A More Fuller Update

Relations/Emotion

My son will be 5 months old on Friday. He is doing well rolling around after the cat, not letting us sleep, and generally becoming more person-like every day.

Lorelai is doing pretty good with everything at this point.  I set up a clock for her so she can start learning when it’s ok to wake up.  It also has a radio on it so she’s enjoyed that a bit too.

Caitlin is back to school, hopefully for the last stretch this time. I look forward to congratulating her on a hard fought win that has been a long time coming; plus that means my own education may be on the distant (post 2014) horizon.

It turns out that we’ll be moving soon, that’s an interesting, if daunting, development.

Physical/Body

I’ve managed to keep from getting sick so far but a side effect is that my physical energy has been pretty drained of late. Lack of sleep doesn’t help either. I haven’t been working out lately which may have contributed to me pinching a nerve in my back last week, which was a whole lot of no fun. My energy is building back up this week so hopefully I’ll be able to get back to the bodyweight workouts at least.  Yet I’m wary of working out because that taxes my immune system too, I really don’t want to catch what’s going around.

After the new year Caitlin and I did Weight Watchers together for a few weeks. I made a spreadsheet to track my own eating instead of paying for their services, that was a pretty good learning experience. I haven’t used the sheet for a few weeks at this point but I generally eat better now. I’ve been progressively trying to work more raw-ish plant-matter into my diet and decreasing my intake processed foods. Tricky when I’m am the main cooker person for two others who are pretty picky about what they eat. I just plugged what I plan to eat today into my WW spreadsheet, which I haven’t touched since Jan 16.  Since last month I notice that my intake mass (grams) is up while my caloric intake is down.  My protein, fat, and fiber intake is closer to what’s recommended for my stature.  Actually my fiber intake has actually close to doubled since I’ve been eating so much produce, 10 different fruits and veggies by the end of lunch.  Reading suggests that I probably need to drink more water to loosen up my gut.  I think my digestive symbiotes are still adjusting to the new intake.  Even though I haven’t used the spreadsheet for weeks every shopping trip since then I’ve grabbing new combinations of produce trying to find a new food-groove for my budget, grocery trips, and consumption.  I’m finding produce to be high maintenance at the moment, as in it goes bad quicker than I eat it.  Wasted food is wasted money.  The experimental phase of that transition is almost complete though, hopefully that means my gut-culture will find equilibrium.

Focus/Mental

Along those lines though I’ve spent the last couple weeks working on parsing out science/religion arguments in hopes that I can use the exercise as a tool to gain a deeper understanding into the scientific and social fields of history as well as becoming more savvy at discourse and approaching/displaying controversial information. Oh and I’m reading through a chemistry book before bed too. It feels like a caramelization/crystallization process is happening… in the last 5-6 years I’ve passively explored these threads of information to see what exists along with the who’s and why’s behind their existence and I’m at a point where I am confident in my ability to tie them into a solid, cohesive latticework of ideas. It’s actually pretty fun even if it does take most of the free time I have when I’m not with family.

Intent/Soul

I don’t have any real problems to confront or solve so I don’t really have any emotional something distracting my focus on the present. So really I’m just doing my best to take steps and improve myself while maintaining the real priority which is to keep things functioning reliably.  Nothing wrong with simplicity.

Bruce Lee Melody

I am not a martial artist and I doubt I really ever will be.  But back in the day, after I was a Christian (~2002) before I was an atheist (~2007), I picked up Bruce Lee’s book Jeet Kun Do: Commentaries on the Martial Way thinking it would teach me something about Jeet Kune Do.  How to move my fists, feet, body, be cool, etc.  When I saw the book’s title in the store the “Commentaries on the Martial Way” were in little letters so I didn’t read them.  It didn’t take me long to realize I had purchased a compilation of Bruce Lee’s philosophical notes related to martial arts.  The martial way, training, motivation, teaching, and more in the form of short quotes or page-long notes.  It was a good accidental find for me in a shiftless period and got me into kung fu movies.

