You are viewing ehowton


A Week of Summer Cardio Selfies

Posted on 2015.07.02 at 11:00
Current Location: 67114



Small Balance Charge-Off

Posted on 2015.06.28 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

While in New Mexico I bought a new class-10 SDHC 16GB camera card and put it on the "Store Credit" card I'd been carrying around for a year, which covered all but five dollars and some change. So when I got home after vacation, I scheduled $5 through my bank's bill pay as I had not yet received the e-bill. I knew there was a remaining balance, and figured I would pay that when the next cycle hit.

But when my balance showed as, "$0.00" on the next go round, I logged directly into the site to find out what was up, and saw this:

I initiated online chat with billing and asked about it, where they explained because they don't process balances less than a dollar over the phone, they simply credit the difference. Wow!

Thanks, Best Buy :)


Nothing Acquatic

Posted on 2015.06.27 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

In the State of Kansas, the window you register to VOTE is the same window you register your BOAT. Yes, this greatly compromised speed and efficiency.

That is all.

Buddy Christ


Posted on 2015.06.26 at 18:00
Current Location: 67567


Mobile Office v2.0

Posted on 2015.06.26 at 00:00
Current Location: 67567
Tags: ,

When I got my new work laptop, I simply swapped out the docking station and started using the new one right where the old one sat. When I temporarily relocated my office to Pawnee Rock this past work week, it marked the first time I'd used the laptop standalone - without external mouse, keyboard, or monitor.

This new laptop replaces my aging Core Duo chip with a nice i5 and doubles the RAM to 8GB. Its also backlit and weighs a fraction what the other did. No, seriously. It is far lighter and makes all the difference in the world in my backpack. The downside to all this lightness is the unusually small keyboard, which I found especially frustrating during a particularly frantic evening prior to a big application install in preparation for go-live.

That night, I ordered the above mouse from my Amazon wishlist (while this does indeed mark my third Cyborg R.A.T3 mouse, at $40 it was considerably less expensive than my other two - and the coloring reminded me of the rebel forces on Star Wars: The Old Republic). Knowing the shipment would take a day of transit, and preparing for the go-live, I figured I could pick up a decent keyboard at Wal-Mart (while they now carry the Razer BlackWidow, I was hoping for something far less expensive for my second office). I initially settled on a nice, ergonomic Logitech, but was shocked to find a surprisingly well-built, backlit gaming keyboard form a manufacture I wasn't familiar with - and for $20 less!

I am more than pleased. While its not mechanical, the keys are freaking enormous! And it comes with all the bells and whistles I look for in an appropriate unix input device - solid construction, heavy keys, and a braided cable.


Bill Murray


Posted on 2015.06.25 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

I am raising my children to be critical thinkers. This is actually more difficult than it sounds, because indoctrination is easier than education. Telling a child to look in the dictionary when they ask how to spell a word is easy. Telling a child to brainstorm pros and cons of a decision, then assign value and weight to them, less so. Especially when given a lack of world experience. And when you teach your children to think for themselves, you have to be prepared for them to side against you on a great many things. When I was released into the world I had the same political party as my parents, the same values as my parents, the same religion as my parents, and the same motivations as my parents - every mother and father's dream, right?

When we first discover our values do differ from how we were raised, or when our experiences differ, we tend to compensate - learn; grow. We find out often far too late that our parents were wrong about quite a few things. And for those of us who think, we understand our parents were simply regurgitating how they were raised - allowing for the caveats above - and passing it on to us. It is entirely possible not only were our parents wrong, but so were their parents! If this all stands to reason, then I have to assume I will be wrong about things, and that my children's experience will also differ from my own.

So its not enough to tell them what to think. They're going to need tools to survive and thrive in this world. So I want to teach them HOW to think. I want them to draw their own conclusions, whether they're radically different from my own or not. I teach through examples, and recounting my own experiences. An interesting by-product of this has been a surprising capacity for inclusiveness; compassion. When you explain race and politics and nations and religions are all invisible constructs, they tend to not matter. There is no, "us" and "them" mentality which so many adults seem to struggle with every single day on social media and the news.

