Father’s Day Poem


Saw this poem on The Art of Manliness and liked it, so I thought I’d share it with everyone on this Father’s Day.

A careful man I want to be –
a little fellow follows me.
I do not dare to go astray,
for fear he’ll go the self-same way.
I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whatever he sees me do he tries.
Like me he says he’s going to be –
that little chap who follows me…
He knows that I am big and fine –
And believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see –
that little chap who follows me…
But after all it’s easier,
that brighter road to climb,
With little hands behind me –
to push me all the time.
And I reckon I’m a better man
than what I used to be…
Because I have this lad at home
who thinks the world of me.

Will E-books Kill Hardcopy Books?


Will e-book readers kill hardcopy books?

This post was inspired by the Kaizen Reading blog. I don’t know the answer to the question posed in the title, but I will share my thoughts.

Upon reflection, I came up with a few main points. First, computers didn’t end pen and paper or hand writing, but they certainly affected them. Second, this reminds me of the fountain pen vs. ballpoint pen debate. Ballpoint pens have replaced fountain pens for most people, but some still use fountain pens. Their reasons sound very much like the same reasons people still read books, i.e. the feel of a fountain pen in your hand is more satisfying than a ballpoint pen. In the same way the feel of a book in your hand is just better than reading it on a screen. Third, there are parallels with the rise of electronic movie and music formats. Now, what format will e-books take? I used to think that they would be like CDs. One book loaded onto a disk that you pop into an e-reader. That would leave the book publishers in control of their books. But… now I don’t think that is what’s going to happen. Music evolved past CDs into purely online electronic formats with DRM, and I think that’s the same way e-books will evolve. I think e-readers may take on characteristics of expensive books. They may be made of more expensive materials and made to mimic old books at first, then simply be made of expensive, non-plastic materials, such as wood and metal, to appeal to aesthetics.

In my opinion, not only are e-books here to stay, they will replace books in the same way that ballpoint pens replaced fountain pens. I think some people will still prefer hardcopy books just as they prefer fountain pens. However, e-readers have access to a huge library without the need for corresponding storage space. In the same way storage of newspapers was replaced by putting their contents on microfiche, most books will be replaced by e-books. I love that e-books can now be self published as easily as music can. Just put it up online and anyone can enjoy it. If you want to make money, slap some DRM onto it, or maybe don’t even bother if you charge a price most people think is fair.

Another consideration is the content of books will tend to increase in importance as the book’s cover is no longer an issue. The phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” will become something you have to look up to find out why it’s used. In the same way that “Going off half cocked” is a phrase we don’t have any current experience with, you’ll have to do some research to find out what that phrase means.

The one objection to e-books that I’ve heard and agree with is the difficulty of citing a page from an ebook, especially one with no page numbers. Different readers have different pagination. What’s on page 300 in one e-reader will be on page 312 on another, so if you’re reading a reference book or scholarly work and you need to cite it for your own work, how do you do that? Well, it turns out there are a few ways to cite e-books. A few methods are listed below. There are more:

1. The Chicago Manual of Style

2. The APA (American Psychological Association

3. MLA (Modern Language Association)

4. Turabian

Different editions of a hardcopy book will have different pages cites, so I think if people start to follow a convention in citing e-books, it won’t matter as much since they’ll just be considered a different edition.

Those are my thoughts on e-books vs. hardcopy. Not as polished as I would like, but you get what you pay for. Comments and differing opinions are welcome.

My Take on Circumcision

Why am I writing this now? Because it has come up recently on a Facebook page I follow, I think it is important, and I need to get this off my chest. So, here goes:

1. I never had a choice. It was done to me without my permission or consent. (I understand it was the thing to do at the time, and my parents didn’t know any better, so I’m not blaming them, but I’m still ticked off.)

2. It is not necessary to circumcise. Being intact is the norm for human males.

3. It is generally considered illegal and immoral to circumcise girls, so why it is ok to do the same to boys?

4. The doctor should have refused to circumcise me because it was medically unethical to do so. (Yes, I do blame the doctor for doing this. He should have known better and he took an oath.) It was medically unethical in my opinion because of reason 2 above. The surgery was unnecessary. I was not having any problems with my foreskin, so I think cutting it off was highly unethical, especially when you consider that it’s done because there is a very profitable market for the foreskins. They don’t just throw them away, they sell them and make a ton of money while charging the parents to have it done as well.

I really could go on and on about this for pages, but that is my opinion in a nutshell.

Happy Facebooking!

Happy Face

Finally I found a nice WordPress plugin that will allow me to update Facebook with my blog posts. Yes, I haven’t really been updating my blog recently, but that’s going to change since I’m on a kick to record all the stupid and banal things going on in my life for everyone to fall asleep reading. Seriously folks, you ought to have figured out that I write this stuff for me, and if you enjoy it and find it interesting, then I’m happy for you. However, in the end it’s for me and if nobody in the entire world likes it, I don’t care. Well, maybe I care a little.

Oh, it’s called Facebook Page Publish 2 if you’re looking for something similar.

