" the sensor tech on duty muted the alarm only to parrot its message.

"Incoming missiles, multiple tracts, inbound from the ships that just jumped in. I am also picking up a bunch of hi-velocity stuff at extreme sensor range coming at us from the opposite direction. Those hits are not accelerating at this time, but size and shape are consistent with more missiles. There must be over fifty of those out there."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nebo Station - Interlude - 1

This is an interlude that will probably not be part of the story when it is finished, or the details will be built in. However, while I want to post everyday except weekends, I am tired tonight and not feeling overly creative so will post some stuff I already have written more or less.

In the year CGA 680 (The Central Galactic Authority for trace and commerce, is not really a governing body but rather a standards agency that sets common measurements to facilitate trade.) war broke out between the GerChi republic and a coalition of other republics. This war lasted a little over 4 years and after the war a "non-interference" zone was created where both sides agreed not to send military ships.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nebo Station - Part 2

The chain of events that lead to my being here, a little over two weeks into a series of short hop hyperspace jumps while hunting for a ghost ship I knew was out there somewhere but could not pinpoint the location of, had started a number of years ago during the war.

I joined the SpaceForce in my mid twenties after having already spent a couple years as a freighter pilot and advanced rapidly because of my previous experience. At what I consider to have been the height of my SpaceForce career I was third pilot out of eight on the Mothership Class Carrier Durement Nebo. We ran two pilots at time, with shifts running four hours on, four off, four on, twelve off. Each pilot would fly with two others during a day, and shifts would overlap by one hour. None of that is really important now, I just enjoy reminiscing about those days once in a while.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nebo Station - Part 1

I brought the P3x72-A out of hyperspace after another short jump and started extending the twin grids of antennas, dishes, scopes and other electronics that made up the Hopeful Folly's custom built sensor suite. It took almost five minutes for the grids to fully extend, but trying to jump with them extended would have sheered the grids right off the ship during the acceleration of a run to jump.

An hour later I started retracting the grids and getting ready to make another jump. Just like it had for the last three days, the sensor sweep had picked up lots of random ambient background fuzz, a very slightly higher than galaxy normal concentration of space dust, and a few solid blips between the mass of my head and the mass of my body rolled up into a ball. What they had not picked up was anything reading even remotely like a ship, let alone a mothership sized carrier from the last war, which was what I was out here looking for, while risking my life by running solo on not enough sleep in the empty reaches of space in what is variously called the out-planets, or the neutral zone depending on your particular viewpoint or inclination.

Nebo Station

Like many other geeks I have a liking for Sci-fi. I also have a love of reading and have at times tried my hand at writing a bit of Sci-fi. Mostly I struggle with where to go with a plot, after all I need conflict but what kind of evil horrible person would want to harm my wonderful lovable characters? I just have trouble even imaging such a person. :-)

Anyway, as an exercise in creative writing I am going to try to write a short sci-fi story over the next two weeks, writing and posting a new portion of the story every day.

Disclaimer: This is pre-first draft, live without a net material. As such it may have bad grammer, spelling, mis-directed plot lines, etc. This is not an invitation to proof read and correct my work. If the story is good enough I may do that eventually but not now. Feel free to comment but please be nice.

Copywrite: The universe, characters, ships, stations, etc are copywrited by Keith Rowley and all rights are reserved.

Monday, June 15, 2009

‘ScriptManager’ is ambiguous in the namespace ‘System.Web.UI’

I ran into an odd programming problem today, but as usual google came to the rescue.

I am linking to the blog that had the solution.

"Well, that was the end, as it turns out I had installed both the Ajax that comes with the .NET 3.5 and the Ajax that comes with ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions, and I had referenced them both! All I needed to do was to remove one of the references and that’s it."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Getting Better

I have been very sick this week. It hit me on Wednesday and still hasn't completely gotten better. I lost 3 days of programming since my brain was mush and I hardly got out of bed for half week.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Odd Thoughts

I have been wondering today if in some "odd" (coming from a Pro-Life background) way Dr. George Tiller could be considered a "Hero"? I am so used to thinking of him as "the bad guy" that this is a very odd thought for me. I know for sure that his murder was wrong no matter what a person may think of his occupation! NO ONE should be murdered at their place of worship! I am wondering today if he chose to keep being an abortion provider because he believed that this was important, rather than because it was profitable as the pro-life side always claimed. There are just as lucrative ways to make money that don't involve putting your life in danger. So maybe if a hero is someone who stands up for what they believe in despite trials, toil, persecution, and danger then Dr. George Tiller WAS a hero.

