Facebook and WordPress Update

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR WORDPRESS:  the update I planned for yesterday will happen next week, due to a problem with scheduling things.  Sorry for the delay.  The rest applies to Facebook.

Among the things I am thinking about today is web design stuff and my various pages. For the most part, with only a few exceptions my Twitter account is clean, and I’ve already made plans to do away with my blog within the next few months. Facebook, however, leaves me with a bit of a problem. On the one hand, there is nothing I post to which I am so ashamed that I delete, even when I spew something stupid, argue about something controversial, or make a mistake in judgment. Furthermore, I don’t have friends on this account that I wouldn’t be friends with in public, and see this in the same vein as any other gathering place. On the other hand, as my website training for a certain company reminded me today, what I post online may be construed as a representation of the companies I work with or for – and a large chunk of what I post, be it political argument or personal enjoyment, would be frowned upon by major investors and businesses.

There are a few solutions around this, none of which I fully agree with. The simplest is to delete my online presence altogether, going the route of paying to have myself removed from some sites (like Facebook.) This is obviously the safest solution, as the more difficult it is to find you online, the harder it is to give someone something to hold against you. It also offers the closest solution to a “clean slate,” meaning I could build my online presence to their fit. The trade-off, besides losing communication with people I legitimately care about, is the lack of real character: If I’m willing to wipe my slate clean, what else might I hide?

The default response is to do nothing – coincidentally, it’s also the worst response to give. I know some of what I posted would give people the wrong impression of me, and while I would hope they would respect me for who I am now and allow me to continue in my own opinions, I know some people in higher authority simply lack that decency as human beings. I would hope not to work for such a person, BUT if I am to believe that everyone deserves a fair shot and a second chance when they are wrong, I also have to account for that possibility.

The worst solution is bad for one reason alone: time spent. While going through and weeding out posts and responses to make my Facebook page may allow me the best of both worlds (keep my presence AND make it work-safe,) It’s also the most time-consuming task of the bunch AND does not guarantee either the ability to find said items or that what I keep is safe. It’s also what I am doing to my blogs, to a degree, when they get transferred, and would not be the best investment of time.

The best solution I’ve seen a few of you already do: False name, some with a page specific to you professionally. This is the route I am most likely going to take, BUT two things have to be decided, and one other has to be considered. The first, if I do a page specific to me professionally, is what I will post and share: What do I want people to see that employers might like and entertain? DO I want to keep those posts strictly to the professional, or what would I want to post that would be personal yet safe? Juggling 2 personalities online when you’re a student who works is a difficult task even when alone.

The second is what to name this page – after all, doing a search for “Wayne Winquist” or any variation of my name will lead to this, and to all of those variables that will make people question my past or present. Doing this might change the tags (which would be a good thing), but wouldn’t change any references to me that aren’t tagged, leaving an opportunity to have the more controversial stuff found. Do I really need employers knowing about the time I was drunk or high? Not really.

The big thing I need to consider is what to name my professional and personal Facebook pages, and that’s now the difficult task.  Right now I’m thinking “The Wonderful Wayne Winquist” to be safe for my professional page, while something along either my geek, heritage (Swedish-German), or liberal viewpoints as the personal.  For most of you, all that will change is the name and amount of reposting:  most of you aren’t into computers the way that I am, and the few that are already subscribe to the same channels I do.  (Wish you bastards would open up more when I repost stuff, however!)  I would hope many of you would like and share the other page when it becomes available next week.

Korn – Spike In My Veins

Korn – Spike In My Veins

Part of this is to enter a contest to meet these guys, part of it is just toconnect to a song I am digging!

Why Ken Ham and Bill Nye Are Both Wrong

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

In spite of my deep-seeded belief that all human beings are stupid in one way or another, I will never call Ken Ham or Bill Nye idiots.  Both have respect of their respective communities, have contributed much to the world of science and debate, and have done the public greater good overall.  (I will stop others who wish to bash Ken now: whatever your beliefs in the argument between evolution versus creationism, He has brought more to the creationism argument than most people, including scientists.  It may not be enough to persuade you to consider his arguments, BUT you have to admit that if you were going to listen to ANYONE on the subject, only a handful of people, including the Pope and God himself, would be better.) Read more of this post

MARCH 7th and MARCH 15th

I’ve talked many times about the removal of this site – These are the next two dates of extreme importance in this quest.

