Recommend any software for using gamepad instead of a mouse?
I'm interested in using a gampad or joystick instead of a mouse, for my Kubuntu desktop pointer. Later on, I'm planning on reinstalling Gentoo on a seperate partition. At this point, I'm intending to go with js2mouse. What do you recommend? Should I use a different software package? Should I use js2mouse as a kernel module? Also, I'd like to recommend this idea to my brother for his Windows XP desktop. What software package do you recommend for that? The packages that I've seen look kind of like spyware.
The military is awesome. It's probably 1 of the best career decisions that I've made. Everybody seems real nice. There seems to be great camaraderie.
I Got Into The Military; General Update
I thought that I'd give you an update into my life, since I achieved a significant milestone, and since many of you invested much into my life.
***I Got Into The Military***
***General Events Up Till Now***
***Girls [or lack thereof]!***
***I Got Into The Military***
I went into a job interview today with the Canadian Forces, on Dec. 13, Wednesday, in downtown Vancouver. It was an interesting interview, because they drastically shortened the interview process for reserve applicants. In fact, they skipped all the typical job interview questions, and just asked about 3 questions on a check list, about commitments. There were other forms to be filled in, and they needed to follow up on things, but that's it.
I'm proud to say that I'll get the job, as long as I can pass a security check. I'll be a supply technician for the BC Regiment. I'm really excited about this, because the people seem great, the work seems meaningful, I can still find regular work, and the location is next to a SkyTrain station.
On the way home, yesterday, I had a sense of pride and a feeling that everything was going to be alright. I'm not entirely sure that I've had that feeling before. I was smiling for quite a large amount of time, as well. The weather was clear, cool, and sunny: just the way that I like it.
If I ever get my head blown off doing some kind of car bomb inspection, then you can mumble under your breath, "Well, at least somebody is getting his come-upins.". ;^)
I intend to supplement this income with another job teaching ESL, running my own business, or doing some other kind of government work.
Speaking of ESL, I got my ESL teaching certification, so I intend to travel 1 day, and hope to do some Christian ministry as well.
***General Events Up Till Now***
Okay, let's see if I can give you an update starting around 2006.
In Jan. 2006, and maybe a bit of 2005, I started going out to downtown Vancouver to see if I would have been able to start up a local Texas Holdem poker tournament, since poker was getting pretty popular around here. The short story is that I stood on the sidewalk to gauge interest and to promote the idea. It seemed that there was a significant amount of interest, and I even went around to businesses, asking for sponsorship prizes. I even managed to get 1 or 2 prizes. I wanted to get the sponsorship so that there would be prizes, but no gambling. Unfortunately, it never worked out.
All throughout Jan. & Feb. my dad and brother were pestering me to get ESL certification and teach overseas, based on the idea that I taught ESL successfully as a volunteer. I finally gave in and went in in March. There were 5 days in class, and a specialization. The specialization is rated at about 60 hours of private work. I managed to get a second free specialization for doing volunteer work for them.
So, while I was doing the specialization, I explored downtown Vancouver, 1 day. Too much time on my hands, eh? :^) I saw a banner advertising the hiring campaign for the Canadian military. On a gut instinct, I decided to check it out. I think that deep down inside, I've still been hurting for not making it into the navy. To be honest, I am quite jealous of those who did. It turns out that the way of doing things with the BC Regiment is more in keeping with my life than the navy. With the navy, you disappear for long amounts of time. With the BC Regiment, you are only working part time. So, I explained my situation to them, and why I never made it into the navy, but it didn't even phase them. They handed me a application form. Well, I read up whatever I could about these guys, and even attended 1 of their open house recruiting seminars. I was pretty impressed. It looked very exciting and down to earth. So, I bit the bullet and handed in the application.
Since I was going to have to wait for them to process the application, I decided to sign up for some temp work, doing manual labour on a construction site, doing warehousing, and whatever. Well, eventually I got stuck with MAKAM Construction. They asked me to work for them, and I told them that I was intending to join the military, and couldn't work for them. They eventually asked again, and I explained again, and they politely insisted, so I said, "As long as you don't mind me working for only 1 month, then okay.". Since the military was slow in getting back to me, and since I had to get forms filled in again, I ended up working for them for about 3 months on payroll, but over 4 months in total. During that time, I was supposed to finish my ESL certification correspondance work, but I was too tired. In fact, I stopped going to church as well, because I was so tired from the week and just fed up with liberal Crhistianity and lukewarm Christianity.
At around mid-August, they began swearing a lot at me, while micromanaging, which made it all the more painful. It was interesting because I was busy working 1 day, and then they found me, and accused me of slacking off when nobody was looking. It seems that they were looking for me, and I was walking a different route, and we passed each other. Somehow, the time passed really quickly, and it looked like I hardly did any work at all. So, I can understand their perspective. It just blew me away that they would shout at me for playing games, hiding, and not taking a lunch break. That was pretty much the last straw, so I told them that I wanted to quit a month later [2 weeks notice plus 2 weeks vacation].
Fortunately, I managed to stay around long enough for dental insurance, and now I can get that cavity taken cared of.
Another good reason to quit was because I was able to start attending to the homework.
I've started going back to church. This has been quite an experience. I have been going to a couple of Reformed churches. I'm surprised at how they don't decorate their churches for Christmas. That just changed my opinion on a lot things that pertain to influence. I came to the conclusion that sometimes people are just too paranoid, and they want the easy way out by banning things altogether, when God never meant it that way. He sure didn't have a problem with decorating the tabernacle in the Old Testament. So, instead of working with reality, we'd rather ban it all. Then there's the other extreme, where everything goes. It's like we refuse to think and come to a detailed set of rules that allow us to have the most for the least.
