I have tried a couple of times to post this to facebook, but it never makes it to publication. I got to Google+.
The liberal media wants to play this down by saying it’s not important. It is. Make no mistake.
I have tried a couple of times to post this to facebook, but it never makes it to publication. I got to Google+.
The liberal media wants to play this down by saying it’s not important. It is. Make no mistake.
I got a bit scatterbrained and confused toward the end of 2013, and as a result I did not get this domain and blog transferred before I terminated my service with 1&1. Oops–lesson learned: make a list and follow the steps–in order! As you can see, I finally got everything moved and activated. It is going to take me several weeks to get all the posts back into place, and I know I lost some. However, thanks to two incredibly useful tools, I have most everything.
If you are not familiar with the “Wayback” machine, you should be. It is the nickname for www.archive.org’s snapshots of wayyyyy too many websites to keep count of–although they have counted them. Southernfriedyanqui.com had sixteen snapshots since its inception, but those sixteen snapshots provided quite a lot of redundancy. If you remember having seen a website that is no longer up and running, check the Wayback Machine to see if there’s a snapshot of it.
The other tool is Qumana, the blogging software I was using before I started using the WordPress tools. Qumana is a free program for the Mac platform, and it had saved each post I had written using it. It is nice and easy to use, but as my blogging goals evolved, the tools in Qumana just weren’t going to be able to keep up.
Neither tool has provided copies of the comments, though. That’s a shame.
If you notice the byline, I figured Lazarus would be an appropriate pseudonym; it’s a little more believable and less cheesy than “Phoenix.”
The appearance of this site will undergo some changes as I try to get it back to the state it was in when I lost it. I had put a lot of work into it, getting it set up just right, and now I can’t remember what all I did to it. It was also with a different hosting service, so I don’t know how much that will affect what I can do to make it look just like it did before.
So welcome back to Southernfriedyanqui dot com, and man, it’s good to be back up and running!
Some time ago I posted about getting ready to start learning Python. In fact, it was several months ago. August, to be exact. Since then I have made exactly zero progress on it. I STILL don’t know exactly why. But something interesting has happened: I started getting intentional.
I also posted recently about the podcasts I listen to. One of the podcasters, Michael Hyatt, talks often about being “intentional.” Dave Ramsey says the same thing. Both of them drive the point about not letting life happen to you. It’s about not being a victim, even of yourself, of your fears and your pride and your insecurities, your past, your bad influences, not being a victim of anything.
Now, I gotta tell ya, I started a post on the websites and blogs I follow, but it got WAY too long; I don’t have an accurate count of them, but I have them aggregating into an RSS feed reader and I just read them as they appear in the reader. I read several on personal finance, several on survival and preparation, several on politics and news, several on technology, a big bunch on self improvement, and one very special one on photography. Some of these very broad categories end up with posts that lap over into other categories, and over the course of several months, I found myself on the receiving end of what felt like a pepper spray assault of admonitions to become INTENTIONAL.
It started with our finances. Most of the time, when we’re floating along dumb and happy, we require something to jolt our psyche to effect a change in our lives. Had this jolt happened to me personally, I don’t know that I would be as “together” as the person is to whom it DID happen. A friend at work found himself in the position of having to deal with caring for an ailing wife, while at the same time having to deal with the “stuff” of everyday life. The trouble with that was that the wife was always the one who dealt with the life “stuff.” I resolved to not let that happen to my husband. I made a plan to get all our “stuff” into one easy-to-find place, and I have made impressive progress with that, considering how scattered some of this “stuff” is. Oh, the records are all in our home, but the accounts themselves are all across the country, due to 35 years of working for different employers and having different pension and other retirement accounts. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s coming together. The next step is documenting the websites of the accounts and the logins and passwords so that if something happens to me Tommy can continue to keep up with the “stuff” without having to wonder where everything is.
It’s a funny thing about getting intentional: it spreads and blooms and flows over into other areas of your life. I started walking at lunchtime. I only get a 30 minute lunch break, but I assure you in August that’s all I’m good for anyway. I started making a couple of trips a week. Then I got it up to three a week. Then four, taking Fridays off. When I started out, I had to make myself do it three times a week. I had to force it every day. Then I started adding a bottle of water to the journey, sometimes half a bottle in the morning hours before I go and then refilling it just before I take off on my trek. Now I actually look forward to the walk, every day. This week I missed Tuesday because it was raining, and I really DID miss it. It took several months, but by becoming intentional about it, it has become not just a habit, but one I enjoy very much. I can hoof about a mile and a half in 30 minutes, giving myself a few minutes at the beginning to change out of work clothes into workout clothes, and a few minutes on the back end to change back. My speed has picked up, to the point that I have been able to add a trip around the park at the far end of the walk and still make it back within the 30 minutes.
