Human Spam

I went to the Bellevue Entrepreneur’s meetup tonight and met some interesting people.  Some of them had legitimate businesses and some were what I dub “human spam”.  One woman was selling diet pills that allow you “to lose weight with no exercise or changes in what you eat!”.  Another man was involved in a multi-level marketing scheme selling holiday cards.  I get a sinking feeling in my gut when I talk to such people, so I left soon after.  Human spam is somehow much worse than internet spam; I can giggle at internet spam, but seeing wasted human life is tragic.

Reverend Joel Randall Gross

I signed up for an online “church” that ordains ministers to perform weddings.  If you are interested in getting married, let me know and I will perform the ceremony!

Proclamation of Ordination

Thank you Reverend Joel Randall Gross

Effective 6/26/2009

Please understand that IF this is not your LEGAL name, this is not a valid ordination. If it is, there’s no need to worry. We are referring to everything after the “Reverend” part above.  We ordain you as a member/minister of the Universal Ministries in a service on your behalf at the Milford church, not just through an online registration.  You are now a minister of this church within the Doctrines and articles of Association of the church, with all rights and obligations thereof.  You are now legally able to use “Reverend” as part of your name if you wish. Assumed names and “taken” names are NOT acceptable. ALL states require ministers to sign legal contracts with their legal name. This applies to your Ordination Certificate and any Marriage License you may sign. If this name is NOT your legal name, please let us know immediately and we will make the necessary changes. Also, if your name legally changes or other information needs to be updated, please let us know so that the registry has your current information at all times. Understand that only your legal signature on a license is valid, and with the church.

If you are an underaged person according to your State or National laws you are ordained today as a youth minister without marriage authority until legal age.  The church does not limit this, but the laws of your area.  For most people 18 is the earliest age you may sign a license of marriage, other areas may vary.  When you reach legal age your ordination automatically becomes full without additional filing with the church.  We do not limit you, but the laws of man often do.  The license of marriage is a legal contract that requires people of legal age, or what is considered the attainment of adulthood to sign off on.  When you reach the legal adulthood of your area you become without needing additional approval a legal minister in all rights.

I, Douglas E. Hickman, Ordaining officer of the Universal Ministries, do Ordain, Anoint, Appoint, and Select you for placement into our Registry of Ministry as a minister, and member in good standing. Even as you read these words now, I have already said them, and with your request accepted them in the Milford, Il., church in a physical, defacto service on your behalf.  You, as with every member and minister of this church, were ordained in a ceremony this date with full rights of minister in the UM. Through your request to be ordained we have granted the legal authorities of the church in the world that faith grants you in spirit. Our contract of sharing can only be broken by people, as God ordains unto the foundations of the world.  As in God, we have made our documents of legal establishment simple so they become difficult to violate as our goal is sharing forward in faith, not regulating members with complicated words. This means that from this day forward within the Doctrines and Articles of the UM you are granted ordination for life unless you request to be removed, or violate the Articles and Doctrines of the UM, you are a minister and member with the Universal Ministries. This being said, we welcome you into our Ministries of Universal Acceptance

Can One Merchant Account Run Multiple Websites?

Merchant services is one of the most confusing parts of running an online business.  Right now, I find myself asking “Can one merchant services account run multiple websites?”  I have done some research and found a few options.

If you have a generic business name, such as “Internet Orders” you may be able to set up multiple websites in different niches using one merchant account.  Unfortunately most merchant services providers that I talked to, including Wells Fargo merchant services, requires exactly one merchant services account per website.

Irritating…. Though I wonder if you can have multiple merchant services accounts without having to pay the monthly fee again?

Breaking News: Michael Jackson Dead of Heart Attack

News has just broke that Michael Jackson, the legendary pop star and friend of children everywhere, has died of a heart attack.  Thanks to my younger brother for giving me the news on Michael Jackson.  I am looking around the interwebs to see what other news on Michael Jackson’s death there is.

TMZ has reported that Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest at his home and staff at hospital nearby were unable to revive him.