So, I finally got my certication at the end of Oct. 2006. Since that time, I've been shopping around for new stuff, and planning board gaming events. Have you read The Tipping Point? I've been trying to push board gaming over a tipping point, so that there would be a huge increase in popularity. I've been checking out various transit friendly venues, and just getting a feel for planning events.
Also, I bought a French-only dictionary. I spent much time reading through the pronunciations, and examples of word usage. I also went out to the Wednesday night meetings at the Alliance Français, where people sit and chat for a while in French. I've also been reading the New Testament in French too. It's very interesting in that the French language reminds me of King James English.
I've met some nice girls there, but I haven't the foggiest idea on how to ask them out in French. I also can't carry a big conversation in French, so I don't know what possibilities exist there.
***Girls [or lack thereof]!***
Nothing happening here.
In the latter parts of 2005, I hung out with a woman my age, and we practised speaking French. Somehow, I think that we both got turned off each other around February, despite how we had almost everything in common. I guess that I don't like people like me. ;^P
Sometime around Christmas, I met this warm and friendly girl from my brother's church. She invited me out to her Christmas party. We also went to see "The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe". I can't remember what the movie what the movie was about, because I didn't get a chance to watch, due to "distractions", but we were at the movie. *nudge* *nudge* *wink* *wink* Eh, just kidding. I watched the movie. *sigh* ;^p Seriously, we did watch the movie. It was interesting. She seemed to enjoy chatting about it afterwards. Unfortunately, when I turned to see her facial expression during the movie, she seemed so bored.
On an unrelated note, I played Mr. Beaver in our high school play, in grade 11.
That's it! I have to start finding more places to find girls.
I wish you all the best in this merry Christmas season...except for you, you and you...and well, you. ;^p I harbour no ill feelings [*cough* visibly *cough*] against anybody [well, actually...]. ;^P Seriously, folks, take care, merry Christmas, happy holidays.
Life Update [just a quick greeting]
It's nice to see that some of you are doing well: turg and his kid game, eglamkowski and his commitment to avoid debates.
It unfortunate to see that 1 of you is suffering: hobo spider bite. I thought that I was suffering due to an odd increase in acne, but acne pales in comparison.
Life has been really strange. 1 of the major changes in my life is the commitment to avoid debating and pressuring to bring people on to my side of an issue. I've been reading and rereading and referencing, "How To Win Friends And Influence People" & "The Tipping Point". I'm actually quite shocked how much those books have shed light on this world. It's amazing to watch people sit there and complain about the world around them, and wonder why things are the way they are. I like to call those books, "The Jedi Mind Trick Manuals", because applying those principles really does change a persons behavior. I've been selling post cards and souvenirs as a volunteer on board the Downtown Historic Railway, and I'm truly impressed at how many people buy from me, and are actually happy and thankful. It kind of makes me feel guilty, but as long as I'm giving them a fair deal, then there shouldn't be any problems. 1 thing that I don't do is sell to kids. I ask the parents somewhat quietly, "Do you think that he'll enjoy 1 of these?". I hate the way that McDonald's sells to kids. I want the parents to have more control over everything.
Another interesting change in my life, is the change of my view regarding freetrade. I used to be highly in favour of it, because I thought that it meant less government. I now believe in something that I call fairtrade. Companies shouldn't be allowed to ship in products without taxes unless their workers are subject to the same amount of government influences and taxes. The idea is that if the local government heaps a huge burden on us, then our market should be protected from our government's influence. Or why should a foreign subsidized company be allowed to compete with lower prices when you work fairly without subsidies? I wish that I could explain it better.
Some of you probably remember me taking a year off to do volunteer work, hoping that I'd be able to find something to do with my life. Well, it's been well over a year, and I still don't know what I want to do. For the foreseeable future, I plan to do some fund raising as paid work, and then save up to get some certifications for teaching ESL. I might head overseas to do some teaching there.
Another interesting thing happened over the summer. I took a cross-Canada train trip in coach. I started off sick, but managed to get well, because I had so much rest. The train was awesome. The main purpose of my trip was to visit my grandmother. She is getting old and we don't know when her time will be up. It was a sad experience. I could journal a whole journal entry about that. I also managed to wet my feet in the Bay of Fundy, which has the highest tides in the world. Meeting the people in the east was cool and strange at the same time.
I now think that Quebec should seperate. I don't believe that the debate should be based on whether or not anybody would prosper with or without seperation. It should all be based on whether or not there is better freedom and responsibility. If Quebec really wants to take charge of its own life, then I applaud it. Personally, I think that everybody will be worse off, but it's better to live in poverty, godliness and freedom than it is to enjoy the luxuries of enslavement.
I have also been reading French novels and comics. It's all interesting but the comics are more enjoyable. I'm doing this in hopes that I could pick up more French.
Life with my family is better in the sense that we don't argue as much. An unfortunate and disturbing thing popped up. Because of the context, I could already sense what was about to be asked, "Eugene, please don't be offended with what I'm about to ask...". My brother's wife thought that I might be gay. I can't remember the exact phrasing, but it is close. Also, it was my brother who asked, not her. She thought it and he asked it. How devestating is that? I'm trying to become more masculine and attractive to women, and here they are thinking that I'm gay. She's the person who watches "Will & Grace" and he's the person who recommended that I watch "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy". So, I suppose that it's okay to watch them on tv, but if there is even a chance that somebody is really gay, then all hell breaks loose. I honestly think that they are some of the most closed minded people that I've ever met. If any of you think that they are conservative, then you've got another thing coming. I'm conservative. They're not. We're the exact opposite. When I think back to all of the things that my brother has done to me, I'm actually shocked at much he tries to change my life. On my last 3 birthdays, he has lectured me on finding work and friends. In the last year or 2, he has consistently talked to me about my wardrobe. In the last few months, he, his wife, and my parents keep telling me to colour my hair, because of the grey hairs. The sad thing is that I was finally getting content with the way that I looked. It took my whole life to get to that point, and forget about the low self-esteem that plagued me through elementary school, high school and college. I honestly don't recall saying a whole lot to my brother and his wife. I'm going to have to bring this up with them sometime. Maybe he's just trying to make up for sins of the past in the only way that he knows how: by drawing people into his world to be successful like him [as he is quite highly regarded among his peers].
