Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man


Becoming The Character: Sun Wukong

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Over the last few months, I've been sucked into the show RWBYproduced by Rooster Teeth, the same guys who made Red Vs. Blue and Lazer TeamIn essence, the show takes place in another world where monstrous Grimm roam the countryside, and evil threatens to rip the world apart.

Besides it being animated, the fight scenes are extremely well done. Most of the fighting was choreographed based on actual martial arts skills, which gives the show a wonderful real-world quality. Several of the martial arts scenes were actually motion-captures of the show's creator, Monty Oum. There are several excellent heroes and villains in the show, but when I was thinking of candidates for whom to emulate, the first one that came to mind wasn't one of the main characters, but a supporting character: Sun Wukong.

Sun is a laid-back kind of guy (a large part of why I like him) and is also a faunus, which are part-animal humanoids. He's a bit of a scoundrel, but we also see him being very devoted to his friends. He fights with at least two distinct martial arts disciplines, and executes several slick parkour and gymnastic moves as well. Plus, it doesn't hurt that he's got killer abs and nice hair. He's mischievous, but not rude or mean. He's confident, smart, and loyal. The area he hails from isn't big on dressing up, and he's not overly concerned with impressing people. He's comfortable with who and what he is. In short, he's the kind of guy I would want to be. (Some would say we have a lot in common: sadly, abs and nice hair aren't among those things).


Social Media Fast

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

After some extended time of prayer yesterday, I realized that I hadn't been spending enough time reading Scripture or praying.

Since I started a new job a few weeks ago, I've been pretty busy. I'm still trying to do the same amount of things I did before, but with 9 less hours a day to get it done. At least I don't have to work weekends!! Thank God for that- but I have to focus more to get the same amount of stuff done.

God brought to my mind the fact that in September, we're going to be helping launch a new church campus here. And He (ever so gently) reminded me that I need to focus on preparing for that, to which I replied "God, what can I do to more fully focus on this new church plant?" to which He replied "you don't really need to be on social media, now do you?"


"God, do You mean Twitter, Google+, Facebook,, and internet forums? Those social media sites?"

Yeah, those.

So, I'm going to be taking a (mostly) sabbatical from social media in order to focus on the task God has laid before me.

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

I won't completely isolate myself from social media (and I'm not even sure that's possible in this day and age) but I'm severely scaling back my time spent there. I don't need to have news stories, drama, stupidity, and whatnot distracting me from my purpose. Yeah, there's plenty of encouraging things I see there too, but I have almost no way to filter that, thanks to Big Social's inability to discern what's good and what isn't.

In the meanwhile, I'll be able to work on music, prayer, and writing. This is probably for the best all around. I'll post updates here as things go, so stay tuned!


Done with Adobe (and Google)

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

One of my most popular articles, "How To Install Adobe Air on Ubuntu 12.04" was hit by another bulk DMCA takedown. To say I'm unhappy is an understatement.

You can read more about it here.

Please, I urge you, don't waste your time and money with Adobe products. There are plenty of free and/or affordable alternatives out there.


Thoughts on Wisdom and Intelligence

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

I was reading in the Bible the other day, and I ran across this passage:

"6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" - 1 Corinthians 2:6-8

This rings true, even today. The "wisdom" of the World is at odds with God's wisdom. And I'm not talking about science- I'm talking about worldly "wisdom" that says the only purpose of man is to acquire wealth and power. That there is no absolute truth. That Self is all that matters.

Sometimes I wonder why more people don't understand that their actions are leading them to destruction, but again, the Disciple Paul knows why:

"14 But a natural (worldly) man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ." - 1 Corinthians 2:14-16

Wisdom isn't the same thing as intelligence. I keep telling my kids they're smart, but inexperienced- and wisdom is the application of experience. You can't make wise decisions unless you either 1. learn from personal experience, or 2. learn from someone else's experience. The Bible is full of wisdom, if one were so inclined to read it. But be warned! It might not make sense if you're not trying to follow God's ways.

On that note: Intelligence is a fact, a statistical number, not something to be egotistical about. I'm no more proud of it than I am proud that I have blue eyes... I had no influence in the matter. But like any other tool, it must be honed to a fine edge in order to get the most effective use out of it. If you possessed a powerful weapon, but never trained with it or sharpened it, how effective would it be in an emergency? Not very effective at all, I'd imagine.

Ego says "I deserve to be treated better because I'm smart. My life should be easy."

Reality says "you don't have to tell people you're smart." Simply do what you need to do. Those who are also smart will recognize it in your actions, not your words. Plenty of people say they're smart. Precious few act like it.

The Dark World doesn't care if you're smart. In fact, much pain and suffering were meted out to me because of those who were jealous of my academic standing. I would have been better off playing along and learning advanced math on my own. I eventually figured it out, but those harsh lessons stay with me even to this day.

If you're smart AND wise, then you'll recognize the truth in what I'm saying.

If you're not sure, then you might want to listen to someone who's learned from experience...

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The Nine Laws: Part Three

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

If you haven't read them, start with my review of The Nine Laws, and subsequent part One and part Two.

The Third Law is Purpose.

Without purpose, we are no different than animals: instinctively roaming about, completely at the whim of the Dark World.

Purpose is something we can change. Purpose is something we can decide for ourselves. We are not bound to mere survival, as are the beasts of the Earth. We have possibilities. Without Purpose, there is no point to accomplishing anything.

