Spring tease…..

I left work a bit early today so I could go by the car stealership for a few parts I needed. On the drive across Louisville there I noticed something I haven’t seen this year — people driving with their windows rolled down. I checked the outdoor temperature indicator in my car and it read 49F. Quite a relief from the below freezing and snow we’ve been having. But come on now people, let’s not get carried away here. It’s still cold.

Actually, while short of rolling down my window, I have grown to think that if it is above freezing, it ain’t too bad out. And if the sun is out, even more so.

Here’s wishing a good weekend to ya,

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Love that endures…..

I tend to be sentimental. And I tend to keep items that have touched me. For example, I have birthday cards from my grandparents who are in heaven, the plastic matching numbered bracelet I had to wear when my daughter was born to prove I was her father when she was released from the hospital, and miscellaneous momentos from different trips I have taken. And I have so many drawings, scribbles, artwork, pictures, and refrigerator art made by the kids that the box is overflowing.

Among these sentimental items are several homemade Valentine’s Day cards my wife lovingly made for me. Each one is special and reflected creativity and uniqueness that is all her. They are special which is why I have kept them throughout all these years (and they have survived all the “let’s throw everything out that we don’t need” efforts led, ironically, by my wife).

So this morning imagine my anger and distress to find them smelling – not of her wonderful perfume – but of a male cat’s pee. Yes, one of our pet cats peed on my sentimental Valentine’s Day cards. I was very upset and wanted to kill the useless cat (especially since he doesn’t carry his weight by catching mice, so in my opinion he is worthless).

Except something came to me during my morning devotions. I was reminded of the verse where it says we will all return to dust. All of us and everything. We are not to put our trust or faith in that which does not last. Which leads us to the only thing that will last – God’s love for us. And in my prayer I was thankful that, while cats may pee on sentimental items, people may die, loved ones may pass away, this world as we know it will be no more; God’s love is everlasting, unconditional and forever.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,…. – Ephesians 3:17-19

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Windows/Mac alternative…..

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that geekness is one of my traits. It goes way back to early high school with Apple II, Atari (with cassette tape program loading), learning BASIC programming on Commodore 64s, college work with Lotus, a brief artwork stint with the first Macintoshes, designing and instructing computer training for Windows and DOS, business systems and mainframe work, and side entrepreneurial work in wireless, security, and web design. So computers and I go way back for more than half my life.

I am also an early adopter. For example, I bought my first DVR back in 2000, went filmless in 2002, had a home wired and wireless network in 1999, and bought my first PDA/handheld organizer in 1997. I routinely have tech/geek projects around the house that my wife puts up with. A couple of the more successful ones on top of my early adoption efforts are a whole house music server and a terabyte RAID server and backup routine for family pictures, videos, music and documents.

One interest I have always had but not had the time, effort, or expertise to tackle is with Linux, specifically using it as a replacement for my day to day computer system. It’s one thing to have it on a server or to use it on a specialty PC. But it’s another to embrace it for your day to day tasks. Previous inquiries into this effort revealed that Linux wasn’t “ready for the masses” or public consumption. The entry level tech barrier was huge in that you needed to know Unix or command line. There were also driver and peripheral challenges. And finally, there weren’t a lot of software options once you got Linux installed on a computer. All of those tend to turn off 99% of the general public who don’t want to mess with the geek aspects of it.

I am here to say that all of that is over. There are several Linux “distros” or distributions that can suffice for your normal day to day computing needs and effectively replace the Windows or Mac operating systems you use. The one I loaded this weekend is called ubuntu. It is packaged on a single CD and installs in about 15 or 20 minutes onto your PC. It does not require a level of geekness more than Windows or Mac and allows you a clean install of a desktop operating system packaged with some basic programs most of us use every day such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software, internet browser, email, DVD/video watching, music listening and photo browsing and organizing to name a few. These all come included and are also in the software’s “auto update” manager that provides current releases, patches and fixes. And because Linux is open source, the selection of software available has ballooned to include almost anything you can think of – at least anything that can rival commercial “paid for” software. Unless you are unbinding DNA molecules or producing a proprietary 3D video, almost all of your software needs should be met. Oh, and did I mention that all of this is FREE? And on top of all that, the software tends to be more robust and more secure than your commercial variety operating systems.

I would highly recommend giving ubuntu or one of the other Linux distros a try. You can get ubuntu and other information at http://www.ubuntu.com

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A winter snowy sunrise…..

This is the beautiful scene that unfolded this morning in front of me as I ate breakfast during my morning devotions. I am predicting a great weekend. It’s Valentine’s Day Sunday, a 3 day weekend, family night tonight, and NASCAR starts at Daytona too!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

WOW!!!!!

I just heard that Dallas, TX got a foot of snow! Wow! Dallas, TX. Not Detroit, not New York, not Minneapolis — Dallas! The only way I would be more shocked is if it was Houston or New Orleans or Miami.

Well, I shouldn’t be so surprised. We are in the midst of global warming.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Classy…..

Prior to the Superbowl commercial watching, there was all sorts of uproar from the Anti-Lifers (my description for those who call themselves “Pro-Choice”) about a planned commercial airing during the Superbowl. This ad features Tim Tebow with his mom. What is so threatening about that? Go check it out for yourself.

Honestly, I don’t know what all the fuss was about. Anti-Lifers need to get away from having their panties in a wad. And while I am on my soap box, why don’t “Pro-Choice” folks ever emphasize the “choice” several months prior when conception is occurring? Why is it always a “choice” about killing an innocent life?

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Superbowl XLIV…..

So I’m sitting here with my wife watching the greatest sporting spectacle — Superbowl 44. So far the game isn’t what anyone thought it would be — an antithesis to the high power, high scoring shootout of two highly rated quarterbacks. I am writing this during half time so we’ll see what the second half brings.

Which leads me to a disturbing question. Why, OH WHY, do there have to be men in underwear during the Superbowl commercials? And back to back, no less (Career Builder and Dockers). What happened to Victoria’s Secret and beer commercial hotties?

Usually the Superbowl halftime shows are pretty lame and they have to have some type of “gimmick” (remember the “wardrobe malfunction”?) to keep people from leaving to empty their bladders and hitting the fridge to refill them. And let me preface this by saying that I was never a Who fan. However, this is the first halftime show I have stayed to watch. And so far it is quite entertaining from a visual and audio perspective.

A quote from my wife — “This is the best halftime show they have had in a long time.”

Well, the talking heads are back and I’m gonna wrap this post up.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Upbeat…..

At lunch today, I swung by WalMart to purchase a replacement wireless router for home. We are having some internet challenges and a misbehaving D-Link box was one of them.

As I walked out with my wireless router, Wrangler jeans and a 12pk of throwback Dr Pepper, I was walking next to an old man in a Harley Davidson jacket. We were matching strides and I looked over at him and smiled. I asked him how he was doing and his reply made my day and cracked me up.

He said, “I am doing so well, I make medicine sick!”

I laughed, said I was so glad to hear that and departed out the door to my car. And I thought about it more. How often is someone that cheerful at WalMart. We should all be so lucky to be like that wise old man.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

A great parenting/teen resource…..

I have come across a really nice parenting web site that gives great guidance on teens and your relationship with them. Below is a recent quote from one of their periodic emails:

Time and stability are needed commodities as the teen works through their issues. They need the steadying influence of their parents, who can help them sort it all out. It’s no time to lessen the boundaries or back down on the rules. Having those in place will provide the structure the teen needs, though they may seem to want just the opposite.

Go check them out at http://www.parentingtodaysteen.com

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net