There are a lot of other annoying things happening, but that's the most interesting part that I care to share right now.
Jondiii and others, if you want to clear out junk, then why not go to freecycle.org?
Oops. I forgot to say thanks.
Thanks, FortKnox, for putting on the contest. I really enjoyed it and appreciated the opportunity. The next time you have a contest, let us know how we can help. I'm sure that there are qualified people who can help build the components. For example, a component can receive the photos, and sort them out. Another component could spew out some html. Another component could build a messaging system. Another could handle the revealing of the names after the contest is over.
subgeek, thanks for sticking up for me in that thread, where the anonymous coward said something about being gay. I didn't put much thought into it, because anonymous cowards seem to make such comments so often, but it is very encouraging to hear you say nice things about me.
Hi. I'm not around, but I couldn't resist the contest.
I'd just like to take a moment to thank you all for submitting your photos to the contest. I really wondered what you all looked like.
Some of you had the same faces, but different hair. Oculus, I was so surprised when I finally recognized your face. Turg, I recognized you right off the bat, but the hair did seem longer.
Some of you looked way more clean cut than what I expected. btlzu2, I honestly would have never have guessed. I thought that you would have had glasses and a younger looking face. MC Hamster, you looked a lot cleaner looking too. You seem older than what I thought.
As a matter of fact, a lot of you looked older.
Some of you looked scary. baldass_newbie, you seem very intimidating. I'm so glad that I agree with you on a lot of issues. :^) Oh, how I envy you! :^)
As for me, well, I saw what a couple of people said about Queer Eye and what not. I can't say that I'm surprised. My brother and his wife bought that shirt and a matching pair of jeans for me as a Christmas present. It doesn't match my personal preference at all, but I'll wear it and that style when I'm around them. I've really taken a whole new attitude in the last little while. I've really put people before my own preferences for the sake of making them comfortable and pleasing them. I must say that it is good to wear something up to date even though I don't like it.
Anyhow, like I said, I'm not really reading the journals, but every now and then, I see a few of you in the main area. I want to know how you're doing, so I look through your last few comments.
A while ago, I found out that there was a photo contest, so I thought that I'd keep quiet for a bit longer and surprise you all with updated photos. I was posting anonymously in that journal entry where the photos were first announced.
As for an update in my life, I've been reading "How To Win Friends And Influence People". I never thought that I'd ever read that ever again, because I thought that it was all just liberal junk about making people feel good. Oddly enough, I had a bit of a change in my life. Over the last few months, I came to the conclusion that a lot of what makes us tick isn't logical and rational thought. The harder we fight it, the worse it is. Logic and rational thought are fundamental to success, but no where near as much as we expect. So, not only did I borrow it from the library, I bought it. Not only did I buy it, I put it at the head of my bed, and I read it every few days when I get up, and really try to understand it. Sitting next to that book is "The Tipping Point". I swear, with all my mind, heart and soul: if this world isn't better by time I die, then I consider myself a failure. But I don't think that I will fail, because for reason, the world appears to be my oyster like never before. In the last little while, I've really taken on the attitude of doing the opposite of what I'd normally do, as long as it isn't a moral issue, and I'm pretty surprised at how well it worked. For example, just the other day, I took my brother's advice for Risk 2210, which is the exact opposite of what I would advise, but lo and behold, I won! Or as I like to say it, my brother won by proxy!!
When I last journalled, I was still volunteer tutoring and doing some other volunteer work. The other volunteer work ended because the guy I worked under left because he was so frustrated at the organization. They didn't treat me in a very helpful manner, so I spent more time tutoring. That is going well. The math student got 100% on her exam. She is now doing grade 10 math, and has requested that I tutor her some more. I have already done 2 more sessions with her. We'll see how it goes. She seems to be doing fine.
I'll be checking for replies here, so if you have any questions or comments, then I'll reply as usual.
I'm planning on coming back to slashdot 1 day, maybe at the end of the summer, but I really want to get my life organized first...but wait! That's what I would normally do. Maybe I should do the opposite and come back now! We'll see. Anyhow, that's what I'm planning.
Take care. I wish you all the best of success.
New Year Resolution: So Lo-o-ong, Farewe-e-el
Well, it's been a while since I last journaled. For about 2 weeks or more, I've avoided my /my/amigos/ page by changing my bookmark. I now only read the front page. I stopped reading because I got tired of reading the religious and political stuff. I think that a lot of you have deep problems.
Anyhow, I've noticed that I'm much more stress free, I've got more time [surprise, surprise], and life just seems better.
Remember the volunteering? Well, things are going well. It turns out that I may get a paying job as a math tutor. A couple of friends [a guy and his wife] offered a job as a math tutor, when they found out that I volunteered as a math tutor. I automatically assumed that they were offering a volunteer job and pretty much accepted it right there on the spot. I was stunned that they wanted to pay. They wanted to hire friends or people they met, to help staff some kind of private education centre for foreign students. The fellow's father received a special award from Prime Minister Chretien [wrong spelling?] for his excellence in teaching. Hopefully I'll be up to standards. It's all kind of scarey.
Also, I may get a chance to teach improv acting at a place where I volunteer. I may even be paid if it works out to be a regular thing.
