June 2010 Archives

The Bug Graduates & When to Call it Quits

The Bug graduated this weekend. They call it "pre-school," but it functions more like a daycare. Semantics aside, they hosted a semi-formal ceremony last night.

Graduation bear graduating from Harvard UniversityI arrived at the appointed time, but activities had already commenced.

The kids were all standing up front (looking so dang cute) while parents rose from their seats to jostle for picture-taking position. Even saw a tri-pod or two in the back.

Hi Daddy, the Bug called out (« wearing a little vest & tie) as I arrived, his voice sounding even deeper than normal. Mommy, he announced to the entire audience, my daddy's here!

A couple of moms and one teacher approached me afterwards to express how cute they thought that was, noting how he emphasized *my* daddy. (He has always done that. Possessive.) The 'mommy/daddy' thing made me think.

Before becoming a dad, I used to debate & question the wisdom of friends who remained in unhappy marriages .. "for the good of the kids." While I'm no advocate of marital masochism, I now understand.

You just want to do everything possible to give them a decent shot at a happy life. They deserve that.

Why do you stick with her? I used to ask, when she treats you like that? All she does is moan, gripe, complain & criticize. She doesn't appreciate you. It's like she hates your guts.

You don't understand, they'd tell me. It's not that easy when you have kids.

Oh, I understand alright, I'd reply. At least, I thought I did.

We all want to be loved. And some of us are fortunate enough to be involved in a loving relationship. But many (it seems) merely tolerate each other. And what about those who are downright miserable? I'm talking about those relationships where the negatives have long since out-weighed any good that might linger on the marital balance.

At the far end of things, I've always drawn the line in a deteriorating relationship at the point where somebody intentionally TRIES to hurt me. In any relationship (with both males & females), we're bound to be offended from time to time .. even when that's not the aim.

Fathers, Fallibility & My Little Gamer

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Happy Father's day to all you dads. And I tip my hat to those of you fortunate enough to be still working on your paternal quals. Keep at it. Diligence pays. Yippie ki-yay, hombré.

Father's DayIt's a sobering moment (is it not?), when we realize our dads are fallible. Human. Not gods. Less than perfect. The first time you find yourself looking down-at instead of up-to. Feeling disappointed when their foibles become apparent.

The Dog has researched this topic and we've had many long discussions about why we felt so strongly about the need to 'get away' (farther the better), such as that epitomized by McCandless in Into the Wild.

He says, Kids cannot afford to believe their parents are less than perfect. So when problems arise, that leaves only one other option. [ » Kids think the problem must lie with them. ]

 So I've endeavored to admit error and say things like, I'm sorry. That was my fault. I should've known better.

I remember the first time I realized my dad was merely human. It wasn't until after I returned home from the Navy (.. where I spent 6 years running a reactor plant on a nuclear sub).

I was staying up the road at my grandmother's place, cuz she had lots of room (.. and was a way-better cook than my mom).

One morning near Christmas I stopped by to see my folks. Dad was on vacation, so they were both home, preparing to fix breakfast. The coffee was already percolating. I offered to cook the bacon. Dad was gonna cook the eggs. Mom was juicing some oranges.

The Laptop, The Road & Long John Silver

 Been having more trouble with my laptop. Now it's blue-screening midway thru start-up (at different points) .. followed by an automatic hard-reset. Sukus maximus. Only option is Safe-Mode (with Networking), which is where I am now (nasty 640x480 rez).

Palm treeThe problem is intermittent, tho a normal restart is becoming increasingly rare. This machine, I suspect, may be on its last leg. Lots of hard Rad miles.

I hate safe-mode. Torture for techies. Like nails on a chalkboard.

Speaking of torture, I saw The Road last night. (The movie.) Left me feeling .. weird.

Probably should've waited. Obviously wasn't ready. In retrospect. Felt yucky afterwards. Disturbed. Took a shower before bed .. to try to wash off the ickiness.

While reading the novel, I was able to put down the book if the story started getting to me. (Never read very many pages in any single sitting.) Not so however, with the DVD. (One-day rental.)

I thought the boy did a great job, acting. He wasn't just along for the ride (.. so to speak). Viggo, I expected to do a good job. Same with Charlize. But not the boy. Speaking of which, I really like the way the lady reached out and touched his face at the end.

TED | Ideas Worth Spreading

 Here's a site worth bookmarking » TED.com, Ideas worth spreading. TED stands for » Technology, Entertainment, Design. Topics covered however, are not limited to those 3 subjects. Learn more » here.

The site contains over 700 high-quality videos .. in the form of lectures .. on a variety of topics, such as this one, given by Sir Ken Robinson, who says "Schools kill creativity." Similar topic posted here.

This one on world poverty, for example, is a real eye-opener. His animated graphing charts are remarkable.

Interesting how he considers 'culture' the single most important goal for development (getting out of poverty .. at t=16:40) because it brings joy to life .. and represents the value of living.

I started with the TED-page labeled » 'Most favorited of all time.' (Link located in menu.)

Many of the TED lectures I found intellctually stimulating. Love ideas that make me THINK & challenge my preconceived notions .. such as this one on the 'paradox of choice.' The secret-to-happiness is revealed at t=15:00. He drops a bomb at t=18:00 to t=18:30.

The only presentation I found disappointing was the one given by Malcolm Gladwell. Maybe my expectations were too high. Only video I watched twice was the one by Vicktor Frankl (only 4 mins). Richard Sears delivered the most timely lecture (.. if you can call it "a lecture"). This one on motivation was particularly interesting. Downright fascinating. (Funny, too.)

Techies should not miss this one on UI. Makes me wanna watch Minority Report again. Here's another about Pakistani kids who become suicide bombers for the Taliban. Need a strong stomach to watch that one.

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Finally found a reason to deploy PHP myself. Pretty stoked about it, too. As my studies continue, I'm sure there will be more such programming discoveries .. but today I grok'ed the beauty and the power of the » PHP include() functon [.. and its more restrictive cousin » require() ].

PHPYou might recall last year, how excited I was to learn how to use Dreamweaver Templates.

They allow you to change/update a single file (template) and have that change applied to EVERY webpage that is based on that template.

I even wrote a guide on how to use them that has become surprisingly popular » Rad Guide to Dreamweaver Templates

Dreamweaver Templates are similar to how CSS works, which allows you to change the look-n-feel of your entire site by editing a single file.

The ONLY PROBLEM with Dreamweaver Templates is that they require you to UPLOAD all the changed files (.. to your server). Which kinda suks. (Depending on how many files are affected by the change.)

Not so with the PHP include() function, which works more like CSS. In fact, it works exactly like CSS in that respect. Meaning, you only have to re-up a single file.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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