Sunday, September 14, 2014

The World Isn't Black and White

After 34 years living on this planet and revolving around the Sun, I've come to a realization.  The world, as in our civilization, is not black and white.  Although somethings might have a right and wrong answer like the world is definitely not flat, most things are not as easy as we would like them to be.

Many issues today are polarized between two camps such as pro-life vs. pro-choice, Republican vs Democrat, and Mac vs PC.  Ok so some are more important than others, but the idea is the same  Both camps dig in with their ideology and tune out anything supporting common ground or the other side.

The more I experience, the more I find that most solutions end up in the middle somewhere.  For example, as I get older, I'm finding myself gravitating more and more towards more Libertarian views on topics.  This has led to a "liberalization" of my social ideas while I stick to my conservative ideas about the scope of government and how to manage the economy. 

Likewise with the Pro-life/Pro-Choice debate I have changed my stance over time.  When I was younger, I followed the straight ideology from the Roman Catholic Church.  Life is life and under no circumstance should any human take that away.  I still fully agree with this when it comes to abortion and embryonic research, but capital punishment is a little less black and white for me.  In most cases, I think that life in prison is probably enough, but for some people, I am ok with the death penalty.  Osama Bin Laden... yes, Saddam Hussein... yes, some random kid that got mixed up with a gang... probably not.

So what I'm trying to say with my rambling is that we need to take a closer look at a lot of issues in our world.  It's time to come to the middle and learn about the other side.  We might just find out that there's a bit of truth in the middle.  And who knows, maybe we can take our energy and use it for something else like helping to feed the hungry or curing the sick.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bugles Across America

Every day in the United States Veterans are laid to rest with military honors.  Unfortunately as the demand for military burial details is ever increasing, the budget for the active duty burial details is being cut.  One of the most rare resources for these teams is a live bugler to play Taps.  In the absence of a live bugler, the teams often turn to recordings on CD players or a "self-playing" bugle.

Thankfully there is an organization that helps make sure that as many Veteran's as possible receive the honor of having a live bugle as part of their funeral service.  Bugles Across America was formed to honor our Veterans.  Anyone may request a bugler through the organization's website for free.  The website then contacts all of the buglers in the area of a request and one will accept the mission.  All of the buglers are vetted by the state directors to ensure the quality that the solemn ceremony deserves.

If you're a bugler and want to help, please sign up for an audition today.  If you know someone that may need our services, please have them make the request online. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

And I Thought "Standards" Were Only In Tech...

So as an IT guy, I often have things that are supposed to follow a standard that was declared and developed by some industry guru group like the IEEE.  Unfortunately some "standards" are only standards because of de facto use.  This is when taking widget from company A that uses "standard X" and making it work with widget from company B that also uses "standard X" usually ends up in me going nuts.

So what does this have to do with my non-technical evening project tonight?  Well apparently back in the day all door knobs used a 2" hole in the door.  At some point, some genius decided that that was silly and that we should all use a new 2 3/8" standard.

This is all fine and dandy until I decided to replace all of the inside door knobs in my house.  So my house was built in the late '60s or early '70s which means that all of my doors have 2" holes.  Of course all of my new hardware expects a 2 3/8" hole.  When you think about it, that means that I need to get rid of 3/16" all the way around a hole.  Not a lot of material, but not exactly easy to do.

Thankfully I'm not the first person to do this and some genius came up with a jig that allows you to use a hole 2 3/8" hole saw without any material in the center for the centering bit.  So in case you need do this in your house... you need one of these.  Oh and this jig can also help if you have a new door to put in the hole for the latch too.