With all this free time, I've been focusing on starting up a business, or a non-profit. I don't know what it'll be. It might be some kind of game like The Amazing Race, but on public transit. It might be a community centre like the YMCA. It might be a promotional company. I don't know. It'll probably be in New Westminster, because of the city's changes that will be coming, and because of how central it is in the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Vancouver is nowhere near the centre of the GVRD. I'm not a business man, so it's going to be hard.
As for Christmas, I wanted to minimize the amount of gift purchases, so I bought some blank cards and drew a few simple holiday images on them [ie: candles, holy, bells] with pencil crayons. My parents and brother were impressed. I was greatly encouraged because they always seem to have "constructive criticism".
Anyhow, this is probably the last journal that you'll read from me, so if you want to remove me from your list of 200, then please feel free to do so. If you ever want to chat just do a web search of eugenetswong to find my email addresses. If we happen to cross paths again, then don't hesitate to say hello. It's only the slashdot journal group that I'm avoiding, not the individuals. I'll be sure to check for slashdot messages, so feel free to comment if you need to say something.
So lo-o-o-ong! Farewe-e-ell.
Said with sincerety, and thanks,
Eugene T.S. Wong
EHTML: DIV, UL, & TITLE Elements
I've updated EHTML. I didn't think that any of you were using it, so I didn't bother making a backup copy of the previous version.
You can now optional add DIV and UL as children of HTML. TITLE is now a required child of BODY. The rationale for putting it there is that it encourages good titling of a page, as opposed to "Untitled", "New Page", "Our Web Site", etc. I think that leaving the title in the head section doesn't translate very well in the minds of new HTML authors. Also, it fits better in the document flow, and doesn't require css to get it into a correct position.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC
"-////DTD EHTML 1.0//EN" "http://geocities.com/eugenetswong/ehtml.dtd">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
...banner and logo...
<body><title STYLE="display:block">My Foo Photos</title>
Disclaimer: some of the mistakes in the code are a result of slashdot; if you are interested in actual code, then let me know.
Ask You [technical question]: How Do I Make Patches?
I'd like to contribute code to a project. I just have to send in patches. How do I check to make sure that my patches are okay? I know that it is something to do with using diff, but I also know that you have to compare my copy of the source to the original. What directory to I have to be in? What arguments do I have to pass?
This version allows you the benefits of the start attribute for ol and value attribute for li. This is better because sometimes a list item isn't 1, A, a or some such thing, and you shouldn't need style sheets to change it. This is a content issue, not a styling issue.
See http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/lists.html#h-10.2 for more information. They are deprecated according to those standards, but I undeprecated it.
Any requests for better standards? I'm planning on a 2.0 version soon, and perhaps even a GeoCities web site to be the home for this project. It just depends on if anybody is interested in using it. 1.* will differ from 2.* in that 1.* will always try to use features which are already available in modern browsers, while 2.* will plug ahead and create new standards that aren't available yet. This means that in the future, when new features are added to browsers, then I'll be most interested in incorporating them into 1.*. Both will use the standard HTML rules for elements. 3.* will begin to use XHTML rules.
Volunteering Update: Big Brothers; Other Volunteer Jobs
This is mostly bad news. I'm keeping it short to spare you the negativity. I'm actually just trying to update you.
***Big Brothers Rejection***
***Other Volunteer Jobs***
***Big Brothers Rejection***
Well, they finally called today, and said that they weren't interested in using me as a big brother. I guess I can't say that I'm surprised. During the interview she didn't seem too enthusiastic or optimistic.
It really hurts. On a slightly humourous note, it reminds me of my dating life.
***Other Volunteer Jobs***
These aren't working as well as I'd hoped. I suppose that things are going well with teaching Math, but it just bugs me the way that people don't show up, or whatever.
Anyhow a couple of students seem to be doing okay. We'll see. 1 of the students really appreciates my explanations and suggestions. She's doing better with her multiplication tables.
Another volunteer job isn't going as well as I'd hoped. I'm not going to say much, just in case those people read /. I doubt it, but still. No, it doesn't really involve me directly. It's just me keeping somebody else's secrets. It's also very discouraging, because the secrets echo my own thoughts and feelings based on what I see in the trenches.
Web Design: Content Negotiation At Geocities; My Own DTD
For those of you who really know what you're doing, here is some neat stuff.
- GeoCities Has Content Negotiation
- Go test it at my web site. For testing purposes, I only created a French page and an English page.
[JawTheShark, go ahead click it. You know you want to. :^)]
[Cyberdyne, a while ago, you offered to host a project that I was considering. I won't need your help anymore. I appreciate your offer a lot. I just feel that using GeoCities would be less trouble for you. Thanks again.]
- I've Created My Own DTD To Allow For Better HTML
- Mine will allow you to put headings [h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6] and captions in lists. The headings will not need to be children of li elements. It will also allow you to put lists in paragraphs. I also created nl for navigation lists at the top of the page. That should be about it. My DTD should allow for cleaner, clearer and smaller HTML code. Your declaration should be something like this.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC
"-//MrWong//DTD EHTML 1.0//EN" "http://www.geocities.com/eugenetswong/ehtml.dtd">
No credit, bonuses, payment or recognition is required. This seems to work with Opera and should be okay with others.
Update: Theatre Sports; Distribution Theory; Misc.
I'm still alive, as far as I can tell. But don't take my word for it, since I'm quite biased towards such ideas. ;^)
Well, as discouraged as I am, I'm feeling pretty good today, so I'm going to go back to my favourite journalizing format of proof reading a whole bunch and making sections.
Take your pick.
I'd like to share my experiences and thoughts on the first set of theatre sport lessons.
I'd like to share what I learned from reading the book, "The Tipping Point". It's about how small changes make big changes.
I share experiences and comment. I share how it has related to my life as a web designer.