Suffocating Existentialism

Amazon had good ratings on a book, “The Stranger” by Albert Camus so I bought it.  Reading it took only about two hours tonight and I found it to be a fascinating book about a man who kills another man and goes on trial and is condemned.  Throughout the whole ordeal, the man just does not seem to care much one way or the other, he only exists for the moment and the short term future.  Interesting philosophy that made a bit of sense to me, though I think there are some fundamental flaws to it.  Too much I have seen in life is highly structured and ordered for me to believe that it doesn’t matter how you live your life.  My joy is quantifiable and reacts directly to the world around and inside of me.  I am able to directly manipulate it through my actions and observe changes in it from the actions of others.  I can agree with the viewpoint that one man’s life may have a different path to joy, but it is still a defineable and usually manageable path.  I also think that many people think that they are more unique than they really are; our DNA is 99.99% the same and satisfying the same basic needs gives universal joy.  Still though, existentialism makes much more sense than any religion.

Hostile Beast

My roommate Zach’s girlfriend’s dog now lives in Zach’s room.  The dog, Bobo, weighs five pounds and is cute, white, and fluffy.  Bobo firmly believes he is an enormous hound from hell.

I got home today and heard Bobo barking from Zach’s room.  I determined to make friends with him and went and opened the door.  Bobo stared at me then ran to the closet growling.  I came in and got some food out of Bobo’s bowl and held out my hand for him to eat it, which he did.  Then he went back to growling and barking at me.  My next thought was that he thought I was intruding on Zach’s room, so I went outside and tried to coax him out.  Bobo came out.  Suddenly rage overtook him and he started growling and trying to bite my pants.  I fled in terror to my room.

Bobo roamed the house, occasionally stopping outside my door to bark at me.  Finally my other roommate Chris came to the rescue and locked the hostile beast back in Zach’s room.

Bobo has a history of violence.  After Zach’s girlfriend moved to LA, she left the dog with her parents.  Unfortunately, the dog was causing so much havoc that Zach had to take him in.  Now Bobo is trying to eat me and our other roommates.  Strangely, when Zach is around Bobo acts like a calm, peaceful and happy animal.  He’ll sit on my lap and let me pet him. Reminds me of my mom’s dog, a mutt that was abused by her previous owner and freaks out if someone moves to quickly.  Both dogs could use some proper training.


For the last few days, I’ve been sick and haven’t gotten as much done as usual.  Got home after work today and did a little bit on my side projects and am now watching “Satan’s Little Helper”… such a terrible movie lol.  Probably going to turn it off as soon as I’m done eating these nectarines.

Fremont Solstice Parade: Naked Bicyclists

I attended the Fremont Summer Solstice Fair yesterday and had a blast… lots of sun, hippies, drinks, and fun.  I actually sadly missed the nude bicyclists, but I did see about a thousand of them in Portland last weekend.

I do have a question though: As much as I like naked bicyclists, isn’t it against the law?  Do the police just not enforce nudity laws on one day of the year because their is too many people doing it?  This doesn’t make much sense to me: what if a local UFC team decided to have a “Fight Club” parade and walked down the road punching people?  Would the police not enforce assault laws either? Hmm… that may not be the best example since no one is physically injured by nudity- though viewing some of the older, plumper cyclists may cause intestinal distress lol.

Nudity is something that I’m all in favor of, but I think that the law should be changed rather than just have the police selectively enforce it.  I understand the concept of passive protest, but these naked cyclists should still be arrested and pushed through the court system.  Then if nudity is something that should be allowed, people can campaign to change the law.

Some individuals were arguing on the SeattlePI website that nude cycling was a form of “freedom” that people who want freedom from the government in other areas always seem to oppose.  I disagree with this viewpoint: I want the freedom to spend my money as I please, but these same people who want free nudity also want my money to sponsor their government handout programs.

Oregonian judges have made the best argument for public nude bicycling: they claim it is a form of “protected expression”.  Basically, that the bicyclists nudity is a political statement and thus covered under free speech.  I am a bit skeptical of this, but it certainly makes more sense than things I’ve heard.

What do you think? Is it joyful free-swinging wangs or unlawful conduct flaunting order & justice?