When Colorado legalized marijuana, I was asked about drugs. Having never smoked it myself, I had to read up on it - educate myself outside my institutionalized upbringing, and without bias. I then simplistically explained to them in my experience, smart people seemed to be able to smoke marijuana without ill effect, but dumb people thought it made them smart, which caused them to do even dumber stuff than usual, and that was where the problem manifested itself. This places the responsibility upon them, and arms them with far more usable data than the unsustainable and unjustifiable, "Just say no." Ignorance is never an effective tool. Never.

Then the world changed.

There was a study released which proved duress as the problem with addiction - not the substance. Recreational uses do not "abuse" drugs. Marijuana is not a "gateway" drug. Its all pscyhophysiological! So I relayed this new information to my children, reminding them its never as black and white as it sounds. Using family members as examples, I told two near-identical stories of two brothers. In each story, the brothers received the same level of attention from their parents. The same rewards and the same punishments. They had the same opportunities. But in both cases, one brother responded to these experiences with aplomb while the other was absolutely tortured by them. Again, the responsibility falls solely upon them to decide what kind of person they are before embarking upon potentially risky behavior. To bring it all back home, I pointed out the difference between the two of them. Something as simple as diverse personality types gives rise to perceiving the same information differently from one another, gleaning dissimilar parts because of it, each analyzing and synthesizing something unique, and drawing vastly different conclusions.

And this is the easy stuff. Our values should never be fixed, immutable anchors. Experience gives birth to untold data, all of which should be captured by our filter and applied accordingly. If we cannot modify our worldview based on updated, new information, and have no process in which to examine and dismiss outdated information, we can never change. How are our children supposed to be the change we want to see in the world if we're telling them what to believe, rather than how to think?


Arctic Diving

Posted on 2015.06.24 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114



Posted on 2015.06.23 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

Playing the choose-your-own-adventure MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic gives one the opportunity to amass "light side" or "dark side" points which affects one's alignment, and ultimately, gameplay. When partied up, my son and I often review the possible responses together, and discuss reasons for our potential choice - as they are often not as black and white as one might expect. Sometimes the alignment is affected by choosing a path which goes against what an authority figure expects us to do, while other times it comes down to our own moral code on what we believe the correct action should be. In some cases, doing what we're told goes against what we feel is right. Much like in the real world, we have to live with the consequences of our actions. Unlike the real world however, an unknown mediator levies real-time judgement upon us at every interaction. Who indeed has the ultimate authority to point our moral compass, and why?

In discussions with my son - especially when we disagree upon a course of action - we seek to understand each other's point of view for making disparate choices. What constitutes a "right" or "wrong" choice? Sometimes its as simple as not wanting to be rude - marginalizing someone different than ourselves or endeavoring to make ourselves appear better than someone else at their expense, or a desire to help someone less fortunate than ourselves. Other times however, its not that simplistic - We may be motivated by our own interests; elevating ourselves. But making short-term morally suspect decisions in order to fulfill a larger "end to a means" morally sound outcome is an age-old argument which limits creativity, so when, if ever, is it acceptable?

Moral absolutists may consider moral relativists nothing more than undisciplined (or liberal) absolutists perhaps because they have a singular starting point of origin and no usable process in which to decouple that belief. Similarly, relativists may eschew absolutism as archaic without perhaps a solid understanding of the universal concepts encompassing both - not that I would dare attempt to simplistically air both sides of an ages-old argument. Some believe applying absolutes more broadly will lead to peace on earth[1] while others believe that can only be achieved through less dichotomous thinking.[2] One might in fact take time to ponder the inherent complexity of the two sides as to why disagreement exists rather than just assuming their upbringing instilled a special understanding in themselves and everyone else is wrong or evil (or that evil is the only true path to moral absolution). Confirmation bias is a powerfully magical ingredient in personal empirical studies when one is trying to prove themselves correct.