What is your life's purpose? Do you even know?

Don't be surprised if you can't explicitly answer this. I couldn't either, for a very long time.

At some point you're probably going to stop and think, "What am I doing with my life?" which is code for "I don't know what my life's purpose is." And if you're a Christian, the answer isn't necessarily simplified. As a young believer in the faith, my thoughts went something like this:

"What is my purpose? To do whatever God wants me to do. My purpose is to… to what? Provide for my family? Glorify God? Those are all pat answers. I want to know what my singular, most powerful purpose really is."

But what does that mean, exactly? What does it mean to "fulfill God's purpose in your life?" Can you give specifics? Can you quantify "Love thy neighbor as yourself?" Do these look the same for every person? Of course they don't. Over the years, God has given people purpose in many ways, for many different reasons. And He's even changed people's purposes over time. So again, what does that mean for you and me?


Simplification Isn’t Simple

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Apologies to my faithful readers. I've been quite busy! But in my business, I found that my brain was cluttered.

I also found my phone was cluttered, to the point where it was having a hard time keeping up with everything I wanted it to do. And that's when I realized: I was trying to do too much stuff at one time.

I'm always thinking of some project or another I want to get done. I even have time to do most of them! But my downfall is that I attempt to do to many at once, thinking I can cram more in if I multi-task.

And I really, really stink at multi-tasking.

I'm also realizing that with unlimited time to get things done, I don't want to get so busy that I can't enjoy the time I have at home while it lasts. This, too, is difficult.

I don't really have control over as many things as I'd like. But every now and then, I can do something with my time and make it count.

Blogging isn't something that I really make a lot of money with, but that's because I haven't made it a major priority up to this point. It's not that I couldn't... but till now, I've been up to my ears with other, more important things to do.


Old Technology Is Best

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

For a few months now, I've been wanting to get my hands on an old typewriter. Preferably, a manual (non-electric) one. And what happens to show up at the local Goodwill??

A mid-1960's Underwood Touch-Master 5. It's crusty, dirty, and needs a lot of cleaning, but it works! And it was a steal at $15.

My 11-year-old secretary couldn't resist playing with it. It's so tactile! And it makes a nice, solid "clack" noise every time you type a letter. What's not to love?


The Nine Laws: Part Two

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

In my ongoing quest to delve deeper into the methods of The Nine Laws, I'm moving on to the Second Law. (If you haven't read it yet, check out Part One.)

The Second Law is Concealment.

This immediately throws up red flags. "Concealment? Are you being sneaky? Are you trying to hide something, or be dishonest?"

Let's try a thought experiment. You go into a job interview, for which you're barely qualified. You're riddled with doubt, but you really want this job. Are you going to go into the interview with doubt and fear written all over your face? No, of course not.

You conceal your real feelings. You smile, you act confident, and you do what it takes to accomplish your goal.

The opposite of concealing is revealing. Do you really want to reveal everything about yourself to everyone? No, of course you don't. The problem is, we do it all the time without even realizing it. And so, the Second Law urges us to pay attention to what we reveal about ourselves- and conceal what is necessary to ensure our survival in the Dark World. This doesn't necessarily mean deception, lying, or things of that nature. It is a simple evaluation of how we unwittingly make ourselves vulnerable by revealing too much.


Book Review: The Nine Laws

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Once in a while, you run across something that's so magnificently and bluntly honest that you just have to stop and look at it again, as if to say "what?"

Reading Ivan Throne's The Nine Laws is like that. It's not something you can skim in an afternoon while delicately sipping on a latte. It's both eloquently written, and brutally realistic. But at the core, is it something worth reading, or is it just poetic drivel and fluff?

Each section begins with a story directly from Throne's life, and embodies some facet of the Nine Laws. They are powerfully moving stories in their own right, but as examples of the way the Dark World works, they're more than that. The Laws are defined, and then the last section explains each one. The reader is given thought exercises to get them to understand where they are in relation to the Dark World, and then take action based on that realization.

I decided, in light of wanting to be honest, to dig into the philosophy of the book itself and see if it held water when juxtaposed with a Christian's worldview. I will warn you: this wasn't easy, or simple. It is a complex philosophy, and even a single misstep could transform the entire thing into a conflagration of failure. If all the Nine Laws rely on each other, and even one of them is false, then the whole tower comes toppling down. I am still working through it, but needless to say, there's a lot of truth there.

I can't even begin to delve into the meaning of the whole book in a mere thousand words, so there's a good possibility this will take more than one post. But I would rather do the book justice than stamp a gold seal on it and lead someone astray. My readers deserve it, and I'm sure Mr. Throne wouldn't have it any other way.

So, without further ado, here are the Nine Laws:


Freelance Computer Business

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Is your laptop broken, worn out, or just not not working like it should? I can fix it! Computer has a virus? Need an upgrade? No problem.

Don't throw those computers away! I've been repairing and rebuilding computers since before Windows 95 existed.

Do you want to build a computer for a special purpose? Home entertainment system, gaming,  home or small business servers, or something else? I can help! I'm also experienced in building virus-proof Linux-powered computers, and can train users in using software as well.

I've done contract computer work for the U.S. Military, Ochsner Hospital, John Deere, and lots of other businesses. And I can use all that experience to help you!

Contact Me

Feedback or freelancing inquiries welcome!

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