New Site Feature: Gravatar!

Today finds this site Gravatar enabled. What is Gravatar you ask? From the site: "A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an avatar image that follows you from blog to blog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on blogs?" So this is a good thing. Keeping identities unified across several different sites can be a tough job, OpenID helps with that with the login (which is why I run an albeit seldom used id server using Clamshell, and here's my OpenID endpoint), and gravatar comes in to help with the image.

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P90X Round three....take two!

So...My first attempt at doing the P90X Doubles routine...failed. This routine adds a CardioX workout to 3 days of the weeks in phase two, and 4 days of the weeks in phase three. This is adding in 2 hours and 15 minutes of workout a week in phase two, and three additional hours a week to phase three. I made it into phase three, second week (week 10 overall) and the holidays hit. Too much running around, really. Too many commitments with time, and a serious loss of will-power. This was the fail. I made the excuse that I have been going strong since April, so why not just take an extra week off? But I still didn't eat like a pig, or gain substantial weight or size, so this is good.

Now, if you look at the spread-sheet attached to this post, then you might see the dates don't add up. If I started in early October, then I should have been almost done by Christmas. Well, here's the other reason I had to press reset: during the middle of the second phase of this round, I had an abscess form under my right arm. Apparently the antiperspirant I was using found a way into my pores, clogged it up, and caused an infection. Sweet. I had a forced open hole in my armpit for a week or two, and then had to let it heal. So, time out for working out. Lesson learned: antiperspirant is product of the devil!

While this is no huge loss, I am a bit bummed out that this has kept me from reaching my weight/size goal for the new year. I wanted to be down to a size 32 waist for certain, and perhaps a size 30 if I could manage it. I am sitting pretty at 34, 215-220 lbs depending on the time of day I weigh myself (I was actually fluxing 10 lbs from morning to afternoon there for a while, is this normal?).

With all of that lost time, I just decided to reset the system and start over. Yes, I am going to do the doubles, again, I'm committed to getting through this. I'm still very, very pleased with the results from my 2 1/2 rounds of p90x so far, and as soon as I get through these doubles I want to try out the P90X Plus! routine, I'm looking forward to that. I also have my eye on a totally other program: Muscle & Fitnes System Home Training program. H'mmm. We'll see, I suppose. I don't think that one is as fine tuned as P90X. In the mean time, I have to get my momentum back, there's a noticeable loss of endurance and energy, so I seriously need to get that back. Yes, i can still get through the workout, but it's just that much more grueling after all of this lost time!

Well, after all of that, and a renewed commitment, looks like all I can do is to do my best, and forget the rest! (Thanks Tony!)

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Flood!

NEAR MISS!

So, here in south-eastern Michigan, on December 27th, just 2 days after Christmas, we have a flood-watch in effect. WTF? It is rainy and all of the snow is melting. All of the ice blocks are diminishing and running off in their little streams towards the rivers and drains. While some may rejoice in this odd, out of season weather by hanging out in their shorts on their new balconies, I think there is some cause for alarm. I mean, it IS Michigan, and it SHOULD be cold and snowy and unpleasant. Every venture out of the house should be a life and death adventure of man vs. wild, pitting our best wooley sweaters against all the fury of the Everlasting Winter of The Gods of The North as it descends upon us for a season testing our mettle and worth. Not this year. Not today.

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What I like and why I like it - sqlitebrowser

Here is the start of a new series on NousEssence: What I like and Why I Like it. It basically works like this: Anything I happen upon that sparks a little light in my eye, or causes a wee spring in me step gets put in here. In time, this will be an additional component to my about me page, which is lacking. This amazing new series is not limited to Technology reviews, but here we start off the new tradition with a happy little application I found sqlitebrowser!!
 

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Equality

A paradox of reason. We know, intuitively, that some people are simply better equipped to perform certain tasks in reality. Stephen Hawking has a mental capacity that certainly makes him better at solving physics problems, while someone like Micheal Jordan's physique has certainly given him a natural head start in the world of sports. If Jordan would have been born with a weak heart, for example, he would not be equally as good as his peers at sports. If Hawking would have been born with, say, an impacted frontal lobe, his advanced thinking process would have been negatively affected at birth. This does not even begin to get in to being born into money or abject poverty.

So what is this "All people created equal" really trying get at, then?

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Labels

People feel they need to categorize things to understand them, to poses them, to not be controlled by them; and to, in turn, be in control themselves. People feel they want to be categorized so that they might belong to something, to fit into a category is to not be alone. Categorization, the act of labeling is a mechanism of limitation, and it becomes a requirement, an obsessive requirement when you look at the differences between things before you look at the likenesses shared among them. If we were to teach ourselves, and in turn one another, that it is right to look at the commonalities we share with people before we distinctualize the differences, we would see a core bond of livingness, of feelingness, of what we refer to as the inherently HUMAN part of our nature as the initial defining characteristic of anyone we meet. We label to combat the perception of isolation.

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The wage gap..."gender" equality not just about women...I'm not talking LGBT

There is one obvious area where the equal pay concept stretches out beyond the male/female paradigm, and that is, of course, the LGBT world. But that conversation, to me, is as easy as saying: wouldn't it be great if we lived in a society where people all got treated fairly regardless of their minority status?