I share a few short thoughts on HTML 4.01 Strict, XHTML 2.* and how people seem to react to this all.
Mot du Jour
I've decided to give a half hearted attempt at learning French again. I don't want to put much effort into it, since I won't be practising with a person any time soon. I don't have any real opportunities to watch French TV either.
Here are a couple of sites that I found through Google that give a mot du jour.
You can find out more about the author of the latter link at her main web site.
I figure that if I learn a word a day, then I'll be farther ahead if I start to use it for real, compared to just waiting until I start to use it before learning a word a day.
Also, my friend is a French tutor, and I'm hoping that I can make a simple web site for him to advertise his business. I really think the guy is cool, so I want to do what I can to help him succeed.
Defriending Em Emalb For Legitimate Reasons
I think that I'd like to make an official record of why I might defriend somebody. In the last little while, I decided to try to let people know why I might defriend them so that they won't be left wondering. It is also a good chance to influence somebody who may also be contemplating this. This isn't meant to be some eloquent rant about anything, although I wouldn't be surprised if it turned into it.
I suppose that I'm beating a dead horse, but I can't stop thinking about this.
It started a while ago, when I noticed Em changing a bit in the way that he does his journal entries. Obviously, you all must think that he has been consistent, but I feel [not believe] that he hasn't been as friendly lately. I kind of kept my distance.
Later on, I decided to try to get in touch with him, in hopes of developing a friendship. It would be a good opportunity to get to know him. It'd be away from slashdot, & thus be a good chance for him to relax a bit. Also, it would be a good chance for me to develop my social skills. In other words, this is what I was thinking.
I sent a message to him & to SamTheButcher, but neither of them replied to me. I tried to forget about it, because I wanted to respect their privacy, & try to take a hint.
Later on, they said something [I can't remember what], & so I decided to try 1 more time, just in case they never got the message. Both of them claimed that they never got the message. Both said to send an email. Both warned that they wouldn't be online all the time. Fair enough. After emailing them, I got absolutely no response from either of them. Well, actually, Sam said that he added me to his IM list, & that he would contact me when he got online or something like that, but what he said is kind of irrelevant because he never did get in touch with me after that.
1 day, much later on, I browse the journal community only to see a post by Em with only a green dot beside his name. I figure that the system must be goofing up again. I remember stories of people having their friends or fans lists being erased. I seem to recall that I had something similar where it appeared that way, but that I actually had them on my list still. So, I check both of his lists & my lists to be sure. Sure enough, our lists are fine.
I was honestly stunned. He said in his journal entry long time ago that he friends people to read their journal entries. I suppose that I might have been kind of negative lately, since someone mentioned that I've been kind of depressed lately. However, that doesn't fit in with the Em that I thought I knew. I mean he's going through difficulties. I'm going through difficulties. Surely he'd understand. Maybe there was a misunderstanding. Maybe I said something political or religious to offend him. Fair enough. So, I decide to ask him about it.
I wish that I knew where the thread is, so that you could see it with your own eyes. I can't remember it all, but he said that he'd rather not discuss it, if it was okay with me. Fair enough. I didn't appreciate reading that. I didn't appreciate being treated like that. I felt that I honestly treated him with a lot of respect. I never saw him only as a poll master. I never held expectations of him except for general courtesies & for moral issues. Yet, this is the way that he wanted to defriend me. Alright. Fair enough. I want to give people space to make unpleasant decisions. My rules don't always work out in my favour, even if they always work properly. So, I tried to end it on a pleasant note, making mention that I probably wouldn't be keeping him on my friends list for more than a month. I treat most slashdotters as penpals: if you don't want to keep in touch through the journals, then there isn't much that I can do. Take note that I do understand that it isn't always about friending each other, but for the most part, that's the way that I try to treat most slashdotters.
All of a sudden this joke happens. I say to myself, "You know, this makes sense. After all, the guy that I met in 2002 seems totally different than the Em that I know now.".
Of course, we all know how things turned out. I read your lectures. I know what you all think. So be it.
That's why I'm defriending him. Frankly speaking, if you're on the fence, then I'd encourage you to do likewise.
I'll defriend Bethanie also, because I'm just not interested in reading her journals anymore.
I'll defriend Sam as well because he's been kind quiet towards me. He's not necessarily being rude. I also understand that he's been going through a lot, but I'm not interested in being treated like this all the time. He either won't or can't even contact me. That's fine.
In short, I'm defriending various people, each for their own reason.
This all reminds me of church. I'm just not interested in trying anymore. I'm tired of always being told about what I can do & how I can improve, & what I owe others, yet nobody actually seems to step up to the plate to bat for me. People are great @ pointing out flaws, then inspiring you with the desire to do something, yet never provide the opportunity nor the instruction on how to make improvements. It's like I'm always forced to live in my past.
Last Day @ Church
Yesterday was my last day @ church.
I basically went because I wanted to say goodbye & to basically go as much as I could, even if it would only be once in a blue moon. Since I'm attending improv classes, which are Saturday & Sunday, starting this coming Saturday, I think that I won't be able to attend any morning services.
I deliberately took these classes, even though it conflicted with the morning services because I still feel like I need more information on things in general, & thought that they might be able to help me, & believe that the church hasn't been helping me progress as much as I could. I also did it to give myself a tiny excuse to not go. I suppose that I could just go to an evening service, but I'm not really interested in going any more.
Let me explain.
Yesterday was kind of weird for me. It was the 1st time back since I had my 1st migrane. I missed that 1st Sunday because I was tired & trying to recover. After 2 missed Sundays, I was pretty much good to go, but I still didn't want to, because I was still tired, & I really wasn't in the mood for it anymore. I honestly thought that the feelings would pass, & that it was important not to stress myself out.
Yesterday, I felt a bit of nausea @ the very thought of going to church. I felt guilty for not wanting to go, & decided to just suck it up & go.