So my son and I end up doing what every one does, we weigh the variables in a sort of equation. Address our own needs, compare our altruistic goals against our selfish desires - look at the costs and rewards of our actions - ask ourselves if we are acting out of doing no harm or avoiding harm, and deciding how far out of societal norms or our own comfort zone we wish to extend ourselves, look back to see if there is a pattern of outcomes from previous choices we've made before acting.

Because it is a game, we can give in to, or dismiss empathy. We can allow ourselves to respond to emotion over reason depending upon our mood with far less consequence than in the real world. The important thing, I think, is that we do acknowledge it is a choice, and strive to make the best one with the tools we've been given, just like in real life.


Father's Day

Posted on 2015.06.22 at 10:15
Current Location: 67114

For reasons which probably have to do with generational differences (or early communal bonding) and very likely children and children's children having been similarly indoctrinated without ever questioning how or why ancient rituals exist or may change over time, many people seem genuinely vested in symbolic sociological constructs; holidays. Despite the best efforts of my own parents (and parent's parents), I am not. In fact I'm not emotionally involved in any time, date, or duration events at all. I don't "feel" more or less strongly about elusive things on or around the dates the disaster/celebration occurred any more or any less than any other time. This broadly applies to births, deaths, marriages, divorces, world wars, civil wars, domestic disputes, and to reiterate, all holidays.

In simplest terms, I don't care. Society creates meaning from things. From symbols and from events. And to some, its a highly charged, emotional attachment - either because they really do feel more strongly, or they have been programmed to. This is why so many people seem to have highly stressful holidays. Presumably these same people adhere to rigid, unyielding expectations for acceptable holiday behavior, which helps fuel this cycle of insanity. I find it fascinating from a distance, as I hope to never become involved in someone else's personal drama over something as inconsequential and benign as a holiday. These symbolic societal constructs don't create emotional instability, they simply focus it.

I suppose a lot of my indifference is where I get my self-worth. It absolutely does not come from external things. Capitalistic marketing loves our perceived inadequacy, however; exploits it! Take a look at Freud's 12 defense mechanisms and see how many could be applied to [a family holiday for example]. For those who are self-aware, compare them now to our own behavior. Where are we on the locus of control chart? If I had to guess, those of us who are not emotionally vested in artificial symbols of meaning tend to create our own destiny - and speaking from personal experience in case anyone was wondering, that one is the awesome one, not the other.

But I did pick up a bag of smoking pellets for my Traeger on sale. So that's cool.


Facebook Quotes

Posted on 2015.06.20 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

tera, MMORPG

Are you for scuba?

Posted on 2015.06.19 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114


Volume II

Posted on 2015.06.18 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

Its been far too long. Volume I was released in 2008. La La Land Records just released Volume II. It sat here, unopened for a week or so, as I contemplated it. Then, sometime later, I ripped it into iTunes. But I hadn't listened to it until today.

Volume I helped me feel a great many things, over and over and over. I will admit to being nervous Volume II wouldn't do the same. So more time passed before I listened to it. And while today wasn't ideal with all the kids in the house and the unusual pressure at work, and going two full weeks without partnered introspection, and having worked Sunday maintenance and staying up late every night gaming with my son, one could argue today was the perfect day in which to do so.

I wasn't disappointed.

Part haunting lullaby and part quiet relaxation, I found Volume II to be everything Volume I was and has always been (minus Santos Elves & Omerta sadly). Given how I have my iTunes organized (by date added), I started my journey with Season 1, Episode 19: Powers, Principalities, Thrones, And Dominions which was as meaningful as it sounds. I listened to Volume I approximately fifty bajillion times the first six months I owned it. I have a feeling I will now do the same with Volume II.

Better yet, from my post in 2009, "After seeing the Season One episode "Lamentations" my only regret is that Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture blending into Mark Snow's score wasn't on the album." Anyone want to venture what's on Volume II?