RIP My Old Friend 2

Once again I say goodbye to a trusty friend. Zebra Sarasa number 2 has finally given up the ghost. Once again, my feelings of sadness are tempered with the satisfaction of using a pen up all the way and not losing it or having it stolen. Here is hoping that Zebra Sarasa number 3 will continue the legacy of stellar service you and your brother, Zebra Sarasa number 1, have established.

Goodbye, dear friend. May you enjoy all the benefits of pen paradise that are bestowed on pens that serve their masters well.

*note: Photo of pen may be a retread of Zebra Sarasa number 1.

RIP My Old Friend

Once again I say goodbye to a trusty friend. You were a good pen, Zebra Sarasa, and you died too young. I leave you with feelings of sadness at having used you up, satisfaction that once again I used up a pen and didn’t lose you halfway through your life, and hope that one of your 20 or so brother Zebra Sarasas will serve me as well as you have. There’ll never be another pen quite like you. You were a unique snowflake, even though I couldn’t tell you from any of the other Zebra Sarasas to save my life when you were full of ink.

Goodbye, dear friend. May you enjoy all the benefits of pen paradise that are bestowed on pens that serve their masters well.

I am annoyed (again).

Either a new cycle is starting, or something that’s always around is leaking into the television programs I’m watching. I suspect it’s the latter.

The other day I was watching a commercial for a jewelry store. Three young girls were trying to see if their father got the piece of jewelry they suggested for Mother’s Day. Well, of course he did, and naturally his wife showed her appreciation with a hug and a kiss. The children were watching and the older one said “Awww, they’re so cute at that age!”

That, of course, is when my bile started to rise. What is it with these commercials? I really really hate it when commercials, and TV shows for that matter, portray adults (especially parents and most often fathers) as stupid, immature and/or clueless, while their children are smarter and more mature. The icing on the cake is when the children indulge or tolerate their idiot parents while commiserating with their siblings about how difficult it is to raise their parents.

I said I suspect this was leaking over from other television programs that I don’t watch. My chief suspects are children’s shows, specifically those aimed at ten to sixteen year olds, or whatever the demographic is for them. I haven’t watched those shows, because I’m pretty sure I’d be compelled to stab one or more of my sensory organs after only a few minutes. The script writers and producers of these commercials and television shows thing they’re being very clever, but I think they’re one of the hands unravelling the threads that hold our society together. Perhaps that’s a little extreme, but they are in effect promoting the view that children are in general smarter, more mature, and know better than their parents what’s good for them. Anyone over the age of 25 or so knows that this is absolutely not true. Parents and adults are in general smarter, more mature and usually know better than children what’s good for them.

I know that you can read commentary from writers as far back as the ancient Babylonians saying that children no longer respect their parents and that society is going to hell in a handbasket, etc. I’m sure everyone thinks that about their own time, but can we please let children be disrespectful on their own, without the help and example from other adults who’s sole motivation seems to be making a quick buck off those same children, and who demonstrably have no regard for the consequences of the message they’re sending.

The “Oh Shit!” Moment in Warhammer Online

My “OH SHIT!!!” Moment

Yesterday I had my first real OH SHIT! moment in Warhammer Online. My SW (Shadow Warrior), Sywyn was in Ostland looking for the Order warband. My Party window showed nothing in the area, but it looked like there was just a battle at the Crypt of Weapons, so off I headed. Looked empty, but everyone might have been inside, so in I went. Got all the way in to the BO (Battlefield Objective, a flag) and no one was here, so I started to come out.

On my way out, I ran in to a pack of Destro (Destruction players) who were just coming in to take the objective. We met right at one of the openings and I saw them as I came around the corner.

I stopped.

They stopped.

We looked at each other.

I thought (and said out loud), “Oh Shit.”

They realized I was alone and this wasn’t a trap and piled through the opening.

I ran.

They chased.

I got some licks in.

They wasted me in about 4 seconds.

I chuckled all night at us standing staring at each other in confusion through the doorway.

The More I Play, The More I Learn. Getting Better at Warhammer Online

My SM (Swordmaster), Eldorion, made it to Rank 16 and RR (Renown Rank) 13 this weekend. My BW (Bright Wizard), Grimsieg (sorry Marty) made it to Rank 19 and RR 13. This tells me, and probably the more experienced WHOL (Warhammer Online) players that I’m neglecting RVR. I realized this too, and its just one more thing I’m learning. I think it’s going to be too late to get his RR anywhere near his regular rank before I’m forced to go to the next Tier, but now I know.

From what I’ve seen, the free gear you get from treasure chests in the RVR lakes is much better than what you get for completing the PQs (Public Quests). Heck, even the stuff you can buy based on your Renown Rank is better. Again, I’m learning this. Now I know. Next time I’ll run the PQs after I get my RR gear for the tier. I’ve seen 40th level people in Tier 2 PQs, so I figure that’s what everyone else is doing.

The more I play, the more I learn. I should really take a look for some sort of guide to RVR and just playing WHOL in general.