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Archive for November, 2010

Just be Nice #1

November 15, 2010 1 comment

I get tired of being scared. I get tired of thinking the worst of people. But we are surrounded by negative news generated by a minority of the population. This tiny percentage of “meanies” really ruins it for the rest of us. I am sick of the negative crap in mass media. Its out there, it exists and we need to be aware of it but too often its taken, sensationalized and made profitable.

When someone offers a kindness sometimes we reject it out of fear of the ulterior motive.  We have become so jaded and so suspicious of niceness that we reject it, and then offend the offerer who may think twice before offering it again therefore diminishing the pool of people that will be nice.

That’s a finite resource. As we kill the desire to be kind to each other it is replaced with a suspicion and coldness. It gets old, all these jerks that take any action and twist and turn it around. It does no one any good and seems to exist solely to be antagonistic. The Facebook guy, he gave 100 million bones to New Jersey. The day after I saw tweets asking if it was for publicity, Trying to get press, what was his motive. I didnt see the words “thanks” very much. Why? Why the hell does it matter why he gave. If I am some ultra rich fella, and I see how some of this stuff gets turned around I have to wonder if I would still give. Whats wrong with saying “Wow, Thank you so much. We as a society appreciate you and what you have chosen to give.” and not condemn them. We want to promote kind acts, because if we don’t we end up killing kind acts and the world becomes a little harder each day.

Small acts have heavy impact as well. Think of it like this, You do a kindness for someone(opened the door, helped someone carry something, let someone in front of you in the car) , the person accepts your kindness repays you with gratitude and both of you go away feeling good. Maybe the next time the person you helped runs into someone in need they will act. And you feel like a stud for helping out reinforcing your desire to help again. You are spreading little kindness seeds for every kind act you do.

We can change the direction we are going in the way we relate to each other. It just takes a little time and resilience. But next time someone wants to be kind to you, accept it graciously and you will be doing the world a favor.

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Bad decisions are better than No decisions at all.

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Often we would rather put off making a hard decision forever. Thats a mistake. In the face of a non decision you can not act. You spend a ton of time deliberating the pros and cons of said decision and what might happen and what may occur if you go this way or that. If you make the decision and it turns out to be the wrong one at least you can figure out what you need to do to remedy that choice. You also take control of the situation, taking action of some kind gives you a feeling of control and allows you to manage your life. That is not the case with a decision you choose not to face.

Inaction paralyzes us and make us feel weak and out of control and makes the people affected perceive us as weak and out of control.  Some times the problems are wrapped in complexity and layers that are impossible see all the angles. We may allow those complexities to excuse our inaction as we hope that the problem will self resolve. We spend to much time and emotional energy figuring out how to solve the problem to not act once we have our choices laid out.

Thats when the problem starts. Sometimes the choice we know to be best has some optional ramifications that we cant clearly determine so we keep putting it off. But by putting it off more energy is wasted stressing about what might happen then biting the bullet making the decision and reacting to the fallout be it good or bad. At least you can move forward and beyond that problem. The results of not making a choice need to be figured in as well.

I think you have to look at all the known facts of a the problem, figure out what the best and worse case scenario could be for each of your choices and then make a decision. Decisive action moves things forward regardless if they are bad. If you are human and you ever have choices to make you will make bad ones. True freedom comes when you can recognize that bad choices can be corrected. One of my main issues with nondecisions is sooner or later you are going to have to come to those cross roads and choose. At that time you will have to face the positives or negatives from the decision so I just dont see the logic in putting it off.

We know what we want to do to fix a problem. Late at night when everything is quite and the day is done that voice in your head thats telling you to make a choice is right.

This is not to advocate rash decisions, which are decisions that are made without all the facts or thinking through the effects but once you have the facts, and have mapped out the consequences don’t put it on the sideline.  Like Nike says-Just do it.

Thoughts

November 12, 2010 2 comments

Its been a long week. Seems like an eternity. I think its because Sarah and I got so little time together. Just 1 day really. That sucks. Pretty much that way for the rest of november. She takes state boards during thanksgiving week, then my folks are flying us home to Tennessee. That will rock. I am dying to see my sister and her children. Its been almost a year since we have seen family so it will be really nice.