The first one, which coincides with the first day of Spring Break for me, will be the day I will be going through this entire site for postings I will keep and transfer with me later.  I will remove unfinished and broken pages, pages that no longer apply to the person I am, and anything (SPAM that wasn’t caught, for example) that doesn’t otherwise fit.  The site itself will not go down UNLESS it looks like everything is transferred and edited by the 15th – something I wouldn’t hold my breath on.
March 15th is (hopefully) the day the new site will go up.  I started a new page for myself in the last web programming class (while killing time waiting on the teacher to have some free time to speak with the last chapter with assignments in the book,)  and have some ideas on who I will sign up with and where I will go through.  (Considering how much it will cost and the number of services and tools I’ll have – including a WordPress blog on site – it’s one of the few great deals I like.)  The site will probably be limited for a while, as it will grow as I advance in classes, but it will hopefully be an all-in-one shop for people wanting to reach me.

I won’t kill this page before the stuff I plan to transfer comes over, nor will it be immediate – I will probably keep a page on here for a while to make sure people go to the new site when it comes up.  (This may just become an RSS link-to, pasting the links to my latest pages and posts on the site.)

More info as it comes up.

Facebook Repost 02-07-14

While it looks like my “technical difficulties” are over, it looks like I have another task to add to my “Spring Break Spring Cleaning.” It also gives me a laundry list of complaints for companies, since the start of the problem came from what should have been a trusted source.

One of the programs I trust, CCleaner by Piriform, is used when things begin to act up and viruses aren’t detected. Files do become corrupt, stuff breaks, and this little program does a decent job of finding many of them. Unfortunately, there’s one flaw, at least with the free version: it doesn’t update itself automatically. It detects updates and, like other Piriform apps like Speccy, notifies you that a new update is available.

Unfortunately, whether I made the error by ignoring something or the link I was sent legitimately to a “false page,” the page I that opened to grab the latest version of CCleaner was the FileHippo page. FileHippo’s one of the two links – the other being Piriform’s main web site – to download the program from, so I trusted it. The mistake I made: clicking the wrong “download” link, and running the program without thinking about what it would do.

So what does this cause for a headache? First, it changes all of my browser settings in almost all of my browsers to load a specific search page when either going to the “home page” or opening a new tab. (The one it didn’t change? “Waterfox,” a 64-Bit version of “Firefox.”) Second, because many of these browsers allow for settings to be synced by account, it infected my laptop as well. (Fortunately, it did not affect my phone – though that might be due to the software on the phone catching it.) Third, it also changes my search engine to that search page – and anyone who knows me knows I dislike “Bing” for anything other than Desktop pictures.

The cause of this change: some nice malware known as the “Conduit Virus,” which was installed with a program called “Download Manager,” and that hid a program called “Search by Conduit.” (http://malwaretips.com/blogs/remove-conduit-search-virus/) This link will describe it, and it has more than a few entryways on your system. (http://botcrawl.com/how-to-remove-conduit-search-malware/) This link will tell you why it’s important to remove it immediately. The best part: It goes unnoticed by Norton’s suite available through Comcast. (This is extremely funny, because it also tried claiming that “Mame64,” the 64-bit version of the MAME Emulator I use to play arcade games with, WAS a virus. Go home, you’re drunk Norton.)

Three lessons to be learned here:
1.) ALWAYS grab the program from the main site when possible – and when not possible, don’t download it. (This one would have prevented everything.
2.) ALWAYS pay attention to the installer, EVEN WHEN it’s a program you’ve used before. (This is how they sneak in most of the time.)
3.) NEVER download or install any file when you’re in a position other than “awake” and “alert” – the main reason for my sloppiness was because I was just waking up when I did this yesterday, and just like drunk texting/emailing, this could have been MUCH MORE than a headache.

One additional Gem, IF you’re using Windows 8/8.1: MSCONFIG can be your best friend in situations like this, as I had to get into “Safe Mode” to get to it, and the normal means of access kept crashing the machine. (This is one of the reasons why I added “Windows Re-install” to my Spring Break list.) If you’re in 8.1, right-clicking the “Windows Start Button” on the desktop will bring up a menu allowing you to “run” programs; in both Windows 8 and 8.1, the key-command is “Windows Key-X.” In both cases, type “msconfig” to run it, and once it’s running, pin it to the taskbar.

I will copy and blog this for later, if anyone wants to reference this.

