Monday, January 26, 2009
Hugs and love,
Alphonsus / Steve
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Hugs and love,
Alphonsus / Steve
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Now the question is, what do I do with it? I have an established presence here on Blogger, and virtually all of my friends use it exclusively. On the other hand, I love the dashboard of WordPress, and the way it tracks statistics. I have found WordPress to be a better experience overall then Blogger. What's more, as WordPress is not associated with Google, I don't have to log out of one Gmail account over to another just to use it. This has been just a minor annoyance, but it is an annoyance nonetheless.
I've yet to set up and widgets on the WordPress version of Alphonsus's Random Drivel. I'd like to get the feed back of my friends before I do that. I'm still looking at templates over there. There are about 60 of them, varying from 1 column to 3 columns, with fixed or flexible widths.
Hmmm. I guess I'm kinda sold on WordPress. What I'm looking for are any good reasons why I should NOT move.
My new blog address would be http://alphonsus.wordpress.com
Love and peace and seeking the joy, whatever the hell that is.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
This also applies to labels applied to self. When we label ourselves, we, to a certain extent, stop thinking and suddenly start taking some of the labels tenets a gospel. Labels can be convenient shortcuts. So easy is it to forget that they are no more than that.
That said, let me give the audience some shortcuts about me. I am not a liberal, and I am most certainly not a socialist. I am not even a centrist. My political leanings tend to be to the right, for the most part. I have described myself in the past as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. By all rights, this would make me libertarian, except that most libertarian ignore there own doctrine and are best described as fruitcakes.
I say this in preamble because I am about to make a confession that will shock many of you. I am a dedicated Rush Limbaugh radio listener. I started listening back in the days of the Gulf War. He was the only one who seemed to be talking sense at the time. To me the war was obvious and necessary. It seemed to me that most of the other radio station hosts were trying desperately to find reasons to be against it.
Rush is not, by any definition, an unintelligent man. Those who don't listen to him tend to stereotype him as a closed-minded, hate mongering bigot, which he is most certainly not. He is conservative, and holds conservative ideals close to his heart. While I don't agree with much of what he says, I will say that what he says usually has sound reasoning behind it. I can't say the same thing for other conservative hosts, such as Sean Hannity. Honestly, I don't listen to him as often, but his commitment to dogma seams to be much more ingrained, and, dare I say, somewhat forced? Sean has become, or at least acts, as the label ha has placed upon himself.
But this post is about the Conservative reaction to Barack Obama. I knew of the liberal reputation of Obama, and even as he spoke I could hear a certain naivete in his words. I voted for him anyway. Me, a conservative, small government supporter, voting for a man who seemed to advocate government as the solution to everything.
And that is what the conservatives see -- ALL that they see. What I see is a young, somewhat naive, but very, very intelligent politician. I see Obama as a man who is not fixed in his way of thinking but is open to knew ideas. I see him as a man who can be told a simple truth and who is capable of recognizing it. I see him as a man who is an optimist, and a man who has the gift to be brutally honest without alienating his supporters. I saw, and still see, in Obama perhaps the most intelligent, most humble president we've ever had.
Rush has been unable to see any of this. For the first time since I've been listening to him, he's actually been sounding positively apoplectic, willing to grasp at any straw in order to evilize Obama. He has struck home and made some decent points on occassion. For the most part, however, he seems to be stuck more into his own caricature, i.e. Liberalism is evil, Obama is Liberal, therefore...
I missed Rush's reaction to Obama's inaugural address. I was able to tune in for a bit yesterday. Rush was uncertain what to make of Obama's executive order regarding Gitmo. When he was making the announcement of the order's specifics, Obama kept referring to his legal adviser...the actual author of the plan, for details. Rush said he has never seen another President do this, and how was he supposed to feel confident in a President who wasn't even sure what his executive order was all about.
