Coming on the heels of my last post about the Left trying to reset what is considered "normal," I think this is probably going to be my last political post for quite a while. This decision comes for two reasons:
- I hate politics, and
- People cannot discern the difference between attacking ideologies and attacking people.
But the fact still remains that people's right to free speech is being stamped out systematically, in the name of "feelings" and being "offensive." I can deal with it, and I've said what I wanted to say. If the Social Wet Blanket Patrol tries to take me to task, I'm in good company: apparently quite a few people have been taken down for simply saying something someone disagreed with. Thankfully, however, there are ways of dealing with that.
But basically, it boils down to this: Don't put the cart before the horse, or you'll find yourself going nowhere.
Love individuals. But stand up for what is historically best for the community. Don't allow people to destroy what is good for something that is a mockery of what God has designed.
And now, back to your regularly scheduled program.
There are a few things in today's society that need explaining, for those who haven't been around long enough to understand them.
- The world isn't fair. It's never going to be fair.
- Societal norm is not based on emotions.
- You cannot change other people, you can only change yourself.
- Reason and Logic don't care what side of the aisle you're on.
- Trying to force the vast majority of people to accept what is obviously and observably not true is destined to fail.
I can only hope and pray with every fiber of my being that the world is not as messed up as the Social Justice Inquisition makes it out to be. I cringe to think what will happen once hypocrites and emotionally crippled people are calling the shots in this country. (disclaimer: it probably already is)
Since stumbling across several old video games from my DOS days (think pre-1995) I've decided to fire up a few of them and offer up some fun reviews of games that were made before many of you were born. These games, in some way or another, shaped the gaming industry into what it is today. They were the birth of the PC gaming industry, when Atari and Nintendo had been dominating people's living rooms for over a decade.
I can remember playing my first networked multiplayer games in 1993, when Doom and Descent came out. There weren't Cat5 ethernet cables back then, everything was 10-Base2 running on Coaxial cable with BNC T's and terminators. TCP/IP hadn't become the standard yet, either, so everything ran Novell Netware and used IPX addressing (instead of TCP/IP addresses that everything uses now). The hardcore guys would either play point-to-point on dialup modems, or drag their computers to a friend's house and use a null-modem cable to simulate a phone line. We're talking back in the days before Pentiums were invented... the first PC I played Doom on was a 386dx clone, running at 33Mhz. I think it had 2MB of RAM. We're talking before PCI slots were standard. Just think about that for a minute. A 28.8Kbps modem was all you could get then. Let that sink in.
Recently, in one of their Netflix binge-watching marathons, my kids discovered a show called Video Game High School. Most of what they watch is aimed at younger teens, mostly Disney (teenage soap opera) drama and comedy. This looked pretty promising at first, but as the series ran on, I started not liking what I saw.
The show centers around a kid who unintentionally ends up at an elite high school for competitive video gamers. It's filled with the usual action and drama, but I guess I was expecting more of the traditional cheesy comedy. I ended up pulling the plug when the show's main antagonist started dropping 4-letter words (cause my pre-teen kids were watching it too).
The problem is, in typical drama show fashion, VGHS shows unrealistic caricatures of what real gamers are like. If you didn't know better and only went off of what the show presents, you'd think all skilled gamers are egotistical jerks, they all have some weird accent/slang dialect, and run in weird cliques. But from my experience, the people that have the dedication to drag a computer setup to a hotel ballroom somewhere just to play video games for fun and prizes are much, much nicer than that.
Twenty years ago, I used to be pretty big into gaming. I had a dedicated LAN party rig, and I went to competitions a few times a year. I gave that up to be able to raise a family shortly thereafter, and for the most part, I never really got back into it. Here's a shot of my last custom LAN rig:
My wife and I homeschool our kids. I think it's an awesome way for kids to reach their potential, and I wish I had been able to do it when I was young. There's a lot of people leaning towards homeschooling now (thank you, Common Core...) but all of these new "home teachers" have questions on whether they're doing it "right" or not.
My wife and I have gradually over the last few years gravitated towards something called "Delight Directed" learning. This is essentially what it sounds like: we use things the kids are already excited about to teach things they need to know. As it turns out, you can work math, science, history and language into just about anything if you look at it long enough. So far, it's working very well.
But the question we get asked the most is "How can you let your kids learn whatever they want, and still have them be effectively learning what they need to know? What if they get out into the world and just fail miserably?"
Understandably, this is based on fear of failure, for you and your children. Nobody wants their kids to fail, and nobody wants to be a failure. However, the fear of delight-directed learning is both unfounded, and counterproductive. To bust the myth that kids need tons of structure to learn, we will need to dissect it piece-by-piece.
Where I live, "fall" is kind of a relative term. Instead of trees turning beautiful colors, everything dies and turns brown. Instead of everybody wearing scarves and drinking pumpkin spice lattes, we get hurricane season. Instead of looking forward to fall, we get three more months of flip-flop weather and all the kids get sick.