There is a veggie tales song "Stand Up For What You Believe In" with what I am thinking of today as the un-acknowledged sub text "if you believe in what we believe in". We as Christians are so quick to encourage our young people to stand up for what they believe in, and at the same time to demonize people who stand up for what THEY believe in IF we don't agree with them. We demonize those who stand up for a woman's right to control what happens in her own body, or those who strongly believe in equal marriage rights for homosexual couples, and at the same time consider people who stand up for things we believe in to be hero's.

Maybe it is time for an end to this double standard.

Friday, March 6, 2009

GracePoint Leaves UMC a New Paradigm

I have been thinking about the whole situation with GracePoint Community Church choosing to leave the United Methodist Church quite a bit this week. I have googled as many different ways as I could to find all the information available both from new sources and blogs. Overall, the reaction from most of the UM bloggers has been grace filled but not overly hopeful. I would like to suggest a new paradigm for how we can view this situation.

My experience tells me that the way I think about a particular situation will change my emotional response to it, and the way I react to it and can in the end change the situation itself.

So, if I think a particular situation is terrible and a catastrophe I will treat it as such and it will more likely become a catastrophe.

If however, I think of a particular situation as being hope filled and full of unexpected possibilities I will treat it that way and it will, once again, more likely become so.

I would like to suggest that GracePoint UMC and the leadership of the KS West District of the UMC view GracePoint Community Church as a daughter church of GracePoint UMC. Granted this was not an intentional church planting, but unexpected and even at first unwanted children are often an amazing blessing. True, they can be inconvenient and they may even cause a scandal when they first arrive if they do so in an “unorthodox manner.”

GracePoint Community Church started out within the UMC and will always have some of United Methodist genes, so it truly is a daughter of the United Methodist Church and of GracePoint UMC. Sometimes our children grow up and don’t choose a direction we would want them to choose. Sometimes they even do things and make choices that hurt us. But the time comes when we just have to let them go and trust God to take care of them. After all they are his children too, even more so than they were ever ours.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Leaving the UMC

If someone truly feels that God is leading them in a particular direction shouldn't they follow that calling even if the action will be unpopular etc?

I know some might not view this as a fair way of phrasing the question but hey, its my blog. ;-)

Seriously though, 90% of the time most Christians I know would answer that question with a YES.

The only times the answer would normally be NO are when the action in question would be considered sinful. (As in I really feel God wants me to sleep with my boyfriend/girlfriend - or some such statement.)

So I guess the real question before us (I had no idea this was where this post was going) is to ask if Leaving the UMC is sinful.

First, here is a list of links that might me of interest on the question of GracePoint leaving the UMC:

The above links are in no particular order. They simply represent everything google seems to know about this topic. Which is naturally everything there is to know since Google is the fount of all knowledge and information ;-)

I think this quote from the Eagle article is informative:

Butts said the move is one that church leaders believe is necessary for the church to do what God has called it to do -- reach as many unchurched people and people who are hurting as possible.

"We're excited about the future that God has for us," he said.

GracePoint Community Church leaders stressed that their church has no malice toward the United Methodist Conference.

"I think the more churches, the better," Butts said.

And this quote:

In the end, Butts said, he hopes people will see that the issue was not the result of fighting within the church.

"It just came down to God's leading us in a different direction," he said.

"I guess at the end of the day, people are not concerned about a denomination. They want to know how you're going to help them change their lives."

So, the leaders of GracePoint believe God was leading them to do this. With that said, the big question I see is this one:

"Is leaving the UMC in this way sinful?"

I don't think so but would be interested in your opinion.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Grace Point leaves UMC

I am re-posting this press release from the KS West UMC Conference office here and will be commenting on this story more over the next few days.

A press release from Bishop Scott Jones and the Kansas West Conference Office.

