Three Things Thursday – 06/15/2017

#Bathwater

Hosted by There She Goes
Originally inspired by Nerd in the Brain

BRING THE HAPPY!

Daughter At Band Night

BandNight

My daughter plays the drums.  I pointed her out in the picture because it’s hard to see her otherwise.  She had fun and I think she might actually stick with it this time.  Only time will tell.

Dr. Who Proudly On Display

DrWho

With a new season of Dr. Who, I felt it necessary to display some of my collection out in the open.  These are two of my favorites, because what geek doesn’t want to travel is a real TARDIS and go back in time righting the wrongs done to them during school age years.  The left one is a cookie jar with a working blue light on the top and the right is a tea mug with lid.

New Mousepad

Mousepad

Before you get on my case about purchasing a mouse pad let alone using one, it was necessary.  The mouse I have is a laser optical and it requires some sort of texture or visual difference on the surface its gliding over.  Well, my desk is white, smooth, and stark of anything worthy of a laser to actually use for movement.  Rather than spend $100 on a wireless keyboard/mouse combo, I opted for a $10 mouse pad.  It works well and has improved movement accuracy quite a bit.

TTT Weekly Music Recommendation

rockondaughter

Make Some Noise

by Beastie Boys

Work – 1 / Life – 0

The last time I posted something was May 22nd and all my plans to stick to a schedule got thrown out the window. Work reared its ugly head and has been kicking my ass for the last several weeks with little reprieve or consideration for my personal time. Getting home after working since 5:30am meant getting dinner ready, cleaning up, doing anything that needed to be done around the house and nothing was left in the tank for me. I ended up going to bed most nights earlier than usual just to keep up with the next days work load. I’ve slacked on writing, reading and generally keeping life balanced with work. There is light at the end of the tunnel though, but it’s still a few weeks off at this point and will unfortunately start back up again towards the end of August.

I’m still writing sporadically for EatPrayVote.org as I still do managed to read the news every day and write when I’m passionate about certain subjects; mainly political stuff though. They’re quick drive-bys around 400-500 words mostly that are mostly reporting with a sprinkle of opinion for good measure. I find it cathartic to write out the politics clanging around in my head keeping me from becoming too jaded with all the crap that’s been flung at us in the last few weeks from Washington, D.C. Even writing political opinion has tapered off in recent weeks and I get about 2-3 pieces submitted and published when just a few weeks ago, I was submitting 1-2 per day.

Funny how you can make so many changes to keep things balanced between all your commitments and one thing can throw the whole thing out the window. I’ve kept pushing myself to minimize as much as possible and, interestingly, the less I have around me the easier I find it to stay closer to feeling balanced regardless of whether I actually am or not. The majority of the items that I find add value to my life have been moved and organized into my office space in the basement. The family is in a separate category of course, but material possessions now fit into a single 11×12 foot room with little feeling of clutter. Once I get the closet built around the radon mitigation tube going into the floor, I’ll have even more items packed away behind a closet door. It’ll quickly become a refuse that will help me recharge my batteries.

Last night I took a few hours to watch some Dr. Who, which was a feat in of itself as I had to utilize my VPN client to log me into a UK-based server to allow me to stream the content through BBC One iPlayer. The new season has started out slow and I’m looking forward to getting into some more action packed episodes. The mix of different writers has brought a lot of different types of stories and has varied the show without leaving behind the core of what makes Dr. Who “feel” like Dr. Who. It was good to get some uninterrupted time to watch some shows. I also am now taking the daughter to archery classes, which she’s been doing for almost a year now. I’ve started taking her because I want to start shooting with her and it just makes sense that I take her if I’m there already 🙂 I’ll be shooting with her next week as they didn’t have a bow big enough to accommodate my string pull distance.

I can’t make any promises when I’ll be back more regularly until I get a better idea of how things shake out at work in terms of audits and organization changes. I moved to a different building in the same campus and am now reporting to a new Director that is most certainly going to make additional changes. It might pan out that I get a bump in salary and position so that I can, at some point in the future, build out my own audit team. It remains to be seen how that plays out though, but I’m hopeful the changes will be positive.

Looking forward to some life when work decides to take some time off 🙂

What does safe mean to you?

Do you think this person feels safe?