And this week it spread to Python. I ran out of steam for fighting against the learning process. I’ve been carrying my laptop and the book around with me, but I just haven’t been able to talk myself into setting my fingers on the keyboard for it. Last few days, I opened the book and really settled down to study something that had stumped me the last time I studied it. I typed the code into the editor, saved it, ran it, corrected the errors, saved it, ran it again, corrected more errors, saved it, ran it again, and it worked! Then I typed the code in again as the author broke the segments down and explained each part. Guess what—I got it! I got INTENTIONAL with Python, just as I had gotten INTENTIONAL with my walks, and just as I had gotten INTENTIONAL at knowing where we are financially.
I’m excited about getting back to Python again. I’m excited about feeling so great about walking. I’m excited about knowing our financial situation down to within a few dollars on any given day. And I’m confident that by continuing my INTENTIONAL activity in each of these areas, I will make measurable progress in each. And I wonder where my next INTENTION will take me.
“Mr. Martin Tanner of Dayton, Ohio made his Town Hall debut last night. He came well prepared, but unfortunately his presentation was not up to contemporary professional standards. His voice lacks the range of tonal color necessary to make it consistently interesting. Full-time consideration of another endeavor might be in order.”
Harry Chapin told the story of Mr. Tanner, who was a cleaner; but he also was a baritone, who sang while hanging clothes. Anyone remember that song?
Mr. Tanner’s friends pestered him to try music as a profession. He spent his savings on renting a music hall and gave a concert. Mr. Chapin tells of the result:
“But the critics were concise, it only took four lines, and no one could accuse them of being overkind:” And my opening paragraph is those four lines.
Mr. Tanner went quietly back to his life, but he never sang in public again. He allowed his passion to be covered with a curtain that didn’t apply to it. He never really wanted to sing professionally; it was his life, not his living.
I am not a soloist. I have only ever sung in groups. The smallest number of singers I have ever participated in was two. Until yesterday.
Our music leader asked if I would sing one of our Children’s songs as a prelude to her Sunday School lesson. Stepping way out of my comfort zone, I agreed. I had plenty of time for rehearsal and preparation.
Now, I am not nervous when speaking in public, and I do a fair job of it as long as I prepare well. Singing is a different matter. Regardless of the rehearsal and preparation, the voice is something that is either there or not. For very few is it ever always there. I prepared well, and we had a very good rehearsal. At the time of performance, I was as confident as I was going to be.
I have never considered that I have a great vocal gift. I can carry a tune and I can read music, and I enjoy singing in groups. I have never been asked to perform alone, and I have never sought out the opportunity. So despite my preparation, I was very nervous as I began to sing. It was no help that my throat went dry with the first note. As I progressed, it did get better, and the third and final verse was almost as I rehearsed it.
This was a huge step for me. I don’t particularly care if nobody ever asks me to sing a solo again, I did it. I have never aspired to a music profession, I get so much enjoyment out of being a group performer for my own satisfaction. My voice blends well with others and I have a reasonable range. The victory for me was doing it and surviving it.
Been there? Share.
Two weeks ago I told you several things that you need to know about passwords. Today I’ll give you step by step instructions on how to make a strong, secure password that will meet requirements and that you will eventually remember. Trust me, you CAN remember them.
The sentence method:
Open up a program on your computer that you can free-flow type in. That’s most likely to be a word-processing program or text editor like notepad, but if you really love Excel, you can use that.
Type a sentence with as many words in it as you need for characters. You may not have a specified length, but if you do, that is how long the sentence needs to be. The sentence needs to make sense to you, but it doesn’t need to be true. Here’s an example: As Alice fell deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole she began to wonder where she might come out. Nineteen words; if you can remember that sentence, you have the start of a strong password. Type the sentence until you can do it without looking.
Reduce the words to initial letters: AAfdaddtrbsbtwwhmco.