Believe in Observation: Intro

Education seems to be a controversial subject in this country.  It’s as though people think that we can shape children by filtering the information they’re exposed to.  But parents and guardians should be abundantly aware that their children will inevitably leave the nest and so our job as parents or influential community members is to prepare them for solo flight.  This deep existence we all share with infinitely diverse perspectives which all exist globally online in honesty and/or as trolls.

Should parents be allowed to use their kid’s portion of public funding on schools which teach a restricted curriculum?  Should these schools, or any schools, be encouraged to teach as our forefathers have done and present right as divinity and wrong as demonic?  In the end censorship disguised as education will always look like obstruction and diversion, the opposite of integrity or grace.  I guess I could be biased but truth is truth regardless of what others say or believe.  Truth can’t be sifted away because reality is the water in which experiences grow, bob, or sink.

I would like to attempt a blog series presenting observations of humanity without narrative or interpretation.  It’s just an idea, I have no idea whether I can pull it off.  But I hope it can be used as a reference to springboard past the baggage of the changeable human interpretation of various controversial subjects.  My first project will be a topic I’m fairly familiar with: Evolution.

This is a long term thing, don’t expect and update on this in the near future. 🙂

Is Duplication Stealing?

This started out a comment response to Jax’s blog who basically blogged her agreement with this blog post that is attempting to make a case against copying music.  The original analogy in the post against copying music talks about a distributor who doesn’t lock up at night and has their product stolen with the aid of various other companies that charge for services such as maps, roads, or whatever else.  This analogy doesn’t stand up because the distributor doesn’t loose any product.

An artist’s official online Youtube channel, Hulu, Netflix, band website, or whatever is distributing data so it can be reproduced and displayed by your computer, X-Box, Wii, TiVo, etc. Taking a step back to talk about physical media doesn’t really change the story since music is data.  Copying data comes standard issue on every computer since forever because that’s what computers do.  Fact of the matter: Making something easily accessible means making it easy to produce.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.  I have the same feelings for entertainers and artists that I do for any producer of a easily replicated product that everyone likes enough to copy but not enough to wait for innovations or pay for it.

I made another analogy of my own and I got it to a point that it was pretty solid.  But it was also overly elaborate.  It contained nanobots that could keep pastries fresh forever as long as people didn’t swallow which lead to people copying every kind of food including raw meat products.  In the end butchers and food artisans get the shaft since the copy machine replicated structure.  The bakers and other innovators aren’t as hard hit because they their product can adapt as time goes along

Mad as a Hatter

Life has stayed kind of crazy since we had the Austrian exchange student stay with us two months ago.  Becoming a house of five seems to have kicked the world’s timing into a higher gear but even though he’s been gone for a month and a half it doesn’t feel like things have slowed down any.  The weekend after that my sister was in town and we went to Canyon Beach, Oregon.  My father was also in town only he was around for two weeks.  Memorial Day weekend we drove around the Olympic peninsula in Washington to see the Twilight (book) locations before arriving in Seattle to hang out with an old friend and show our German exchange student the big city.  In subsequent weeks we’ve also gathered a bunk bed, done a thorough cleaning of rooms to Goodwill cloths away.  We also picked a dining room table up from Craigslist in preparation for a baby-shower.

We’ve also been doing some major prep for the baby in addition to the bed and crib.  The baby shower, which is coming up, will call for a major rearrangement of stuff and we have a full-on finance plan to follow now so that my wife can take 6-8 weeks off come baby-time.  Luckily it includes specific allowance for replacing my 2.5 year old phone.

Our German exchange student has been learning to drive while she’s here because it cheaper here.  They have to take classes in stuff in Germany.  With only a month left we’ve been trying to get her on the road as much as possible.  Her test is the day or two before she flies away so the pressure is on.

Somewhat related to our German exchange student I’ve recently discovered of a way I can immerse myself in a language and I started giving it a go last Sunday night when I loaded up the German version of Skyrim.  I’ve been taking screen shots and translating the subtitles when I’m not playing so lingual structure and vocabulary will eventually get more recognizable.  That’s the theory anyway, we’ll see if it works.  It’s the bee buzzing in my brain right now, I want to get that train moving while I have a German in the house to make sure the process is getting me straight.  Also, Skyrim doesn’t get much better than when you have Orcs with two-handed hammers taunting you in German.  It’s fantastic fun!