A Theory on When Computer Processing Will No Longer Need to Evolve

In both of the fields I am considering getting a degree in – in Business or in Computer Science – there is an endgame to which the concept of “upgrades” will no longer apply.  For business people, most have reached a plateau: with only a few areas of the business field truly needing the latest & greatest in technology, most people will find that the few advancements will only make their PowerPoint a smidge prettier and their Excel documents and calculations a fraction of a second faster at this point – until the next big evolution in the business field comes along, most of the heavy work is on the end user, the business person.  Computer people will be hitting a plateau soon as well, when you start to think about things:  the biggest complaint currently is how much less in graphical improvement the latest Nest-Gen hardware by Sony and MS (and Nintendo, who went down a different path yet again) has in comparison to the last time they released hardware.  While hardcore geeks and programming buffs can point to the technical improvements made, a lot of people haven’t seen the kind of graphical improvement they’ve become accustomed to seeing in the past.
We’re going to get to a point, within the next couple of generations of gaming console, where the improvements will no longer be something the computer will be able to see.  Yes, the systems themselves will get smaller, with less of a need for an optical drive and more powerful processors that, at some point, will make our current processors look like clumsy giants.  However, at some point the sale of a new system is going to change from “look at how graphically enhanced we are” to “look at what our system can do and handle at the same time!  All while being in this shiny, small box!”
What I’m saying will make sense to even the most mentally-challenged of people:  we’re within a number of years and generations before we will need a technological advancement to argue the need for an upgrade.  The Occulus Rift and 4K TV are going to be a great help for this, but even those are within a few generations hitting that plateau.
At some point, you have to look at the big picture, find the signs not for what is currently there but where you want to be, and if it’s far out, figure out what you will need to build to it.  The ideas may come from established science fiction (as a lot of innovations do), or they might come from the imagination; whatever the case, you might need to figure out the endgoal for what you’re interested in will be, as well as the stopgaps in between, to prepare for and work towards the future.
I think Science Fiction has provided two possibilities on where that end goal might be, both of which are similar enough in function, that provide what may be that end game for entertainment-based computing:  Life simulators, either in the form of wearable/attachable “devices” (such as the plugs in “The Matrix” films or the head devices worn by people in “Surrogates”) or my ever-favorite “Holodeck” from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
While there are a million forms of technology, as well as more research and development of current technology, needed to develop such devices, my thought is that a lot of it could arguably be done today, albeit with a caveat: The size and heat of these machines would necessitate something of a skyscraper to build just the computer if we did it today.
The thoughts I have behind this are relatively simple enough.  First, and probably easiest, you would need enough information to create and translate objects into a form human beings can understand.  Each way is different:  whereas “The Matrix” could get away with only focusing on how the mind interprets that object, a Holodeck would have to complete all of the details, such as grain of wood, weight, how the rough or smooth, soft or hard that object is.  While programming tricks combined with increased speed would allow for advance tricks similar to what we have in games today (where a game engine only creates what it needs) and the internet can compensate for some of the work (particularly if we’re still on Earth or another world where an established network is set up), either method would take up a lot of processing power per object.  A fully-completed wooden chair, for example, with weight, definition and full usability, could take up a core or a full machine right now to compensate for everything that user might do with it – making sure it smashes right, for example, if the user picks it up and throws it.  (This is one area where “Surrogates” gets off easy: rather than having to recreate the object, it only needs to translate the sensations the robot gets into something the human understands.)
Likewise, the physics necessary to recreate an environment would take up a large amount of computers as well.  If that chair is thrown, something needs to translate the air-drag and speed, and if it hits something, how it breaks.  (If it hits someone else, how the perceive that hit must also come into bearing.  Databases would be needed for each object in the simulated environments, whether it’s just understand the sensations experienced by a machine acting as a “vehicle”, if you’re inside of a virtual world, or if that world is being recreated for you.  AI would be needed to simulate any of the “life” in that world, be it plant, animal, or intelligent life, and all of these systems must tie together.  In addition, you have all of the translators and machines going between to create the physical parts of that world.
I’m not here to explain how it all works – I’m here to explain why I think this is the direction we are going, and more importantly, what we can start doing now to move this forward.
Think back about 4 decades, if you’re old enough.  Most people in the last quarter century will have no idea of how far we’ve advanced, and even people my age only have a surface view of our advancements in technology; it’s hard to believe, in some ways, that less than a century ago the closest things we had to the modern day computer was the abacus and the mechanical calculator; that at one time the sports halls and stadiums of our day was the size needed to house 1 computer; or that it was right around the British Invasion in the 60′s when the first computer game was made.  Not that many people thought we’d be going from something like “Pong” and “Asteroids” to the virtual worlds we see today, or the advances we’d go through in robotics, biotechnology, or new fields such as virtual reality.  Very few people predicted the internet as it is today.
I could point to helmets like the “Occulus Rift,”  but the games that will more likely be converted to the helmet are more than enough to prove my point.  The government has seen this, and even created their own game for it.  You can only get so realistic in graphics and sound, and anyone could see the potential translating these worlds could be, not just on an entertainment system, but also an educational one:  Training soldiers and surgeons in a safe environments, giving kids field testing without putting themselves into harms way.  How better to train the next cook, field operative, or oil rigger than in an environment that allows breakdowns and dangers that would cost a company potential millions of dollars otherwise?
We already have some of that technology.  Obviously AI’s developed for games would be more than capable of simulating other life forms – maybe not as complex as a dog or cat, but complex enough to know how to recreate a mouse or small bird.  Solid-state drives and RAIDS may not be common-place in the home, but there’s not much more speed to be gained by these devices.  Graphics cards have not only become more sophisticated in how much they can draw, but also how fast and easily they can interpret data – there’s a good reason besides money graphics are getting integrated into the CPU.  Theoretically, any of the pieces could be created on one modern-day computer – in some cases, to the exacting speeds and memory needed.
The other big argument I find in why this is the direction we’re going is to look back at history, particularly the relationship between science fiction and modern technology. While we don’t yet have Aliens, Time Machines or Robots and Flying Cars beyond the scope of a movie, we have tablets, cell phones and computers that continue to decrease in size and increase in usefulness; TV’s and theatres have all but replaced books for retelling modern tales, and digital files the records of yesterday (which themselves aren’t very old, either.)  At some point all of this stuff is going to come to a convergence, where we no longer read or watch something, or are limited either by programming constraints or accessibility – we fully experience it, whether it’s a concerto in moonlight in history, or a futuristic action game.
The question I pose is not whether anyone agrees with these thoughts, but where we are at, at least in the scope of computation.  At what point do you see computers powerful enough to do all of this work at a price and size reasonable enough to be accessed by even the poorest of consumers?  How soon do we go from needing the skyscraper I believe we really need to simulate 1 world today to needing maybe a corner office to power 100 worlds?  Where do we need to focus our technological advances on the computer side to achieve this end goal?
Welcome to the starting line of the end of the evolution of the computer.