Find letters that can be changed to characters and numbers. Your password requirements may call for some creativity in exchanging. Here’s one possibility: A@fd&ddtrh$b2wwSmc0.
Type this series if characters over and over, repeating the sentence as you type it, until you can type it quickly without looking at the previous line.
If you need a reminder, you can write the sentence out, but you shouldn’t need to write the password itself once you have been able to type it several times without looking at the characters.
The phrases method:
I had one password requirement once that needed an exact number of characters, a certain number of digits, a certain number of non alpha-numeric characters, no consecutive repeating characters, first character must be alpha; this was rough! But I was able to come up with a method that worked.
Someone’s first and last name; two words about them; a two-digit number about them; and a characteristic about them.
Arthur Frederickson; school friend; 12; football.
I’m going to use dashes for the non-alpha characters; so we go AF-sf-12-fo0tbal
If you need to change passwords periodically, you can swap out what gets capitalized; incrementally increase the digit; swap out different characters for the dashes. But this will create a nice, strong password that you can remember without writing it down.
Since the password cracking software looks first for words that are in the dictionary, combining several words into one long word can create a strong password, like these:
You can do it!
Once you get the hang of one of these methods, you can combine them in any way that works for you. Remember from the last post, you don’t want to use the same password in a bunch of different places. Going about it this way, you shouldn’t need to.You will still need a method to keep track of which one you use where, and you can find that in the previous post.
Let me know if you’ve tried these, or other methods that worked for you. Share what you have learned with others.
We have allowed the press to define this debate, to the point where it is no longer a debate with an honest exchange of respected ideas, but a contentious verbal battle with no progress.
Many who pompously title themselves “pro-life” are actually “anti-abortion.” My pro-choice friends have made some very good points on that. The idea that talking a woman out of having an abortion and then sending her off to deal with it ignores the fact that the baby’s life isn’t the only life that hangs in the balance. Callously reminding the mother that she has already made one “choice” and now she has to live with it is NOT being “pro-life.” What IS “pro-life?”
Roe v. Wade is here to stay. It’s not the problem. It was the symptom that finally emerged from the problem.
I am ashamed of the number of times in my relationships that I display a lack of reverence for God’s gifts. I have recently begun seeing every human—and all of nature—as gifts to be cared for. How can we, day to day, where we are now, begin to demonstrate our reverence for life? Can your reverence for life change the number of non-therapeutic abortions? Does it matter?
I have flip-flopped, or evolved, or changed, or grown regarding my opinion on the Death Penalty. Any of those terms is appropriate for what has occurred, and it is appropriate that this happens to people, whether they are computer technicians, or preachers, or company executives, or governors, or presidents. The only evidence of life is growth, and if you aren’t capable of growing, you aren’t fit to live. Occasionally when you learn and grow, your position changes. That’s acceptable, as well.
By the time I had an opinion of the Death Penalty, I figured I was in favor of it for pretty much every case involving loss of life. I was young enough and naïve enough that I even tossed accidental events into the pot. You know, when you’re young and naïve, you don’t make mistakes yourself, and you pretty much figure that nobody else does either, and every death was planned or negligent, and that negligence warrants the death penalty as well.
I am also pro-life, which I address in another post. In a conversation about that subject once, I was asked how I reconcile being pro-life and in favor of the Death Penalty. I found myself dissatisfied with my own answer, which was that babies are innocent and murderers aren’t. Over some period of time I came to synthesize my opinion to hold that the Death Penalty is appropriate only for premeditated murder, but not for other levels of murder or death.
That placated my conscience for a while. But only for a while.
Some people pass through your life quickly, but leaving an indelible impression. One such impression was granted by a friend who worked as a death row guard at a prison. One sentence in a conversation over the whole period of our friendship changed everything. We don’t get to hear much from the death row inmates. What we hear is filtered through their attorneys or organizations with agendas to fulfill. I think the next-best source of accurate impressions of such men and women would be the people who spend the most time with them. My friend gave a description of people who were, admittedly, not pillars of their respective communities. They are not the examples you would hold up for your children to follow. They will never be accused of having great character. But here’s the one sentence that has stayed with me:
“Almost every one of those men I see every day got caught up in something they didn’t know how to get out of.”
No, he is not talking about a spur-of-the moment killing. There’s a different term for that. These guys, what happened to them is that they got involved with someone, or a few someones, or even acted alone, but once the plans were laid, they just didn’t know how to stop the plans, or even to extricate themselves from the situation in which they found themselves.