When I got there, I was surprised to see a particular lady teaching the class. She's been divorced, just because of not getting along. She doesn't exactly appear to be the most perceptive person that I met. She always seems to state the unnecessary. I tried to ignore all of that. After a while that nausea came back.
I had to ask myself, "Honestly, why do I even want to listen to this lady speak about missionaries of the past? What does she know? She doesn't strike me as an expert.". The more that I thought about it, the more that I became offended.
Eventually, I just walked out. I honestly couldn't stomach this. This was yet another lesson that was as impractical as any other. It boiled my blood to think that we were wasting so much time learning about things that don't make a difference in life. I remember thinking similar things before: "Why don't we learn about city planning issues & how they affect the church?"; "Why don't we learn about law & how it affects the church?"; "Why don't we learn about economics & how it affects the church?"; etc. Obviously, I would want us to learn about how those concepts affect us personally as well as the church, but you probably know what I mean.
What made it worse is that I read "The Tipping Point" in the previous week, which is about how small changes create big changes. It's basically about social behaviour & how we distribute information as a society. This was yet another field of study that the church was ignoring.
They unintentionally added insult to injury: they never allowed me to teach! Yeah, I know. I'm not the greatest, but still! I have a Bible college degree, & here they were asking this woman who probably knew less than a parrot. Argh!!! To add even more insult to injury, they rejected me when I asked if I could teach; twice! Again, I know that there could be people better than me, but I can't stand how it's so hard for me to find a place in that church.
So, anyhow, I just left & went to the church library to read whatever I fancied. After that, I went back to the classroom to say my good-byes, but many were chatting away, so I just said it to 1 fellow I could talk to. I was a bit disappointed in the way that he turned to chat with someone while I was still speaking. Again, I tried to dismiss it because maybe the fellow needed to speak to someone about something important before that someone left.
So while I was stewing away in the service, I couldn't get over how annoyed I was. Everything was the same: more sermons about trivial details that didn't change lives; more of everything but the essentials.
I'm just so mad.
Compare that to the people that I have volunteered with. I got compliments. I was told that he wish he could pay me. The lady is friendly with me. The students appreciated my work.
Obviously none of these facts mean anything, but how can a group hope to improve things when they have poor quality responses?
- "Well, you obviously perceive something wrong, but keep trying to be accepted, & maybe we will accept you 1 day."
- "Well, nobody's perfect!"
- "Hey, this is normal!"
Nobody said any of these things, but that's the impression that I get.
So, what does this mean for me & churches? Well, I think that I can't just excuse myself, & sit back while waiting for people to come to me & impress me. So, after improv classes, I'm going to bring out my sketch board & do some open air campaigning. When I was in college, 1 of the classes taught us how to use water colours to make low budget paintings that would grab the attention of pedestrians, while you preached an evangelistic sermon. That's right. Yours truly used to be 1 of those nutty guys on the streets, who would preach & hand out tracts. :^) I figure that I've grown a lot since then, & that I'm more focused on the types of issues that plague us.
Unfortunately, I honestly don't know what to say. Even if I knew what to say, I wouldn't know what to do with people if they showed an interest or converted. How does 1 go about leading a group of strangers in some new religious movement? I don't want to be a cult. I don't want to be part of Christianity. Talk about a rock & a hard place.
All I know is that praying & standing in the same place, will result in nothing. I'd rather try & fail, so that I can sleep @ night. No matter what, I refuse to give in to mediocrity.
I think that I have 3 things going for me, even 4 [wow, I always wanted to use that expression; more on that later]:
- the willingness to draw boundaries even when I lose out financially or authoritatively
- an understanding that there are more issues [ie: economics; justice; etc.] than prayer
- the understanding that faith is evidence of things unseen, as opposed to the common belief that it is willingness to believe without evidence, or gullibility, etc.; in other words, I want a religion that requires intellect & is accessible to the common man
- the willingness to part ways every time the congregation reaches 150 in membership
The last item is fundemental, because it protects the members from bad leadership getting too much power, & allows us to maintain a tight knit group. I leant that from "The Tipping Point". The idea is that we don't have the physical capacity to personally know more than 150 people. The Amish spilt up @ 150. The makers of Gortex do it too. No building contains more than 150 workers. Both groups discovered this on their own. Roman centurians lead 100 people. This seems subjective but undisputable.
150 is something that I pondered during the Sunday service. I couldn't get over many people we seemed to have only during 1 service: 400. No wonder there is no tight knit group!
I could be wrong, but even the cults split @ 150 as well.
I guess that's it. Questions? Comments?
Note: that phrase, "even 4" is in the Bible; it would often mention "...3 blah blah, even 4..."; there is nothing spiritually or intellectually significant as far as I can tell; I just happen to love the way that it rolls off the tongue.
Volunteering: More Opportunities; Experiences; The Lady
***More Volunteering Opportunities***
***More Volunteering Opportunities***
Did I mention that I wanted to volunteer with more organizations? The idea is that I want to volunteer in different types of situations in order to ensure that I make some measurable benefits for the me & the world. In other words, if 1 opportunity doesn't work out, then another might bear some fruit.
** Teaching High School Math To Adult Students
It's pretty much just what the subtitle says. These people don't have learning disabilities. It's just that they are returning to school for whatever reasons. I like grade 11 math. I did well @ it. I should most likely succeed in some way.
** Big Brothers
I'll be some kind of mentor, if they'll accept me. I'll be paired up with a kid who has no father. We could literally do almost anything. We could do homework, just have fun and/or talk about the issues of life. It's literally up to us.
Honestly, 1 of the things that caught my attention was the offering of free tickets to movies & shows. As I browsed their web site, I noticed that the big brothers [that would be me] would get together with the big sisters. Don't get me wrong. The little brothers & sisters would be there too, but still.