Repost – video game violence debate break

Reposted from a status post on Facebook on November 1st, 2013.  Be sure to fill out the poll(s) below, if they’re still available – I may use it in my speech for class next week! Read more of this post

Theory to explore – personal

First, this will probably be replaced with something more in-depth later as I am given time to actually think about this, so don’t count this as an official post, and don’t link to this posting, as it may be gone.  I just want to get this on the computer prior to meeting someone today.

If you’ve never been to meetme.com, aka the former myyearbook.com, you might want to consider doing so.  It’s a social networking site geared more towards dating and meeting people rather than an all-encompassing social site like what Myspace used to be or what Facebook is now.  One of the sections on the site is “Ask Me Anything,” which allows members to ask friends and people questions – or, if no one is asking you anything, generate questions for you to answer.

One of the questions it asked me that got my wheels turning was “Do you believe that there are real psychics?”

The first thought I had was t think of how a psychic might scientifically be able to legitimately exist.  This lead to two thoughts, one of which is theory I’m going to explore.

The one I’m not going to explore is how they might work, which involves energy being able to be transferred along the fabric of time to receptors able to understand and translate those energies.  This one is not important enough to me to explore, as I’d gain little from the knowledge.

The one to explore has much more merits as a writer as well as a scientist – which somewhat fits me well.  That theory explains the creation of theories in terms of the currently untestable, and has two parts.  The first part is the fact that, to come up with said theory, you need to be able to explain how it might work.  That’s the easy, as humans have been doing this for years.

The second part is figuring out what gap(s) in knowledge and current science exist to get from point a to point b,  This doesn’t mean giving full detail of said gap, unless you think you can explain the details missing in between; or, in other words, coming up with two-three possible theories to get back to the initial theory.  If you can do this, you can argue it as possibly a real theory, since the only part in the way is proving it.

Note that I didn’t add “disprove” – that’s because, as humans, we tend to believe stuff can not work until proven otherwise.  We already know we’re not going to be able to prove it right away, but if we can fill in enough of the gap to give someone else, either now or in the future, the ability to test said theory, we can give them a door to try to go through.

I have to run now – I’ll explore this more in-depth in a future post.

Figuring Out What You Are Capable Of And Who You Are: Stranded on an Island…

Here is the scenario:  You wake up stranded on an island.  Civilization has never been her, and as far as you can there is no evidence explaining how you got there.  You are naked, and there is no wreckage nearby either to explain things or to assist you.  What do you do?

