We had some free tickets to a local hockey game on the 24th, last weekend. They were pretty damn good seats and we were only two rows from the ice behind the goal. The picture is of the visiting team warming up ahead of the game starting. We ended up moving up a few rows as I swear they were aiming pucks directly at our heads.
If you’re wondering if this was a death by chocolate cake, it most certainly was. A special request by me for the chocolateiest cake ever. It had fudge icing, chocolate points around the outside, chocolate cake and a fudge middle between the layers. It took me and the daughter 4 days to completely eat the whole thing even after we had the party this past Sunday.
Total Geek (or Nerd) (or Dork)
This is what you end up with when you procrastinate and pile up your computer work into a single day. My work laptop (black) with the top mouse is to the left, personal laptop (silver) is on the right, the keyboard and second mouse is for the monitor on the top of the shelf. The computer hooked to the monitor is on the floor in front of my desk. I’m sure at this point I’m slowly dying from computer induced radiation.
The wife and I were having a discussion about religion and faith after having watched “The Shack” a week or so back. The movie had a line that has stuck with both of us and had a strong impact with us. The character that was implied as being Christ said “Religion is too much work. All I ever want is friends.” I may have quoted that incorrectly, but the gist is there. Causing us both to think about this in our own contexts of religion, we have reached a point where it might be time to start venturing back into faith. I have never been religious and always had a lot of questions that never really got answered to my satisfaction. Part of me knows that the point of faith is not knowing everything, but accepting that it’s the way it is for a reason unknown to us. My hang up was always on the “organization” side of religion and how so many people see faith and religion as the same thing. I see faith as a completely separate thing from religion and feel that you be faithful to something without having to surrender to the organization of religion.
That said, I’m going to float an idea to the wife and daughter where we each choose a gathering of faithful people (religious or not) and attend each week for a month straight. My wife will no doubt choose a Catholic church to attend, and that’s okay. The only rules we will agree to is that we keep an open mind for ALL of the choices and we go through the entire month asking all the questions we feel are necessary. I think I’m going to find a Buddhist temple to attend as that faith has interested me for years. A future post will detail our progress and ultimate decision as a family.
I made my 20th post to EatPrayVote.org yesterday. My experience writing for this site has been awesome so far. There is a really good group of writers that span the full spectrum of political positions; conservative, liberal, moderates, progressives, etc. The level of the writing has improved how I write myself and support from a lot of them has allowed me to improve so much in a short period of time. Writing for the site (after inquiring) is proving to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.
It’s the dreaded time of year where it is once again my birthday. The exact day is not relevant because like Christmas, it’s not something I like to celebrate. This year we’re doing a family dinner at my house so at least I get to stay home this year. We’re also doing a more subdued celebration and it’s only my wife’s immediate family. My side of the family is doing a dinner later in April so we can lump my Mom’s birthday in there too. Every year I wish to spend the entire 24 hours of my actual birthday alone, but it never actually comes true. Only other introverts really understand why. But, for my wife and daughters sake, I’m being a trooper and not being the grumpy-gus I’ve been in previous years. It’ll all be over soon enough 🙂
Coming home Monday this week, it was in the mid-40’s (F), sunny, and overall a very nice pre-Spring/late-Winter day. The weather was talking about impending snow for days prior to Monday and I was skeptical that we were going to get anything as this isn’t the first time they’ve done this and we get about a wet sneeze’s worth of snow. Here is a picture out my back door Monday at around 4:30pm.
Fast-forward 24 hours, and it’s a white wonderland of snow, ice, and 40 MPH gusting winds putting the wind chill down around -10F. I didn’t get a picture of it, but there was a sizable drift of snow up against the window that was easily 3′ high that’s since blown away from all the wind we had Tuesday into Wednesday.
Trumpcare (aka American Healthcare Act)
Ok, don’t get all bent out of shape. You can be happy about something like this when you see why it’s on my list this week. Support for this mess of a bill with Republicans is quickly fading and is starting to be at serious risk of not passing one or both houses of Congress. Having read the bill in it’s various stages, there is quite a bit that is clearly never going to work. Obamacare (aka Affordable Care Act) is not much better and certainly needs to be replaced with “something.” What that “something” is actually going to be is still a mystery to me.
Awesome Headset Found!
I finally found my headset that I used at my previous job. It’s noise-cancelling and was actually on the expensive side. I had it packed away in a random box that I came across by accident over this past weekend moving some boxes around. I no longer have to tote the surprisingly fragile headset I have at work with me on days I work from home. I used it yesterday on a conference call and no one had any issues hearing me on the call.