My buddy up in Seattle energized another bee in my head which is still buzzing, only lightly waiting for it’s turn. He’s working and coding up a project of his own and having someone to converse with about learning languages set me on course to actually start laying some track and set up a Java development environment on my computer.  I almost had it right but wasn’t getting the results tutorials suggested until my brother-in-law came back from college he showed me what I missed.  I’ll get right on that after the momentum for my German Skyrim Project has established a sustainable momentum of it’s own.

Another kind of silly occurrence is that everyone in the house now plays Draw Something with each other.  That’s been going on for over a week now.  My wife just drew me a sniper; hopefully she can guess the Yoda sent back to her.  But the game is pretty awesome.  It brings families together.

I’m sure there’s more cool multi-day stuff taking up my time which I’m forgetting.  This blog is actually a relatively new occurrence too I suppose.  I’ve also gone back to using Personal Brain as my mind mapping tool of choice.  I was using Evernote but the way you can associate ideas and whatever else in Personal Brain makes it easier to jump from one thing to another, or simply link it without having to move anything anywhere.  Evernote still shines because it auto-syncs using the internet.  With Personal Brain I have to sync files from one computer to another using phone storage because I don’t want to pay for the tool just yet.

That’s it for this update.

Status Update of June 2012

It seems inevitable that I make blog posts when I comment on another blog since every time I do that I go through a massive effort to find the password that works for my account.

I updated the blog theme so it looks less like an OSX desktop.  The leatheryness seems oddly cozy some how.  Like I could drink some grog and tell stories of killing dragons in it.  Yeah, I started a new char in Skyrim because playing the Diablo III demo put me in the mood to play a hack-and-slash but I didn’t care for the story or game dynamics of the game.  Using alternate beginning and no fast travel mod while cranking the difficulty to master has made it a different game.  Good fun, but probably boring.

Following up on past posts, I’m still awaiting a new phone.  I’m almost certain that I’ll be purchasing the S3 this weekend as a fathers day gift but since it’s a pre-order I wont actually get it in my hands until July (hopefully).  Apple is being a punk and using copyright law to keep the S3 from getting into the states, hopefully I don’t have to wait longer than the official launch date.  I’m getting the pre-order because I want to keep my unlimited data plan.  I’m getting the S3 because it’s the only phone worth it’s money that’s out at vzw.

Things seem pretty mellow in my head right now.  On the philosophical wandering side of my interests I mean.  Christianity has lost much of it’s mystery and challenge and atheism is a non-starter without the contrast.  I’ve turned my interest to human history but tools I need to record and link things while I explore don’t exist which means I’ve slowly… oh so slowly started to learn Java/Android development.  So pretty much all that I’m interested in on the philosophical front is waylaid until I get a grip on databasing in Java to put together dynamic interface I want but doesn’t exist to my knowledge.

In other news, Avengers is awesome, Snow White and the Huntsman (Bella and the Thunder God) was okay, and Silence of the Lamps was pretty interesting.  Yeah, I didn’t get around to seeing Silence of the Lambs until this last weekend.

 

Phone News ala Frood Part 2 of 3: Before the Storm

In my previous post on phones I set up the circumstances and got into a couple phones that I’ve looked at but wont touch.  This post will get into the leaks and rumors that have me itching to replace my DROID.

Starting with the phone I’m anticipating least, the HTC Incredible 4G is almost here, set to release on April 26.  It sounds like it will come up short of any phone in the HTC One line up with a small 4″ screen with 275 ppi density, 1.2Ghz dual-core processor, and 8GB storage.  This can’t be a phone intended to compete at the top of Verizon’s lists, but the recent leak showed it’s price listing as such.  It would kind of be a joke, especially since the Nexus has been dropping in price all over the place; a phone released last November which has struggled in reviews as a phone solution but still sells well at the top of Verizon’s lists and beats the pants off of the supposed “Incredible” specifications.  It also looks like the same bulky phone as it’s predecessor.  I’m curious what the real device ends up being even though I’m not particularly interested in it as a product. (Update 4/26/2012: Release date May 10th?)