Ive been keeping busy. Writing a lot of code for www.tweetfiler.com(test it out -send a tweet to @tf66 add **tech, **cool, **etc for categories). Thats our most current project. Dorothy has been loving the Kinect and working on her dancing. We are going to make another kinect video to enter into a contest and then I am going to make a 3 or 4 min micro film for another contest. I feel pretty burnt out. Just been coding like crazy and i cant figure out why. I love doing these projects, they are cool but I feel like i am just spinning my wheels a lot of time. I have been writing a bit again and that is a real pleasure. The name of my current story is the Death of awkward Rollie. Meh guess i just wanted to meander tonight. Well if you reading this then I hope you are close to someone you love and someone that loves you because tonight I am not, and man do I wish I was.

Categories: Drivel, Family, Just about me

Dance Central and Kinect Vid

November 7, 2010 Leave a comment

The kid and all her pals are digging Kinect. Its cool watching these girls who have had a cursory interest in video games being pulled into it like some grizzled WOW junky. And the coolest thing is they are not static games, these are filled with movement and motion. When she pauses Kinect she grabs for water. I watched Dorothy play for about an hour and a half and she was huffing after. Its a really cool healthy thing and I appreciate it.

Our New Toy

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Well we got Kinect late last night and I must say I am very impressed. It aint perfect. But its damn good. And It will get better.

If you haven’t heard of Kinect its Microsoft’s venture into Motion Gaming. Kinda Like the Wii or Sony’s new Move system, But with Kinect there is no controller. The controller is your body. You set a sensor bar up that has some cameras and a microphone(the sensor bar system is actually Kinect) and calibrate to your house and your body and go play. Not every game is Kinect ready there are special ones that can take advantage of this new system. I list a few below.

The set up was easy and not technical at all. Took 5 min for me to unpackage, set the sensor in place, connect the wire and reboot. There were a few updates I had to run through but the whole process probably took 10 min. After the last update it rebooted and Dorothy took over. She loved it. It was easy as hell to configure and tune to each person.

The UI control needs a bit of work. But that’s to be expected with any 1st iterate technology. I really think they will tighten it up quickly. To be honest Playing with Kinect was kinda like realizing a dream that I first saw in minority report. It was fun, fast easy to use and very responsive.  We were able to test the video chat and it was very easy and the camera was smart. 1 person in the room it would zoom in and follow you as you walk around, 2 people in the room and it would stay zoomed out to get everyone in frame, all with no setup and just plugging it in.

The games are where it shines. We bought 2 – Dance Central and Kinectimals. It comes with Kinect adventures. We experienced each game for a few minutes spending the majority of the time laughing. It was good times. The photos that Kinect takes while you are playing are gold.

In Dance Central There is a freestyle zone in the middle of each song where the “dancer” can do what ever they like and after freestyle ends they show the pictures that were taken in a stop motion style that is very seemless and enjoyable. if the player falls out of synch the screen dancers body part will start to glow red to indicate where the player needs to tighten up a bit. It seems very good at determining correct body position and Dorothy was able to learn with out much frustration.

Here is a video of D knocking it out with Dance Central. Tonight supposedly I am having a “Dance Battle” with her. Not sure how I am gonna survive but I am guaranteed to laugh alot.

Kinectimals is just nuts. I cant say enough about it. The cats are cute, graphics are fab. They recognize faces, respond to voices, act like cats and my little girl loved it.  We didnt play it much(it was after 1 am) but with the bit we did I was impressed with how they seemed to bring every aspect of the Kinect experience together in the game.

Kinect Adventures was a blast. I am terribly out of shape and almost died from playing 1 round with my overly energetic 8 year old. We were in a raft and you have to work together to navigate down a river. You can collect different points as you do so. The fun comes in when you are both jumping up and down like maniacs and yelling “Left! Left!” and a picture gets taken of yall together.

We obviously have alot more exploring of this new technology to do but the impression that I was left with after 2 hours was……WOW! It is a fun system especially for families. I will be interested to see how they get hardcore gamers into it but really they have that segment well covered. They needed the Wii demographic and this will bring them in droves.

Stand alone Kinect costs 150 but you can buy the new Xbox Kinect bundle for 299.

One thing that I did notice is you need alot of space. Like a good 6.5-9ish feet from the sensor.