What I saw was simple delegation and trust that his advisers had done their job properly. Obama had no doubt read over and approved the plan, but because it had happened so fast he didn't remember all the details, so when talking about it, he turned to a man who did. I would far rather he do this than give out possible false or incomplete information, or to waste time committing every detail to memory when the full details could be just as well explained by asking a few questions of someone else during a pres conference. For Rush, this was another reason to doubt. For me, it was just another reason why I maintain faith in the man. He is a leader. That means hiring good people and knowing how to manage them and get good answers from them. It does not necessarily mean having all the answers yourself.
As for Gitmo, no matter what your beliefs in the justification of the actions taken there, the fact of the matter is is that it has garnered the reputation that seems to have placed a black smear on the American soul. Whether the reputation is fair or not is irrelevant. The place NEEDS to be closed on the basis of that reputation alone.
Still, Rush Limbaugh seems to be willing, deep inside, to give Obama a chance. He expects him to screw up, but Rush is smart enough to know that even he would be stretching it to continue to call Obama the epitome of Liberal Evil. Sean Hannity...well, I don't know him as well, but from what I heard from him he seems so unreasonable yet so intelligent that I almost have to believe that the man is more interested in his reputation and ratings then he is in expressing the truth.
I sincerely hope that I have not misplaced my trust. Obama will make errors. That he believes the problem with the car companies is the fact that they haven't been making enough green cars is very naive. That he has bought into the mass insanity that is global warming is disappointing but not surprising. The world of manufacturing is going "green" on its own, finding profits to be made in that direction as well, so perhaps this will not be a bad thing. Even though I am far from convinced that global warming even exists, I am in favor of clean air and recycling and less oil dependency. Ultimately this leads to similar results. I would prefer that Obama not try to rush the world into something it's not ready for and cause financial instability in the process.
So, let us hope for a better, stronger future. Let us hope that Obama never labels himself and stops thinking in the process. Let us hope that others are able to break their self labels and begin to think again.
Love, peace, and all that good shit.
Alphonsus / Steve
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I'd start in the summer break between sixth and seventh grade. A simple trip to the doctor could have changed my life then and ever after.
Ah well. It is so very true that it does no good to dwell in the past. What's that quote? Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. Something like that, anyway.
The quote, I know, was by an author by the name of Carl Bard, or something like that. The name isn't important. The point was that it was all I could find about the man. I searched all over the net, even some books at work. Nothing. The quote exists in isolation. The quote could have been written sometime in the last 15 to 20 years, or it could have been written a century ago He was born, had a family, grew up, possibly got married and had children. He's listed as an author, but none of his works can be found today. All that remains of him is this single quote, which I can't even remember properly.
At least, however, he has that. A single quote from the past that reached out and touched someone in the present. How many billions of other human beings have far less than that?
That isn't really fair though. Each one of those billions of human beings have shaped the world we live in now. Their lives, their decisions, all of it DID matter. For the people we are and the people we meet from day to day were influenced, and perhaps even created, by persons now long dead and forgotten. The threads they wove through the souls of their brethren still remain today.
And yet I lay here in bed, feeling sorry for myself because I can't go back and change the past. The future is out there for my taking. Every day I have the opportunity to grab it, to try to make it mine. And every day I continue to live my little life of quiet desperation ... a management librarian in a mid-sized town. One among millions like me.
Why do we ask for second chances when we fail, continuously, to grab the first chances that are always available to us.
Love and hope, all my friends,
Monday, January 19, 2009
Yes, it's true. I've began building again in earnest. Princess put up a sky platform over Peck's Retreat, and on of the first things I decided to do was to build my own conservatory / workshop. Since I'm in a land where steampunk is acceptable, I decided to build things along those lines. My first construct, therefore, I call Peck Conservatory 1, and floats in the sky next to Princess's platform. It employs two continuously turning wind screws to keep her afloat, a fan for air conditioning and positive air pressurization, and a dilating steam door for access. I've found it to be a marvelous work space, and what it lacks in width (the platform inside is only six meters wide), it more than makes up for in length (the construct is more than 30 meters long). I'm getting ready to put the thing for sale on XStreet SL, although I may need to add some details to make it more salable. The length is a bit too ungainly and from end to end is more than 32 meters. The door currently is set only to open to group members and has no lock/unlock options, and the screws and steam are "always on." It might be good to have a feature by which they can be turned off.
