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

18Mar/150

Good Guys May Not Always Finish Last

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

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!

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9Feb/150

When You Give Your Life As An Offering

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

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.

But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 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

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15Jan/150

Upcoming Posts

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Sorry I haven't been posting as often as I'd like. My work schedule has fired back up, and I'm working on the shop floor for another 3-4 weeks. Until then, I won't be able to get much writing done... most of my energy will be used for resting, and required family things. At this point, I've pulled a whole week of 11-hour days on my feet, so I'm pretty tired.

However, I've got lots of material in the queue for the near future. I want to fire up my next "Retro Game of the Month" feature. I'd like to do a hands-on review of the Adrenalinn III pedal, which will take more than one post. I've got some good theological ideas I want to flesh out and share with you, my loyal readers. I've also got a few pieces I want to write on Christianity, Magic, and Role Playing Games (which is something I've been wanting to write on for quite some time). I also want to do some more work on highlighting Linux-based guitar software, and I've even got a domain name set up for that... just haven't gotten to it yet.

All in all, there's plenty of writing to keep me busy, but it will take some effort for me to get around to it all. Please be patient, and I will try to make the best quality content for you I can. Believe me, I want to write it all. It's just more time-consuming than I'd like.

And if I haven't said it before now, I want to thank each and every one of you for reading. It really means a lot to me, and I appreciate the time you spend reading my thoughts. It really does motivate me to do more, and to do it better.

So thanks, and stay tuned.

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14Jan/150

Solitude, And Decisions

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Throughout many times in my life, I've tried looking for direction. I had to make some sort of difficult decision, or do something I despised, or maybe I was just confused and looking for guidance.

Usually, I struggle through these kinds of things. Up until recently, I couldn't really think of why... it just never crossed my mind. I just assumed every time I tried, I sucked at making decisions. This kind of thinking sets us up for constant failure.

Instead of just giving up, I needed to step back from the situation, and apply a bit of logic. I know that God's direction for my life can be discerned, albeit if God is willing to show me. But I had become so accustomed to failing, I got to the point where I quit trying.

2Jan/150

Finding Your Sweet Spot

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

First: Happy 2015!

I've spent the last few years trying to redefine myself as a person. I found I'd been wandering through life, just kind of going through the motions. But we know that God has bigger plans for us... not bigger in the sense of "larger" but bigger in the sense of "having more impact on the world."

And let's be honest: the only thing we're here for is to serve as an example of God's love. We have to balance "dying to self" and living out God's plans for our lives. Where do we draw the line? How can we balance our own passions and God's passions?

The answer is simple. Our passions are put there by God. I'm not talking about our wants and desires; I'm talking about what things make our souls fulfilled. Things of value, things that make our hearts glow with purpose.

For me, it wasn't a matter of figuring out what I like to do, or what I'm good at. There's a never-ending list of things I'm interested in! What I needed to ask is "which of my interests is both spiritually fulfilling, and can meet a need in God's kingdom?"

22Dec/141

Truth Is Offensive

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

People don't want to hear the truth. If you doubt this, try telling everyone the truth... and nothing else... for a week or more. You'll find out very quickly that we've trained ourselves to expect lies when we ask certain questions. Sometimes, pure unadulterated truth can be hard to swallow.

Almost every single person knows deep down that lying is wrong, and yet we do it anyway. Why is this the case? Why are we so willing to tell and expect lies?

13Dec/140

Relationships In The Age Of Social Media

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

After a particularly good day of relaxing, I found myself feeling bad about not spending enough face time with my wife. There's of course a limit to that, but my Attention Defecit will not allow me to just sit for any significant length of time. This causes all sorts of relationship problems for me. Because people talk small talk, and I just tune out. I'd rather be blowing up aliens, or hacking the Matrix, or skydiving, or... something. Not fixing a broken shower head or remembering to feed the cats.