** Nonprofit Organization That Provides Capacity
This group provides services to other charities & nonprofits, such as accounting, marketing, web site design & whatever, so that those groups can run on a more efficient budget.
I joined because I wanted to learn about marketing. I think that the biggest challenge would be dealing with the other volunteers. We were discussing the web site. 1 of the guys who has a masters degree [I think in business & marketing] mentioned that it would be real easy to whip up a web site [ie: Flash, Dreamweaver, Front Page]. I honestly tried to keep quiet. I really did, but I couldn't. I basically explained to them as best as I could the benefits of good HTML & how we shouldn't try to go with something big & flashy. I tried to mention screen readers, braille, cell phones, hand helds, lap tops, etc. I especially tried to emphasize how outdated IE is. I don't think that the other volunteers grasped what I said. That fellow said after the meeting, "So, you're a luddite with browsers, eh? :^)". Yeah, he was smiling, & probably didn't mean anything by it. I'm sure that we'll get along just fine. However, I can't emphasize how annoying it is to hear that. I believe that it takes craftsmanship to skillfully create a web page; you need to interpret the text so that you could use the correct HTML elements. On top of that, I'm using a modern browser [Opera 7.60 Beta], while he's probably using IE. I didn't get offended, though. On top of that, a lady says something about just trying to meet the needs of 85-90% of the market & not worrying about the rest. How sad. Don't get me wrong. I believe in being pragmatic. It's just that we don't even have actual content yet, so let's not give up on the 10-15% so quickly.
1 of the bosses emailed me saying that she agreed with some/all of what I said. So, it should be interesting to see how it plays out. I'm there to learn, & not to actually achieve anything. I don't want to declare an HTML jihad. So it should be really interesting.
Remember those people that I taught typing to? Well, from now on, I'm going to call them the retarded people. I don't mean it in a condescending way. "Retarded" is just "slower", not "stupid". I can't remember all the recent stylish politically correct terms.
So, I went in again on Tuesday, & sat down with the instructor to see if any new ideas came up during the week, to bounce off my new ideas & to hash out a game plan for the lesson. We also met after class to review, to evaluate any techniques that we tried, & plan for the week. In short, it all went well. We're still on the same page & more so. We had intended to try out some cooking thing, but we decided against that because we couldn't trust them to keep their hands clean; food safety & all; you know how it is.
The lesson was very challenging. We basically did some theatre sports & presented our ideas of hands on work.
Unfortunately, we never got to do some typing because most of the computers were being used. That's okay, because I think that they have bigger problems. 1 of them seems to have significant attitude problems; not interested in participating. Some of them have serious private conflicts that they are dealing with right now.
1 of the challenges of theatre sports was trying to get them to come up with something new.
To really nail the lesson home, I tried to make it easier by having them fill in the blank on the white board: "I like working with you because ________". Even that was a challenge because I'd get responses like, "But we don't work with you!", or some such thing. After we made it through that game, I decided to try again, but with a simpler sentence: "I like ________". After the 1st person finished her sentence, I made a new rule: "From now on, you can't talk about 'music' or 'Christian'. For example, you can't say 'rock music'".
"But why? Christian music makes us think about God. Rock music doesn't. They are different."
While the teacher was saying his explanation, I thought up mine. I think he said something about tolerance. I think that it was a pretty reasonable response too. My explanation was that they were both music & that they weren't different enough for the exercise.
So, after the 2nd person, I made a new rule, saying that we couldn't use such 'n such anymore.
After the 3rd, I made another rule.
After the fourth, I asked if they could guess what my next rule would be. They pretty much got it. I then asked what my new rules were going to be after the next 1. That stumped them, but they kind of got it after I explained it. I think that they won't grasp it until they see more examples, which means more fill-in-the-short-sentences.
I guess that my point in all of this is to illustrate that it is a lot like programming in that you have to break it down to the problem areas, & get very specific. It's debugging in every sense of the word.
Another thing that we did was get them to log in & write when they had to leave. This would give them some routine, & avoid wasting class time discussing when everybody had to leave. It also gives them practise printing & spelling. I'm honestly surprised @ how challenging the task was for them.
It is definitely frustrating. I want to usher in utopia now. Yet, the people that I'm supposed to be helping seem to be the very 1s standing in my way. :^) :^/
Well, there isn't much to say here, other than the fact that the lady wasn't supposed to be @ work, because she's supposed to take a day off of work after a long weekend or something. We saw each other, & said our greetings. She looked fine. He appeared even shorter than before.
I asked her what she did on the weekend. She said that she couldn't tell me. My face must have betrayed my surprise & frustration, because she giggled & poked my belly.
Ah, what a cutie pie.
Okay, let me retry that last journal entry.
Considering how nutty the last journal entry was, I'd like to try it again. I thought about it all night long, while I was out. I kind of felt bad. Actually, I felt really bad. So, if you'll indulge me, then I'd like to save what's left of my shattered reputation by restating what I wanted to state last time.
Okay, 1st of all, I'd like to take this back.
Slashdotters are just armchair critics. People who are passivists are armchair critics. People who didn't serve in this war are armchair critics. That's right. If you were in the military in another time period, then you served then, not now.
I stand by the 1st 2 groups that I criticized, but I also recognize that passivists tend to be a slightly different ball of wax. As for the last group, it doesn't really make sense in that context. It might make sense in the following context. I take it all back because it just doesn't fit and/or is wrong.
2nd of all, I'm not ranting against people who wish to speak out against something that is wrong. You don't have to pay taxes. You don't have to fight in any wars. You don't even have to be American to speak out like that. If you ought to speak out on a moral issue, then don't even ask for permission. In fact, it's more fun when you don't have permission, & irritate people, all @ the same time. I wish you people well.