The second to last phone on my list is Samsung’s Galaxy S3 that is already selling like hotcakes and it’s only in pre-order status completely lacking a formal release date, list of specifications, or original photos; and here I thought I was itchy for a new phone.  Rumored to be sporting a 1.4 quad-core processor, 4.7 inch display with 295 ppi density, and 12MP camera.  It’s also supposed to get 17% more battery mAh than the Nexus had, which had notorious power and wireless issues; I’m curious how Samsung can execute their own integration of Ice Cream Sandwich.  The leaked photos have been all over the place as far as specific aesthetics go, but flat and sleek glossy black seems to be a consistent theme.  I was kind of hoping to see a genuine curved, phone shaped screen from Samsung; the Nexus just had a curved glass overlay so it must be on some developer’s mind.  Anyway, with so little actually known about this device it’s hard to put up higher on my list.  There is a lot of hype, too much by comparison to the competition it has with the other phones.  Far from being head and shoulders above the rest; the One X and the Motorola Droid RAZR HD both seem to look the S3 square in the eye.  I don’t like paying extra to join a fad, so hopefully it lives up to it’s own wake. (Update 4/25/2012: New rumor that the Galaxy S3 doesn’t hit stores until June. Update 4/27/2012: Exclusive to Vzw? That’s promising.)

I anticipate my primary bar for comparison to be the Motorola RAZR HD.  With my wife’s recent update from a DROID to a DROID 4 my household has become familiar with Motorola craftsmanship which looks and feels like a brick, but takes punishment and keeps working.  My wife hard her DROID up until about a month ago when the screen started going on the blink, her two-year was up anyway and she loves the physical qwerty keyboard so the upgrade was a no-brainer.  My DROID is still chugging along like the reliable dinosaur it is; it’s been dropped, glued, wet, lost, tossed around carelessly, tapped on as I play drums with stuff in my pockets.  Obviously the word for this phone is: Reliable.  Even though I would describe Motorola to be the least interesting looking brand out of the three major Android manufacturers my experience has made me more than a little biased toward Moto even if that means getting something more brick-like.  Luckily I’m aiming to adapt to the way innovation it taking the industry which means I’m gonig away from the physical keyboard allowing for a lighter phone and/or larger battery.  With Moto’s last move with the RAZR MAXX and it’s stupid-awesome battery they still manage to keep it within 0.6 oz of the RAZR, the thinnest and lightest Android phone at VZW (which has been dropped to $99 recently, btw).  Battery life is one of those considerations that makes the phone a phone.  Now with the next step up Moto is taking the RAZR HD will beef up my primary concern about the device: the screen size.  Rumored to be getting a 4.6 inch display with 720p which would stick the pixel density up to 319 ppi bumping just past the Nexus to second place under the iPhone 4S, which has 326ppi.  I think this is actually pretty far fetched, it doesn’t sound like Motorola but if they put out a screen larger than 4.3 inches I’ll be happy.

Last phone on the list that I most anticipate coming to Verizon is Samsung’s Galaxy Note; the 5.3 inch monstrosity that managed to make the stylus cool again.  Rumored to be redubbed the Galaxy Journal for Verizon and/or Sprint and already set up for T-Mobile with Ice Cream Sandwich I look forward to seeing how uncomfortable that phone is in my pocket.  The Galaxy Note has been out for a good while, since last fall I think, and it’s been maintaining good reviews and perplexing people with it’s size ever sense.  Battery-life is so-so, which makes me curious how it holds up on Verizon’s network which is known to drain your battery faster than the others; I’ll be watching for that closely when or if it releases.  It sounds like the S-Pen/stylus makes it pretty convenient for jotting down notes, drawing, and probably other stuff I haven’t seen.  It’s supposed to be useful, and I’m curious how that’s possible.  I just want the screen.  That beautiful massive screen with a respectable 285 ppi that will let me read articles and play games with ease.  If this comes out for Verizon in the next month I will likely be owning a Note and, potentially, a spare or upgraded battery.