But we are happier when we have face-to-face interaction with people. Isolation draws us inwards, and if you stare inwards _too_ long, you won't like what you see. The reason for this is that we're our own worst critic. We are intimately familiar with our own failures and shortcomings, and we know exactly where they are. We put on a facade of "cool" to convince people we're not as messed up as we are, but the truth is, everybody's messed up- and we know it all too well.

5Dec/140

State Of The Blog Address

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

This past November (2014) was the lowest month for page views I've had in more than two and a half years. I've had to look through my logs and see why, but I think I've finally figured it out: I hosted several photos here that I linked to from discussion forums (mostly computers, bikes, cars, music). These count as "hits" without people actually visiting the blog, which throws the numbers off quite a bit. Going through my 404 logs, I can see where people are still linking to photos I used, and in some cases, someone linked to it from somewhere I didn't even know existed. This might be part of the cause. (Taking three weeks off to write a major article didn't help, either!)

I need to go through and clean these loose links up. It will 1. help clean up the traffic stats, and 2. ease some of the load on the server.

There are also plenty more things I have in development, but they will have to wait until Christmas break, when I have time to devote to them. Hopefully you'll think they will be worth the wait! I'm also going to be working on setting up a new website for musicians using Linux, which sadly, there are far too few of (people using Linux, and websites for them).

I'll also try to incorporate a Twitter feed in the sidebar, which I've tried previously, but dropped because 1. the embed code sucked, and 2. I didn't use Twitter that much back then. Both have changed now, so I will give it another shot. I've had this website up and running going on TEN YEARS at this point, so there's nowhere to go but upwards!

I got more in me. Let's do this.

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12Nov/140

The Ministry Of Criticism

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

As human beings, we are inclined to complain. The Israelites did it, even when God was providing for their every need, and had just delivered them from Egyptian captivity. It's in our nature to complain, argue, be offended, and critical. I mean, really, we've pretty much perfected it.

Unfortunately, this type of behavior is completely unproductive. You would think that people would learn this eventually, but the truth is, we just shuffle it to another location.

NOTE: I'm talking specifically about people's thoughts, and actions as far as they're not physically harming or illegal. We can and should criticize criminal activity. But what I'm talking about here is the "grey area" stuff. You know: the Thought Police.

Let's say I'm offended by bad drivers. (That's a stretch, right? Lol) I feel guilty when I'm always criticizing bad drivers. It doesn't fix anything, and only makes my mood worse. I'm still going to act accordingly, of course... I drive defensively because of it. Because I can't control how others drive, even if it's stupid and borderline illegal. I've done my fair share of stupid.

But the irritation has to come out somewhere. Our very natures are full of selfishness, which is the root of the problem. If we can't let it out on other drivers, maybe we take it out on our kids. Or our spouses. Or random people who are too dumb to realize that the express checkout line is not the place to be asking questions about what items qualify for a certain discount. *Sigh.*

8Nov/140

The Homeschooling Dad’s Expectations

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Some of you may be familiar with the fact that my wife and I homeschool our kids. As someone who was bored stiff in public school (and still struggles with "ADD" to this day) I was perfectly fine with our kids receiving individualized schooling and delight-directed learning. It seemed like such a natural idea to me, it made me wish I'd been able to do it when I was young. Alas, I managed to survive institutionalized learning, and in the process, I even learned a few things.

However, I've come to realize that most men aren't like me, and don't really understand the benefits of schooling their kids at home. Some of them are pretty hostile to the idea, in fact. At first, I was completely befuddled by this. I mean, why wouldn't you?

But then I started seeing why, as I learned more about how other men saw things. I spent time reading story after story about men who didn't have a clue about the basics of education, or why certain things work and others don't. It's not that they were stupid, they just assumed (incorrectly) a lot of things about how learning actually happens. When you throw that in with an over-inflated sense of discipline, you get a train wreck of confusion and misinformation.

So I'm writing this to help clear up some confusion, and possibly shed some light on the subject for those who either 1. don't get it, or 2. are trying to get their spouses to get it.