University of Michigan student wearing a hijab was threatened with being set on fire, policy say

A University of Michigan student was approached by a stranger who threatened to set her on fire with a lighter if she didn’t remove her hijab, police said.

The incident occurred between 5:30 and 7 p.m. on Friday just outside the campus in Ann Arbor. Police said the woman complied and left.

“We do consider this a hate crime,” Diane Brown, public information officer for the university’s Division of Public Safety and Security, told The Washington Post. The Ann Arbor Police Department is heading the investigation.

How about this person?

Veteran in dispute with Chili’s over Veteran’s Day meal incident

In the meantime, people on behalf of the company have expressed some regret about what happened here.

Video of a Chili’s manager snatching the meal Army veteran Ernest Walker received as part of the restaurant’s Veterans Day tribute sent shock waves across the internet.

CBS 11’s story on the incident drew hundreds of comments and thousands of reactions on Facebook, but Walker says the response he wants is from Chili’s.

“I personally have not heard from them, no,” Walker said.

I recently read King’s pursuit of positive peace on Learning to Speak Politics and have been motivated to write a post on a subject that I think needs to be written about. It’s often a question that is hardly ever asked and can often be assumed based on circumstances or your environment. The answer to this question from a complaining white liberal would be drastically different from someone being bombed on in Yemen by the Saudi’s. I’ve had a tough time with this and the post is going to reflect my internal processing of this question.

Starting with the easy point, anyone involved in war would potentially say that being safe means not being involved in war. War is a classical example of how human arrogance and ignorance can escalate exponentially into something that is hard to stop once started. As if we didn’t learn our lessons from World War One, we had to fight another one that we unceremoniously called World War Two. Then came the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War v1.0 (where we didn’t invade Iraq), and the Gulf War v2.0 (where we did invade Iraq). I’ve never been a soldier and honestly could probably never be one that made a difference. This is the reason that I have unwavering respect for anyone who serves to protect our country. During a war, there is no safety, no comfort; just pain and suffering. No one actually “wins” in a war and the fact we fight them is a testament to our inability to seek first to understand then be understood. What do you think anyones answer to this question would be from Honduras, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, or Yemen? Yeah, there’s that many, and the United States was involved in some way with all these countries and making them living hell for the people living in them.

Our species has fought hundreds of wars throughout our history, sometimes for obvious reasons, sometimes for not so obvious reasons. A common thread amongst most armed conflict is the oppression or control of people who decide they’ve had enough, or at the very least, people that are made to feel inferior to others that think they’re superior. You can look back through history and see these waves of prosperity (highs) in between waves of conflict (lows) that would look like a roller coaster. We continue to ignore our own past and have consistently not learned anything from our conflicts to keep them from continuing. The interesting thing is that the majority of the population is essentially peaceful and would normally avoid conflict in most cases as logic dictates that conflict is often not efficient or conducive to solving problems.

I’m going to use a science fiction reference now because I think it supports my thought process at the moment. In the episode “Genesis of the Daleks”, Davros is a scientist for the Kaleds, who are fighting a 1,000 years war with the Thals. Both sides had been fighting the war so long they had forgotten what they were fighting for or about and instead kept attempting to overpower the other. Davros, seeing the nuclear war they were fighting was causing mutations, found a mutation for the Kaleds that resisted the effects of nuclear radiation. The resulting mutation required a mechanical mechanism to allow them to move and interact with their surroundings. Davros felt that emotion was the cause for weakness and war and he genetically removed every emotion apart from hate. The resulting creation, Dalek (an anagram of Kaled) viewed themselves as the supreme race in the universe, intent on purging the universe of all non-Dalek life. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Germans of WWII perhaps? In a world full of Daleks, no one is safe.

My own definition of safe is slightly more obtuse as I don’t see it as something tangible. Rather, I see it as something emotional in that we have the ability to “be” safe as well as being physically safe. Physical safety is owning a gun or locking your doors at night, looking both ways before crossing the street, paying attention to a sign that says “Hot” and not touch. Exercising physical safety is logical and generally the guidelines that dictate physical safety are accepted and aren’t usually ignored. Being safe is much harder to describe in broad terms and I only have my own experiences to draw upon. I used to “be” safe by not questioning what was going on around me as it would have threatened my belief of safety. There are so many queues around us that things just aren’t as they should be, but the majority of people choose to ignore them or see them and not talk or take action against them. This leads to complacency, a false sense of safety, and an inability to accept atrocities even when they’re right in front of you.