I've also begun work on a steam powered Cataporter, but the look at the moment is not quite to my liking. A lot of work remains to be done on this project.
Lastly, I have uploaded an antry on Wren's behalf (she requested something about a seed) to Alphonsus's Written Word. The work is something older of mine that vaguely fit the theme, and is called Pregenesis. Please check it out.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Love and peace, everyone
Monday, January 12, 2009
You Attract a Gemini
When flighty, unpredictable, restless Gemini meet you, they've met their match.
You can keep Gemini on their toes, and that's exactly where you want them.
You know how to add spice and newness to a relationship, quicker than your Gemini can even think about being bored.
You keep life interesting for your Gemini. And your Gemini certainly makes life interesting for you!
I think I can safely say that my birthday sucked. This is a descriptive term, not one based in any ill feeling. But, given the way that that day went, I would say that "sucked" is clearly the word that describes it best.
It started off all right, with my wife posting my birthday on her blog and being very affectionate in the morning. I knew that things were going down hill when she sent me an e-mail saying that repairs to pfkat's car will be $1200, which is about $1000 more than we expected. (pfkat, for those who don't already know, is our 20 year old daughter. The letters stand for Person Formerly Known as Teenager).
Then I got a call from my wife indicating that pfkat got a call from work indicating that she was late. She drove my wife's car hastily across town, and vomited all over herself and the car just as she pulled into her work place's parking lot. She was terrified that she was going to get written up for it, and, between that and the car costs, made the rest of my wife's day miserable.
So, my wife was not in the best of spirits when I took her, my mother, and my other daughter out for my birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant. This restaurant rarely has a wait, so it was rather unprecedented to find the parking lot full to bursting when we arrived. The hostess said that there would be at least a half-hour wait, and there were no seats to sit in while we waited. Apparently they had booked a wedding party and another large gathering simultaneously without first consulting me as to what my seating preferences were. Crushed with disappointment, we left in search of food.
We ended up at a dive called the Flamingo, which has edible enough food, but not food worthy of a birthday. The non-smoking session was virtually full while the smoking section was nearly empty. Naturally we sat in non-smoking at a tiny table, people all around us, and someone constantly stepping on my coat. I had a hamburger, which, again, was edible. The place served no alcohol, which may have been for the best but was not the way I wanted to spend my evening, nonetheless.
I dropped off the mom, the wife, and the kid, and went promptly to sleep at home, having only had 2.5 hours of sleep the night before.
The morning after, I woke up and went to turn on my computer, only to get a bone chilling "System Disk not found" error message repeatedly. The drive was fine, so it seems to be something wrong on the motherboard. Pfkat gave me one of her old computers so I was able to make due, but it will cost me a minimum of $300 to fix my machine unless I can somehow diagnose it myself. This happened on a day of record snowfall in our state.
That night, I got a horrible rash from my wedding ring and spent the evening wanting to chop my finger off. I took an antihistamine, which made me tired and sent me to bed, again, early.
Sunday at least was mostly uneventful. The snow blower worked, pfkat did not get a reprimand from her job, and my finger itched less. I announced that I put a chapter of my book up at three different locations, and got exactly one viewing. Oh well.So, here I am at work, looking at massive piles of papers on my desk, wondering what happened to my weekend. Another snow storm is predicted for tonight. Oh joy.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I feel kinda exposed putting this one out there.
Friday, January 9, 2009
After spending time with in the real world with family, and perhaps shopping for a Wii, I might spend a bit of time in SL tonight, eating a virtual cake and/or more pizza.
I put up another entry in my writing blog as a hold over while I work on AuroraSkye's. This one, called Twilight of Manhood, was an award winning entry from an in-world writing contest.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Your Word is "Peace"
You see life as precious, and you wish everyone was safe, happy, and taken care of.
Social justice, human rights, and peace for all nations are all important to you.
While you can't stop war, you try to be as calm and compassionate as possible in your everyday life.
You promote harmony and cooperation. You're always willing to meet someone a little more than halfway.