Some of you may already understand the exercise (and it would not surprise me to find a few people have gone through this – or worse), and a few of you may already have your minds made up.  Some (like myself) will have obvious questions: What happened, how did I get there, why am I naked, etc.  Other people will have extreme reactions, some in a definite direction of death, others towards a more positive end.  Some people will have an external motivator they can focus on. Read more of this post

Birthday Posts Today

On this day 36 years ago I was born.  Today I plan on 2 posts, one of which had to be delayed from the original time I was going to post (hence, why there’s an announcing post instead.)

Expect a post at 12:07 and 6:07 P.M.  postponed until further notice.  Sorry for the delay, hope you enjoy them.

My Theory Behind Why Evolution Is Taught In School (and Why Creationism Is Not)

Let’s get a few points before I begin.  First, THIS IS ONLY AN OPINION – I am only a student in the educational system, not an employee, so at best, this is speculation.  Second, This is not an argument about which one is correct, nor is it an argument for which one is wrong.  While I will state why I feel teaching both are important, I’m neither a scientist nor a theologist for any religion.  I’m not going to pick sides or ask you to pick sides – I’ll leave that to those more qualified than myself.

Last but not least, I ask that everyone keeps an open mind on what I have to say.  Opinions are great when all sides are informed of the arguments and make their choices from that information, but more often than not, one side skews a view in their favor.  As I said, I’m here to give an opinion on why a problem that becomes ridiculous debate exists even at the college level.

That problem:  The theory of evolution as taught in school.

Last week we started our summer semester at Rock Valley College, and the first class of the semester was Human Biology (BIO-100).  The first two chapters we started learning from were based on what Biology is and the Theory of Evolution.  As we hit the second chapter, my professor brought up creationism repeatedly, pointing out problems the theory has not answered, the flaws with common knowledge about the theories, and some of the similarities between the two.  He did not cover creationism directly, but his intent wasn’t to do so – it was to make us think.

Sir, you succeeded.  My thoughts?

Read more of this post

Journal Writing: 5 Smart Reasons Why YOU Should Start doing it TODAY

My Take on Windows 8, and Why More People Should Try It

Okay, let’s get the easy part out of the way: Windows 8 is far from a perfect operating system, and its many problems and shortcomings – not the least of which stem from not listening to its consumer base – is shameful and disappointing.  I’m not going to blame anyone on any platform for having complaints on it.
However, for all of the flaws for which I am seeing people gripe and moan about, there is alot to like about it, and a good argument for keeping both Metro and standard desktop UI elements together.  It’s not yet ready for the work floor, but for the home consumer, it’s a step in the right direction – and deserves a little less flack than what it’s receiving.
Read more of this post

Why we need a change in attitude…

Has anyone given thought to the words we use?  Most of us (at least people  that I know) are brought up not to say certain words until a certain age,  and other words  not at all.  While I don’t  agree  with this practice, the “how it’s used” part I definitely think is important – especially when you’re reffering to either yourself or the people you care about in your life.
Read more of this post

The things I am looking for in a partner 2013

Now that summer’s almost underway and I am making a change of plans in my career and lifestyle paths, I have some time to deal with some things on my mind.  One of them is the continual number of people that I want to be around rejecting me, and the people I don’t want in my life wanting me around.

That may be a mean way to look at things, but from my point of view, it is necessary.  While I believe everyone is capable of change, and that people are able to be anything they really want to be, I don’t have the time, patience or skill to make those kind of drastic changes in someones life – nor should I.  While I don’t mind helping someone who wants to lose weight, I should not be the main reason for that change, nor should I be the one pushing it onto someone else.

Likewise, some behaviors and beliefs are more difficult to change.  While we can easily point to someone whose constant visits to the all-you-can-eat buffets lead them to a dependence on insulin shots and heart monitors, it’s harder to show how the actions we take as adults impact our children’s futures.  As much as I’d rather not be alone, I’d also rather not be responsible for not giving any kids I have the best possible futures they can have.

So what am I looking for in someone?