I’ve had an on and off again relationship with Facebook through the years. I decided, after much thought, to sign back up and ONLY create a page to attach to my blog. I did that, but in the 2 weeks since I had my account re-created, it has been disabled for 10 of the 14 days it’s been created. I’m back on at this point, but it’s a only a matter of time before they disabled me again for some other random reason.
Another work of art from my wife’s Girls Night group. It’s in my office, where all the other ones are. It’s funny she doesn’t think she’s good, but I think it’s actually brilliant. I certainly can’t do this.
Trump “State Of The Union”
I streamed the Presidential address on my Roku, and it was ironic that it was FOX News that was streaming the broadcast. I added the laser beams from Trump’s eyes and added the bubble “FAKE” if you’re wondering. Just some humor for today.
I can’t believe it’s already March!! As I’m a life long technology geek, I thought I would highlight three services/applications that I use to help keep my stuff from falling into the hands of the NSA, lol. Yes, the fact that my data is hard to get makes me happy.
DISCLAIMER: I am not compensated in any way from any of these products.
I’ve been using, and paying for, LastPass for a few years now. I pay for it now as I have multiple devices that I need to access passwords from and a paid subscription is required to do that. The best part of using a cloud based, encrypted password manager is that I only have to remember one really hard and complex password (master DB password). I let the application auto-generate random complex passwords for most of the sites and systems I access on a regular basis. These guys have slowly improved their system and platform so that it’s great on any device. I highly recommend if you’re pulling your hair out trying to remember all your passwords.
This is a new service for me as I got tired of manually encrypting my files on my laptop before uploading them to my cloud storage. Boxcryptor allows me to assign entire folder structures or just select folders (sensitive stuff) locally and then the encrypted version is then synced with my cloud storage. It has proven quite effective as not even my wife, whom I share my online storage with, can get into the files that I’ve set to auto-encrypt based on the folder. I’m still evaluating the product, but have not run into any problems yet.
Need to send encrypted emails? Want to have your emails inaccessible to even the provider? This service does both. I was amazingly impressed with them but wasn’t convinced they didn’t have access until I forgot my decryption password. They informed me that I would have to reset my database and lose all the stored email. I now use this account exclusively for very private or sensitive information such as taxes and insurance stuff. I’m not sure at this time if its open to everyone or still on a waiting list. They’re based in Switzerland.
It seems strange to me that I’m still using the “Winter” graphic when for the last few days, it’s reached 70 and has been absolutely beautiful here in the north east. I hope it holds out, but this is how it was last year just before we had 30″ of snow dumped on us over a long weekend in March. Here’s hoping that I get to use my repaired snow blower before having to stow it away again until next year.
My wife came home one weekend with a large painting she picked up from the local Home Goods store. She ended up getting it for $15, accidentally marked down as clearance, and its now hanging up in my stairwell from upstairs to downstairs. It matches the front door, when its open, otherwise it’s something that still startles me every morning as I walk down to get coffee and leave for work.
This dude, named Harley, is an old asshole of a cat. He not only stole the dog’s bed but also stole the dogs chew toy. Every time KC would come over to grab it, Harley would swat at KC’s nose and she would wimper away to my wife or I to help save the day. I just looked at KC and told her to grow a pair and grab the toy from the cat that has no claws. KC is such a wuss.
Friendly Girl Scout Cookie Rivalry
Probably the most hilarous thing I’ve seen in the office to date. One box showed up, as usual, from the guy that has three daughters. A few days later, another box showed up that I thought was an amazing bargain. Decide for yourself if you think it’s as much of a bargain as I did, because saving a penny is better than not saving a penny. Oh, and I’m “that” guy, I put in exactly $3.99 for a box of cookies. I went over a hour or so later and took back the change and gave the guy $1 in return.
TTT Weekly Music Choice
We’re taking it old school again this week, enjoy.
I’ve been working at my present company for well over a year at this point and I, the other day, had to print something for the first time. Walking around looking for the printer, it was amazing to discover that they’re all apparently named after Marvel super-heroes. Shaking my head at the overt geekiness in an otherwise corporate environment was refreshing.
My Trending Stories
I was contacted by an online publication and offered a role as a contributor. The publication is called My Trending Stories and I’m in the process of getting logins, etc. so that I can post my innaugural article in the Living section on minimalism. I’ll make sure to re-blog it here once it’s published. It’s exciting for me to have what I write recognized when my only purpose for writing is technically for my own benefit. Perhaps that is about to change?
