Archive for October, 2007

Going Legit, Part 2

Part 1 of this engrossing series is here.

I think all my digital wares are officially 100% legal at this point. I went through our MP3 collection and purged everything Lynn and I didn’t specifically own (and probably a few things we actually did because neither of us would ‘fess up to ever buying it), and wound up saving quite a bit of diskspace on Henry, our faithful multipurpose Linux server.

I don’t have any more software I shouldn’t have, and… well…? Did I get rid of the DVDs I copied? I think I threw them out… or will next time I see them, at any rate….

Anyway, the temptation to steal is still there, but it’s easier when there are clear-cut rules in place. Like, if it’s not free, pay for it. Or… if it can only be used on one computer, use it only on one computer. My rules are very mathematical in nature… 1 is always 1, and there’s no thinking involved.

My trouble, as expected, has been all the gray areas between the clearly defined equations. Like, a friend of mine lent me a game, and actually gave me the original factory media, etc., but he still has the game installed on his machine at the moment. Is it my responsibility to rectify that? And folks are always giving me copies of things. That one isn’t sooo hard… I mean, the copies go in the trash, sure… but how do I gently remind these people (which I’ve done on multiple occasions) that I don’t want to be party to copyright violation? Sometimes it’s through great effort that these gifts are made… is it worth hurting their feelings? I don’t have any desire to do that either, but I can’t very well hide behind one ideal while I disregard another.

So… call me a wonk, or a stick-in-the-mud… or worse, if you prefer… but keep your pirate booty to yourself!

Thanks, though. It’s the thought of petty larceny that counts. 🙂

A tangential part 3 of this series is here.

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Road Trip 2007.1!

I just found out Wayne and his wife Meya will be accompanying Lynn and me to the other end of the state next weekend. It’ll only be like 7 hours in the car, though, so unfortunately none of my preparations for RT2007.0 will be any good.

Except for maybe my Mr. Fancy Pants loop CD. And my buttnut repellent.

Ed: I originally reported that Perry, not Wayne, was joining us. Fortunately this is not the case.

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Fun with Genetics

OK, so the cat is out of the bag now.

Or rather, the cat is technically still in the bag, and we don’t know what the cat looks like yet, but news of the bagged cat is… well… out of the bag.

Anyway, the recently emancipated news is that Lynn and I are going to be parents next year! The first trimester ended just this week, and our expected due date is May 7, 2008. All is well, and the little guy has a good, fast heartbeat. Lynn has been under much less stress now that she’s gone to a part-time schedule at work, and I think that’s helped. She still gets a little nauseous, and she’s definitely looking forward to the metabolism boost that everybody keeps promising is coming, but she hasn’t complained much at all. She’s even talking about doing it again already… but of course my alien spawn hasn’t popped out of her belly yet. We’ll see what she thinks after she actually meets the little fellow…

It’s an exciting time for me, but also an introspective one. I’m going to have to pony the crap up with some qualities I don’t really think I have, and soon… and that’s what’s truly scary about the whole thing. Things like patience and willpower and follow-through-itude are going to be important, but they’re the very things I struggle so much with. I’ve needed to exercise all three of them in the past (with varying degrees of success), but staying consistent with them has always been the hardest part.

I go through phases where I’m absolutely fired up about something, and there’s no way to stop me during those times. My attention still divides frequently, of course, but I always find the strength to refocus it and get the job done, and at a quality level at least an order of magnitude higher than expected. Getting through school the second time was a good example of that. It wasn’t a sustained “fired up” phase, though, but rather a string of phases, some stronger than others, broken here and there by unforseen circumstances in my life. I was between semesters when Mom died, and it took a huge effort to even stay enrolled. I wound up having to drop a class or two during that semester, and my heart just wasn’t in my work. Lynn’s support and, well, nagging (which I appreciate now, after the fact) were the only things that kept me on task then, and looking back I can see how well the two of us always work together in stressful situations.

Because of that, our child is going to have a huge advantage over what sadly seems to be the majority of other children in this country. Having two parents that love and respect each other and who, despite their many weaknesses and shortcomings, each always manage to strengthen and encourage the other under fire, is an important first step. Being wanted by both is important as well, and that’s definitely the case here. I’ve seen too many children trapped in feuds between their parents–and was one myself, long ago–and I don’t want my own child to ever feel like he was the catalyst for that kind of trouble. We’ll fail him in many ways, that’s for sure, but not in that way. Not ever.

So, anyway, I got fired up pretty hot when I first heard the news, and the trick now will be to maintain that fire. If you don’t mind, I’m putting some of that responsibility on you. Tell me when I’m slacking, and remind me how critical my perfection–or at least my attempt at it–is going to be for my blessed little child. Keep us in your prayers, and rejoice, for a new little Beauchamp-Simmons is nigh upon us!

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Toolbags, Unite!

It’s amazing how many “progressive thinkers” there are on college campuses these days who either can’t make an argument without using terms like “nut case” or “braindead neocon,” or don’t want to listen to anything outside their own tightly defined (and quite possibly screwed up) world schema. It’s not necessarily evil to close one’s mind–in fact, the majority of folks do it, and not just those pesky conservatives… uh… I mean, neocons–but proclaiming openness to alternative viewpoints doesn’t automatically make you open. In fact, if there’s no follow-through, it makes you… well, in the words of a brilliant young man at Middle America State University, a toolbag.

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