My next full report will in a few weeks after phones and/or news come out and I have one on hand.

Update 4/25/2012: This is the second rumor I’ve come across which describes the DROID RAZR HD with a 4.3 inch screen… 720p (which is 1280×720 resolution) has been a pretty constant rumor all along, since that justifies the “HD” label, a 4.3 inch screen puts the pixel density at 342 ppi.  Doing more research on phones already out there 342 ppi isn’t an out of the norm pixel density.  But pixel resolution and ICS are splitting hairs as far as I’m concerned which leaves a 13MP camera to justify the usual $100 difference between predecessor and successor.  It needs a bigger screen for me to justify leapfrogging the MAXX.

I’ve set May 28th as the longest I’m willing to hold off on making a choice.  Verizon Wireless usually has pretty good sales memorial day weekend so even if the good stuff still only has rumor puffs I can at least grab something tangible at a discount.

Update 4/26/2012: It’s smelling as though a lot of the gravy coming to Verizon will be happening beyond the time I’m willing to wait.  Hopefully rumors start turning into announcements when Sammy finally unclogs the rumor mill next Thurs.

Recap of Discussion Part 1 of ?: Proof Convinces or Confirms?

Now that things have spiraled into a muddled jumble of comments over at the Can We Prove the Existence of God I figured it was a good time to stop adding to the mess, recap on things that I read, and source out some of the things that were said. Zilch hit the nail on the head with his post at the very end of the mess, the interactions maintained an admirable level of civility despite the obvious disagreement from one side to itself and the other. While my perspective is that the communication only amounted to treading water, I didn’t pick up anything new, I do feel encouraged to go home and get some of my toys to show people.

Starting with the article itself I still maintain the same opinion as my original post: The title and premise draws you in by using the ‘confirm’ definition of prove then conceeds that you can’t confirm the existence of God but you can sometimes ‘convince’ certain people.  There seems to be common ground cast here where believers and non-believers can explore new territory and sow new interactions but where James admits his explanation of disagreement is a short answer, it’s scripture and therefore final.  He basically references the ‘sick’, as Jesus calls those of questionable character, to reassures his readers through contrast: ‘Don’t worry doubters are still denying this truth which I just admitted was unprovable.’  The article unites us in our quest for information and understanding then divides us into the righteous and unrighteous.

I can’t say that I can blame James, in addition to sticking to convictions he probably has some desire to maintain his appeal.  It’s just disappointing to me because he acknowledges the common ground in his ‘Proof and Persuasion’ section.  Where he talks about axioms of mathematical proofs dependent on their system is the establishment of an existence to experience not similarly dependent on a system through which, and with which, everyone interacts. Existence exists objectively.  I admit that I picked this axiom up from from Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, but why I reject her execution is a blog for another day.  I dare anyone to make a definition of a non-objective universe… such a premise negates itself as subjective.  The universe and all the manifestations of energy that it consists of exists as it has even when the first scribes of Sumeria wrote that the beginning was a void of deep water which became a hemisphere universe with a pantheon of deities in the waters above and below to explain everything happening around and to mortals witnessing events on earth.  Reread Genesis 1 if that didn’t sound familiar, the other links in that sentence are bread crumbs for anyone who want to find and explore the stories of ancient pre-Israeli divinities relating to that story.  Sources are like jokes; Set up the story and give the punch line as best as you can.  Whether or not they get it is out of your hands and explaining too much usually ruins the whole point.  While sources are easily found with the names of those ancient deities, I’m always willing to answer questions.

