Thursday, March 21, 2019

Hardship

The Bible has some interesting words about finding joy in hardship. Our traditional interpretations of these passages - at least the ones I am familiar with - tend to limit and relegate this concept to necessity only. However, after long living a life devoted to maximizing efficiency and avoiding difficulty at every turn, I was scraping the ice off my car window this morning and pondering the concept.

I thought to myself "if I had realized my car window would be frosted, I would have started my car 20 minutes ago so that I would not have to scrape my windows right now." And then I thought, "sometimes when it is especially cold, I will prefer to sit in my car and wait for the windows to defrost instead of taking a few moments to scrape them." Further, "I am so smart for avoiding scraping my windows." Into, "wait, am I smart for avoiding scraping my windows? It is faster, uses less fuel and requires a small effort on my part which is good for me. Isn't scraping my window just effort over inconvenience? Why is it important to me to avoid doing this? The discomfort isn't extreme and there is a satisfaction in knowing I've accomplished something." Which led finally to, "perhaps there is much, much more to the concept of finding joy in hardship than I have ever considered before. Perhaps working through hardship is healthy and satisfying - like any work. Perhaps it is integral to being alive. A life with no hardship is possibly just bland and a bit pointless."

Then I thought, "my parents would scoff at me for comparing window scraping to hardship. Maybe hardship truly is only grief-inducing tragedy and I am just way off-base here. Maybe the verse really should be relegated to its typical limitations. Maybe hardship is to be avoided at all costs. Maybe I am just insane."

So, I will have to ponder this at greater length.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Why a Google Pixel Slate?

...or, isn't the Chromebook C302 enough for you?

It is. The Chromebook C302 is and has been awesome. In the years I've owned the device it hasn't lost a single step in terms of speed or usability. Also, as I've grown accustomed to Chrome as an OS, it has become more and more useful. I've learned many of the boundaries of what I can handle as cloud-based and what I need to be local. The benefits of "working in the cloud" are nice, to be sure. 

So... why do I feel like I need an upgrade? What does the Pixel Slate offer?
Well, to be honest, it doesn't offer very much. That's the reason why I haven't really pushed to get one. The processor of the m3 model is not a very large step up in performance (even theoretical performance) over the m3 processor in my current Chromebook. Plus, performance issues have not plagued my Chrome experience - quite the opposite actually. But it does offer one specific thing that I have been wanting to make use of recently and that's the ability to draw.

The Chromebook C302 is a magnificent device that has served all of my needs in unexpected ways and convinced me of the soundness to the theory of moving away from a Windows-centric computing experience. It does more for me than any Windows-based laptop I've ever owned or worked with and has completely convinced me to stick with ChromeOS as my go-to mobile operating system. Even so, you cannot draw on the C302. It wasn't designed for it and it doesn't have the hardware for it. 

So why not simply buy the hardware for the Asus C302?
Well, that seems a decent solution, but a lengthy round of Google searches will reveal that drawing tablet support on Chromebooks is a bit spotty. Google won't acknowledge it, which is disappointing. Even more concerning, though, is the fact that compatible apps are hard to determine and seem to be dependent on which input device you've purchased. Furthermore, decent input devices are still quite pricey (though not $800). These concerns lead me to a place where I would feel much safer and wiser in simply purchasing a device that is designed to work for drawing from the ground up.

Why not get the HP X2 or the Pixelbook?
I would. The Pixelbook especially. If the $999 version of the Pixelbook ever went back on sale for $699, I think that's easily the best option of the bunch. It seems like that this is the event to look out for. The detractors here are 1) the Pixelbook is supposedly discontinued and 2) the sale events are unpredictable. 
The HP X2 is another amazing option and I only have two small concerns about it: 1) it is heavy. 2) it is ugly. Neither one of these concerns are deal-breakers by any means.

However, even with the two potentially better options stated above, there is something that the Google Pixel slate has which neither of these does: style for a similar price. And I am vain. I would love to have that sweet, understated Google style to slip into my bag in a light and convenient package built for drawing and chromebooking. 

But the ability to draw is not yet worth $800 either way.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Project 7@0

It is now, once again, the holiday season. To be brief, this time of year lends itself naturally to debt and the overextension of finances. In the spirit of this, I have undertaken a personal project, which I am going to call 7@0.
I will challenge myself every seven days to live for seven days without spending any money whatsoever. This, of course, does not include standard daily needs like gas, groceries and utility bills. What it does include is the following:

1. Money for games
2. Money for coffee
3. Money for desserts
4. Money for entertainment
5. Money for trinkets
6. Money for parts
7. Money for gifts
8. Money for pre-made food

1. I will not spend any money on any games for any purpose at all.
2. I will not buy any coffee bottled, brewed or barista'd
3. I will not buy any desserts or components of desserts. Neither donuts nor cookies nor cake nor sugary drinks of any kind.
4. I will not buy any movies or tickets to movies. Neither will I attend any events with an expense associated
5. I will not buy any interesting or intriguing items which inspire the curiosity, any items which are not necessary for daily existence.
6. I will not repair or replace any broken item which is not necessary to the daily health and safety of the household
7. I will not purchase any trinkets or gifts for my children on a whim
8. I will not eat out or purchase foods which have been made for me, but will instead rely on my own devices for crafting sustenance.

This, starting today.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Riot

I am just not sure. I've been a fan of league of legends for some time and I've thoroughly enjoyed each split that's come along. Something's a little different this time, though. I am not sure what. I think the change to franchising was good overall. I thought the spring split was more engaging than any split before. The summer split has started up and... I don't know. I've had no urge to watch. No real interest in seeing what's going on.

Maybe it's because I don't really play the game any more. I have put in some time the party two weeks, but other than that I've not really kept up.

It seems like every time I load up a game, everything is different and maybe that's part of the problem.

Maybe it is because my favorite team benched my favorite players. Since I don't really have any favorite players to root for any more there isn't much pull.

Maybe it is just because I have too much else on my mind.

I really don't know. I am sure I will sit down and watch a couple games at some point, but right now I think just looking up the scores for each week is about as far as my interest extends.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

What is this?

Samsung Evo 960 M.2 2280  250GB

5 second cold boot to Windows 10 Professional.

I thought SATA SSD drives were as fast as could be needed. This M.2 blows that away.

Friday, March 9, 2018

That feeling

When you realize God gave you exactly what you asked for but you didn't even notice because you were too busy complaining and feeling frustrated because you've assumed you wouldn't get what you asked for because it didn't really come from a place of righteousness

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My grandfather was racist

My grandfather was racist. 

He was many things. I don't think his racism defined him as a person, but it was there. I'd call it anecdotal racism. His personal experiences, processed through his personal opinions, caused him to apply invalid syllogisms to race which compounded over years of careless presumed verification.

I did my best to overlook it. I disagreed with it directly when appropriate, but also cared to show a concern for respecting his age and experience. I never thought he should die for those views. I wouldn't have accepted someone killing him over it. 

I hoped respectful discourse would have an impact. It never did. Yet, I still don't actually think his errant opinions warranted execution. I believe in accepting people with differing ideologies. 

Although I agree with the indignation expressed toward white supremacists rearing their ugly ideology, the ideology itself doesn't eclipse their humanity. At least not to me. They are clearly confused and even more clearly wrong. But what is this "kill them all" mindset which has pervaded our media as though such a stance is itself normal or acceptable?

As I listen to the bloodthirsty vociferations of our society I can only wonder how much longer until there is a murderous outcry to eradicate all who believe what I do. In my youth I never would have thought this version of the United States would exist within my lifetime. I was both blind and naive. 

This world is not my home.