Thursday, August 25, 2011

Godspeed and Good Health, Steve Jobs...

Steve Jobs resigned as Apple's CEO yesterday, although he will remain as the company's Chairman of the Board. My thinking is that Mr. Jobs had to make some critical choices regarding the quality of his remaining days, given that he's struggled with pancreatic cancer for the past several years -- cancer that has very likely taken a turn for the worse. My thoughts and prayers go out to Jobs and his family -- he is truly one of the most gifted technological visionaries of this or any century.

Remembering You'll Soon Be Dead Is the Most Important Tool
to Help Make the Big Choices in Life [Video]

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." ~Steve Jobs

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

WP Comes 'Round to Profile The Farm!

Where We Live: Hayfield Farm, tucked between the fort and the woods

A nice, light and fluffy slice of writing from our friends at the Washington Post, who seem to come around every 5-10 years to profile The Farm. Comments on the story are humorous, ranging from original owners complaining that they didn't get interviewed (instead of newer settlers on The Farm), and a couple proofreading suggestions. Ahhh, everybody's an editor these days...

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Love My iPad, But...

Stop! It’s A Really Bad Time To Buy A Kindle | TechCrunch

There are studies out there arguing for and against eye strain on backlit screens -- my own experience on my iPad is that while I love to use the form factor for reading, my eyes do indeed get tired after reading the backlit iPad screen for more than a half hour at night.

I think at times that it would be nice to have a dedicated e-reader. I really like my wife's Amazon's Kindle 3 -- that e-ink Pearl display is SO easy on the eyes. She's actually eyeing up Barnes and Noble's Nook as a replacement for her Kindle 3 because she likes the touch screen and slightly smaller form factor of the Nook. Either way, she should probably wait -- and so should you.

Delicious Irony

I do not suffer two-faced people nor those who demonstrate double-standards very well. Two weeks ago, two somewhat bitter (read that, hard-left) women in our neighborhood were vociferously and publicly exchanging complaints on Facebook that their originally-planned long beach weekends were cut short due to their respective spouses/friends having to be back home in time to report for work at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) early on Monday, July 25, but only long enough to learn that they would be furloughed and sent right back home because Congress failed to enact legislation by July 23 that would keep the agency funded and operating past that date.

Now, this is an inconvenient and frustrating situation -- not just for the piffling reason that long beach weekends get cut short for some, but more to the point, because others who live paycheck to paycheck don't have one coming in because of Congress' ineptitude. And it's especially maddening for the Senate and the House to leave thousands of workers twisting in the wind because they can't put aside partisan bickering to pass an FAA funding bill prior to their recess.

My sympathies for the neighborhood ladies whining on Facebook faded rather quickly, however, when it became increasingly clear that their assumptions held that the FAA shutdown was due primarily to the stubbornness and inaction of Congressional members residing only on a certain side of the political aisle. (A tired meme which Andrew Stiles, of the National Review Online, has shot down by cleanly debunking several of the "It's the GOP's fault!" myths that have been dutifully trotted out by the statist media in recent weeks regarding this FAA shutdown business.)

The most galling part of it all? One of these women had the temerity to lecture me several years ago when, following President Obama's election, I began to openly share on Facebook some of my conservative viewpoints, beliefs and jokes, including observations of extant political and ideological double-standards. She threatened to unfriend me on Facebook, bluntly telling me that she "didn't need all of the hate and negativity in her life," and implied that Facebook wasn't the place for that kind of political discourse.

While I didn't apologize for my beliefs at the time, I did apologize for offending this woman -- and, whether consciously or unconsciously, I have refrained in the years since from talking either politics OR religion on Facebook, opting instead to treat it like one big cocktail party (which is good advice). She has mostly done the same, but has nonetheless been unable to completely refrain from weighing in with the occasional cheap political shot on her other Facebook friends' statuses and pages.

I am well aware that I have a plank in my own eye; heck, there are times when I can't see at all around the multiple planks stuck in my orbs. I suppose I should offer to remove the speck of sawdust from the eye of the neighborhood woman I described above -- except that she and I are no longer friends on Facebook.  Smiling emoticon

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Serial Slashing? Seriously?

Video: Serial Slasher Strikes Again in Fair Oaks

This isn't quite as bad as the D.C. area sniper attacks from back in 2002, but incites a similar fear among innocent women wanting only to enjoy an incident-free shopping trip at the local malls here in Northern Virginia. Hopefully this sicko is caught sooner rather than later.

Beware the Enviro-Nazis

Latest shale gas assault: "A new front has been opened in the Obama Administration's war on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing" (from American Thinker blog)

What a shock. For the first time in literally decades, my hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania is experiencing economic growth from the influx of extra jobs and industry associated with the search for natural gas among the Marcellus Shale beds across several states, yet the enviro-Nazis in Washington are seeking ways to shoot down this effort that potentially inches us toward the goal of energy independence in this country. Delightful.