The Essential Oils Party Recap from a Male Perspective
All the discussion in Pooky’s blog post about cleaning is indeed accurate – approximately three hours before the start of the party, I was tearing apart the vacuum cleaner to determine why it wasn’t eating dirt. With the aid of some needle nose pliers, I discovered a flashlight jammed up inside one of the tubes, wrapped in a warm comfy blanket of dust bunnies and 200mg ibuprofin tablets. And the thing she said about the basement? Images of the Death Star compactor scene come to mind. Beware the Dianoga.
But apart from the cleaning, it went well. The kids were fairly well behaved and stayed out of sight and out of mind. Many thanks to my buddy Darth Joe for helping keep the kids entertained. Our house still smells faintly of essential oils, which is to say it smells like a dump truck full of candy canes stalled on the train tracks and was annihilated by a runaway train full of cloves and cinnamon. I haven’t had a headache all day, either. Look, I was first in line thinking essential oils were slightly below voodoo and shrunken heads on the legitimacy scale. But the stuff works wonders, I’m particularly hooked on Peppermint for headaches and the Breathe for my asthma. I was a skeptical customer, but I’m sold.
The Need for Geeks
After the oil party, I was deep in tech support mode explaining why Minecraft kept crashing on someone’s laptop due to Java errors. The culprit preventing the Java Update was K9, by Blue Coat. A rather excellent freeware program to do content filtering on a computer. Or to say it a different way, to keep crud off the computer. The problem with K9 is it tends to get a little over-aggressive in blocking things, much like AVG Free Antivirus. In this case, blocking Java Updates, which by any stretch of the imagination is undesirable. The next logical question that came up was “well, what else can I do?”
So I’ll make it my goal for the next few blog entries to go over some strategies and technologies to keep the armpit of the Internet out of your home. The problem with this, from a technical perspective? You need some background before you tackle this issue. And giving full rein to my ADD, this reminds me of CS Lewis.
How CS Lewis Would Probably Approach Content Filtering on the Internet
In the masterpiece work Mere Christianity, Lewis discusses… well… Christianity. But to reach that level, he first starts at morality, and progresses from there to human nature and so on, until he finally reaches Christianity through a logical progression. It made little sense for him to jump right into the deep end of Salvation without first discussing the ground work for sin and the necessity of salvation. And before that, what really is sin? What of morality? In other words, he had to cover the foundation before setting up the building.
I found this true in my own life as well. Long before I saw my need for a savior, I wondered if there was anything supernatural in this world – something beyond that which I could see or feel or touch. The home I grew up in was at one time a funeral home, and suffice to say, there was ample evidence that something existed well beyond the natural world. Something that made bumps in the night and shut cats in kitchen cupboards for sport. It was relatively simple for me to cover that first base before moving on to the second. Through this long journey of sorting out the supernatural, I was led ultimately to the cross of Christ. For the sake of brevity, I’ve kept this short and sweet, but it was a long journey full of geeky questions like “why” and “how” and “what about this?”
And so back to our topic at hand – to address content filtering and the Internet and Computers and the like, I could just tell you to click on this and download that, then go about your day. But it won’t work. If you don’t understand technology, you will never control technology. And before your very eyes, it will consume your children like a very hungry caterpillar. You have to lay the ground work of the Internet and Computers before you can control the Internet and Computers. Does that make sense? I hope that it does. So that is my goal. I’ll start very soon, as I’ve blathered on and on enough already.
On Blogging and Insecurity
Within the 24 hours of our first blog posts, Pooky and I were found making statements such as these:
I’m so stupid. I can’t believe I said that. I’m never blogging again. People will think I’m an idiot. I sounded like a complete blathering windbag.
That last part was mine – I still feel like a long winded, blathering windbag. Pooky and I are offering our own life experiences to try and encourage, to edify, to build you up. But being real and vulnerable is a frightening thing. I’m often faced with this reality – that the greatest achievements in my life are almost as significant as a deer tick passing gas deep in the forest. But if they can help you, then here they are. This reminds me of a demotivational sign from Despair dot com that a coworker once had –
If that were God’s plan for you, would it be enough?
From the Mouth of Babes
This from my five-year old: “Daddy, are the lights on the front of cars called face lights?” “No”, I explained, “they are called head lights”. After a moment of meditation on this new revelation, he asked “then are the lights on the back of the cars called butt lights?”
The Wrong Information to give Daddy
This from my thirteen-year old: “Oh Daddy, I just heard the most irritating song, ever! I hope I never hear it again!” Now I have a ready-made method to ensure compliance. Won’t clean your room? Looks like it’s a marathon of this irritating song looping again, and again, and again…
A Cool Tech Tip for Windows 7 Users: God Mode
1. Copy the following:
2. Right-click on your computer desktop and select New / Folder.
3. Paste the name of the folder that you just copied in step one.
4. Open the folder and enjoy some of the most awesome shortcuts available, ever.