I've decided, after making decisions loosely based around Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, to focus on developing my "Important But Not Urgent" activities in my life.
You've probably heard it said, "the Urgent is the enemy of the Important." That's because urgent things demand our attention NOW, and we never get around to doing the important things.
Why do I think supervillains are cool? It's not because they're evil. It's not because they're rich (although that doesn't hurt). It's not even because they're people I necessarily want to emulate. I'm not a psychopath, and I don't really like hurting people.
The hero never really comes into their stride until they have a worthy nemesis. I always enjoy watching a good supervillain, because I know the battle they bring is going to be epic. After a while, I started to notice that the really good villains have a lot in common, and I got to thinking about why they're so cool, even if they're bad. Why then am I so obsessed with supervillains? Because you can learn a few things from them, even if you don't subscribe to their philosophy of World Domination©.
So without further ado, here's my list of 7 things I think are cool about Supervillains that most heroes don't have.
Here it is, in all its crusty 50-year-old glory: my '65 Rambler Marlin.
I was sitting at work, building time standards. And I just felt the need to worship. I'm sitting there, cutting and pasting stuff, and I'm listening to P&W and I'm worshipping... just waves of grief and remorse and joy and longing and thankfulness washing over me.
I'm so unworthy. My heart is restless.
"Your grace is enough.... Your grace is enough for me...." If only I could get that to sink into my head.
One of the toughest challenges in using the Roger Linn Adrenalinn III pedal (henceforth referred to as the "A3") is figuring out how to use it! The pedal is nearly perfect, and yet there are ways I want to use it that don't fit how it was intended to be used.
For starters, the pedal is basically two machines in one: a full-blown digital guitar effect pedal, and a Drum Machine. You can connect the two, but I want to be able to use them completely separately, with two separate sets of controls. The pedal's buttons can control certain things, but can only change presets up/down. You can use external MIDI commands to switch presets, but you can do either FX or drums, or both together, but you can't use two different controllers to change presets separately.
My setup is a bit complicated, I'll admit. I have a rack unit that I want in the MIDI chain, for clock-synced delays AND preset changes. But I want the presets to change with the A3's FX presets, and NOT the drum patterns. I want the Molten Voltage Master Control (henceforth referred to as the "MC") to provide clock and PC only for drums... and a second controller to provide PC and CC messages only for the rack unit and the A3's FX side. I also want to leave the A3's buttons alone to turn individual things on and off. So how do I make this all work??
One of my loyal readers (thanks, Neil! I owe you one!) pointed out my article on Installing Adobe Air for Linux was pulled from Google's search results due to a bulk-written DMCA complaint from Adobe, Inc.
Well. Isn't that interesting.
As it turns out, I did a little Googling (ironic, isn't it??) and stumbled across instructions for filing a counter-notice, and disputing the claim. Of course, anyone who reads the blog knows I only host open-source or self-published content, and I would never think of hosting files owned by Adobe without their permission.
If they had actually taken the time to read the post, they'd have known this, but as so often happens in large companies, stuff gets shuffled into a stack of bulk requests, never to see the light of day again.
I'm still working on some posts, but it will take some time for me to finish them. Hopefully, you'll think they're worth the wait!
If you've followed my blog or known me for any length of time, you probably know that I'm not a huge fan of advertising in general. And sadly, in our day and age, there is more advertising than we can reasonably cope with on a daily basis. But is advertising itself evil?
Advertising, in all its forms, is a tool... it's not a person with evil motives. You can't punch advertising in the face (as much as I wish I could!) In the end, it's a product of the companies that spend money on it. And companies, as much as I despise their operating methods, aren't people either (in spite of the government's attempts to make them so). And neither is the government, for that matter.
For all intents and purposes, non-people entities usually have a singular focus: survival. Much like a panther that kills a Bald Eagle for food, they don't necessarily care what rules they break to keep money coming in. Companies and governments are creatures that are sustained by money, and if the money dries up, they die.
If you were in a place where you had to break the law or do something unethical to survive, I have no doubts you'd do it. The instinct for survival is very deeply rooted in life itself, and the mechanism has been carried over into companies, lock stock and barrel. They will do whatever they think they can get away with to survive, because money is the lifeblood of the modern world.
The question we should be asking ourselves is "what can we do to put ourselves in a place where advertising works for us instead of against us?"
Have you ever gotten a gift you wanted to return?
Maybe it was one of those horrendous Christmas sweaters. Or a pair of jeans that were two sizes too small. But at some point, you realized the gift wasn't practical.
Have you ever given someone a gift that wasn't practical? Did it offend you to find out that the precious silver gravy boat you gave them for their wedding shower was sold on Ebay to afford their first car? Did it shock you to find out that the kittens t-shirt you gave your brother ended up being a shop towel? You have expectations on how you feel your gift should be appreciated and used.
What about when we give a gift of money to a church, charity, or person? We put expectations on how we think that should be used, and there's some reasoning to that. But if we specify how the money is to be used, can we honestly say it's a gift? No, that's not a gift... there are strings attached.
What about when we give our lives to God? When we decide, for better or worse, to give our lives over to Him. What usually happens (at least I know it did in my life) is that we give our lives as an offering but with strings attached. We want God to be in control, except when it's inconvenient. Or something bad happens. Or I get sick, or hurt, or offended, or any other number of things.
If you find yourself trying to live for God, but are always finding that there's strings attached, I've got news for you:
You don't get to choose how that offering is poured out. Once you give it to God, it's by definition out of your hands. You don't get to dictate to God how He gets to use you.
5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
2 Timothy 4:5-8
As part of my Constant Struggle To Simplify, I wanted to track my cycling miles without having to jump through hoops or do anything crazy. Up until recently, I was using Endomondo to track miles (and before that I used MapMyRide). These programs promise all sorts of features; social commentary, audio coaching, ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity, route planning, etc. etc. But really, I found I didn't use any of these extra features. I just wanted a simple, automated way to track my mileage that I could keep in digital form. And with Endomondo's recent feature creep I was having to tap 3-4 menu items just to get to where I could record a ride! Nothing wrong with my Cyclecomputer, either, but I like analyzing numbers and stats.
Keeping with my wanting to use Tasker to automate stuff, I found a Tasker Plugin that allows it to start and stop Google MyTracks recording. MyTracks doesn't have all the fru-fru social stuff, but it supports ANT+ and Bluetooth if I decide to go that route later (and Tasker can automatically connect to them). Plus it automatically syncs with Google Drive, so the potential for 100% complete automation is there. Let's get busy!
AutoActivity is a service that runs in the background that guesses what you're doing (walking, cycling, driving, still) based on GPS and inertia input, and assigns it a "confidence" score percentage of how sure it is you're doing that. You can use it both as a trigger (i.e. "when you detect me driving, do this") or an active variable (i.e. "Do this only IF activity=xxx")
Tasker is so ridiculously flexible, it takes some playing around to figure out the best way to accomplish something. Sometimes the "best" solution isn't immediately obvious. This is definitely the case with this problem. So, let's look at what we want to accomplish, and how we can go about it.