There are thousands of people in this country and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people in the world that don’t feel safe and probably have never felt safe. The real problem is that when you don’t know any different, you don’t know that you’re not safe. That isn’t living, its torture. The worst kind of torture because you don’t know that it can be better, so much better. The hardest part for anyone to admit in all this is that in order to support someone elses right to be safe, their right to live as a human being, we need to sacrifice our own mental safety for a period of time to effect action that benefits everyone. We took a huge step on November 8th as a country and chose to surrender our safety as a people and elect someone who has the potential to be a rather poor decision for President. The bull that media, elites, and the Democrats fed to us for so many years was enough to finally show people who their safety was being threatened in a larger way than if they elected the other person. The fact that people were voting for Trump and saying they voted for Clinton on exit polls is a huge indicator that they were afraid. Afraid of other people’s reactions, afraid of being labeled.

The piece that inspired this post is well worth the read and I encourage you to watch the “I have a dream” speech that is linked to her post. It would be wise for all of us to remind ourselves that people before us have fought and died for their beliefs in equality and to a lesser extent, living with a relative feeling of safety in the world. I’ve had the opportunity to read several of the speeches from Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and even Barack Obama. All have had points in their speeches that just make logical sense and serve as reminders that it takes a village, not an individual, to make things change for the better. I’ve connected with like-minded people (Learning to Speak Politics, R.R. Wolfgang, In Saner Thought, John Liming’s Blog, etc.) so that a connected and cohesive message can be spread through the written word. It’s up to all of us to keep that going and spread that to the people in our lives that are open and receptive to differing points of view.

An open mind is a terrible thing to waste, so go find a few, step up, and speak.

Three Things Thursday – 08/25/2016

three-things-thursday-badge

Inspired by Nerd in the Brain

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

FINsix DARTDart by FinSix

I’m finally getting my Dart!! I supported their Kick Starter campaign in 2014 (no, that’s not a typo) to get a customized blue Dart with 9 universal tips. It’s a universal charger that utilizes a new type of charging technology that allows the “brick” part of the charger to be about the size of a pack of gum. The cord is universally ended to allow you to swap out different tips so that it works with multiple devices. Instead of my laptop taking 3 hours to charge from 10% to 100%, it will only take about 1 hour as much less power is lost in the conversaion of A/C to D/C.

Time to discover new blogs

I had a lot of time this past weekend (and week) to hit the WordPress Discover feature to find some new blogs to read. I’ve followed quite a few of them as well based on their style of writing and what they are writing about. I find myself reading blog posts instead of news lately and rarely run out of content to read during my lunch hour. I’ve also taken the time to read the blog posts of people that have followed me. Overall, I’ve become much more interactive in the WordPress community and am enjoying the time I spend reading about others.

StarryNight

van Gogh TARDIS Exploding

Being a Dr. Who fan doesn’t go unnoticed here at work. Someone who was out at a local store this past weekend saw this poster and immediately thought I would like it. Not only do I love it, but I have it hanging prominentely in my cubicle as the season with The Doctor and Amy that this came from was absolutely amazing. I’ve watched the season through at least 5 times in the last year or so, a few of them with my daughter who has become quite the Dr. Who fan herself.

Three Things Thursday

Inspired by Nerd in the Brain

three-things-thursday-badge

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

Some of my recent posts have been really heavy, so I’m taking this weeks TTT to focus on the things that truly make me personally happy. Added some of my own photography (mobile phone) to make the post more interesting.

Twizzlers

Perhaps the only true favorite candy that I will almost never say “No” to while in the store. I have yet to walk past an “impulse buy display” of these things. Yeah, if I could take only one food to the deserted island….. Twizzlers!

KC

K.C. is my German Sheppard. She loves to smile. I’ve caught her numerous times with my camera smiling after saying “Are you hungry?” This is the first dog of many I’ve had that actually look like they’re smiling.

Dr. Who

This was given to me by someone who was decluttering their home to make it ready to sell. It was given to them as a gift and they weren’t really a Dr. Who fan (I know, crazy talk!) Anyway, she brought this to me one random afternoon and it’s been on my desk ever since. It plays the TARDIS sound when you push the blue light on the top. You know I hit that light at least once every day! LOL!

Looking forward to seeing everyone elses TTT posts today!