But, all is not lost! You see, the beautiful thing about fall here is that after six months of being inside with A/C, we can finally go outside and not die of heatstroke. We open all the windows in the house, send all the kids outside to play, and just revel in the gorgeous weather while it lasts. It truly is a wonderful time of year, when it's not too hot or cold. (Now I sound like Goldilocks!)
It also is a good time for us to do some "fall cleaning" around the house while the kids are occupied and all the windows are open. We pull out furniture away from the walls. We clean off stacks of junk that accumulate during the beginning of the school semester. We get to a break in school, and the kids just play and relax for a bit. It's glorious. We start thinking about getting ready for late fall, and about getting the house in order for when it gets cold and we're stuck inside again.
But mostly for us, it's about a renewal. New ideas, new routines, newfound energy. It's like spring, but without the allergies.
With that in mind, I'm thinking about posting a few more articles on minimizing, and frugal living. I haven't done anything on that in a while, and I'm getting the itch. I might even revive my attempt at the 23 Days Of Frugality Challenge.
I just finished watching Ragamuffin: The Rich Mullins Story. I think, as I look back on it, I was most impacted by the spiritual hardships he endured. And as usual, it got me thinking.
It seems to me that the most creative, amazing, Godly people I know of got that way due to horrible hardships and trouble. I can't think of one person who really impacted the world for God who was perfect. And it seems to me that the more people suffer through, the more creativity they have at their disposal.
When you hear someone play the blues, it's easy to tell if they've lived through real hardships. It comes through in their playing. There's a grit there, a sorrow, a hardness that you just can't fake. Some of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard were written by people who were teetering on the brink of destruction. Their passion and hearts were poured out, even as their lives came crashing down around them. Because their lives were crashing down around them.
I'd like to say I've been through hardships. I suppose, compared to a lot of people, I have. I've cheated death more than once, and somehow God saw fit to save me from my own stupidity, or whatever it was, and give me another day to live and serve.
I hate sleep. And much for the same reasons, I love coffee (and caffiene in general).
But try as I might, I can't shake the fact that I need sleep. I need rest. And I'm not comfortable with that, really. I always feel like I'm missing out on something. I'm always thinking about some cool project, idea, story, song, or something I'd like to have time to work on. I feel empowered when I accomplish things, and God has gifted me with the ability to do some amzaing things. Like being a dad, a writer, a musician, an inventor, an avid cyclist, etc.
Lately, I'm beginning to believe that when God commanded man to rest on the Sabbath, it applied to more than just one day a week.
God knows we are made to be workers. We are innately capable of working tirelessly if the proper motivations are in place. For years, I was ridiculed and singled out by my school teachers for being "lazy" because I didn't give a rip about history or math. Or homework. The truth was, as a genius-level child, I was bored to tears. I hated homework because I generally got the concepts and understood them fully in class. I didn't want to practice something I already knew. I was ready to move on to something more exciting! I was the farthest thing from lazy, but they couldn't understand that.
Got a new (to me) Roger Linn AdrenaLinn III pedal. For a while, I've been looking at pedals that will let me do several different things: Midi-synced tremolo (like a Gig-FX Pro-Chop), Midi-synced beat slicing (like a Boss SL-20), Midi-synced delay (like a Strymon Timeline), a pedal-operated Midi drum machine (like the Beat Buddy), an amplifier sim (like the Tech21 Character pedals), and a Midi step sequencer (like the Electro-Harmonix 8-Step Program).
And behold, the AdrenaLinn III does all of these things, and then some. So far, I'm extremely impressed for a single box that has all of these features in it. It's got more tricks in its bag than you can shake a stick at.
I just can't be serious all the time. I guess after years of blogging here, I've become accustomed to only writing about things that really irritate me, or things I'm really passionate about. This might lead one to believe I'm an angry stuffed-shirt curmudgeon who disapproves of everything.
But that's the furthest thing from the truth. I'm actually a very laid-back, chilled kind of guy. Anybody who's met me in person knows that... if I were any more laid back, I wouldn't have a pulse.
And yet in my day-to-day life, I don't get to discuss things like theology, economics, politics, music theory, programming, and so on. They're just not common topics of conversation. This is a large reason why I blog about that stuff here. And of course, anybody here is welcome to discuss anything civilly. I relish those opportunities to think and talk about things besides Sportsball and Hunting (the two national passtimes of southern Louisiana). I have absolutely nothing against those things, but I also don't really care about them, either.
I don't want to seem indifferent about everything though. I don't really hate a lot of things. Driving while texting/calling, yes... I despise that with the burning fire of a thousand suns. But I don't hate people as much as I hate seeing the effects of what people do. Sometimes it gets depressing, honestly.
But not to fear! I haven't lost my sense of humor. Maybe I need to post funny cat pics, cause you can never have too many of those, right?