Old School Rock (courtesy of Spotify)
Being a subscriber to Spotify, I have available to me an enormous library of music that I could never in my lifetime expect to possess on my own. What started with a stray recommendation in the sidebar in the application has now turned into a playlist that is well over 300 songs all consisting of old school and back in the day music that I had grown up listening to. Here are some of the artists in the playlist to demonstrate just how “random” it actually is.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Creedence Clearwater Revival
I had this playlist on in the car Tuesday night to and from my daughters archery activity and it turned into me singing in the car with a look of horror on her face. Eventually she caught on to the old-ness of the music and joined in as best she could with chorus parts of most of the songs. To my surprise, her two favorites were The Final Countdown by Europe and Mr. Roboto by Styx. Two of the more unique examples of experimental music for their time.
TTT Album Recommendation
Greatest Hits: Grand Funk Railroad by Grand Funk Railroad
I finally hit 100 followers after just over 5 years. Admittedly though, my blog wasn’t “public” until the past year, so it’s a little misleading. Happy to have finally reached that milestone and hope that I continue to organically add followers as I continue to improve my writing, both in content and style. For better balance in my life and to let Life Between 0 and 1 be for it’s original purpose, I’ve created Mission Politics for all the politically driven posts I have been publishing here. Going forward, non-politics is here and politics is on Mission Politics.
Disclaimer, I’m not getting paid for this. I’ve recently tapped into all the benefits of an Office 365 subscription (not enterprise, consumer). With the subscription, that is now three years old, I get 5 installations of Office 2016 Professional, 1 TB of OneDrive storage for up to 5 people (5TB in total), and 60 Skype minutes for up to 5 people (300 minutes in total); Skype calls to non-Skype users that is. I’ve just recently farmed out the subscriptions to family/friends to install their own copy of Office 2016 and get 1TB of OneDrive storage for backups, storage of pictures, etc. I’m happy that I’m finally taking advantage of all the benefits of the annual subscription 🙂
Voter Registration – Change of Party
I finally did it. I exited the Democratic party officially and am now registered as a Libertarian (once it’s processed that is). It was necessary for me to do this mentally. I’ve come to disgust the majority of policies the Democratic party is pushing and of course, distrust them after the Sanders/Clinton DNC controversy. Republicans aren’t much better and as I’m not a conservative by any measure, I’ve never associated with the majority of their policies. Politicians are essentially the same anyway, so party affiliation is sort of an irrelevant point. My registration change, among other things, is to raise awareness of the fact that third parties (and even fourth parties) are relevant and should be included with the political process in this country. A modernization to the Electoral College is necessary to make this a reality, still quite a few years away, if ever in my opinion.
After some tense washing cycles of large items like bedding with the risk of the top of the washer blowing off like Trump’s lid with the EPA retweets of the innauguration, the tech finally replaced the mounting pins for the front of the lid. I can now wash bedding and water proof items with wild abandon knowing the lid will stay firmly in place. Thanks Samsung!
Decluttering the basement continues
After weeks of complaining about the absolute bomb that went off caused by holiday decorations and moving things from upstairs into the “out of sight out of mind hole” aka the basement, I took the initiative. Almost everything has been placed in a container with written labels on the front so I know what is in the container. I’m shopping around for industrial shelving that will hold all the bins and get them off the floor. That’s a spring project when I can open up the walk-out doors.
This tub is outta here, finally
This thing is finally leaving the house. We hired a local company owned by Veterans that only hires Veterans to actually remove it. One of the only things in this new house that my wife and I both agree is just stupid will leave paving the way for much needed room to get some basement organization in full swing. Come March, this space occupied by the tub we refuse to use will finally be gone.
BONUS: “Look, humans without guns, cool”
Leaving the in-laws house the other day we saw a deer just standing there staring at us. I’m sure he was all “they don’t have guns, wow” and we’re like “why’s he staring at us?” I snapped a picture really quick, but the quality is a little low. I put a green circle around the deer to make it easier to see. Was cool to see nature so close.
I wrote about this earlier this week. My plan was to pay outright without having to finance a new phone but AT&T and their stupid Next Plan had me locked in. I saved $133 on a useless phone (for me) to instead invest that into a new phone that isn’t useless. At some point I’ll pay off the phone later this year or early next year as I just did with my wife’s phone.
Green Arrow protection
This little guy is now protecting the Dogbert coffee mug and Daughter mug at my office desk. He’s got some sharp arrows draw on his back and his big head gives him near 360 degree views of my cubicle. No one better touch my mugs, lol.
I found this picture in some archive I found while consolidating all my pictures onto a single backup drive. It was one of the first pictures I took with the new Digital SLR that my wife and I purchased after we had our daughter. How can you not love this face? Unfortunately that was 10 years ago and his progressed age has all but changed him into an asshole licking plastic bags at 2am in the morning.