The time is now.



Posted on 2015.06.17 at 10:00
Current Location: 67114

Initially dismayed that corporate moved from the iPhone to the Android - citing cost - I figured I'd jump into the whole experience with an open-mind because of the fabulous display the Moto X has compared to the 4S, and the adulation of an entire generation of Android users. Plus, you know, Google, FFS. The same people who brought us...Google.

Anyway, after a couple of weeks of understanding how to do things - check Lotus Notes and personal email side-by-side, accept meeting invitations, set alarms in calendar, import contacts, I concluded why droid devices are so much less expensive than their iPhone counterparts:

They suck.

Star Wars

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Posted on 2015.06.16 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

So I'm not really playing a new MMORPG, but my son is. And he really wanted me to play alongside him. So after a week or so, I created an account and we've been questing together, first as Republic Troopers, and later as Jedi Knights.

He got a subscription early on, and I decided I would just purchase what I needed through in-game cash. Problem is, even logging in as me, Bioware sent my credit card purchase to my son's account. Which is totally ok, if they would let me submit a trouble ticket. But they won't! BECAUSE I'M NOT A SUBSCRIBER???

Good God.

I had my son submit the ticket.

neutrality, Switzerland


Posted on 2015.06.15 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

Honestly, in the midst of Summer, the scarf just looked ridiculous with a bikini. But when removed, her enormous ARCANNON was visible - and that simply wouldn't do. The most inexpensive back-slot item at the Trade Broker was a scuba tank - and scuba tanks and bikini's both go with water, right?

And yet you know how these things always escalate.

Because the straw hat, which went so well with the bikini seemed so out of place with the scuba tank, well...


et tu, tattoo?

Posted on 2015.06.14 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

Click to Inspect



Posted on 2015.06.13 at 11:15
Current Location: 67114

My new phone is a (2nd gen) Motorola Moto X. "Hello, Moto!" Whatever. Work "upgraded" my iPhone 4S to a...well, android. Anyway. I wasn't worried when I couldn't send or receive MMS to non-Apple devices because really, who cares? But now that I'm a Droid-toting idiot, I find it perplexing. And by perplexing I mean mind-bogglingly ridiculous. What the hell? At this point I can only assume someone's pocket's are getting lined and it has nothing to do with protocols or technology. God, CEOs are like petulant children.

At least they've finally worked out the kinks in transferring contacts. Remember when Samsung's ONLY software suite was for transferring music and movies to your phone, but numbers? <-- the SOLE REASON MANY CARRY A PHONE; making and receiving calls?

I'd give up if I could.


What I Enjoy About Being an INTJ

Posted on 2015.06.12 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

  • Rarely offended

  • Rarely opinionated about anything

  • Able to entertain new information/differing perspectives calmly

  • Passive about things which do not involve me

  • Passive about what other people do/think

  • Find very nearly everything fascinating

  • Rarely bored/able to ceaselessly entertain self

  • Overtly friendly to new people (for a variety of reasons)

  • Never sweat the small stuff

  • Autonomously able to comprehend its all small stuff


Eating the Oyster: Alice II

Posted on 2015.06.11 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,


OysterCollapse )



Posted on 2015.06.10 at 14:00
Current Location: 67114

Given the shitty Chinese hydraulics in overpriced leather executive chairs (and unwilling thus far to shell out the dough for a Herman Miller) and because I can pick up on lessons rather quickly, I purchased the "Service Protection Plan" for one of the office chairs I got at that demonic amalgamation, Office[Depot/Max] thinking I was outsmarting the general population. I was wrong.

When the chair finally broke (not only did the hydraulics fail, the post eventually snapped in half), I called it in and sent them pictures of the damage and they responded by sending me an in-store gift card for the sale price I had originally paid for the chair - so, not a replacement. And everything else that store sells is marked up 400% more than Amazon, for example.

I really don't know why Office[Depot/Max] doesn't sell these:

Previous 20