However, there is another group here called "armchair critics". They don't contribute meaningfully in anyway except through taxes. They don't propose any thouroughly thought out ideas except for "leave me alone". They always have harsh criticisms & slanders of people that they don't respect.
What right do they have to complain? Sure, they pay taxes, but does it justify their uncivilized remarks? The Bible says [you knew there was a Bible principle behind all of this, didn't you? :^)] that Michael the archangel didn't bring a vile accusation against Satan when disputing over the body of Moses. Hey, if anybody deserves harsh rebukes, & to be called names, then it is definitely Satan, don't you think? If we can't speak so harshly against him, then how much less can we speak harshly against our fellow man? Don't get me wrong. I realize that not many of you take the Bible so authoritatively. I'm just trying to clarify my position.
Apparently some of us don't agree, because we can't do anything but say foul things against the 2 major parties & their supporters. I'm not talking about labels like "Demubicans" or "Republicrats". Why do we have to insult them & their supporters as if they are stupid? Are they really? or are they just willing to accept the unfortunate circumstances or work with what they got?
Don't get me wrong. I hate the 2 party system, & agrue that it is morally wrong.
Don't get me wrong. I hate the politicians around us. I hope that the unrepentant 1s burn in hell for their corruption.
My complaint is that most people aren't doing anything about it anymore than the Iraquis are doing something about their predicament.
Let's look @ the facts.
- The Iraquis don't do a lot about their predicament.
- The Americans don't do a lot about their 2 party system.
- Both groups pay taxes.
- Some/Most Americans complain about the 2 party system.
- Some/Most Americans complain about the Iraqis not saving themselves.
All tax paying Americans can go ahead & voice their thoughts about the 2 party system, but the only 1s that will gain my respect in this issue are the 1s who do something about it.
Here are some suggestions that would earn my respect:
- vote for an alternative so that @ least some of the tax payer dollars can go to someone else for a change, even though he can't make a difference in this world
- educate others about the seriousness of this problem
- if the time comes, then fight for it, using ammo & fists
- vote for it
Here are some suggestions that would loose [just kidding; I mean "lose"] my respect:
- use lots of condescending remarks
- have very little awareness of what goes into each voter's decision making process
- think highly of your intellect, if you have very little of it
- use disclaimers as justification for your wild inaccuracies & your vile attitude
- don't care for what's right
- care more about people than what's right
- criticize Iraquis for doing little about their situation, even though you've done nothing but talk the talk, even though they have more to lose [ie: family, money; life] & so little to gain, even though you have very little to lose & a lot to gain
- etc. [I could on & on]
Does that clarify things?
Do people have a right to complain about the 2 party system?
I've noticed that people have made a lot of complaints about the 2 parties & the 2 party system.
Do they really have a right to complain?
They complain about the war in Iraq.
They complain about Iraqis not doing their part to overthrow Saddam.
They complain about the 2 party system.
They complain about each party.
I don't see why anybody has a right to complain. It's 1 thing to voice your opinion, which is often worthless. It's 1 thing to try to make plans to do something about it. However, it's a completely different thing to complain with a holier-than-thou attitude while you sit in your comfortable home doing nothing.
Slashdotters are just armchair critics. People who are passivists are armchair critics. People who didn't serve in this war are armchair critics. That's right. If you were in the military in another time period, then you served then, not now.
People love to talk about how they would stand up for what's right, but really now. Imagine that you have a baby girl. Imagine that your dictator has captured her & holds a gun to her head to force you to fight. You are frail & weak. You aren't strong enough to rescue your daughter. Do you follow orders & fight the people who are fighting to save you, in hopes of saving your daughter? or would your rather fight with them while your daughter gets shot in the head?
I don't know what the Iraqui situation is like, but hopefully when I criticize all the participants, I'll be looking @ it from their perspective & refrain from arrogant remarks. What about you?
Hello uncle Eugene! Hello niece!
Well, my brother's wife's water broke in the wee hours of the morning.
The wife was supposed to have a c-section in this Friday, & the baby was due in the 3rd week of this month. I feel better knowing that the baby was brought out after the water broke. Water breaking seems to imply to me that the baby is ready to come out.
The baby was born @ approx. 11:11a, & weighed in @ aprrox. 7 pounds 10 ounces. It never occurred to me to ask if the baby was healthy, because the numbers all sounded the good.
Well, I was kind of nervous about having another member join the family. I hate disruptions. However, the most recents changes have been going smoothly, & we haven't had any major changes for a while.
1 of the things that concerned me was whether or not we would have to put up with a bratty ankle biter.
However, the wife politely commented on her sister spoiling her son [in other words, the nephew of my brother & his wife]. She made a commitment to not let the baby cry to get what she wants. Frankly, I believe her, because I see the way that they raised the cat.
As for me being an uncle, I don't know what to say. I've never corrupted a child before, & I'm looking forward to getting my hands on her & showing her all the evil things that she can get away with. ;^) Seriously, I don't forsee any major problems in the next little while. I suppose the only dilemas will happen if she asks me those deep questions about life which aren't fun to answer: doctrinal issues & political issues. I figure that as long as I always encourage her to tell her parents what we talked about, then almost anything is fair game. After all, she should be allowed to get opinions from other people.
In fact, if I get a kid, then I hope that I can encourage him to talk to other people. I figure that it isn't my job to shape the child's belief system. I believe that I'm supposed to let the child make up his own mind @ all ages, while I make the rules for behaviour. He won't have to believe in God, but will have to go to church [I feel like a hypocrite for saying that because I haven't gone in over a month, but that's another journal entry]. He won't have to believe that I know what I'm doing, but he'll still have to do what I say.
Eh, whatever. I'm just going to wait to see what happens.