In those cases, I can see that the death penalty is misapplied. I feel that the death penalty should be reserved for those whose actions and words have demonstrated a complete lack of remorse for taking the life of another person, an absence of recognition of the value of life.
I believe that if California had a provision for the death penalty, Charles Manson would not be as brazen as he has been about his life. His actions and words indicate a complete dismissal of the value of the life of other people. There are plenty of other examples, but from my friend’s account of his encounters with the men on death row, that one property, dismissal of the value of life, is absent.
I have mapped out a few more posts that will all tie into an overarching thread on the value of life, but because I know that the death penalty is the counterattack to pro-life arguments, I wanted to get that out of the way first.
More to come.
For several years I have been trying to talk myself into doing something I really, really want to do: learn to write computer programs. I have always wanted to write computer programs. For my Millennial friends, this will take some imagination: I went to school in a time when the office equipment consisted of an electric typewriter, a telephone (rotary dial) , a mimeograph machine, and the PA microphone. What we knew about computers was that they filled whole rooms and drove the most modern of business offices, space travel, and communications of “the future.” Even at that time, I wanted to write the programs that told them what to do. I assure you, it’s not about the power. I can’t identify what exactly it is that intrigues me, but it has never, in all of my half century, left me.
There is an abundance of resources available, and I have many of those resources already in hand. I have the platform to learn on Windows, Mac, and Linux. I have at least four books (in different sizes and formats) on the subject, and I have an account at Codecademy, and I’ve gotten through a couple of lessons. I can accept baby steps, but these are measured in microns—ridiculous!
I know exactly what is holding me back: fear. That’s what keeps most of us from doing what we really want to do, isn’t it? And this is a really stupid fear, because I have never come up against anything that I wasn’t able to learn how to do. I’ve taught myself how to sew (my mother gave me a good start, to her credit, but I wasn’t ready to learn at that point), knit (same story), crochet (again, same), type, use a computer, and fix it. I taught myself how to can vegetables. So why am I so afraid to jump into this endeavor, at no monetary risk of loss, with all the necessary materials already at hand? There is no consequence for failure, so why not go ahead with it?
My self-justification has always been that I don’t know enough advanced math, but I don’t believe that even within myself. And I think, even as I was typing the words, that I finally see why I haven’t made more progress with it than I have: there is no consequence for failure. There is no deadline, no bonus missed, in short, no accountability, nothing to force me to face my fear of falure. I studied for and passed my tests for A+ and Network+ certifications, under the same conditions, and I know that I need to start studying for the Security+ cert, but that one has a deadline and I have (sort of) gotten started on that one. I have to maintain continuing education efforts for my job, and I have to obtain a certain number of credits within a stated period of time. I don’t know what the consequences are, but it is not unreasonable to assume I could lose my job. That’s a pretty powerful incentive.
Well, that feels better. At least I know WHY, now I need to figure out HOW to get past it.
If you have a business, you DID build that. Here’s why. Oh, and while I’m at it, I’ll also explain why you have something that you DID build even if you “work for someone else.”
Two words. Excellence. Integrity. Nobody GIVES those things. Nobody can take them away. And not everybody has them.
Teachers are wonderful people (for the most part). They labor under increasingly impossible circumstances to perform increasingly non-academic requirements under conditions that make it increasingly difficult to challenge our children to excel. But the best teacher in history has never and can never and will never grant those two things, excellence and integrity. Those are inside-outward qualities, they must come from the inside and flow outward.
Roads and bridges move goods and people. Commerce is dependent to a huge extent on movement of goods and people. Sitting here, I cannot come up with one business that does not at some level depend on goods and people going from where they start to where we need them to be. But even if you were to travel every road and cross every bridge in our nation, those roads and bridges would not lead you to integrity and excellence.
As fascinating as the internet is, there are some (albeit a few) businesses that could in fact operate without it. Just off the top of my head, lawncare comes to mind. Regardless of your operation’s need for network connectivity, or the lack of said need, it will not connect you to excellence and integrity.
You own your excellence. You own your integrity. You built them. Nobody gave them to you. Nobody can tax them. Nobody can take them away from you. As a business owner or as an employee, claim them and hold tight to them. They are rare, and you will need them every day of your life. And building them is a process, not an event.