  1. Behavior, or how you treat others.   This one is big – huge – in my world, and with good reason.  Most of the women I reject have attitudes and behaviors I disagree with.  For example, they let their kids run around like wild children, misbehaving as they like, staying up for odd hours of the night or doing crazy stuff.  Likewise, there are some parents to strict and scary that anything might set them off.  This is something that can be observed even in non-parents:  How they treat their animals, friends and family is almost a reflection of how they’d treat kids.  If you make me cringe, scared or concerned, I will dump you.
  2. Looks are very important.  I don’t ever expect to date any Playboy models or red carpet queens – and many of these women aren’t worth approaching anyway.  However, I’m not looking for the next supermodel – I just want to know that you’re really taking care of yourself.  Many of the problems I have now are the end result of not doing my best to take care of my health – spending too much time in fast food joints and all-you can eat buffets, and not enough time camping, biking, swimming or even walking.  I’m a firm believer that is big is not beautiful, that looking like you have parts chunking or swooshing about you can’t be healthy.  I don’t want some rail-thin twig in my life, but I don’t want to date someone who looks like a cross between a human and a rhinoceros or elephant either.  I’ll give anyone a chance, but your attitude and actions about this will determine how long I stay.
  3. I have to be comfortable around you.  This one is extremely difficult to do, but is crucial to our relationship.  As much as I’d like to say I can weather anything, the truth of the matter is that I really need to be able to trust you.  I need to know, if I mess up or do something you don’t agree with, that you’re not dumping me the next day.  If I can’t trust you to do that, and if I have reason to believe you’ll run out of my life, we’re not going to work.  (This I speak with experience – my last relationship failed because neither of us could trust the other.)
  4. We’re Equal.  This is one of those things where I should not have to say it, but from what I see, no one understands.  I may not bleed monthly, grow kids in my belly (I don’t have a womb to grow them in, either!), and will probably not be as good looking as, or cook as awesomely, as you.  Whatever my shortcomings are, I’m not going to tolerate someone controlling or manipulating me, nor will I tolerate talking about how you’re better than, or in control of, me.  I don’t want to tell you what to do or how to live your life, either – I want to see you as an equal, as a partner and a friend, not as competition.  I view it as respect, and those sort of things show a clear lack of.
  5. Make our time count!  I should not feel like I have to give ALL of my time and energy to you, nor do I expect you to do that for me.  However, we should not be so far apart as to not give each other those moments daily, whether it’s cuddling while watching TV, sharing some quality shower and massage time, or going on little trips and adventures.  One of my bigger mistakes was neither supporting any efforts my ex made to have her alone time, or to allow her that –  nor did I make the time we had together as enjoyable as it could have been.  I’d like to enjoy my hobbies, get the projects I need to done, and when I feel it is right, share in my hobbies and interests, and learn from you with your hobbies and interests as well.

Part of the reason I am making the efforts I am to change and improve myself and my quality of life is knowing that I’m not where I feel equal in these matters – expecting you to take care of yourself, for example, is very unfair when there was a long time when I didn’t.    That’s also the reason why it’s there and why I am working on those things, because I now have injuries and hurts I would not have had I taken better care of myself. I’m not going to ask of you what I do not expect of myself, and It’s why my emphasis is more on behavior than on looks.

I won’t blame anyone for rejecting me anymore – but I try to make sure to have a solid reason for rejecting someone as well.  If you see what I am looking for as a problem, say so and back out – I’d rather have your honesty than you try and waste each other’s time.

One last thing:  There is a lot I can look past and can forgive.  Don’t take any of these as bullets for breaking the relationship – if I’m giving you an honest chance and you’re breaking one of these, we’ll talk about it when I feel it is right.  I know people can change, and I know I’ve forgiven these things before.

If you can pass these tests, and accept me for who I am, we can go a long way together.

Facebook repost 12/22/12 – WE LIVE! WE LIVE! (Should we?)

So, here we are, and every part of the world is now officially on or past the 22nd, and we now know that, whether we misinterpreted the markings, someones translation was off, or the stone carver felt they had done enough, the apocalypse prediction was wrong and nothing major really happened.  I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing…

Two things nationally have me angry.  The first is major media news, whom I think have finally come to a point of desensitized that the shooting I relinked from Jenn earlier was, more or less, glossed over while an organization spewing the same rhetoric they’ve always spewed gets all of the attention.  I would think a person who tried pulling off another mass-killing would have more attention, but I guess we’re going to compare numbers and 3 people dead does not compare to 26.  I think we’ve forgotten the value of life altogether.

The other thing is our elected officials – not just our president, but both sides of congress as well – having had all of this time since the election to come to terms and work out an agreement on our budget, yet are at their homes, divided by party politics, and set on screwing all Americans monetarily once again.  I think all of their jobs should be put on the line, and if they can’t come up with a resolution by New Years Day, they should be fired – every single one of them – for not doing the job we elected them to.  I wonder how serious they’d take their jobs if they faced what the poor and jobless face everyday.