WICHITA--The United Methodist Church's commitment to a new church start in northwest Sedgwick County remains strong a day after the leadership of GracePoint United Methodist Church announced plans to leave the denomination and begin a new community church of the same name.

"We want the membership of this congregation to know that we are deeply committed to this church and that we hope they will continue to be part of GracePoint UMC," said Kansas Area United Methodist Bishop Scott Jones.

GracePoint United Methodist Church will continue to worship at Maize South Middle School at 37th Street North and Tyler Road. Jones and the district superintendents are working to name an interim pastor this week and plan to introduce the new pastor to the congregation at 11 a.m. worship Sunday, March 8.

"We would have liked to have some opportunity to discuss this in advance to see if the issue could have been resolved in a different way," Jones said. "While we knew there was some disagreement about the church's desire to expand faster than we were able to support, we were unaware of Rev. Bryson Butts' decision to leave the United Methodist Church."

Butts has surrendered his clergy credentials in the United Methodist Church and is no longer a United Methodist minister.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Today I am feeling hopeful.

God has promised that He will take care of us and I know that I can trust Him!

I am starting to realize how much I was getting stuck in a rut in my current job. There are so many possibilities out there to explore.

I am also starting to wonder if I have compromised too much of what I believe about what the Church should be and do, in order to be able to work within the institution. I have loved working at Chapel Hill, but there is much about the way this church operates that I don't think is either biblical or the best. However, I have pushed these thoughts aside whenever they came up over the last couple of years because some of these same ways of doing things were essential to the continuing existence of of my job position. And for that matter, pretty much any paid ministry position within the Church.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lost Job

Today I met with Jerry Vogt, the Executive Pastor at Chapel Hill, and Terri Gurthrie, the head of the staff parish committee. At my last evaluation I had asked about the possibility of their increasing my hours and was told going in to this meeting that they were going to address that request. Instead of increasing my hours the staff parish committee has decided to eliminate my position as of May 1st, 2009 and fill the position by using volunteers. I was told this decision was not in any way because they were unhappy with my work. I believe it is mostly an economic decision.

Frankly I think they are crazy as Chapel Hill does not have a culture of volunteerism and I believe much of what I do will end up falling back on to Cheryl Ashley, our church secretary. However, this is their decision to make and theirs to deal with the consequences. I wish this was not happening but it is.

I write this for three reasons:
1. I need to debrief, and get this off my chest.
2. I believe in being open and transparent.
3. I am starting Job hunting and would ask all of you to keep me in mind and in your prayers.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back to work on the CHMS

I have been (frantically) working on the online Church Management System for Chapel Hill again.
I decided to move this to a DotNetNuke back end so I had to move all the database tables and rebuild the Datasets and Business Logic Layer. We are doing an in-house photo directory at church and I REALLY want to be able to use this for the registration. The opportunity to get buy-in is just too great to pass up.

I just imported the families and individuals tables information from our Shelby database. So I am more or less back to where I was before sans groups.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I have been engaging in a fun and enlightening conversation in the comments of a blog though the author took down the particular blog post for the conversation. I would have just closed the comments as taking down a post feels like lying and denying the conversation ever happened to me, but it is not my blog.


Eric Mattson

if you are reading this, I think your last comment really cleared things up for me. No, I don't mind measuring things or using numbers to continue to do the work of ministry better. I just always want to be aware of the temptation to measure our success based on the ABC's (Attendance, Buildings, and Cash) rather than the growth of God's Kingdom on earth, both within and outside of the traditional church.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The church should be about the business of changing the future

Cool thought from Matt Cleaver,

"The church is the place where imagining a new future should be a perpetual practice, not just every four years. The church should be about the business of changing the future, not just preparing people for it. We participate in bringing about God’s kingdom on earth, changing old to new, and seeing life where there once was death."

Friday, January 9, 2009

Third-party modifications

Bruce Chapman commented on my post about looking at the source and pointed out a free product from his site that is a good mid-point between the base DNN Friendly Url provider and his full featured Url Master Module. This mid-point module called the iFinity Friendly Url Provider was something I had looked at but was unsure what it provided beyond the basic DNN functionality before he provided more clarification in his comment.