This is about something a bit more interesting, in my opinion, than the complaint that there are people in the world who are biased, bigoted asses. I found a handful of articles on a recent study about sexist attitudes and the wage gap, these articles explain that it is not just women, but also men that support equal pay and women in the work force, that receive less pay than men that lead households that support the so-called traditional gender roles in regards to out-of-the-home work.

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Migration Season

Soooooo I migrated servers over the last few days. I got me a fairly inexpensive box, threw Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex on it, and migrated all of my assets over to it. There should not have been any down time, the actual switch over should have taken about 2 seconds even though the process ended up taking about 16 hours longer than I thought it would. Why did I do this? a few reasons:

1) Experience! I am always trying to tinker in new ways on my Linux system(s)/networks. I enjoy the growth of knowledge in gaining experience, and it's pretty darn satisfying in the end! I have never migrated servers, so that was interesting, and also I wanted more experience with a headless installation (I was hosting on my desktop machine before).

2) An excuse to install Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex. It was recently released, and now I have at least one instance of it running. I wanted to be able to install it to my desktop as well, but while it was hosting my site, I could not do that; now I can.

3) The ability to tinker on my desktop hardware. Now I can tinker away with some noise-reduction techniques I have been reading about, I can do things like reboot without killing my hosted site/services. This also means I plan on doing some Drupal testing/module porting and getting my name active in the drupal community, yippie!

4) Share the load! Yes, now my desktop is just a tiny bit less stressed out. That's a nice warm fuzzy feeling.

Performance note: there seems to be some issue with my new Gallery2 installation, please be patient while I iron out some bugs.

So in keeping with the spirit of documentation, and documenting everything major I do here, I'll be posting my notes. The series of steps I took will be posted in one or more posts detailing the harrowing journey.

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New Site Feature!! Comment Notify!

Just a quick note to commemorate the addition of a nifty new feature from the module Comment Notify. Now you can receive email notifications when someone adds a comment to a post that you have commented on...and the best parts: 1. You don't need an account to sign up for these notifications, 2. you can remain anonymous, and 3. you can unsubscribe at any time.

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A Brief Note On Family...

My mom could not biologically have children, something wrong with her insides. My older brother and I were adopted. The family I was raised in as a boy, a chosen/created family, was so ideal, so full of love and warmth and care, so connected and dedicated that I never really questioned my belonging. But I knew friends who's families were anything but warm, anything but actively, outwardly loving. Those were biological families. I met my biological mother, it was surreal, and I would love to write a book about it, about the strange feeling of magnetic connection, a blood awareness...which was and is not love, and how that contrasts with what a family requires to BE a family.

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"OMG! Help!" or "How to Regain Access to Your Ubuntu Computer Once You Have Lost Your User Name and Password!"

So, have you ever lost a password? Ever forgot your user name after coming up with something pretty nifty that is so unique you could never possibly forget it? Ever bought a used computer off Craigslist with Ubuntu installed and forgot to ask the user name and password? Yeah, well rather than going through the headache of reinstalling the entire operating system and loosing all of your data, here is an easy 3 step procedure you can use for Ubuntu password recovery!

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Anti-SPAM! or How I secured NousEssence

SPAM! Why should I have to worry about spam, right? This is a pretty low traffic site (sigh) and who's going to spam on me? I had a post a bit ago about passing a spam right of passage and enabling a bit of security to get around it. Well, the spam dude was not done with me yet! No sir, I kept getting hit, kept having traffic eaten by spam-spewing robo-jerks, and it was getting pretty tiring having to isolate every ip, and then ban them one...at...a...time. So, I overhauled my security and thought I would actually spell out here exactly how I set it up...
 

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The Most Important Factor...(Free Culture and the Body of Politics Pt.2)

So, remembering my previous post about the need to inform a democratic people before they vote I went to YouTube to resurrect a piece I found about why we need to teach civics to the masses. This falls in line with the notion that if you want your Democracy to exist AT ALL, there is an absolute necessity to make certain that the people are well educated, well informed, and an active part of the system.

The thing about this clip I appreciate the most is how it points out at the very beginning that dissent is required in any Democracy. That dissent can be nurtured and actually taught to people. Proper dissent that provokes new ideas and fresh perspectives within a properly functioning democracy. In light of this concept, one can reach the conclusion that those who would silence dissent within a democracy, are actually not in favor of that democracy. Now, ask yourself, who, in American politics has shown intolerance against dissent of any sort at any time in the past? Please keep that in mind at all times.

Anyway, the video...

 

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p90x Round two....NAILED IT! What about you?

Well, three months later and I can say...round two...I nailed it! That's right, I finished another round of p90x! HA! The measurements and statistics are not in yet (haven't taken them yet) but I can say that I am comfortably wearing jeans that are 8 inches less round than when I started! HA! Take that, fat! So what does this mean? It means...on to round three. Already started it, considering doing the "doubles routine" (adding a whole world of cardio to month's two and three ON TOP OF the regular work-outs).This was a rough round, though. I injured my right shoulder pretty badly the very first day of this round...but I DID NOT STOP! You don't stop, you modify (Than You Tony Horton). I persevered, and it payed off.

So, I have been actually thinking about becoming an official P90X coach, I have been getting people into this thing (this weird...fitness thing) and that might even be more satisfying that the workouts themselves. Accomplishing something great for yourself is one thing, but being able to share that with someone else, enabling someone else to partake in something that has added to your immediate quality of life SO MUCH, well..that is another thing all together.

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