By comparison an assumed axiom of a omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient being allows for a subjective universe. Virgins can give birth, fathers can reproduce without intercourse, animals and shrubs can talk, saviors can manifest on toast, and pretty much anything else is possible and justifiable when the universe is a sandbox for a divine imagination.  In the cosmological argument and the intelligent design argument for the existence of God it’s proposed that God exists before time.  Before time being the paradox of that conclusion.  There’s a reason why it isn’t uncommon for cognitive dissonance to come up when the secular interact with the faithful.

That about raps it up for the content of the article, actually.  I’ve already started working on a response to the implications and some of the comments of the moral claims so stay tuned for more.

Phone News ala Frood – Part 1 of 3: Setting The Stage

I’ve been following mobile phone news fairly closely as of late since my tax return will provide me the ability to replace the DROID I’ve been carrying around since 2009. Whether phone manufacturers are getting positioned for their own annual cycle, setting up to make waves during the Summer Olympics, or capitalizing on froods like me who are getting tax money back I’m in a fortunate position of having a drama of new phones leaking information all over the place begging for me to make a choice.

This is the only time I’ll bring up Apple: As long as the venn diagram for a device’s built in compatibility is a circle it doesn’t fit my needs as a user. I like to consider my device as a summary of parts rather than a magic box, let me take out the battery and SD card or install any app I want without going through a proprietary store… it’s my device, let me do what I want. Besides that, Apple made a niche and it sounds like they’re sticking to it taking no risks to rock their iconic status. It isn’t a bad business strategy, it’s just one less reason for me to look their way.

Second thing to get out of the way is that Verizon Wireless is my service provider. I’m grandfathered into the unlimited data plan, a majority of the people I know are “in” which means that talking in the US doesn’t take my minutes, and I have coverage pretty much everywhere in the Portland area while people with other carriers have issues from place to place. No device is going to be appealing enough to get me to switch carriers unless vzw drops the ball and stops selling good smartphones. Luckily the brands and phones are independent of carriers which means that anything I say about one phone at vzw will usually carry over to something with the same brand at competing carriers.

Third thing to get out of the way are a couple of phones outside Verizon that caught my notice: the HTC One X and Nokia Lumia 900.

The HTC One X being released at AT&T in the US has good specs and it sounds like they’ve put forth the best camera/interface combination on any phone in the history of phones… multi-shot, clearer pictures, slow-motion video, etc. It’s camera is only 8MP, which will get surpassed pretty quick, but the interface makes up for it from what I’ve read. It packs a largish battery to power, arguably, the best processor in the smartphone game until the SIII comes along to give it competition. The thing also sports a large-to-most 4.7 inch screen that crams 312 pixels into an inch. Not that many would notice the difference, but that’s a higher pixel density than the rumored specs on the SIII and only gets surpassed by the iPhone 4S and Samsung Nexus. Also the phone is sleek to the point of knocking on the door of Apple’s iPod. The unibody designed handset looks like HTC considered form which is actually appealing when too many Android devices I look and feel like a TV; inconsequential casing that surrounds a screen. The phone looks really sleek and well put together… but I haven’t held it so take that opinion lightly.

The other phone that I would be interested in playing around with but isn’t coming to my carrier is Windows Phone… er, I mean the Nokia Lumia 900. Really that’s all I need to say about it because nothing else appeals to me.  Everything else is on par or worse with Android competitors so I probably wouldn’t buy it even if vzw got it but I’m really curious what Microsoft came up with. The unique thing about Windows phones will be that the interface will stay the same across manufacturers. This differs with Android because manufacturer interfaces get installed on top of the Android software; it’s why going from HTC to Samsung to Motorola will give you a different experience for each one… I don’t like that but it’s too bad that the Galaxy Nexus, the only true Android phone at the moment, comes up short as a holistic phone.  Hopefully Windows Phone standing as Windows Phone will bring integrated interface to a table where it’s normal to see bloated overlays and animations are bogging down fatty hardware specs.  But Microsoft isn’t exactly known for keeping their interfaces light so I’m curious to see if WinP keeps it’s agility through multiple device generations and software updates.

So the buzz is that Samsung, HTC, and Motorola are all lined up to present high-end Android phones to Verizon and my next blog will go into what those phones are and look at the information that has been leaked about them.