Essentially to quote Bruce "It adds features such as preserving the human friendly urls when using additional modules. The standard DNN provider stops producing Human Friendly Urls with add-on modules like the core blogs and forums. The iFinity Friendly Url Provider provides built-in 301 redirects to maintain a single, canonical Url for your DNN pages."

All of this looks cool but is it worth the trouble of modifying my DNN configuration? After all, to quote Nyls Jessan from Starpilot's Grave "Third-party modifications screw up everything." Of course he was trying to do voyage repairs on the hyperspace engines of a ship that had been moded beyond recognition while floating outside the ship in a pressure-suit. He can be forgiven for his feeling that "You should be able to do voyage repairs withou having to suit up and go out in vacuume." However he does still bring up a good point, since I am do all of my work on the newly released DNN 5 core and even the Url Master Module is not completly compatible with DNN 5 as of my last check, I will paraphrase and say "You should be able to do upgrades without having to go back in to the code to fix a problem." BTW Bruce should be updating this forum thread when he has a new version of the URL Master out that is DNN 5 compatible, but that still does not guraruntee that the iFinity Friendly Url Provider is.

As a side note the Mageworlds series by Debra Doyle and James D. MacDonald is one of my favorite sci-fi / space opera book series, I higly recomend is with only some slight reservations due to some of the fantasy elements. Book one is available from here.

My Blog in a picture

Visual representation of my blog.

Wordle: Keith Rowley Blog

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sometimes you just need to look at the source code

I have been playing around with Dot Net Nuke recently, trying to figure out if I want to move to this as the main core backend for future websites and web applications I build.

One thing I have never liked about DNN is the way it creates urls. This is a link to the Blogs section of the DotNetNuke website and a typical example of what a DNN url looks like. - with all pages having default.aspx at the end and actually being identified by the tabid number. This is just not a very friendly url and this is one of the main reasons I have avoided using DNN in the past.

With the latest round of research I have been looking for a way to get DNN to use a more friendly url structure such as etc...

I was looking at external addon modules to do this such as the cool looking Url Master Module from iFinity a company owned and run by Bruce Chapman from Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia However, hesitate to commit myself to buying a $95 dollar add-on for every site I build. This kind of expense can really cut into your profit margin.

So today I took a good look at the source for the Friendly Url provider that comes with DNN and came across this setting: urlformat="HumanFriendly" which does exactly what I wanted.

To use this, just open your web.config and locate this tag:

<friendlyurl defaultprovider="DNNFriendlyUrl">
<add name="DNNFriendlyUrl" type="DotNetNuke.Services.Url.FriendlyUrl.DNNFriendlyUrlProvider, DotNetNuke.HttpModules" includepagename="true" regexmatch="[^a-zA-Z0-9 _-]">

Change it to :

<friendlyurl defaultprovider="DNNFriendlyUrl">
<add name="DNNFriendlyUrl" type="DotNetNuke.Services.Url.FriendlyUrl.DNNFriendlyUrlProvider, DotNetNuke.HttpModules" includepagename="true" regexmatch="[^a-zA-Z0-9 _-]" urlformat="HumanFriendly">

Save it and refresh your DNN application. Then you will see no tabid is in your urls.
Thanks to this post for helping me figure out the details of how to do this:

What I wanted was right there all along. However, I would not have realized this was built in if I hadn't taken a good look at the source code for the application and seen a switch that was turned off by default to use
Human Friendly urls.

The moral here is that
sometimes you just need to look at the source code.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Avoid Shelby v5.08000 etc

Don't update your Shelby systems software from the v5.07000 version to the .08000 version using the current end of the year update. There is a bug in the update and you will have to uninstall Shelby and re-install after getting the older version from support.

That is what I did today, uninstall and re-install the Shelby Systems Church management system after doing a end of the year update last night.

As all my loyal readers will already know (that's a joke as I think there are probably 2 of you) I am not at all a fan of Shelby Church management system. This just makes it worse. I am a programmer and have created programs and updates that had errors in them, we all do no matter how much we test. However, I don't continue to encourage people to install my software KNOWING there is an issue and it may completely fry their install. That is just bad business practice. Granted most people will be doing an update from an 8000 version to a later 08000 version which should work fine, but for those of us like me who were still using an earlier 07000 version at least warn us not to install the 08000 version. Come on.