All of this does tie in together:  a worry that I have.  I wonder, with all of the jokes we cracked about how the Mayans were wrong, if we’re going to go back to our ordinary lives, forgetting that we should be living every day like as if the world will end tomorrow.  I wonder if we’re so desensitized by the media and the government that we have a statistical and monetary value for something that should be priceless and cherished.  I wonder how many of us aren’t that desensitized already…

Okay, off my soap box – for now…

Facebook Repost 12/19/2012 – We Need Responsibility, Not Bans, With Violent/Graphic Media

This is a repost from Facebook on 12/19/2012.  It may be edited to fix spelling or grammatical errors.  It was used to post a link:  http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/video-games-violence-generation-blames-latest-media-expert/story?id=18009898#.UNGVhORQV8F

“I knew it was only a matter of time before THIS discussion showed up on some news channel…

I’ve had a lot of thought on this topic, as well as a lot of debate, over the years, and in some ways I’ve mellowed a little. I think, when you enjoy certain types of media, any thing saying something may be wrong with it is considered an offense and we go into attack mode. It’s also easy, until we look at other people, to forget how while the majority of people can handle things under normal circumstances, not everyone is capable of handling certain normalities in society. It’s also easy to ignore how many things that are unhealthy for our bodies and our minds have grown exponentially, or to look past how we’ve become not only as a society, but as individuals.

In spite of all of this, I can’t help but to stress the importance of what I’ve felt all along. You can only shelter your kids so much – some people simply lack the understanding or consideration not to play harmful stuff, such as movies, music and video games, in front of others It’s not yours or the government’s place to dictate stuff like that, as much as you may dislike it.

However, as more of us are becoming or have become parents, we have responsibilities to our kids, to raise them to be better, smarter, and more responsible as adults. This goes beyond those that have kids, as well – while it is okay to do as you please inside your home, anytime there’s kids present we should be conscious about what we enjoy and interact with in front of them. That doesn’t mean hiding everything – some things, like this shooting, children should know as much of the truth as they can understand. It does mean, though, that we probably shouldn’t let our 3-year-olds watch the news when they get graphic in descriptions of the events.

Violent or graphic media – gangsta rap, fighting/first-person-shooter games, horror movies – should not be banned, taxed or restricted because of some crazy people having a harmful effect to it, any more so than alcohol, cigarettes or food be banned because of the harmful effects they have on people. The same principle does apply to usage, though: there’s a difference between use and abuse. If you’re forcing your kid to eat apples and celery instead of Twinkies and McDonald’s, and you’re forcing them to either go outside or do homework before TV and Video Games, you probably are aware of this: Your 7-year-old probably is not ready to go from nursery rhymes to Tupac, your 10-year-old probably is not ready for “Call of Duty:Black Ops II”, and your 12-year-old might not be ready for the “Saw” series or “Schindler’s List”. I say “might” on the last one because if you’re lucky to have a perfectly healthy and stable kid, they might also be mature enough to handle both the blood and gore, as well as the adult content, of the series or film.

I can’t stress this enough: responsible parenting, not bans and restrictions, will make our society better, and will help to stop these sort of events. I’m adding, however, that this extends beyond the reach of the parent, to all adults: All of our actions are observed by kids, whether we like or want them to, whether we’re related or connected to them. What you do in the privacy of your home is with you – If you want to watch “Dirty Sluts on Parade in Nazi Land” in the privacy of your bedroom or after the kids go to bed, that’s fine. What you do in front of, or allow your kids to do, is a different matter.

You can’t control everyone else, but you can control what you do.”

What I Think We Should Consider To Prevent The Next Tragedy

Before I start giving opinions, I wanted to express my sorrow and prayers to the families affected by recent shootings in the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre in New Town, Connecticut, and at the Clackamas Town Center shopping mall shooting near Portland, Oregon, and other families and friends affected by recent violent shootings that are becoming too common now.  The pain you are going through is not one I’d wish on anyone, and no one should have to lose a loved one over such tragic trappings.  You are in my prayers.

However, as I’ve seen and noticed too often over the years, human tend to have two opposite reactions to tragedy, each dependent on how often and how brutal the tragic event is.  Something where we’d not had that level of brutality in tragedy, such as the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, we have an overreaction to – understandable, given how the concept of two kids walking in and shooting people at that time was beyond belief.  The other, which often leads to the next major tragedy, is under-reaction in response to more frequent, yet equally tragic, events – we had major reactions at the first few High School shootings, yet after so many of them, we had no reaction, no blame for the cause, nothing but sorrow for the victims.  Both fuel each other, especially in our modern, connected society:  to regain attention and cause debate, we have to cause more harm and further the impact of our actions.  The next shooter is probably watching this stuff and making plans on how to make his stand out from the last.

I wrote this in response to a Facebook posting asking what should be suggested to lawmakers, and I have a feeling I’ll be rewriting the same thing to others that ask for what we should do.  These are my thoughts, not backed fully by evidence but with enough insight into the past, with the hope that others who choose to examine this take history into account with opinion. Read more of this post

A Christmas Public Service Announcement

There are some things I have never heard said around the holidays:

 

  • “Gee, I’m so glad my sperm donor forgot Christmas again this year!”
  • “Wow, I’m so glad I got this bloody nose!  You’re the best!”
  • “Could you forget about me again this Christmas?  I’m glad I’m so unimportant!”

We often get wrapped up in what we can get them, feeling like failures when we can’t give what they want (if we can give anything at all), or feeling ashamed when we don’t get the right things.  What we forget, more often than not, is what is very important to give in the first place:  The love and appreciation for that person, warts and all.

Your kids and family members may remember that you got the name tags mixed up and give Billy a Barbie and Sally a football, or that year where the best you could afford is new underwear.  They may remember that you got them a guitar when they wanted a pony, or a Nintendo 64 when they really wanted a Playstation.  What they will remember, regardless of age or gender, regardless of situation, is what you do and how you treat them.  They may hurt that year when you get them the wrong thing, but they’ll hurt a lot worse if what they remember of you is painful memories.

There will be plenty of people, kids and adults, who will not get gifts or cards, who will basically be forgotten Christmas Day.  There will be plenty of people, spouses and kids, who will be abused.  There will be too many whose parents chose not to be a part of their lives, not because they went and did something honorable like fought for our country, but because of fear, anger, hatred, chose not to be there.  You may not get the reception you want from your loved one, but they will appreciate you far more for putting the effort forward and doing something good than they will anything bad that you give them.

Social Repost 12/13/12

From Facebook:

“It’s not often where something I work on takes a drastically different view as a result of something I experience that makes me rethink what I am doing, but I had that this morning. I was sitting at another restaurant after everyone left the Garden this morning, and they had a magazine rack full of older magazines. (I think the newest one was a “Time” magazine featuring Paul Ryan that came out between the first and second debates.) One of these magazines was a “Writer’s Journal” that came out in 1999, which had an interview with Aaron Sorkin and “Horror Writing.” As I read some of the articles – about using external editing services and getting published, a thought hit my head like a ton of bricks: back when this article came out, and for some time after that, back when I was more focused on writing a book, I would have scoffed and ignored some of these ideas – why pay for someone to edit your book when you can do it yourself? Why take the time to listen to an editor who rejects you?

While it reminds me of my hatred with companies who simply send an email saying “Sorry, but we found someone who is better than you” (I realize it’s hard when you have thousands of applications), It also reminded me of how, in spite of the best intentions, I often fail to listen to what is being said. A few years ago, I might have been the guy used as an example in one of the articles about using an external editing service – now, I can see some real value in said service, and it gives me a few ideas.

It’s interesting what age and experience will do for a person’s perspective.”

I’m also on Meetme, formerly MyYearbook, a site that seems to be more and more dedicated to social dating than to friends anymore.  I often enjoy doing random questions, and though I ask others to question me, I hardly get any responses.  Lately, people have been unfriending and blocking me, calling me “negative” and “whiny.”  Because they limit their status updates to 140 characters or less (The same as Twitter, inconveniently), you’re often forced to write in one of two ways:  either you type it in ghetto/texting slang (“BCas U luv me”, for example), or you use the comments area for anything deeper or more wordy.  Hence, this copy over is in two parts.

First, the status:

“A part of me is a little disappointed that people are leaving me on here because I admit to being human. Their loss.”

Second, the first comment:

“If you can’t handle me when I am low, when I am depressed, when the shit hits the fan and when everything is murky, then why should I care about you when life is good and everything’s going in the right direction? Everyone has mood swings, everyone has off days, and not everyone handles it the same way. I have no problem coming to the aid of a friend when they’re down (when I know about it), and I try to avoid judging others. If you can’t handle it, if your view of how negative or positive I am is more important than a true friend who’s learned (the hard way) the value of the truth in a relationship, then I hope the door smacks your head on the way out – I can’t help it if you choose to be wrong.

OK, done with my rant – sorry for being so “whiny”…”

Chances are good I’ll lose more “friends” on this site before all is said and done, but if it means finding a few more people online who have more of a genuine interest in me than a bunch of people who have no respect for who I am or what I want to be or do, so be it.  I only came back to that site for the fun of it, not to play childish games.

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